Launched in September 2000, ngm.com extends the reach of National Geographic to the Internet, balancing online edge with the traditional sagacity of the century-old magazine. The visually engaging, easily navigated website draws many longtime readers as well as nonsubscribers to experience the adventure of stories interactively. More than 14 million people logged on to National Geographic Magazine Online in 2005—broadening the content of the magazine to a new audience (162,000 people started magazine subscriptions online in 2005) while adding an experiential dimension to stories for current subscribers.
Every month visitors can nominate a favorite place for coverage in the magazine's popular ZipUSA series; vote for the cover the Editor in Chief will choose for an upcoming issue; download printable high-resolution maps from the articles; pick up a few tips from world-famous photographers.
September 2005 introduced visitors to live streaming video via satellite. This technology put the audience on the scene for a 24-hour look at animals and all their antics as they gathered each day at Pete's Pond, a watering hole at Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve. Called WildCam Africa, this module—featured with the special Africa issue (September 2005)—gave visitors access to an interactive archive of National Geographic articles about Africa, a gallery of wildlife (complete with stats) that can be seen at the reserve, and a blog experience that took on a life of its own.
The year's visitors also took an interactive exploration into King Tut's sacred burial chambers, examining his body using CT scan imagery and seeing what he may have looked like, via artist reconstructions of the young pharaoh's head (June). The voices of people affected by AIDS in South Africa (September) and war (November) rang out in poignant multimedia features presented in their own words. And—with video animations —prehistoric sea monsters came to life on computer screens all over the world (December).