We’re listening

What makes a magazine what it is? It’s not the editors, writers, designers, and other content creators. It’s not the advertisers or the physical paper and ink that arrive in your mailbox or on your newsstand every month. It’s the readers. Magazines exist to serve readers, and the publications that don’t tend to disappear in a hurry.

The Internet hasn’t killed the printed word, but it has redefined what readers want from paper-and-ink magazines. These days, readers look to the Internet for breaking news, product information, and fixes to nagging computer problems. These are all areas we’re focusing on at Macworld.com. At the same time, we’re tweaking Macworld magazine to take better advantage of the strengths of print. Today’s Macworld focuses more on tips and in-depth how-to articles, and less on breaking news, than the Macworld of five years ago. You changed, technology changed, and so did we.

How Are We Doing?

The Internet has also changed how we interact with our readers—and that, in turn, has changed Macworld even more. Since we launched our Macworld.com forums in December 2000, we’ve been interacting with readers daily, answering questions, getting feedback, taking criticism, and brainstorming cool story ideas. More recently, we began using the Web to survey Macworld readers on a monthly basis, finding out which articles you read, which you skip, and which you find the most valuable.

The results on both fronts have been fantastic. Today we have a much better view of who you are and what you want from this magazine. The online interaction, combined with all your e-mails and your direct feedback at events such as Macworld Conference & Expo, has helped us make sure that Macworld meets your needs.

Of Cameras and iPods

More than a year ago, we introduced several departments to the back of Macworld, including Mobile Mac, Working Mac, and Geek Factor. When we launched them, the department topics were shots in the dark—we didn’t really know whether they’d work. To our great relief, they’ve all been generally well liked. But we’ve realized that those initial choices failed to devote regular space to two of the areas of greatest interest to Macworld readers: digital photography and digital music.

So this month, we’re inaugurating our new Digital Photo and Playlist columns, within the Secrets section. Digital Photo covers all aspects of digital photography, from tips on shooting to advice on how best to process and print your images. Playlist (which shares its name with our iPod- and iTunes-focused Web site and magazine) is devoted to digital music playback in all its forms. To make room for those two new columns, we’re eliminating Digital Hub. But never fear—all the topics we used to address in Digital Hub will now be divvied up among Playlist, Digital Photo, and Create .

A Reviews Revolution

In this issue, we’re also changing the way we present product reviews, again based on your feedback. We’ve boosted our coverage of new Macs and other major products, enhanced our product roundups, and expanded our Mac Gems column, which features the greatest Mac products you’ve never heard of. We’ve also expanded our Top Products section, which lists your best bets in printers, monitors, and other hardware categories every month. As a result, we’ve actually increased the number of hardware products we test in Macworld Lab every month.

Finally, we’re debuting our new More Reviews section. In this section, you’ll find shorter reviews of products that appeal to smaller audiences. These reviews will give you a good snapshot of each product’s strengths and weaknesses. If you want to know more, look for a URL at the end of the review. Type that address into your browser, and you’ll get the full, expanded review of that product on Macworld.com.

The Listening Never Stops

As the saying goes, change is the only constant in the universe. Your interests as Macworld readers will continue to evolve—and so will Macworld. We promise to keep listening, so please keep telling us what works—and what doesn’t work—for you. We want to give you what you want and need. Because, as another saying goes, without you, we’re nothing.

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