Monday, August 22, 2005

Newsletter or Not; Philosophical Musings on Information Policy

The question came up over the weekend. Does Stormvale need a newsletter? After all, we have the Stormvale discussion mailing list, the Stormvale-Bulletin announcements list, This Week in Stormvale,, and now a blog devoted mostly to Stormvale and the SCA. So has a paper copy of the Storm Warning become superfluous?

Well, in part, I'm just not sure. My comment when I was asked this question was to admit that I haven't actually looked at a paper copy of the newsletter in years. But I may be different. I check my email frequently, and tend to be up on what's going on. I socialize with most of the officers on a regular basis. Others may still use and value the paper copy of the newsletter.

Also, I'm not sure how many paper copies even go out at all. I've wanted a copy to archive, but I think most people are getting it by email anyway. Aileran began the very helpful process of making it available in Word and Acrobat versions a couple of years ago.

My initial take on it is that we are duplicating our efforts. Not that the newsletter is not a good idea to continue, but we should reflect on how it fits into a changed world of information delivery. I notice that there are things in the kingdom newsletter, the Pale, that never appear at This must be deliberate, an attempt to ensure that there is a reason to read the Pale.

At the September 4 Shire Council, we'll talk it over and consider how to work it so we're not wasting the Chronicler's time with a lot of work that isn't necessary. I am by no means sure that a Storm Warning in some form is not a good idea. Paper copies that can be handed to people are a good idea. But we may want to adjust content or frequency. A thought that occurs to me is to make it quarterly, make it a big deal with a lot of interesting content that doesn't appear elsewhere, and have it come out at the beginning of each season, with a clear emphasis on announcing the local schedule for the following quarter. That maximizes the utility for making the thing available in local businesses or libraries, too.

1 comment:

The Cat Bastet said...

Hear, hear! Like Balian, I haven't read a hard copy of the newsletter in years, no matter how good it is. I prefer an electronic newsletter; updates can be posted on the web site and reminders/changes of events and activities can be sent via the e-mail list.