Editor's Note - December 1999by
Andrew D. Wright
The Beacon has been a lot of work and fun to produce for the last eighteen months. Originally the thought was to start up a monthly newsletter, but I had thought (correctly) that a monthly schedule would be too hard to maintain, so I went with a two month publishing schedule instead. Columnists would have time to write their columns to their satisfaction, I would have time to edit them at my leisure and write a few pieces of my own and the reader would see the content refreshed before it became too stale.
Well, it's a nice idea but it isn't working. You're looking at the last dated edition of the Beacon. The present format of the Beacon is due for a change. It has become more and more difficult to produce and it simply has not been living up to its potential.
So there are three alternatives: let the Beacon die out, go for a longer publishing schedule, or rethink the whole thing.
I believe that the Beacon just has too much potential to die - almost a thousand people a month are reading it and I refuse to believe that there is no one out there who wants to tell a story to an audience.
I've thought long about going to seasonal issues, and opening up the time between new issues to three months instead of two, but the articles get too stale in that time. Reader numbers drop in the second month of an issue's life already. What would happen in the third month?
No, the solution is to do something new and different. Rather than stay with the same old magazine format that goes back to Gutenburg's printing press, it is better to go with the more timeless steady state of the web. Information gets updated piecemeal constantly rather than all at once. The web is more than just words and pictures too. It is interactive and so will be the new Beacon.
There is much to do and you can have a part in it whether as reader or as writer or as something that hasn't got a name yet. Keep checking in on us and see what we can do for you and vice versa.
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