Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paperless Society?

I’ve been bombarded lately by Eco-group propaganda that I should be doing my part to Save the Planet™. Which, when you come to think of it, is a farce that probably works well on weak-minded lemmings who easily buy into that sort of advertising. Truth is, the planet’s fine. It was around long before we started screwing things up, and I’m willing to bet it’ll still be here long after we’ve blasted ourselves into oblivion. The little pests living on its surface, however, aren't doing so great.

Anyhow, I do subscribe to the Reduce, Recycle and Reuse philosophy for much more egotistical reasons: I’m still fairly young and I’d like to save some stuff for me to enjoy into my later years. But I digress…

Got an "URGENT MESSAGE" in the mail last week letting me know that my subscription to Motorcyclist Magazine was up and that I should be renewing “immediately” to either prevent World War III or find a cure for cancer… don’t remember exactly which. Well, being the good Samaritan that I am, I went to their website and proceeded to renew my subscription. That’s where I found it.

Electronic magazine subscriptions. Basically, you sign up and rather than receive a torn-up and battered copy in the mail (Thank you, Canada Post), you simply download it onto your computer and thumb through a virtual copy of the complete magazine – ads and all.

At first I wasn’t really impressed by the service that much, I mean, it would be awkward balancing the laptop on my, uhm, lap while sitting on the throne. Then I started reading more about this new distribution medium. Seems they’re going to be coming out with an application that also lets you read your favourite mags on your iPod Touch or iPhone. Now there’s an idea that holds some promise.

I travel a lot for work, and the thought of loading up a stack of motorcycle mags on my iPod is attractive. No more reading through those cheesy airline mags (although Air Canada’s EnRoute is quite good). Not to mention that my iPod is already loaded up with my favourite tunes and a few good movies – so to be able to add my magazines simply completes the concept of portable entertainment.

Oh, and when a new issue comes out you get an email notifying you. Then you simply download it to your home computer, or if you’re on the road with your iPod just find a public Wi-Fi hotspot (like any Starbucks) and download the issue directly to your iPod. Cool.

So how is this good for the environment? Well, no paper for starters. Also, no delivery which means less gas (I’m talking about the postman, he’s got the winds something bad).

And one last advantage: it’s cheap! For the price of a regular Motorcyclist subscription I was able to subscribe to Motorcyclist, Dirt Rider, and Sail.

1 comment:

Giest said...

That's interesting, but I don't know if I want to give up the only thing that actually gets me away from something electronic. I enjoy sitting back with a mag and not looking at the monitor that I stare at for a majority of the day. It is a great idea and I might be more inclined if I actually owned an iPod or something along those lines.

Oh, and I agree. The pests days are numbered and I'm sure the planet will breathe a sigh of relief.