From: IN%"firstname.lastname@example.org" 2-SEP-1993 15:18:57.78 GRISTONLINEGRISTONLINEGRISTONLINEGRISTONLINE John Fowler Editor, Publisher 17 West 64th St, #2E NY, NY 10023-6710 (212) 787-2861 email@example.com CSI 72674.3032 September 1, 1993 Hey Ken-- So here we all come popping out of the woodwork like crazy all at once. Seems like I hear about a new poventure everyday--it's great. What an explosion. When I wrote the first version of the press release for GRIST the figure for InterNet I found was three million. Last week, I saw 10 million and last night NEWSWEEK had it at 12 million. Now that's a growing audience.! Anyway, it looks like you're in the Nous Refuse collect, right? Ficus S. put me in touch there just this week and I'm glad to see some names I recognize and hope that I won't get pummeled with "cybershit" Pardon the attitude but..... As you say, doing a mag (I still can't say zine--shows where I'm coming from I guess-- like 1964) is work. It just don't happen. I learned a lot from early efforts. And although I admit I had some illusions about the ease of publishing on the net, I've gotten over them. It seems to me the basics are the same, but the things that have changed like cost, range of potential distribution, speed, and really ease (after all you don't have to collate and staple and mail and pay postage or take returns and it never goes out of print and so on and so on) so it's EASY compared to.....or dealing with a printer and high finance if you're on that level. But what it really boils down to is getting good writers and good works and being able to put together something that people want to read. That kind of stuff usually doesn't come in over the transom. The next thing is basically SUBSCRIPTIONS. And they don't come in over the transom either. The "market" on the net is so diffuse that I'm still having a time figuring it out--let alone Bitnet, Fidonet, Euronet, AsiaNet and all the other branches, loops and crannies! But that's the challenge isn't it? It's work and it's got the added "technical" side of dealing with all the software and protocols and dirty phone lines and problems getting access etc. not to count the evolution of all that we're going to go thru til the end of our lives. I have a feeling I won't have to go though as much as you will, since I may have a few years on you, but I switched over to microcomputers from bookselling/publishing when apples were the only thing and finally burned out trying to keep up with change. Now I'm back into it and don't know how long or if I'll be able to keep up. But then Poetry has always been poboy and alternative and underground and all that so why not do what one can do and be satisfied with that. Quality of the words and a clean presentation has seemed to work in the old media but there's going to be a lot of glitz to deal with. I see the net staying rather primitive for a while, compared to what Paramount and Todd Rundgren et al are going to put out. So we may seem like a not very attractive medium to a lot of folks. But I have no problem with that. I want to get some of the better minds of my generation at least archived and hopefully active at some level, before they get lost in the cyber shuffle. So there are so may possibilities for publishing in one form or another that I really can't get too depressed about it. I sent in a sub request to your listserv and it bounced once. But please sign me up and I'll put you on auto for GRIST. I think the more of us there are, the better. There's some interesting history about guys from the early days of the Net doing some pretty innovative things and going for several years with only 30 or 40 subscribers. Then slowly they grew and got to 100, 200, 600, 1000. To me that's kind of scary. And look how much bigger the base is now than it was 6 or 8 years ago. I don't even know how I'd get 1000 subscriptions out! Do you? There's more of us than just you and me--but I haven't seen anything that sets me on fire. A lot of very amateur stuff. But there are people getting into it. It'll take time and a lot of hand holding probably. I look forward to it. My project now is to break into the BBSs and get the announcements out on the net. Not really my kind of favorite thing, like direct e-mail promotion, but that's what it takes. Let's trade notes on the process and see what we learn. I've got a short list of boards that claim to be poetry based, maybe we could split the effort and cull through them. Then there's the libraries. They were a main support for the original GRIST. How do we reach the libraries that are undoubtedly forming e-collections or what are they doing, just letting pauls archive for them? A whole area to figure out. It's great. So much to do, and hopefully an opportunity in there somewhere to further the art. Better wind down. Looking forward to seeing RIF/T---- firstname.lastname@example.org
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