Changes at “Scientific Computing”?

First of all, I need to make sure that readers can discern between our two industry magazines, Scientific Computing and Scientific Computing World. At Scientific Computing World, things seem to be rolling along as usual. But at Scientific Computing, I’m confused about what they’re up to.

Suzanne Tracy Disappeared
This query began because I’d e-mailed the Editor-in-Chief of Scientific Computing, Suzanne Tracy, and received no response. That was unusual from my past experience with her. In looking her up to make sure I actually did have the most current e-mail address, I found that she is now working for Dell. A lot of us in the industry knew her from conferences, writing articles and reading the magazine, so I’m certain many people will be surprised to hear that she is off to new opportunities and will have good wishes for her in her career path.

The Magazine Might Have Disappeared
Past that, I don’t know what to think about Scientific Computing. I went to their web-site to see who is now in-charge over there and I can’t figure that out. I’ll admit that I had gotten out-of-touch with what they were doing as I had long thought their grabs for readers with topics such as the poisonous killer frog links wasn’t quite in-line with the types of articles I’m interested in. When I now look at their web-site, I don’t even have an idea what it’s all about. I can’t find the magazine, itself, not sure what the advertisers think about this, and just confused.

Now, while we do still have Scientific Computing World to read, where both magazines used the same free subscription model for those in the industry, it does have a different flavor to it. Many readers will probably find it informational but some might not care for it, so I don’t want to suggest that they’re identical in any way, shape or form other than their subscription model.

The Advertisers: Will They Disappear?
I have long wondered whether the advertisers care much about the articles that are more sensational than laboratory informatics-based, since I’m certain they’d be more interested in links to potential business than sensational stories. As such, I’m curious to know what their thoughts are on the current state of the magazine. However, these aren’t the types of conversations I often have with the companies in the industry. I think I’ll start asking them, but asking people if whether they think their money is being wasted is a sensitive topic so I can’t say whether I think I’ll get much from it.

Sad days are here when the magazine that used to be on all our desks doesn’t seem to be found, anywhere.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

2 responses on “Changes at “Scientific Computing”?

  1. I just went to the site and yes it is radically different from what I once knew and I came away as confused as you described. It has nothing to do with our industry or even related industries such as Health and bioinformatics. So for me it is not a site I will ever visit again. There is nothing of interest to me.

    As for advertisers. As a LIMS vendor I have not run ads since like 2000. I have never found ads to be of any value. Others do find them useful and I say, more power to them. I think most of the lims vendors just advertise on Google. I wish they would spend the ad money on publishing meaningful articles and video tutorials and sharing them. Content really is king.

    Anyway, I think the magazine business is a pale image of itself and the Internet has caused the change and there is really no going back now.

  2. Some of the big companies have said that they pay for advertising because they feel that they’re expected to and that, with it being so expensive, they don’t believe that they get that money returned in extra sales.

    However, there might be some who think they’re getting a return. Without being able to evaluate hard numbers, it’s probably hard to know for certain. But your point about the Internet changing things is that magazines now have yet more numbers to evaluate that they could use to help their advertisers.

    Unlike the old days when a magazine could brag that it had X number of readers, these days, tools such as Google Analytics can tell you what industry those people are in, what level in the company those people come from, and much other information.

    But with that, I would still say that it’s wise to be skeptical of the numbers before laying out too much money on something. The numbers might be “better” but “better” isn’t the same as “correct.”

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