The Lake of Fire: Locotorp protocol
by carl juarez
We were 90 miles out of -- hold it, wrong page.
I think we ought to get down in "print" some details about paper v web issues as they've been developing, to ensure we're all working from the same page.
The issues that most shamelessly thrust themselves forward are two: loc protocol and bowdlerizing content for the Web (browserdlerization?).
I think we're all cognizant of the difference between two hundred and fifty selected readers (and anyone they may meet) and several hundred million anonymous beings spread thinly across the globe (and anyone they may meet). The question I think is this: Is publishing on the Web so significantly different from print that it is no longer covered by the standard fannish correspondence/publishing contract, sometimes called "the usual"? If it is, wouldn't we be violating at least the spirit of that practice by taking our correspondents' and contributors' works and adding them to the Web without offering them the opportunity to opt out or alter their remarks?
Some may ask why this should really matter. Some have, in fact. (Optional topical political reference goes here.) When you drop that letter in the mailbox, or click on that e-mail form, you've surrendered most of your control over where those words go, and I'm sure we can all think of good examples, of varying degrees of disasterhood. But others have spoken up, and that's why our Web version is different from the printed one.
The chief concerns offered are exposure to one's co-workers and sercon references, with I suppose one's parents somewhere down in there but unmentioned. Very few of us are able to choose our co-workers.* The centripetal vortex formerly known as our economy moreover currently impels more of us to work in corporations or in small teams that themselves associate with other small teams, and in these places the evils of "Dilbert" dwell. Most of our correspondents write about their lives, of which working hours are -- let's face it -- the majority, and just about everybody gets around to describing their work at some point.
For most of us fanzine fandom is a refuge of somewhat like-minded people with whom we enjoy communicating, and we value the opportunity to write for an audience that values accounts of life as it is lived. (The best writing that fandom offers I think lies in this, in the form of fannish memoir and short essays, with conreports and reviews mere sub-forms of necessity.) If this sense of community is overwhelmed by the pragmatic concerns of working hours our tradition of plain speaking will be imperiled. (Abolition of Work, anyone?)
So to the options of Do Not Print and Do Not Quote, we now add Do Not Web. Our correspondents are invited to indicate, if desired, portions of their missives that should be deleted or revised when put on the Web. Comrades, towards the Ludic Revolution!
Andy notes: While we're on the subject of electronic communication, please note that Victor has been forced to change his e-mail address once again, back to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maintenance and alleged improvments to the system at the News Tribune have so far taken about four weeks, and there is no indication that they will be done in our lifetimes. Please amend your address books accordingly.
Although it's likely to get lost in the general TAFF shuffle, we want to offer our condolences to the friends and family of longtime midwestern fan and collector Lynn Hickman, who died the morning of October 30th in Cincinnati after a long battle with lung cancer. Lynn was a pulp enthusiast noted for a wide knowledge of science fiction and fantasy's golden age. He will be missed.
I want to encourage our readers to take the time to fill out those egoboo poll ballots we sent out in the last issue. As Arnie Katz points out in Wild Heirs #18, this is 25th anniversary of the great 1971 Focal Point egoboo poll, which drew 130 responses, making it a definitive measure of the age. If we could do as well with this new poll, I'd be very impressed.
* (Even fewer choose their parents, but we usually get some quality time to work on that.)
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