By Kristen Ammerman, RCI Director of Publications
The results of [Bob] Phillips’ investigation of getting a publishing house to publish an R.C.I. magazine were not good. The cost was “pie-in-the-sky” out of our budget. I discussed the matter with [Bob] Lyons and proposed to develop an in-house newsletter. …I had been thinking about a newsletter format, design, and name for more than a month. The name was the tough part. After agonizing over a list of names, some catchy and sophomoric, I came to the happy conclusion that the name INTERFACE should most appropriately project R.C.I.’s common goals for consultants, industry, owners, and education. I immediately began assembling a sample copy, and Phillips ran the contents per format on his computer. …The sample of the “INTERFACE Newsletter” was unanimously approved, and it was determined that 500 copies would be printed and mailed the first week in October 1983.
— William Correll, RCI, The First Five Years
These recollections from RCI’s first executive director describe the birth of what we now call RCI Interface journal. Some 34 years later, RCI prints 3,800 copies of RCI Interface each month, while perhaps twice that many people read the journal as it is passed around offices across North America.
Initially, it was a four-page mimeographed newsletter typed on a 1967 Smith-Corona in a one-room office in Raleigh, NC. By 1988, the newsletter was printed on slicker, coated paper. By 1990, Interface consisted of 16-20 pages every other month and included institute news and a couple of technical articles. Then in January 1995, the “Journal of the Roof Consultants Institute” went monthly. Holy roof vent!
There have been many iterations of RCI Interface; just like the latest version of software or the most recent innovation in roof systems, the journal has evolved with the times. Where we once published all about roofs, we now write about roofs, walls, windows, etc.—the building’s equivalent of the bread holding the stuff inside it that makes it a sandwich: the wrap or wrapper, if you will.
The association’s news, once stacked into the center of the magazine as RCItems, is no longer part of the same meal; just recently, we transitioned all member news to our online news-feed at rci-online.org. There, you may feast to your heart’s delight on all things RCI.
Today, the average issue of RCI Interface is 50 pages with four or five technical articles per issue. The RCI Interface staff continues to work hard to bring members and subscribers quality articles by industry experts. And we are always looking for a way to better serve our members and keep up with the evolution of reading habits and preferences.
With this issue of the journal, we are excited to launch a new digital experience for the readers of RCI Interface. By now, you should have received an e-mail with links to your first digital issue (some of you may need to go back and look in your trash or spam folders). With one click on your digital device (yes, even on your iPad or your Android tablet—even on the top of a roof [please don’t click and drive]), you can instantly jump to RCI’s website newsfeed to read this month’s highlighted article or other industry tidbits.
Select the image of the magazine cover in the e-mail, and you will be brought to a signin screen. Because RCI Interface is a member benefit, the flipbook is password-protected. Just input your e-mail address as your login and your member number as your password (check your user profile at rci-online.org if you don’t have this at your fingertips) for access. If you choose to read the issue while offline, you can download 3D Issue Flipbook Viewer from the App or Play store. If you go that route, you’ll also have a library on your device to readily access back issues (from this issue forward). No more stuffing the journal into your briefcase to read on the plane. If you are not a member of RCI, you may purchase a digital flip issue for $10 U.S.
Check out all the things you can do with the flip version of RCI Interface. Besides zooming in and out as you click, and flipping pages with a cool auditory cue, you can print, crop, share, search, archive, bookmark, and even translate the magazine into everything from Afrikaans to Zulu (should you be so inclined). And a super benefit is that you can click on any “hotspot” in the journal—from the Table
of Contents to the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) on an advertiser’s page— and jump to the page or directly to the advertiser’s website. Holy cricket!
So enjoy your latest RCI member benefit. And if you’re not a member of RCI…well, we have an app for that, too.
FOOTNOTE 1. …unless you choose to opt out of receiving a print issue. To manage your RCI Interface preference, log into your member profile at rci-online.org. Choose “Edit My Information.” Scroll to “Communication Preferences” and check the “Exclude print RCI Interface” box. No more snail mail journal.