The pace of innovation has been so frenzied in recent years that it's hard to imagine which innovations have had the greatest impact on the business of insurance or on our society. In February, the "Nightly Business Report," the Emmy Award-winning PBS business program, partnered with the Wharton School of Business to ask audience members to identify the "Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 years." The show's audiences offered more than 1,200 suggestions.

The Internet, of course, topped the list, trouncing laptop computers, cellular phones and ATMs.

To say that the majority of us rely on the Internet for the bulk of our information is an understatement. Back in 1981 when we saw our first glimpse of the Internet as a way to transmit information normally found only in print, it took two hours to receive a newspaper over the modems of the day, and it cost $5 per hour to transfer that data. At the time, newspapers sold for 20 cents a piece. Today, newspapers are very much online, available in real time, and moving quickly to mobile devices such as smart phones or Amazon's Kindle. Venerable publications as diverse as the Christian Science Monitor and PC Magazine have recently opted to eschew print altogether and publish only digital versions.

Recognizing that year-over-year, online readership of Insurance Networking News has doubled, INN is also adapting. In order to provide the greatest possible value to our growing, online reader community, INN plans to enhance its Web site with features such as an insurance community forum, a commentary mechanism that enables readers to respond and react to industry experts, videos of interviews with thought leaders, and more news covering topics of interest tracked and responded to daily by INN editors.

As part of this move to a new digital community, INN will present a new digital-only edition of its award-winning magazine in July, September and November. However, as confirmation of the enduring popularity of our print magazine, we'll combine editorial coverage in a new format distributed as the July/August, September/October and November/December print issues.

Going forward, readers from the insurance and solution provider communities can expect more of our award-winning editorial, but in forms suitable for their individual convenience. Our goal is to move more of our resources online, where we can create an interactive community of insurance professionals who can engage other insurance business and technology readers - their professional peers - in dynamic exchanges that provide even more information and insights.

We are excited at the prospects of reaching more readers with even more timely information, and providing them with this sense of professional community. Whether on the page or online, keep reading.

(c) 2009 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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