It’s the middle Friday in July and the British Birds newsletter has arrived; I reach down to pick the envelope off the doormat, neatly rip away the top flap, slide out the folded A4 sheet inside and open it up to find out what’s in this month’s mailing. Except, of course, that’s not what actually happens. Our newsletter is 100% digital; tearing away the self-sealing sticky strip at the top of the envelope has been replaced by a click in my email inbox. Now I come to think of it, I’m not sure I can remember the last time I received a newsletter in physical form – all of the journals, charities and groups I’m part of all send me their newsletters in digital form.
By and large, journals and magazines have so far remained stubbornly different, however. Come the turn of the month, copies of British Birds will be physically dropping onto most subscribers’ doormats. Come the turn of the year, another BBproduct will be dropping – and with, we hope, just as much of a thud. British Birds Online will be launching in January 2019 and a British Birds subscription will then give you access not only to the latest BB content but also to all back-dated content. All of it, all 111 volumes. Can you hear your bookshelves cheering? Specially designed to make the best of a digital format, BB Online will become your portal into everything British Birds; and an app will allow you to save content for offline reading.
British Birds Online does not signal the end of paper copies of BB. Honestly. It’s a consolidation and expansion of our current digital offering, giving current subscribers (and only current subscribers) the key option that we have wanted to deliver for years – full access to our back catalogue. If you want that and the paper magazine every month, you can have it. Subscribers who choose an online-only subscription will benefit from a discount, reflecting the saving on post and packing, but the option to continue reading BB in its familiar paper format will continue unchanged.
As usual, we’ll be at the Birdfair in six weeks’ time (M3 24–25), where you’ll be able to take an early peak at British Birds Online and ask us any questions you might have.