A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


Commonweal's Shiny New Spinoff

Commonweal this week is launching its rather handsome new iPad edition. You can buy single issues or an annual subscription for about the same price as the traditional print flavor. (If you already subscribe to Commonweal in print or on the Web, youll have to pay separately for the iPad edition at least for now.) There is only one current issue available for purchase at the moment, but all future issues (and a variety of past ones) will be there eventually.

Some troublemakers in the office are whispering that Commonweal looks much better on the iPad than it ever did in print.Now that Commonweal is (digitally speaking) available all over the place, I wanted to hear from dotCommonweal readers about where and how you are reading magazines in general these days, and Commonweal in particular. Suggestions for our website, e-mail newsletters, or any of our various editions of the magazine? Heres your chance.And to those dotCommonweal readers who are not subscribing to Commonweal at all what do we still have to do to convince you?

About the Author

Thomas Baker is the publisher of Commonweal



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Well, I would suggest coming up with a digital edition that is not tied directly to one proprietary format. For the rapidly growing number of Android tablets, Commonweal is no more available than it was before. Otherwise, congratulations!

Almost exclusively on internet and i pad (through Safari but will look at the ap). I view Commonweal on the internet and can read all the articles posted with my subscription which is annualized each year.You should ad a twitter and facebook feature at the end of each blog post and article.Also, Fr. Imbelli and Fr. K often post some interesting pictures and you might want to consider somehow embedding Pinterest on it so that it can be posted more widely. Not sure how that might work. For the moment I can copy the image and paste on my board but would like to credit them for the original idea and posting.

Congratulations to Thomas and to everyone at Commonweal on the new iPad edition!And to those dotCommonweal readers who are not subscribing to Commonweal at all what do we still have to do to convince you?I'll subscribe to Commonweal when it stops being a men's magazine. The contents of the current issue are typical: A column about a man by a man;a column about a man by a woman (Margaret);an editorial about a man by the editors (two men and one woman);a Short Take about a man by a man;a Verdict article about art by men by a woman;a Verdict article about movies about men (and one woman who is "based on several CIA agents (sic) male and female") by a man;a review of a book by a man by a man;a review of a book by a man by a woman;a feature article about men by a man;a feature article about a man by a man;a poem about a man by a man;a poem about a painting of a dead woman by a man by a man;a Last Word about boys/men by a woman.Actually, this issue is not so typical. There are more women than usual: of the 16 writers, 5 are women, and of the 14 subjects, 2 are more-or-less women -- a dead one, and one based partly on men.(The contributors to dotCommonweal: 23 men and 6 women.)

I'm a digital subscriber and read the content from my notebook computer. I also have an Android smartphone and would absolutely read it from my smartphone if there were an app (hint hint).

Gerelyn ===I agree that Commonweal has a long way to go on the sexism matter. True, in our culture men still hold most of the power, etc., so it makes sense that there will be more articles about them, at least for a while, but the figures at Commonweal are still bad.

Tom, I subscribe thru Kindle. Kindle is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I read more of the NY Times than I used to and I can get thru Commonweal much easier. No turning to pg this or that. It is all sequential. I just am annoyed when you do not recognize your kindle subscribers on Dot Com. As far as I can determine the cost of Commonweal as it is for America is $2.99 per month. But you have to pay an additional fee for each device whether it is the Ipad or Nexus etc. It took me awhile to get used to the kindle as my father put books into my head so much that I hardly remember a day without a book. But electronic reader is the best ever and the size of the Kindle or nook is just right. I don't think the Ipad or Tablet is as smooth. IOW the small screen wins.

This has nothing to do with me. I read much of Commonweal (and some other mags) on line, but for major articles I wait until my old-fashioned print edition arrives (late) in the mail. I prefer to spend the time on longer pieces reading them rather than manipulating them. As for the platforms and digitals and Kindles and Swindles and tablets and caplets, I'll pass. The pre-purchase comparisons take too long, and life's too short. And, yes, I have tried some things and found the experience ... interesting.

I have subscribed to Commonweal for decades. A few years back, management decided to use a weaker type face, glossy paper and fainter ink, that is, ink that was not really India ink black. Despite the difficulty of reading the magazine when the lamp is positioned at certain frontal angles (causing paper glare), I still read get more from articles in print rather than on the net. I do not subscribe to the print editions of America or NCReporter or Sunday NY Times Book Review, but I attempt to read each on the computer, then visit libraries that carry them. In each case, articles come across better when in print, in magazine format, or (in the case of NCR) in newspaper format. To sum it up: I actually see more of the article, grasp it more, when it is on paper in my hand.

What about Kindle subscribers? Should we cancel? Advice?

Since my post office in Brooklyn is terrible and I usually get the print edition two weeks late, I may switch to the Ipad version. Congrats! And I will do this even though Commonweal isn't "perfect" in having an absolute equal balance between men and women on all things. We live in an imperfect world but live in hope!

