Magazine’s RSS Feed

The electronic versions of the Cross & Crescent magazine were launched less than 24-hours ago and one chapter has already added its RSS feed to the front page of their website.

Ending all print production distribution of the magazine will reduce the accessibility of our content for some members, this I am sadly sure of. But at the same time, its new electronic formats will increase accessibility and exposure for others.

The RSS feed is a clear example. With only a few lines of code, the Shippensburg chapter webmaster was able to add the magazine’s table of contents to his website. Not only that, his website will automatically receive the next table of contents when we publish the next issue on December 2. He doesn’t have to do anything, it will just show up.

We also produced two PDF versions of the magazine: one low-resolution for screen and one higher-resolution for print. The PDFs package the same content into a finished 16-page publication members can print and read offline. Sadly, it takes a lot of extra work to create the PDFs — there is little I can do to automate that process.

Lastly the web-based XHTML version of the magazine is the big accessibility winner. Nearly any web-enabled device can now obtain the magazine’s content. This includes computers, cell phones, and even screen readers for the visually impaired. I know a visually impaired Lambda Chi would will certainly benefit from this change.

So there you have it. Some members are going to no longer get the magazine at all because they don’t have access to the web. Many others, however, now have greater access and more options on how they receive this publication.