It's simple to talk about the concept of transforming the printed page to the computer screen. But Phil Polishook, SI's manager of new business development, who oversaw the six-month production of the latest SI CD-ROM, knows that talk is often cheap. "Combining journalism with computer programming is never easy," he says. "We were working out the bugs right up until our final deadline." Polishook collaborated with SI's director of design/new media, Steven Hoffman, who says, "Translating from printed to digital form was an Olympian task, but we think we've created the coolest digital almanac around."
The Sports Illustrated 1995 Sports Almanac (Little, Brown, $11.95) is the result in book form. The book's electronic sidekick is the most sophisticated CD-ROM almanac yet, the Sports Illustrated Multimedia Almanac: 1995 Edition (StarPress Multimedia, $39.95). The 813-page book should satiate the appetite of the most voracious reader. There are final stats and season summaries for every sport, 22 year-end essays by SI writers and 16 pages of color photos.
The CD-ROM version is more graphically dazzling. It presents a combination of sports stats, stories and 30 minutes of highlights video. It also includes a year's worth of SI issues, more than 600 color photographs and a 500-question trivia game. As users scroll through senior writer Steve Rushin's year-in-review story or scour the Olympic records section, for instance, they can watch replays of speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen winning their gold medals in Lillehammer.
Says Hoffman, "We wanted to give readers the opportunity to interact with the magazine, to feel the excitement of being there, and with the video clips you can experience those special moments all over again." And again.