Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Changes and Growth

Photograph "Sunflower Mutant," by Sofia Karin Axelsson

This is a special issue, insofar that Michael and I decided to drop some ongoing sections, such as the Poetry Corner and Reviews of Everything Alternative. As Michael has already mentioned, this is only temporary for this issue, and the reason is that we had so many wonderful articles lined up, some that had been put on hold for months on end, so we just wanted to get them all in there. The upcoming issue will look more like “usual,” if there is any such thing as “usual” for The Echo World.
Michael has also mentioned that a permanent change, however, is that we decided to move our free Calendar listings online. We do this because we feel we can serve the readers better by having an expanded version of the Calendar of Events online. We also do this to free up some space in the magazine, which is always a juggling act in print media.

Some people and self-appointed media experts have kept saying for years that “print media is dead.” 
This is not true, obviously. Rather, print media seems to be very happily alive and kicking to me. To sit down in your favorite arm-chair, or in a cafĂ©, or on a train or plane, and open a crisp issue of your favorite magazine … is quite a treat indeed. There’s many of us who sigh deep in gratitude when we do and won’t give up that luxury for anything. As a side note, advertising in print media continues to have dependability and create traction. 

Nevertheless, since print has its inherent limitations, a strong online presence is a great complement. Print, however much we may enjoy it, is to a certain degree inflexible, costly and limited in space. Once text and images are set in the printing presses, there is absolutely nothing you can do about the result. Printing costs can be deadly, as seen in the fact that the majority of newly started magazines go out of business within the time-span of one to two years. Print magazines are limited to a certain number of pages that can only contain this and that much text and only so many images.

Cover of July issue of The Echo World.

I like to view the print version of The Echo World and its complementary online presence as two strong workhorses pulling a heavy carriage together. And who doesn’t love a classic double-span? Just take a second and visualize the muscles of two horses working in tandem and feel the power. Every time we come out with a new issue we are excited when people that we have dubbed “the social media queens and kings” help us out and re-post their articles, or reviews and ads, and link to our webpage and The Echo World Facebook and Twitter accounts. We hope you haven’t missed our webpage (www.theechoworld.com), where you can find all issues we have published – as well as the Calendar, Directory, sign-up for our newsletter and much more. These queens and kings use all their social media resources to get their material seen. In the process, they spread the knowledge about The Echo World, print as well as digital versions, and everybody gets more exposure, whether its writers or advertisers. So, I want to say, “Thank you!” to our sweet, techno-savvy collaborators who help spread the word about The Echo World. 

On the other hand, if you don’t feel techno-savvy at all, don’t despair. We’re not leaving anyone behind. If you have 50 friends on your Facebook page and want to share one of your poems we printed, that’s still 50 more people who may not have had the chance to see your accomplishment if you hadn’t shared it. And if you can’t stand social media on any level and think that it brings nothing to your table, you can still pick up an extra issue and give it to a friend who you think would appreciate it. As a matter of fact, occasionally, we get handwritten articles and letters sent to us, and as far as time allows, we print them up and publish them. We don’t mind. Diversity and collaborations of all kinds are very important code-words in our book. We all have to be allowed to move in the world the way that feels comfortable to us. There are many ways to keep moving forward together. If you feel so inclined, do whatever feels right to you to keep getting the words of The Echo World out there. This is how we keep growing and allow for more people to enjoy the alternative voices of Virginia – and as it so happens to be – the alternative voices of the world.
Do enjoy a totally-article-packed July issue, in whatever form you savor it. Share when you can – and everybody wins!

My Editorial from the July issue of The Echo World

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