here’s much more to web-based amateur
journals the more I think about it. This
discussion – and this first-ever NAPA web-based amateur journal, as I believe it may be –
is a direct outgrowth of the No. 4 issue of this
journal, which was printed on paper at the
128th Convention, in Chattanooga, and will
soon be distributed through the July bundle.
What advantages are there to web-based
amateur journals, and to NAPA allowing
them? Here are some that I can think of:
1. No printing costs.
2. No mailing costs.
3. No paper consumed.
4. No folding, stapling, and similar material
5. Faster distribution than via the bundle or
6. Availability of the end result to the entire
World Wide Web, with publicity and
recruiting potential that is unforeseeable at
7. Use of a medium that many younger
people are familiar with and enjoy using,
hence a much simpler bridge to amateur
journalism than older technologies such as
letterpress and offset.
8. Offers intriguing possibility of using
previously impossible enhancements, such
as sound, video clips and animation.
9. Ability to easily correct omissions by
novice member publishers who omit a
title, a number or a date, or their name in
10. Adapting to this new publishing medium
would give NAPA, the oldest surviving
amateur journalism association, the
distinction of being the first amateur
journalism organization to embrace this
medium in an official way. (At least as far
as I know now, and assuming one of the
others doesn’t act before we can officially
amend our constitution.)
11. Ability to provide active, clickable links to
other parts of the journal, to other NAPA
journals on the web, and in fact to sources
or other documents anywhere on the web.
What disadvantages are there?
1. Not all members have computers, or
access to the World Wide Web. (Reply:
almost all of our members would have
access to the web through their local
library, if not through friends; and
computer ownership will only increase in
the years ahead.)
2. There is no paper tactile feeling to enjoy
as one reads. (Reply: true, but while that
may indeed deprive a reader of that
sensation, that is not central to the hobby
of amateur journalism; also, other senses
such as sight and hearing can be involved
in ways never before possible.)
3. Archiving back issues would be difficult.
(Reply: archiving would need to be
accomplished on digital media such as
CDs or whatever future technology may
bring about, which actually may consume
far less space than paper journals, but also
be backed up more readily and thus
available anywhere, not just where
physical collections of papers might exist.
Furthermore, electronic searching for
names, words or phrases is possible in
digitally archived media whereas it is
impossible for print journals without
extensive and time-consuming indexing.)
4. What if NAPA were swamped with amateur
web-based journals, so that the Recorder,
the Historian, the Bureau of Critics and
others might find their duties far too
taxing. (Reply: that could conceivably be a
problem which might arise, much as a
couple of decades ago it was thought
burdensome to have a membership as
high as 400 for the same reasons.
Conceivably, most if not all of that
administrative work could be subdivided
and done by teamed individuals rather
than by one individual working alone; for
example, the Bureau of Critics used to be a
group of people. But the desirability of
recruiting new – and younger – members
is growing more evident in recent years as
opposed to such considerations.)
our thoughts and responses would be most
welcome, either to me (and I will gladly
report them), or you may wish to design your
own web-based amateur journal that I would
be glad to add to the space on the server I am
using. Perhaps we could even start a monthly
e-bundle to match the paper bundle? My
current server provides 20 megabytes of free
web storage space for their customers, and
when that becomes too small, we can either
purchase more storage or look elsewhere.
Note that I assume that web-based
amateur journals should meet our
requirements for a title, a number and/or a
date, and and identified member as publisher.
My address is in the colophon.
I Could Kick Myself
rriving home from the convention tired,
when I carried in our HP LaserJet 4M laser
printer, but instead of carrying it up to Ruth’s
work area on the second floor, where it
belonged, I lazily put it on the dining room
table, whose two drop-leaves are held up by
swivel arms when raised. I put the printer half
on a drop-leaf and half on the main part of
the table, and it seemed quite steady enough.
But as Ruth and I were reading in bed, we
heard a crash from downstairs. Evidently one
of our cats had jumped up on that drop-leaf,
and its weight was just enough to tip the
whole table over onto the floor.
Three of the side panels on the printer
were askew, the paper drawer was sticking a
bit, and the trap-door giving access to the
toner cartridge was partially unhinged.
Hoping for the best, I tried fitting the
panels, etc., back on in the hope that at least it
would print. When I powered it on, it got as
far as flashing the message “13 Paper Jam.”
There was no paper in it.
Maybe it’s time for a color laser printer.
Or maybe it’s time to publish on the web.
I Could Kick Myself Again
ut a bit softer. I had only printed enough
copies of Chattanooga Chat Chat No. 4 to
hand out to conventioneers on Sunday
morning. I figured I’d let the rest of the job
go until I got that HP LaserJet home again.
The disaster in the dining room prevented
that, but fortunately my office printer is
another HP LaserJet 4, so I planned to finish
the bundle run on it.
All was well, I thought, and all copies had
been printed (two-pages up, duplicated, on
legal size paper, front and back), when I
noticed that the masthead logo on the bottom
half of the outside-pages sheet had for some
unknown reason jumped to page 4. Half the
copies in that run, therefore, were trash.
Maybe it’s another sign I should publish
on the web, but I am certain careful attention
to detail and to proofreading is just as
Published by Bill Boys, member,
National Amateur Press Association
The NAPA website = http://www.amateurpress.org
The NAPA ebundle website = http://www.amateurpress.org/ebundle