Frequently Im asked about the WDJ Web site (whole-dog-journal.com). What does it cost to access articles online? Do the articles posted online differ from whats presented in the print version of the magazine? And why arent the old articles free? Let me take this opportunity to explain.
Online access doesnt cost the reader any more than a conventional subscription; neither does it cost less, since at present, our publisher does not offer an online version only subscription. Right now, the online version is a bonus; when you pay for a regular subscription, you are given the option of registering for online access. You provide an e-mail address, confirm your subscription status, and choose a password; then you can view articles in the current issue online and in print.
This offers a few advantages. One is that the online version is published before the print version is mailed, giving you early access to the newest issue. Another is that you can read the current issue while at the office (say, when your paper copy is at home). You can also click on hyperlinks for Web sites referenced in the articles too cool!
However, only the current issue is available online. If you want to read past articles, you have to refer to your old print copies, just like before. Or, if you are really desperate to read something from a past issue right away, you can pay for the privilege of immediately downloading an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file with the article you want.
Given the fact that I already have each issue on my computer (where each issue originates), I dont really need to access articles online. However, I do constantly use the search feature on the Web site. I used to refer frequently to the indices that we print in each Decembers issue, the ones that list all the articles from the past year, arranged by topic category: training, health, nutrition, etc. Now, with my always on cable modem and a bookmark set to the search page, I can locate past articles by topic or keyword almost instantly. Once I know in which issue an article was published, I can grab my binder of print issues from the correct year and turn right to the article I want.
Of course, if you prefer, you have the option of having a regular, printed copy of a past issue mailed to you. This way, you receive the entire issue in which the article appeared.
Why dont we just give away old articles and issues, or allow everyone to read WDJ online? Because subscriptions and back issue sales are what keep us in ink and pixels. By shunning advertising sales and income, we can maintain an independent editorial view, keeping us free to discuss topics the ad-dependent magazines are pressured not to print.