In the early 1900’s one of the great mining writers and a former Engineering & Mining Journal (E&MJ) editor, T.A. Rickard, advocated a 4-ft policy for reference books. At the time, tramp mining engineers could not afford to be saddled with a large reference library and travel by horseback. He listed the books that he thought would serve those men well and still fit on a shelf constructed from a standard plank found at the mines.
When I left the mines to join the E&MJ editorial team in 1991, the publishing business was about to face a period of unprecedented change. The “Internet” wouldn’t technically arrive at the publishing house for another five years, but the E&MJ editors were already using E-mail before many of their colleagues; after all they were engineers and they did business internationally. When the Internet arrived in its most primitive form (AOL, Netscape, etc.), the E&MJ editors watched as print publishing executives wrestled with the concept. During a healthy discussion in one of those strategy sessions, a former E&MJ publisher said, “Hold on here guys, we don’t want to end up as road kill on the Information Superhighway.” He had no idea how profound those words were.
Today, it seems everyone has access to the Internet and E-mail. Smart phones have supplanted flip phones and many people are opting for tablets instead of laptops. The mobile applications (or apps) make these tools useful. This month, Mining Media is launching a mobile app for E&MJ. The Apple version is available from iTunes and the Android Version is available at Google Play. Once readers have downloaded the E&MJ app, they will be alerted automatically when the next edition is available.
E&MJ was not the first mining-related trade journal to produce an app. Instead of rushing to market with a limited product, Mining Media wanted to produce the best possible mobile app. Unlike page-flip versions of digital magazines, it offers text in a readable format that scrolls with images anchored in the articles. Eventually we plan to offer other features such as embedded videos, dynamic graphics and scrolling photography. Aside from being available on both platforms, the articles repaginate when the tablet (or smart phone) rotates from vertical to horizontal. We designed it ourselves and several readers have already told us how much they like it.
Mining Media has also made significant improvement to E&MJ’s Website (www.e-mj.com) and its social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook). The E&MJ Web page now loads super fast, which is amazing considering the amount of content that’s presented on the landing page. E&MJ recently surpassed 1,100 followers on Twitter (@eminingjournal). E&MJ’s LinkedIn Group is ready to host refereed discussions. Much of the magazine’s photography can be seen on Facebook (1,311 likes). The editors are Tweeting news stories as they are posted to the Website. The editors bundle those stories together for the E&MJ eNews, a free e-mailed weekly news service currently serving more than 13,000 readers. Visit the sites and check it out.
If you are one of those faithful readers that could care less about all of the digital media products and platforms I have just mentioned, don’t worry; we will still deliver the printed edition of E&MJ to your desk every month for free too. It doesn’t need a power source or a Wi-Fi connection and you can take it places where you might not want to take a tablet. Enjoy this edition of E&MJ and thank you for your support.
Steve Fiscor, E&MJ Editor-in-Chief,