Many of you reading this column may not remember a time when there were no cell phones. My life as a traveling salesman for a roofing equipment distributor was made nice being in that blessed time. Of course, we did not know it at the time, but — sigh — those really were the good old days.

When cell phones began their ascension into the ranks of the indispensable business tools, they were less than perfect. Like most new technologies, they were clunky, expensive, and didn’t always perform as desired. This was when those five words became an iconic phrase: “Can you hear me now?”

Over time, the coverage areas expanded, the prices for services fell into the category of affordable for all, and the equipment has become more robust. 

It is that “in-between” period when technology is brought to bear to solve business problems that I want to address in this message. I feel like I am in that wilderness area between old tech and new tech and I am most anxious to get all the way over to the other side.

And I want to bring you with me. 

You might have heard that the nation’s economy went into a funk back in 2008. For the media industry, however, it was a freefall. The traditional news delivery vehicles such as the local paper or broadcast news gave way to the multitude of new media coming across the internet. It was a tough time to be in the news publishing business (like Roofing Contractor). 

Owing to a lot of hard work and grit, others on the team, not me, fought the good fight and the Roofing Contractor brand prevailed. We had been active on the internet since the mid-90s and we had decent offerings online at the time. The blended business of bringing you news to help you run your roofing business included our print magazine along with online videos, e-news, and other digital products together with our annual Best of Success conference. 

Our next phase of change to the digital platform of news delivery was set to happen over a three-year period. Our monthly print version would eventually be replaced by an eMagazine. Print issues would continue for major trade events and other special issues, such as our exclusive industry directory issue. Then 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic hit and our three-year phase-in of digital became a three-month plan. This plan, which I believed was the right thing to do, at times resembled the rest of 2020: dumpster fire, shit storm, call it what you will. 

So, here we are. We — others on the team, not me — have launched an all-new platform to deliver our monthly issue of Roofing Contractor. It is digital but it is not virtual. It is the real deal and I want you to have a look at it (if you are not reading this column in the eMagazine already). It is complete, easy-to-navigate, interactive, and readable. As always, it will be filled with the kind of information you need to run your roofing business. The same as it has been for 40 years, just delivered differently. 

To see the new version of the monthly issue of Roofing Contractor, click on this link. Then tell me what you think –