Developing the online version of The Ringing World

The Ringing World introduced an online edition some time ago which now attracts around 150 online-only subscribers. Whilst this is not an especially large take-up, it is very much in line with what comparable newspapers and journals have experienced with their online offerings until recently.

However things are now changing rapidly and the circulation of online versions is growing substantially – mainly due to the introduction of tablet computers, which are currently owned by about a quarter of UK households. The number of tablet devices is expected to escalate dramatically in the coming years; even Tesco is in the process of introducing its own brand of tablet computer.

The challenge

Cost pressures on our paper edition are likely to continue; postage prices, in particular, seem set to rise further. The Ringing World Board has therefore decided to investigate ways of improving the online edition it offers.

Introducing a new ‘tablet version’ of The Ringing World has significant finance implications: it would require substantial differences in layout from the paper edition. There are a number of possible routes to achieving this and also a range of service providers who claim to be able to make the necessary layout changes automatically.

This new technology introduces new costs and, whilst we would eliminate postage, there are fresh charges to be taken into account. For example the major app stores (such as iTunes and Google Play) charge for the use of their distribution network (which can be up to 30% in some cases) and VAT of 20% is payable on online publications. This means that we would need to have a properly costed project before the Board could sanction the introduction of a new electronic edition.

Can you help us?

The first step is to carry out a feasibility study – incorporating an initial view of possible solutions together with outline costs. The Ringing World Board is seeking someone who has an interest in technology and business who would be prepared to undertake this feasibility study for us.

If you possess the necessary skills and would be interested in helping us, please eMail Nigel Herriott to discuss it further.

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers