The first all-digital edition of Drum Corps World is officially online. Visitors can browse through the Flash-based magazine for free at www.high-velocity-media.com.
The online-only version looks very similar to the discontinued print version, but features clickable links and even a video ad.
Reading the new DCW
Reading the digital edition feels almost exactly like reading the printed one. Kudos to Vickers & crew for maintaining a consistent experience during the transition.
It does feel a little odd, however, trying to read printed words on a digital screen. The resolution may not be high enough to really get that experience across. Rather than rendering text on a screen the way most websites do, DCW’s pages are actually scanned images, shown in succession.
The web medium functions differently than the print medium, so this new format feels a little uncomfortable at times.
New format, new features
The digital format is, by definition, more interactive than print. And DCW did a nice job of using that to their advantage. While flipping through DCW’s magazine-like pages, certain words are clickable links. They blink to catch readers’ attention and show off their function.
No periodical publication survives without advertisements. The switch to digital opened the door for DCW to expand their ad model. When readers reach page 105 (yes, it has 100+ pages, viewed 2 at a time), the navigation options disappear and a “Please wait 30 seconds to proceed” message appears with a video ad. It’s definitely an effective ad spot, as it captures readers’ eyes (literally and figuratively).
Our only complaint with the video is that it plays every time you hit page 105, even on your 3rd or 4th visits. Perhaps Vickers et al. could program that ad to display on only readers’ first visit to page 105?
Congratulations, DCW. And thank you.
Overall, DCW’s transition to the web is a good one. Making the publication free to all readers is a bold move and a good one for the drum corps activity.
Congratulations, Steve Vickers and Drum Corps World staff, on the next chapter of your historic publication. And thank you for making your product more accessible to drum corps fans.