I’m definitely not what you’d call a tech-head. Never have been. As a landscape designer who came through school just as CAD was making its awkward entrance, I said “no thanks.” I’m not a skilled artist, but I prefer to draw my plants – however crudely – by hand. I also remember not too long ago when a friend told me about this incredible new thing called “e-mail.”
“That will never catch on,” I thought. “It sounds too complicated and too impersonal.” Now, of course, I can’t imagine my business life or personal life without e-mail.
A few months ago something exciting appeared in my e-mail inbox, and I see its potential. It was a link to the new digital edition of Total Landscape Care. If you’ve provided us with your e-mail address, you should be receiving a link in your inbox each month, also. If not, please visit www.totallandscapecare.net and use the button “Click Here to view the current digital edition.” We currently have our January 2009 through April 2009 issues posted there, but you might be reading this May issue in digital format because it appears before the printed edition gets “snail mailed.” (Printing and mailing take time, you know). In addition to the time factor, there’s also the green advantage of sending you our issues electronically instead of using wood pulp and fossil fuels to produce and deliver paper magazines.
I love the clever design of the digital issue. Click on the arrow buttons and it’s virtually like thumbing through a paper copy of TLC. I particularly like the “shhhick” sound effect mimicking the flutter of a turning page. The designers put that in for guys like me who need some hint of a link to the old paper world. Try clicking on the ads to transport yourself to the Web pages of our advertisers for in-depth info on their products – you can’t get that convenience with a paper magazine. Can’t remember what page a certain item was on? Use the “search” function to locate every mention of that topic in a particular issue. Like an article and want to send it to a colleague or client? E-mail it to them straight off the site. See an intriguing headline on the cover or in the table of contents? Click on it and go directly to the article inside. We also added our 2008-2009 TLC Chemical Guide, so you can flip through it for answers to all your chemical/pest questions. I know this is not a completely revolutionary technique, but it’s exciting for those of us who still don’t own a BlackBerry or an iPhone.
When it comes to magazines, I still sometimes like the reality of feeling actual paper in my hands. I keep a few garden magazines stashed beneath my car seat in case I stop to renew my tag at the DMV or get a haircut. I also keep copies of Total Landscape Care to hand out to guys I see planting trees, or to leave on the windshields of trucks with landscaper logos printed on the side. But this digital issue is exciting stuff in the world of communication.
I think it’s the biggest thing since e-mail. I hope you will embrace the technology along with me. I think I have turned a virtual corner.