As the Web becomes more accessible worldwide (via cell phone, smartphones, netbooks, laptops, and regular old computers), people are increasingy receiving their news in electronic format.  The economics of online news delivery is becoming apparent as newspapers shutter their publishing operations in favor of electronic delivery.  This leaves many who prefer the feel of paper in their hands without an alternative.

However, many AAPG newsletters and publications are still available in hard copy.  The EXPLORER, Delegate’s Voice, and others are available either electronically on the Web, or in a published format via post.  This is certainly a relief for those who aren’t quite ready to give up paper.

Medium and convenience aside, however, there is one thing that online formats have that is impossible for a paper format to replicate: context.

The thing I like best about reading news online is that if the story talks about a particular association or organization, most times there will be a link to said organization’s web site placed contextually in the story.  If the story is about a new video making news, the video is often linked.  Online news sites often have sidebars with information about related stories of interest, or more in-depth coverage about the topic at hand.  For me, I don’t do well with highlighting or dog-earing a page with the intent to come back to a particular point that interested me.  I want to continue to explore while I’m engaged in the topic.  With this sort of contextual linking, I can follow the trail of discovery and information as far as I’m willing to click.

We strive to provide that sort of context with AAPG’s online publications.  We link association Web sites, pages within’s Web site, blogs, and any other information of note to enhance the information provided.  We also include pictures and other media that the restrictions of the published page won’t allow.

Another benefit of the electronic medium is instant correction and enhancement of stories.  If an error is discovered in a story, or if late-breaking news changes or enhances facts, those can be incorporated into the online version, so the news you read can be as up-to-date as possible.

So, to those who still enjoy the feeling of sitting back with printed material in hand, or taking notes on the printed page, please still take a moment to come online and visit the electronic version of whatever you’re reading (and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same).  It’s a wonderful and useful supplement to what many consider to be the greatest achievement of humankind.

AAPG news sources available electronically include:

I’ll add others as I remember them; or comment and let me know which I’ve missed!

Speaking of enhancements, look for some useful enhancements to the April 2009 EXPLORER Online edition, available next week!

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