Madison Magazine Goes Digital!

Read about all the cool new things happening within the magazine—and beyond

Like all good Midwesterners, we at Madison Magazine have been working our wind-chapped fingers to the bone leading up to the holidays, so we feel both worthy of and entitled to all of the seasonal relaxation and overindulging.

To that end what you have in your hands is a very large and multifaceted magazine that uniquely blends the printed product with the digital environment—more on all this in a minute—plus the second edition of a wonderful publication called Spectrum Magazine, which is embedded right after page 70 and distributed all over the greater Madison area.

First published in January 2009 and again this month, Spectrum is a celebration of diversity as a strength and an asset to our ever-diversifying community. It’s the brainchild of an important organization called the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable, made up of a collection of individuals from a number of area companies for whom the idea of diversity is much more than a concept or an ideal; it’s a culture.

Full of feature stories, personality profiles, and community events and services, Spectrum informs and entertains with engaging articles and inspirational ideas for better living, working and playing. Think of families and neighborhoods, workplaces and learning environments, spiritual endeavors and faith-based connections, and giving generously to those in need. We’re proud to publish another edition, and we hope you enjoy it.

The two-dozen or so members of the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable include Madison College, represented by employment and workforce diversity administrator Malika Monger. I mention Malika because she is the magazine’s liaison with MADR, and we have worked closely with her on both editions of Spectrum. I’d like to thank Malika for all of her dedication and hard work. I also want to thank our championship staff. I’m going to guess that publishing two magazines in a single month feels something like playing two football games on the same day. We’re all a little sore.

As for the other part of the aforementioned large and multifaceted magazine—this month marks our first-ever, premier, inaugural, brand-spanking-new digital issue! By now most of you are familiar with those black-and-white squares called QR (“quick response”) codes printed on things like your mail, your cereal box, your restaurant menu, etc. You know, the ones you can scan with your smartphone and link to whatever product or service you want to find out more about? We’re debuting one this month, too, only our QR code isn’t a traditional black-and-white square, it’s a cute little smartphone icon with an “M” in the middle of it. While the look is different—we wanted it to be attractive as well as stand out—the icon functions in the exact same way. It’s a virtual bridge between the print and online worlds, and we’re excited to give it a whirl.

If you too would like to get digital, turn to page 3 of the magazine and follow the easy instructions on how to download the Digimarc Discover App from the iTunes Store or the Android Market, then have fun scanning and experiencing the digital content wherever you see the smartphone icon.

Here’s an example. Once you’ve downloaded the app, scan my photo to watch a short video of yours truly singing “On Wisconsin.” Just kidding. It’s a brief introduction to the digital issue.  And if you scan the cover image, my welcome video will pop up for you as well. And there are many more videos and photo galleries, plus our “Burger Madness” contest (p. 84) where we ask you to vote on your favorite Madison burger.

The videos and the new mobile platform are courtesy of our colleagues at WISC-TV3, and we thank them profusely for sharing their time and talents with us.

Now I’m sure there’s somebody reading this column and thinking, “What have you done to my magazine? I avoid technology like the plague!” If you don’t own a new-fangled cellular gadget, no worries. Borrow one from your favorite teenager. Kidding. Just ignore the digital icons throughout and enjoy the same Madison Magazine you always have.

And while you’re at it, have a joyful holiday season and a very happy new year.

Brennan Nardi is editor of Madison Magazine. Comments and letters can be sent to 7025 Raymond Rd., Madison, WI 53719, or bnardi@madisonmagazine.com. Letters we publish may be edited for space and clarity.

Find more columns here.

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