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"Online Is Where It's At"

This headline quotes one of our authors, who was excited to find out that a story he had written for us had been put on our website. Being able to have your work live on in perpetuity, especially for people who make a living by selling their words, is important. That’s particularly true for American Way writers, since each issue is only on the “shelf,” as it were, for 14 days. The magazine has had a website for almost seven years.

And as is the case with most websites, it started with baby steps and has grown over the years. But even today, we don’t put all our content on the web. There have been many reasons for that, and over time, those reasons have changed, with some becoming outdated and others raising their heads.

This month we’re taking another large leap forward, and you will now be able to access all the content in American Way on our website, www.americanway­ mag.com. Addition­ally, we’re starting a new free service. You can subscribe to certain sections of the magazine and then receive an e-mail notification that has a link to the corresponding article once it’s been put online and is ready to view.

I would love to think that my column is your favorite, but I know (slightly) better than that — or maybe the people I work with do. So while you can, of course, subscribe to be notified when another column full of enlightening information from me is posted, you can also choose to stay updated on the articles from some other prosaic heavy hitters. Do you love reading Gerard Arpey’s column, Vantage Point? Maybe you enjoy Jim Shahin’s column. Or perhaps you look forward to our celebrity profile each issue. You will now be able to subscribe to each of these. As a reminder, an icon like the one on the left-hand side of this page will identify each piece.

Sweet, huh? Of course, there’s a catch. How successful a website will be lies in its ability to get people to look at it. So in giving you all our content all the time, we hope that you will come visit us online and check for stories you missed or print a copy of a story you forgot to take with you. Not only would that save you from having to e-mail us and ask for a copy of the magazine, it also saves us from having to use more paper and buy postage to send out entire issues.

That said, if we find that you, our readers, really aren’t interested in accessing our website to read all your favorite stories, we will stop doing this.

Why? Because, unfortunately, business endeavors usually have dollar signs attached to them. And if we can’t justify the increase of zeros in our expenses, then the people in control of the budget won’t be happy. And when the people in control of the budget aren’t happy — well, let’s just say I don’t want to be the cause of their unhappiness (especially since I can’t add).

So, over the holidays, while you’re hanging out with family instead of hanging around airports (we hope), take the time to catch up on what we’re writing for you. There are actually all kinds of interesting things we’re adding to the site. And don’t forget to subscribe (for free) to story notification.

Just think how fun it will be to be the first to know that a fresh, new column is up and ready to read — no matter where you are.

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Sherri Gulczynski Burns
American Airlines