One of the ancillary benefits of working in an industry that’s undergoing radical changes brought on by the digital revolution is reading and hearing unequivocal pronouncements about the next big thing. I’ve been told by peers, friends, academics, and acquaintances—even a pizza guy in Manhattan a few years ago—what I can look forward to as we navigate this brave new world of zeros and ones. Sometimes, these declarations are patently absurd (No one reads anymore!). Occasionally, boosterism clouds what otherwise might be sound judgment (Foursquare is gonna be huge!). Quite frequently, I’m told I might want to look into a new line of work (I just want to say one word to you: plastics!). The truth is, since 1999, when Michael Lewis published The New New Thing, we have seen so many hot, game-changing, paradigm-shifting, newfangled digital products and trends come and go that the only thing any of us can say with certainty is how little we actually know about our digital present and future.
One thing we do know is this: People are online. A lot. At work. At home. And on the move—a recent report found the average American spends two hours and 42 minutes a day on her mobile device. And that’s why, in early April, we unveiled a completely revamped 5280.com. Just as we redesigned the magazine in the summer of 2011 to provide a better reader experience, the new and improved 5280.com’s primary purpose is to allow our readers to more easily access our award-winning stories in a beautiful digital setting. You’ll find a subtle and intuitive drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner of every page. You’ll find greatly improved restaurant and calendar listings and search functionality. You’ll find weekly columns on the outdoors, Denver’s thriving food scene, and parenting. Of course, you’ll find our deeply reported narratives, presented in a striking format that allows us to include additional photos, supporting materials, and video (see 5280.com/walkingscarred for this month’s poignant example of this treatment). Our design is also responsive, which means no more pinching and/or zooming on your phone; the site will optimize for whatever device you’re using (which is a necessity if we’re all spending close to three hours on our smartphones and tablets every day).
What may be most exciting about the overhaul of 5280.com is that the website is dynamic and ever-changing. Each month, we labor over every last comma and headline and caption—and then we ship the pages of the magazine off to our printer on the other side of town. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Not so with 5280.com. This redesign is the biggest one we’ve done in the 19 years we’ve been online, but we’re not stopping there. 5280’s senior editor/digital editor, Natasha Gardner, and the rest of our digital team are already coming up with new areas of coverage, novel ways to showcase video and photography, and bold presentations for the type of service packages our readers come back to time and again. We hope you’ll make the new 5280.com a daily stop in your digital travels, and we welcome your feedback as we continue to evolve our online presence.