I have to admit I'm old school when it comes to books and publishing. I love paper. I want to read from it, write on it and I want to be published on it.
There is something most satisfying about the experience of reading a paper book, though when I was breastfeeding my youngest in the wee hours of the night I did reread the Sherlock Holmes stories on my phone as it was easier in that situation. I couldn't turn on a light, I was lying in an uncomfortable position and I didn't want to make much noise turning pages, ect. It was a stop gap and I have gone back to paper since.
I also ideally want to see my work published on paper: in magazines, anthologies and books rather than online. While I still tend to focus on sending my work to printed magazines, I no longer avoid online journals. They have established their place in the world of publishing over the past decade and I am happy to see my work online from time to time. It's a double-edged sword; it widens the potential pool for finding a place for your poem or story but also means that you can be lost in an even bigger crowd of wanna-be-writers.
I am not a total technophobe, sitting here writing my blog on my laptop, but I'm still wading out into these new-for-me waters. Looking at my Writing CV, I have been published on 6 online sites since 2004, four of them in the past 4 years with another one accepting 3 poems today - Writing in a Women's Voice. Thank you, Beate. Your blog is inspiring reading.
Online magazines can come and go as fast as printed ones, but often their virtual presence exists long after the editors have downed tools which has its good and bad points: your poems are out there for everyone to see, even the ones you may have fallen out of love with.
Publishing your work online means you have an immediate presence that prospective publishers can check up on. Getting your work into magazines and journals can be an important stepping stone to getting a book published, especially with short stories and poetry, but unless they subscribe to the magazines listed on your bio or they have somehow come across your work it's hard for editors to know if you really have the publishing record you claim.
I'm not going to go further and talk about self-publishing online here. I really don't have enough experience in the subject to offer any advice, but there are plenty of opportunities out there.
Finding homes for your work online offers more chances to get that 'published' tick after a poem, but I still prefer to get that copy in the post and flip through to find my pages. It feels more real, I feel published, but while building up my CV, I will continue to take advantage of all opportunities to give my work a small showcase.