October 8, 2007

Why a blog, anyway?

A confession from your editor: she thinks that sometimes, generally speaking, newsletters can seem a little, um, dry.

The drab four-page neighborhood newsletter that arrives on my doorstep, for instance, is always so earnest and wearying to read, and invariably contains notices about upcoming events that have already happened. Let’s face it: the newsletter never gets listed as anyone’s favorite literary genre.

So when Andrew Huot asked me if I’d consider editing a newsletter for the Northwest Chapter of the guild, I had a sinking vision of what that might entail. On the minus column: I’m a slow writer, I’m not adept at any of the programs that would allow me to put together a complex paper or pdf document with any flair, and the thought of wheedling content out of people fills me with dread. On the other hand, it seemed like a worthy mission. Favorite genre or not, newsletters are one of the ways a sprawling community like this one gets bound together. And when I started thinking how I might go about the task, I realized I had some ideas.

One of the things I figured was, the staid tradition of The Newsletter could maybe use a little cross-pollination from the trendy and conversational genre of The Blog. Maybe people would feel more excited about writing articles, posing questions, or whatnot if they got quick and engaging responses from their readers. I also figured that sites like Blogger (brought to you by the folks at Google), would offer an easy and reliable way to put together and distribute a document without loads of formatting and e-mail hassles.

Hence the grand experiment. And isn’t it just a little bit cool?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's way cool Susan!

I'm so excited that you've posted this prototype! We are just beginning to think about putting the NY Chapter newsletter on-line and seeing your prototype is inspiring me.

I am also in favor of more access rather than less, especially when seeking new members. Getting news to chapter members first is a real issue, I think, especially when most of the workshops fill, I want our Chapter members to have first dibs, whether they have email or not.

But the gallery is so great! I think this is really an exciting opportunity presented by the web. I feel like there is so much work going on and it would be great to see more of it and I hope lucrative for members have a forum to post it on.

That you can provide direct links to members websites (if they so choose), other blogs whatever is such a no-brainer I know, but when you see it, it's very exciting!


Clare Manias, NY Chapter co-chair