From the Editors

John D. Leckenby, Hairong Li

With this issue, the Journal of Interactive Advertising begins its sixth full year of publication with a new format.

As with off-line journals, periodically the format of the Journal must change to keep pace with the changing nature of the medium and the needs of our contributors and readers.

The layout format of the Journal (in particular, replacing frames with the table format) as well as graphics have been changed to keep pace with contemporary views on the nature of web site construction. These are designed to make navigation easier and to emphasize those items which may be of greatest interest to visitors to the site.

More importantly, changes have been made to make the content of the Journal more useful to our visitors. At the end of each article, there is now a portable document format (“pdf”) link that, when clicked, will launch the visitor’s Acrobat Reader and allow printing of the article in a format similar to those of off-line journals. The articles online will continue to be one html page. However, the pdf version will make it more convenient for those who need to have a printed version of an article. For example, in promotion packets, it often continues to be the case that printed versions of articles are required. A pdf version will allow the printing of a version of an article comparable to the off-line journal article for this and related purposes.

These changes are consistent with the developing nature of the World Wide Web. While the Editors developed the original format for JIAD over five years ago, the new format has been conceived and executed by professional designers. As the Web becomes ever more complex, specialized skills are now needed to take full advantage of the current possibilities in interactive communication through the Web.

At the time the Journal was launched, it was the hope of the Editors that the Journal of Interactive Advertising would become a journal which was full of interactive content-“to practice what we preach,” so to speak. A cursory examination of articles over the past years will show this not to be the case. The Editors were overly optimistic, it appears in hindsight, about authors’ interest in developing interactive aspects of their articles submitted to the Journal. The Editors recognize that it takes a great deal of effort on the part of authors to develop interactive aspects of their articles. It is one job to develop a traditional article while it is still another full job to develop the interactive aspects of such an article. So, it is not surprising that most articles in JIAD are not particularly interactive in nature. Yet the Editors believe that in the coming years, articles will become more interactive as the power of truly interactive communication on the Web is discovered by more and more people, both in and out of academia. The Editors, our Associate Editor and our Editorial Assistant all stand ready to assist all authors in making their work more interactive than would otherwise be the case.

Finally, there continues to be a gap between the knowledge generated by academicians and the everyday needs of practitioners. While we recognize there are some good reasons for this disjunction and that it will always continue to exist in some form, JIAD introduces with this issue a new content feature: a contribution from a practitioner. In future issues, we hope to have at least one article by a prominent practitioner to ensure that the voice of practice is heard by readers of JIAD. The Editors hope that in this small way, the Journal may help in bridging the gap between the academy and the business. Our goal is to have JIAD visited by both academicians and practitioners and to be found useful by both groups.

Thank you for your support of the Journal of Interactive Advertising over the past five years. It is with great joy the Editors look forward to the next five years as JIAD continues to contribute to the understanding of our interactive world.