Just downloaded to my I-phone with year's subscription...I can see where this is going; I'll have to buy an I-Pad....Does CWL get a cut from that? Hope so.Male/Female ratio. Not an ideological issue...a practical problem. Finding women who can write, who want to write for Commonweal on topics within its purview and her interest, who can write for what CWL pays, and who are willing to be edited (I'm sure you'd all be amazed at how resistance men and women are to being edited, especially academics). None of this is as easy as you think; I know because I tried when I was editor.

I'm old fashioned. I BUY/subscribe to magazines, newspapers and books.But this venue gives me the chance to shoot from the hip on a regular basis. Love it!

Lame excuses. Embarrassing to read. Maybe you need some binders of women?Why would there be fewer women than men who can write, etc.? As to academics being edited? They're all accustomed to editors of scholarly journals and tempests in teapots.As to money? A young scholar trying to get some publications on her resume would be willing to write for little or nothing.

I commweal in the AP part of my Ipad and nothing came up for commonweal magazine. What am I doing wrong. HELP

Sorry it should "I typed". live in another world.. St. Louis???

Andrew, go to your Newsstand, tap Store, when you get to the Store page tap any of the icons at the bottom (Featured, Top Charts, etc.) then search for Commonweal in the top right corner. You could also tap this link from your iPad: all of our Android users: our app will be available in the Google Play store tomorrow afternoon! You will be able to subscribe to and download the same version as iPad users on your Android devices.

Margaret, I'd rather not post personal information here, but I hope you'll visit my web site:

"To all of our Android users: our app will be available in the Google Play store tomorrow afternoon! You will be able to subscribe to and download the same version as iPad users on your Android devices."This is great news. Now, what I need is a single subscription that I can read, platform-independent. I guess we're still a ways away from that vision, though?

Hi Gerelyn,What are some magazines that do better with gender balance?

Hi, Rita, The great NCR is not a magazine, but among the many things it's notable for is gender balance. America is a men's magazine like Commonweal.What about the liturgy journals? Are they balanced?

If you want an example of a great digital magazine check out Relevant Magazine on the iPad. They have leveraged the new medium in engaging and innovative style. I imagine the culture section of Commonweal stands to benefit the most from a digital version since you can now offer audio and video media that is a large part of our culture today. Also maybe you can now offer video/audio interviews or embedded video excerpts of presentations given by Commonweal authors in other venues. The previous comments highlight the significant demographic of Commonweal readers that appreciate the current flat version of the printed page. These readers are the foundation of Commonweal's subscribers and it's seems you'll be challenged to walk the line between innovation and compatibility. This is not a request to turn Commonweal into a complete video presentation. While I appreciate the inclusion of new media for supplemental purposes I can't stand the sites that have gone from print to complete video presentations.

The problem with videos and pod-casts is that they seem to take three times longer than simply reading something. If a transcript comes with a video, I always choose the transcript...eyes can skip ahead in a text, ears not so much with audio... Any video-audio neurologist out there to discuss this?

"If a transcript comes with a video, I always choose the transcript"Margaret - same here.

Hi Gerelyn,The liturgy journals, good heavens, no! Liturgy is dominated by men, and by male celibate clergy, and although the study of liturgy today includes quite a few women scholars, that's a relatively new development. They weren't even giving higher degrees to women a generation ago, so there's a very big imbalance.I am also concerned about the blogs. Here is the data which I published on the Pray Tell blog, which shows that the comments are 9-1 male-female.

Rita - for forums like dotCom and PrayTell, where moderators typically use a pretty light touch regarding which comments are accepted and published, comments seem to be a different beast than posts (or, in the case of a print publication, articles). The latter presumably would be subject to whatever editorial bias is being alleged here, but the comments just come in from whoever. That men's comments outnumber women's by a large multiple over at PrayTell probably indicates something, but I don't think it's editorial bias. The balance of commenters at dotCom seems a good deal more even.

RIta, thanks for the link. Very interesting statistics you provided there. And amusing comments by the men. My fave: "Women tend to think with their emotions, and emotional thought is difficult to express in words such as on a blog. Men tend to think with their reason which is more easily expressed through words." ------Jim, not sure how you know "which comments are accepted and published," since those that are "awaiting moderation" (aka deleted) are not visible. Imho, the "light touch" is less light on women than on men. E.g., how many men get banned and how many women? "Nancy" disappeared. Why? (Too many capital letters?) And "Felapton" disappeared. (After admitting she was a woman.)

I'd just like to point out something fairly rare: Gerelyn has crossed over from ordinary trolling to meta-trolling on the topic of trolling. It must be some sort of feminist benchmark, this proof that women are now just as good at internet combox trollling as men. Seriously though, knock it off.

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