BUSINESS: MY M@GAZINE - Four professionals review the online versions of magazines relevant to their work

The Stage



www.thestage.co.uk



Ian Kelly, actor



'How do you spend your day?' ranks with 'So, how do you learn your

lines?' and 'Darling, are you working?' as the questions most dreaded by

actors.



When the answer to the latter is 'no', the answer to the foremost is, as

often as not, 'reading The Stage'. Ten years into my so-called career, I

still find The Stage useful for stories of West End politics and the

fast-changing world of television (The Stage is aimed at those behind as

well as in front of the curtain/camera) but I have learned not to expect

work opportunities to come via its back pages. The website, on the other

hand, offers the paper online along with two further sections - Jobs and

Connect.



The Jobs section usefully provides a search function (nice to avoid

those depressing ads for male strippers in Berlin and Fergie

impersonators) but is still limited to fringe and smallscale tours. The

open auditions for musicals appear to be more high profile. Better

still, The Stage's website also directs readers to a Connect section,

for links to a series of How To guides and the all-important upcoming

production news. This section I will be visiting frequently again. I

couldn't find online the TV (and, to a lesser extent, film) information

that takes up the centre pages of the actual paper.



The Paper at the website consists of a few key features and headlines

only.



I also missed the quick glance over the casts of opening shows that

keeps me abreast of what mates are up to, and, of course, the pictures.

So much more time, as a result, to learn my lines.



MacUser



www.macuser.co.uk



Les Snell, head of IT, Carfax Cards



The difference between the online and printed versions of the business

magazines I read is chalk and cheese.



I subscribe to MacUser and to Mac World - they keep me in touch with all

the changes and I enjoy reading them both. But using their websites is a

very different thing - a screen is just not comfortable for reading.



The printed version is a lot easier and better for your eyes. The only

problem with paper is storage and this is where the websites come into

their own. I love the thought that I can throw the magazine away and

when I need to find something I've read about or for a quick bit of

information I can use the internet for research and reference.



MacUser has recently revamped its site and it's now a lot better. It has

a homepage, which means you can use it like a magazine and it's now easy

to map around the site. The beauty of it is that if you want something

specific you can enter a search and it searches back issues for

mentions.



I also get e-mails from MacUser telling me about new products or

articles.



I don't think of them as spam and, anyway, they only take a second to

delete so I'm happy to get them.



Times Educational Supplement



www.tes.co.uk



Claire Davies, deputy head, Curriculum, Stonar School for Girls



The Times Educational Supplement online quote of the day - always useful

for the staffroom noticeboard, if not always the assembly address - is

today Simon Jenkins: 'Those who can, do.Those who can't, teach. And

those who can't teach, reorganise.' Woody Allen is not credited.



The reorganisation of the TES online is user-friendly, accessible to

(almost) all and free at the point of delivery (depending on your

school's policy on internet use).



The old-style TES online was literally that - pages of the paper

onscreen.



Now it is altogether a more useful resource. Personally, I use it for

its archive, when I suddenly have to gen up on the background to current

educational debates, and for the cyber-staffroom, which offers the

chance to share ideas, resources and concerns with fellow

educationalists across the country, even if the gossip is less

interesting than in the real staffroom.



The e-mail alert system means that you can be contacted if a job crops

up that fits your criteria, a service I must thank or curse for my

recent appointment as deputy head at Stonar. Having said all that, the

online service looks unlikely to oust the heavyweight TES from the

staffroom coffee table. It's too easy to be blinkered online and ignore

the broad sweep of education, not easy enough to browse, and sometimes

it's even useful to let your colleagues know that you are sifting

through the job advertisements.



The Engineer



www.theengineer.co.uk



Rick Divall, machines manager, Drill Service



We get a handful of magazines in the office - The Engineer, Metalworking

Production, What's New in Industry. One of my colleagues reads The

Engineer avidly, but I might just browse through them a bit. I tend not

to get time to read business magazines, especially if four turn up at

one time, as they do. And I don't like keeping magazines, I like the

idea of being able to go to the internet instead.



The Engineer's website, e4, has separate sections, including e4

Engineering, which is more about editorial, and e4 Data. I would tend

not to read the articles in the e4 Engineering section, but e4 Data lets

me search for details on companies or, if I'm looking for a product, it

can give me the name of the supplier and phone number, e-mail and so

on.



I've not got totally to grips with the site yet and I did find myself in

one dead end, but I was looking for something that was a couple of years

old and, like all these things, the more you play with the site the

easier it gets. And, for me, the website is certainly better than the

printed version.



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