When I started Alaskan History Magazine I thought it would be nice to offer a digital edition which could be read online or downloaded, because there are a few publications I enjoy reading in a digital format, and I thought it would be a nice added benefit to a subscription. And for the most part, it was. Then the pandemic hit, print subscriptions stopped, and with the loss of income which made print subscriptions too difficult to continue, I thought digital subscriptions might fill the void. It seemed like a reasonable assumption, and my early attempts were promising. But then I tried to make it work smoothly…. and it wouldn’t.
I am a writer, and a historian, and I have never been technologically-minded. I can hold my own most of the time, but I expect technology to work right, to do what I expect when I follow the instructions, and to be somewhat easy to figure out. Not simple, because life rarely is, but I don’t want to spend hours upon hours learning skills I will probably never use again just to get a bit of electronic data to cooperate and then find out that no matter what I do, it refuses to comply. My dad was a computer systems analyst, the guy they called when computers were acting wonky, and one of his favorite phrases was GIGO, Garbage In, Garbage Out. But what if you put the right stuff in and still get garbage, time after time after time? I would much rather spend that time researching history and writing about it than trying to finesse an answer out of tech support.
So, after more than a month of futzing with the technology, thinking I had it figured out and then being proven wrong again and again, I give up. I have removed the paywall from the magazine at Issuu, and all of the issues are available to read there free. I don’t know if this is a wise move or not, but it makes the most sense to me right now. Enjoy the digital magazine, buy a print copy or two if you want to, and rest assured that I will be happy just to get back to my research and writing!