Paper or Plastic?
O ur subscribers have more choices than ever in how they read otherwise consume the information that texas fish & game produces.
Most Popular is the magazine in its original form, printed on paper, folded, glue-bound (not stapled) and trimmed, then either delivered directly to your mailbox or shipped to wholesale distributors who stock individual copies in newsstands where you can find them throughout the state.
Print is a great way to enjoy our information, and a great deal of care and work goes into the crafting of every issue, from the planning and writing of each feature article and column, to the selection of supporting photos and design of the article layouts. In the convenience of home or office (or wherever sitting, standing or reclining and reading is possible) print has been delivering the goods for a long, long… long …long time—since around the time Columbus was in high school.
Growing in popularity is the magazine in its digital form, delivered via either the internet or our free app on a variety of electronic devices—computers, mobile tablets and phones. The versatility of this form is multi-faceted. Versatile in the portability and availability of the issues anywhere internet access is available; and versatile in the additional content that this form allows us to include, such as videos, resource links, more photos and audio.
A lot of magazines publish digital versions. Most of these are simply replicas of the printed issues that allow you to flip through the pages on a screen. Nice, but not practical on anything smaller than a desktop or large tablet screen. But in our case, we have developed an entirely mobile version that makes it easy to read any article on any phone. Navigating between stories is simple: just swipe from story to story or pull down the Contents Table and jump directly to the story you want. The text is formatted to be easily readable and scrolls vertically through entire stories, making it easy to navigate our articles and entire issues with one hand—which makes it possible to read texas fish & game even while you’re standing in a line somewhere.
The real power of these mobile versions is our ability to pack in additional content, and especially interactive features. One of these is our Hotspots section, where each month fishing guides all over the state give us prime fishing locations for that month, along with how to fish the spot and its actual GPS coordinates. It’s a great, very popular department in every print edition, but in the digital edition, we are able to fit a few more reports in, and also add interactive maps, that let you see the spot and even jump out to a Google Map view of the spot. This actually allows you to navigate to a spot with your phone, on the water..
Also starting to grow in popularity is our e-mail newsletter. Three times each week, we send out newsletters to all subscribers who have given us their e-mail addresses. Anyone who does not wish to receive the e-mails can “unsubscribe.” But most of our subscribers enjoy these almost daily briefings. They allow us to stay on top of the latest topics of interest to our audience in ways that even the digital editions of the monthly magazine are not designed to accommodate.
Then, there is our website, fishgame.com. Our site has been in existence almost as long as the World Wide Web has been in existence (we obtained the domain name in 1996).
This online old-timer has been a digital work horse, providing access to current articles to our subscribers and archived content to all visitors. It has also become home to a dream team of bloggers delivering great content that can’t, or won’t, wait for the monthly tf&g issue train to roll.
We love the look and tactile experience of our layouts on glossy, coated paper. But we also love the exciting possibilities that our digital products open up for our audience. And come to think of it, from a conservation perspective, this might be a case where the “Paper or Plastic” question actually falls in favor of plastic, the basic construction material of most mobile devices. The more people opt for digital versions of magazines, the fewer trees are needed to be pulped into pape