The theme running throughout this issue of Publishing Executive is reader engagement. Engagement strategies take many forms. Providing a lean back experience is one type. Sometimes engagement is increased through the use of hard evidence, as is reported in the "Data-Driven Publishing" feature or the Tech Talk article featuring analytics software "Chartbeat."
From my perspective, rate base is a convoluted tool designed to produce distorted circulation figures. Yes, auditing is an attempt to verify with some precision and prove to the advertisers that a certain number of people may have picked up and read your magazine. But imbedded in this arcane system is a potential for trickery and a temptation to abuse the well-meaning audit results to achieve what amounts to some meaningless readership number.