Every morning, the headlines get worse. Now spanning far beyond its origin in the mortgage industry, the recession has turned its corrosive spotlight on every other sector you could name. Two of those damaged sectors cut close to home for the staff and contributors of SQL Server Magazine: The publishing industry and the IT industry.
The publishing industry’s problems aren’t new to this recession. But the recession will hasten the overhaul of this business that has been coming for years. Particularly in the business-to-business publishing arena, the cost of paper, printing, and postage for producing the magazine you hold in your hands has risen astronomically. At the same time, advertisers are increasingly interested in results-oriented marketing. We can demonstrate results when a reader clicks on an online advertisement. But we can’t prove that readers took action because of an ad in the magazine. So as ad pages decrease, inevitably the magazine will sometimes be thinner until media planners rediscover the branding and awareness value of print magazines.
In the meantime, we’re looking at the powerful ways we can bring database professionals technical content and industry analysis in multiple formats—including print magazines, web seminars, in-person events, conferences, virtual events, videos, blogs, and forums. We are reinventing the way we deliver content to you so that the format better matches the information. Like Microsoft, we can give you “on premises” products—the print magazine, books and DVD resources, and in-person events. But we also deliver services “in the cloud” with a wealth of online training and technical information resources. The first step toward this new information delivery is the relaunch of our web site, which should be a done deal this spring. The new platform will allow us much more flexibility in delivering content and will devote more screen area to editorial content and related visual elements. You’ll also notice new tools for helping you connect with the database community, including revamped blogs, forums, and social networking features.
We’re also redoubling our efforts to bring you practical information to do your current job better or acquire new skills. These resources include a new online store for technical resources, www.left-brain.com, a series of Web-based learning seminars (www.sqlmag.com/events), and SQL Server-focused how-to screencasts at our video site, www.ittv.net. In addition to helping you boost your technical skills, we’re planning activities to help you find your next job—watch for news on our site about a Web-based job fair coming this summer.
Our current focus on skill-boosting and career development, of course, reflects the sobering state of this industry: Consulting organization Challenger, Gray & Christmas calculated that the computer industry ranked third among industries suffering job losses, with a whopping 22,330 layoffs in January alone. But though the publishing industry will probably never be the same again after this recession, the future of the computer industry is as bright as an iPhone screen. In defiance of the bleak statistics, chip manufacturer Intel bravely forged ahead with innovation in February by announcing a $7 billion investment in manufacturing facilities for its 32-nanometer technology.
In a National Public Radio interview, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that the reason for Intel’s boldness was simple: The company is betting that technology will lead us out of this recession. “We believe that people will continue to want to buy computers,” Otellini said. “If your computer broke tonight when you went home, you wouldn’t wait for the recession to end to buy a new computer. It’s an indispensible part of your life.”
Otellini’s conviction that technology will pull us out of the recession is inspiring—and, I hope, accurate. In the meantime, we’ll all do well to learn new skills so we’ll be ready to ride the wave back up–and celebrate SQL Server Magazine’s 15th birthday!