Revved Up

A much longer time ago than I can comfortably reveal, in a country far, far away, I saw Billy Joel in concert.
Trying to rev up the crowd, he yelled that a lot of people asked him why he still played a piano when you can make any sound on a synthesizer. Heck, he said, you can even walk around stage with a synthesizer. “Yes,” he said, “but you can’t STAND on a synthesizer!” He then stood on his piano, thrilling everyone.

I am reminded of this as I call people to discuss the reasons we have increased the frequency of BevNET Innovation from quarterly to bi-monthly. The conversation isn’t usually so much about the frequency, but about the medium. Many potential advertisers have fallen in love with on-line advertising, and they ask me why we’d bother having a magazine at all, instead of just putting all of our work online. Well, while it’s true that most magazines are now simultaneously print and online, and many publishers would love to ditch the costs of printing and distributing magazines, switching entirely to online versions, the reason that we continue to put out this print publication – in fact, the reason we’re stepping it up – is that it’s not a one-or-the-other proposition. Done right, they complement each other, offering a variety of ways to read and interact with stories and sponsors.

See, the problem with the online revolution is that, as they work in their offices, most people don’t have time to read the contents of a 60-page magazine online. They have jobs to do, deadlines to meet, and they can’t be seen “wasting time” looking at websites. Also, when they look at online content for too long, their eyes glaze over. The Web has to have more to it than a one-way transmission. They will, however, take the time to read a magazine at their leisure, when they sit back from their computer. In fact, if the magazine is good enough to make them want to read it, they’ll even make the time. After all, aren’t you doing that right now?

At BevNET, we started with a web site providing beverage reviews, and we grew it into a huge resource that provides reviews, news, blogs, directory listings, e-newsletters and more. Today we have more unique visitors and page impressions than our esteemed competitors combined. Yet we also recognize that our industry wants more information on the issues that relate directly to what they do: the developments, trends and innovations that are changing the industry. So to go more in-depth with our stories about those things, we have a magazine; to help facilitate interaction with those things, we have the web site. They work together.

Starting with the understanding that BevNET.com is already highly visible across the web (just look for a beverage brand on Google and count the BevNET.com listings!), we also recognized that people want to consume information in the method of their choice. That’s why you will find BevNET Innovation in print and online, so you can access the maximum amount of information, context and perspective. When you want to know more about a story in BevNET Innovation, look for the at the foot of the article and it will indicate that there is more on this story on www.bevnet.com/innovation.

So put the blackberry away, lean back in your chair and read. Enjoy the beverage of your choice while we inform and, hopefully, entertain you with some first rate stories, insights and more.