Hello! Since this issue follows right on the heels of 10-3, there’s really no new news to bring up, and I honestly don’t want to bore you with the standard editorial comments, so I’ll depart from tradition and, as it were, editorialize a bit.
You know, running a magazine is a fascinating experience. No, really! The strangest things happen. For instance, for over two years readers have been commenting that although the Dargon Project is excellent, they’d like to see more non-Dargon fantasy stories and more science fiction in FSFnet. And, for over two years, I’ve been replying with the standard disclaimer that I can only print what people submit, and that no one is submitting anything but Dargon stories. Well, within the past two weeks I’ve received seven non-Dargon stories from five different authors, with promises for more. It’s enough to make an editor want to take up something sane, like professional wrestling! But don’t mind me, it’s healthy for an editor to rave – it only *looks* like insanity.
There are some interesting differences between editing an electronic magazine and a ‘real’ one. An electronic magazine must, by nature, be freely distributable, because it is so easy to send copies along to non-subscribers. To offset this, electronic magazines do not need to worry about advertising costs, as most network services are glad to make room for a magazine announcement or information file. There is also a closer tie between the editor and the readership of an emag, due to the ease of communication via electronic mail. But the most noteworthy difference is inherent in the difference between the phosphor screen and the printed page. Most people find that the attention span of an individual reading one article from a computer screen is much less than if they were reading printed text. The repercussions this has for emags is that their articles should be short and to the point, like newspaper articles, and issues should be small and frequent rather than large and infrequent. Of course, FSFnet is no exception to this rule, and I’m sure that many people simply never get to their issues. However, I find that most people who are serious FSFnet readers do not read issues at a terminal, but print them out and read the hardcopy, thus successfully avoiding the problem.
Well, before I bore you all to tears with subjects only an editor could enjoy, I’d better sign off and get this issue sent. My welcome to all the people who have recently subscribed, and for BITNET readers, don’t be shy about appending to the FSFNET discussion on the server CSNEWS@MAINE. And, of course, back issues are available from the server LISTSERV@TCSVM.