Twenty-five years ago, reading a magazine meant holding paper in your hands. Today, it just as easily means looking at a screen.
Reading on a screen—whether it’s a smart phone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet—is the way increasing numbers of Canadian Mennonite readers are accessing news, information and opinions. It could be content provided by a large media conglomerate or a small church magazine like ours. You could be accessing content shared by an author you follow on Twitter or a trusted Facebook friend. You could be clicking on funny memes or serious warnings about climate change and the world political scene.
In past years, CM’s publication schedule went from the usual two-week cycle to a three-week cycle in the summer. Those were paper magazines. But this year we decided to connect more intentionally with the people who get their information on screens. So our subscribers are receiving this editorial through CM’s second digital edition.
Some advantages of digital editions are clear. With no intermediary printer or postage system, the news gets to readers sooner. A digital news report can link to other related content. Online stories are easy for you to share with your family and friends through whatever digital channel you choose.
We’re glad you’re here, Digital Reader! I’d love to sit down and chat with you about the content you read on the Canadian Mennonite website. What draws you in? What keeps you reading? Which stories do you think are most important and which ones do you choose to share with your friends?
Here are a few things we know about CM’s digital readers and followers:
- About 63 percent are accessing the website from Canada. On Facebook, 69 percent of our friends come from Canada; on Twitter that number is 64 percent. On the website, female readers make up about 58 percent of the readership, with males at 42 percent. The majority of our online readers are between 25 and 64.
- About half of our digital followers are reading on their mobile phones—on the commute, waiting in line, at the table, and maybe even in church. Forty percent of you read on a desktop or laptop computer in the office, the family room or a coffee shop. Tablets are the preferred medium for 10 percent of readers.
- Over the past year, many digital readers have read stories about Mennonite identity—who we are, what we believe and how we practise our faith. Online readers have clicked on stories about the TV show Pure, Amish customs and Old Order Mennonites. Readers wanted to know about cases of sexual abuse within Mennonite communities and how the church is dealing with this reality. They’re interested in the online calendar of events across Canada and in the Classifieds section of our website.
- On CM’s Facebook and Twitter timelines, our readers like reading and sharing stories about people they know and causes they care about. If you haven’t started following CM on social media, pop on over and have a look.
The Canadian Mennonite team takes seriously our responsibility to inform, educate and inspire our readers, both on your screen and through print. We want to keep encouraging constructive and respectful dialogue about things that matter to the Mennonite Church Canada community across Canada. We count it as a privilege to connect with readers within the Mennonite fold and with readers in other places and other faith communities.
Thank you for choosing to read this magazine on your screen and for being a part of this ministry. Keep on reading, commenting and sharing. Feel free to invite others to subscribe and to follow us digitally. And we welcome your suggestions of important topics to address and relevant stories to tell. And may your number increase!