Friday 6 January 2023

A curmudgeon speaks!

I received the latest issue of InTech, ISA's flagship, over the holiday period. I look forward to receiving it at home to have a good read at my ease. But this is the last time I'll be able to do so.

" is with a bit of sadness but much gratitude for the benefits of digital publications that I say this is the last issue of InTech in print. After years of pilot projects and deliberations, the digital transformation of InTech magazine is a reality." so says Renee Bassett, the editor-in-chief in her editorial in this the last paper issue.

She gives all sorts of figures and that decided the Society to make this change. Reading it I find I am in the 33% who do NOT read the digital issue although it has been available in digital format as well as the paper version for quite some time. I do not as a rule read pdf magazines or newspapers in the same way as I read the printed versions. I can't thumb through it.

I know this is a curmudgeonly opinion and will have no effect on this decision but feel I must express this opinion especially as the Society honoured me by electing me as Publications Vice-President many years ago. The Society also recognised my humble efforts as a member both of my local section and of the wider global society. So I have a lot to thank the Society for - not least the companionship of automation professionals. I remember my first attendance at an ISA function and the relief not having to answer the question, "What exactly IS instrumentation?"

Don't mistake what I am saying. I like the internet and use it all the time. I first joined up to the internet in 1993 so that I could contact and access quickly the benefits and knowledge that the Society has provided over the past almost 80 years. In fact I was the 800th subscriber to the service of our local internet provider Ireland On-Line - remember dial-up?

As publisher myself I understand the problems of providing a printed publication. The production cost has not changed that much in the last forty or fifty years. However the cost of distribution has probably quadrupled if not more. Our own publication - Read-out - which ceased paper publication about six years ago had seen the cost of postage increase from around €0.50 per copy to almost €5.00 per copy. We had little choice but to change to on-line publishing with items being published on a daily basis.

We will continue to subscribe to the digital InTech (and its sister eBooks) and will no doubt dip into it virtually. I will miss it plopping through our letter box every two months. I will miss sitting back and thumbing through it as I learn about the latest automation technologies and applications.

@ISA_Interchange @IrelandISA #Automation #PAuto #TandM

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