We were in a quandry this month! Ever since we reintroduced The Magazine, last December, we have put the pdf version on line a few days before the issue month. In April, we knew that the Velux 5 Oceans was coming to its finish and that Tony Bullimore's long stay in Hobart was about to end, with his departure on a solo round-the-world record attempt. What to do?

The print magazines have cottoned on to the fact that many copies are now gathering dust and more and more of them are producing on-line versions. These on-line versions are, however, a carbon copy of the print editions, which means any “news” is still weeks out of date. If we left stories about a Velux round up and an assessment of Bullimore's chances for the June issue, we would have become just as tardy as a print magazine!

Our first decision was to delay publication for a few days, so we could write up stories on Bernard Stamm and Kojiro Shiraishi's Velux adventures and do a piece about Bullimore. Then we got an invitation to attend a Puma Day, where the company would make an important announcement and the former ABN AMRO Two would be seen sailing in pink shoe guise! We couldn't leave that for almost a month, but we couldn't go on delaying the May issue, or we would end up in June!

We held a meeting and the outcome was a decision to stop producing a pdf version. It wasn't an easy decision, because we've become quite proud of our pdf magazine, after all the compliments we've had about it. We were helped though by seeing how the download figures have changed, since we brought in HTML pages, as well as the pdf. It's became clear that the compliments were for the content, not the format!

The January issue of The Magazine was downloaded almost 44,000 times in the first month. In February, we produced the first HTML version, after a number of requests for this. Critics of the pdf version ranged from those who still had modem connections, to those who found it hard to read on their mobile phones, whilst travelling to work by train! The February HTML pages didn't go on line for about a week after the pdf and, in that week, almost 30,000 copies were downloaded.

Since then, as the gap between pdf and HTML publication has closed, the number of pdf downloads has steadily declined. In April, for the first time, publication of the two versions was almost simultaneous and only 5000 pdf copies were downloaded. The conclusion is unmistakeable: if the only option is to download a publication in magazine format people will do it; if there is a choice, the vast majority will opt for reading on line!

So no more pdf magazines, just HTML, bringing you what most of you want; on-line reading and the stories published in timely fashion.