With the April 2007 issue of TNMag, I decided that the magazine (in particular the editor's note) should be more interactive. This month, I discussed the TechNet Magazine corrections policy and why we think it works well. This is open for discussion here; please let us know what you think! - JT
ONE OF THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES between print and the Web is that once something's in print, it's there forever. When you put some tidbit of information on the Web and need to update it later, you just go in and change what needs to be changed. No one's the wiser.
Print, of course, is a different animal. Once we send something to press, there's no turning back. More than one hundred thousand copies go out, and whatever we've put on the pages is what will be in your library until the end of time (or until the next moving day). Also, print gives you a natural progression from month to month, and you know that the newest issue will have the most current news and articles.
Now we also put the magazine online in its entirety after it's been published, and that creates a new problem. From the point of view of someone performing an online search, all content that's on our Web site is on at the same time. So how do you know whether you're looking at the most current guidance?
To solve this problem, a few years ago we formulated a corrections policy that uniquely enhances our print product with our ability to reach readers online. On the TechNet Magazine corrections page, you'll see full disclosure of every post-publication change we make to our articles. We mark one of five reasons for updating a piece: technical, editorial, new information, out-of-date, and security.
For instance, the article "Techniques for Simplifying Desktop Image Creation," which we published in May 2006, mentioned a tool called CNIC that wasn't yet available. When CNIC became available, we added an update to the Corrections page and an Editor's Update to the article posted online. Clicking on the Editor's Update link takes you right to the new information.
As you can see, although each print issue of TechNet Magazine is replaced by a new one every month, our corrections policy helps assure that articles stays relevant over time. -JOSHUA TRUPIN