New SDDC magazine harnesses power of the Web
August 1, 2011
- The official SDDC magazine, Translog, transitioned to an online-only publication effective Aug. 1.
- In addition to saving some cash, the online version of Translog magazine offers readers a truckload of new and exciting benefits.
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In an effort to reduce spending and take advantage of new, Internet-based capabilities, the official Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command magazine, Translog, has transitioned to an online-only publication effective Aug. 1.
The cost-saving initiative marks the end of an era for this command. But as one chapter closes, we believe a new, more-exciting chapter is beginning.
In addition to saving some cash, the online version of Translog magazine offers our readers a truckload of new and exciting benefits.
News and feature articles will no longer be restricted to a specific word count. If we want to provide additional details, there’s nothing stopping us.
Instead of printing pages and columns of gray text with the occasional photograph, we can use interesting and fun ways to present information; for example, we can use graphics, animations, videos, hyperlinks, social networking services, and much more.
Also, print magazine articles are restricted to a handful of photos per story. In comparison, the new SDDC online magazine doesn’t know the word “limit.” When we snap 100 photos during the SDDC Best Warrior competition, we can post 100 photos for our readers, the participants, and their co-workers and families to enjoy.
Another great feature of online publishing is the ability to post articles and images in almost real time. Instead of waiting months for the next issue of Translog, we’ll upload content (i.e., articles, photos and video) as it‘s produced.
Having an unlimited page count and the ability to include hundreds of photos is great, but what we think is the best part of an online Translog is the ability to seamlessly integrate the web and social media into everything we do.
When we publish an article, you can view related content on Flickr and YouTube, and then you can discuss the article on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account? Use the magazine’s embedded comment capabilities instead (checkout the end of each article). In fact, when you’re done reading this article, let us know what you think.
Not only are we providing the ability for our readers to interact with us and each other, we encourage it.
Did the author leave out an important element to the story, or do you know something that the author didn’t know? Let the author and other readers know about it. Did you think one article, photo or video was particularly interesting or helpful? Discuss it with the Translog staff and other readers.
Who knows, if we like your comment, we may call it our “Favorite Comment of the Month” and send you a small prize. (I’m sure the lawyers will want to talk to us some more about that last idea, but stay tuned for more details.)
We’ve already kick started the online magazine at http://translog.armylive.dodlive.mil, but there’s much more to do. Please help us refine the product and make it the best possible online magazine we can. After all, this is YOUR magazine; written by SDDC, for SDDC.
Our readership is vast and varied; it spans all military services, and includes Department of the Army civilian employees, contractors and our commercial and joint service partners. Each of you has a story to tell, and with the creation of the Translog Online, we hope to give your story a voice, as well as a new, refreshing avenue for conversation and feedback.
Before posting a comment, we only ask that you take a moment to read the Translog Online comment policy. The policy is based on a common sense approach to courteous and safe online communications. Although we encourage your interaction with the Translog Online staff and other site visitors, we will not tolerate hostile or hurtful behavior. Additionally, consider Operations Security (better known as “OPSEC”) when posting information online.
SIDEBAR: THE END OF AN ERA
The Translog magazine has been published for more than 40 years. The first issue was printed in February 1967. At that time, the magazine was named “Transportation Proceedings,” and the command was known as the Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service, or MTMTS.
Much like this commentary, on the back cover of that first issue was a letter from the editor, Harold L. Craven. In his letter, Craven said, “This is the first issue of TRANSPORTATION PROCEEDINGS … It’s a modest beginning to what we hope will soon become the most authoritative publication of its kind in the Department of Defense.”
Little did Craven know that more than 40 years later the magazine would transition from paper and ink to computer screens and software, and instead of waiting days and weeks between each edition, the magazine would be available, almost instantaneously, to anyone in the world.
In 1967, the magazine had a staff of six people, including a chief of internal information, an editor, an assistant editor, a contributing editor, a photo editor and a research editor. And although today’s SDDC magazine includes only one fulltime editor and two or three part-time contributors, with the advantages of the Internet, e-mail, digital photography and social media, magazine content can now be provided by anyone with a flair for photography or a nose for news.
In 1970, SDDC’s official magazine changed names and “Translog” was born. A few years later, on July 31, 1974, MTMTS was re-named “Military Traffic Management Command,” or MTMC. Although the command would see another name change on Jan. 1, 2004 " when MTMC was renamed “Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command,” the name of the magazine remained intact.
To this day, Translog remains SDDC’s official magazine. And although the days of flipping through the pages on the Translog may be gone, finding articles, photos and videos about SDDC missions and people is just a mouse-click away.