Exact Editions now has a very straightforward process through which you can give a subscription to a digital magazine for Christmas (or as a present on any other occasion). I can think of two people who will be getting Opera from me this year and one who should receive Le Monde Diplomatique. We should give this present-giving feature more publicity, and two possible angles of interest spring to mind.
- We could emphasize the ecological benefits of giving a digital magazine subscription. The digital edition must have a very small carbon footprint in comparison to the carbon costs associated with conventional print magazines. But it is not an easy matter to say how much less the carbon footprint of the digital offering is than the print magazine. Some back of the envelope calculations suggest that a digital magazine must be at least 90% lower in its carbon footprint than the printed equivalent. It would be good if someone could confirm or qualify this guesstimate.
- But the second angle of attack -- through which we might spark interest in the digital gift idea is the very convenience attached to giving a digital subscription. You only need to know the email address of the recipient (which is a slight problem for me since I know the email addresses of only about half of my nephews and nieces -- the ideal target for quick and troublefree Christmas shopping). But once you have the email address you can even leave the selection and ordering of the present to the very last minute. In fact we will surely get some Christmas presents ordered on the 25th for delivery on the 25th -- can you think of a better way of covering the embarassing fact that you spilt/broke/lost/forgot Brother-in-law's present and only realised this late on 24th when all the shops are shut. Digital magazines are perfectly convenient in this regard, and so should appeal to a wide audience of late and/or forgetful givers.