Magazine article The Masthead

A Mother Lode of Ideas

Magazine article The Masthead

A Mother Lode of Ideas

Article excerpt

The NCEW listserv (a shorthand term we still use for the critter even though we no longer use LIST-SERV[C] software) has changed the character of our organization--for the better, in my opinion.

As recently as a decade ago, membership in NCEW could be an exercise in relative isolation, especially if you didn't attend the annual convention or regional sessions.

Perks of membership in such instances were a couple of newsletters and four Mastheads a year, perhaps augmented with a one-on-one critique partnership, snail-mailing or faxing your editorials back and forth for comment and criticism. Truly dedicated members mailed out a tearsheet of their page to every other member each year. (Occasionally one of those tearsheets still floats in through the mailroom like an ancient bottle bearing a long-forgotten message.)

Now the contact is instant and constant. We have the tools to become much more deeply and frequently acquainted with our fellow members and the issues that concern them. This is especially valuable for the sixty to seventy percent of our members who do not attend the annual convention. No NCEW member need feel isolated in this fourth year of the millennium.

For The Masthead, the listserv is ever more important. NCEW records contain frequent references, from the earliest days of the listserv, to the possibility that it would become a prime resource for Masthead editors. And indeed, those early speculations have come to pass. This editor joins previous editors in drawing inspiration and ideas from the discussions of the members. …

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