Roger deWardt Lane (aka TheDimeMan) submitted the following thoughts about the new E-Syolum format. -EditorThere is a new search engine which one of the cable news programs mentioned this morning - www.Cuil.com (pronounced cool). An hour later after I looked at the Monday morning E-Sylum, I went to the site to try it out. Everyone else in the world must have been doing the same, as the site was a little slow.
First I typed in my name (Roger deWardt Lane) and it responded with 4,660,502 pages. The first hit was about a book that had my name on it as co-editor, although I had nothing to do with it but adding my numismatic credentials. Later editions happily did take my name off. So, I looked at their page 15 to jump ahead. There I found a reference to V8#27 July 3, 2005 of the E-Sylum. I clicked on the link and paged way down nearly half way through and there was a story I had written to you about the FUN convention many years ago and numismatics being mixed up as a church denomination. The part I liked best was where you tell about your trip to Wilmington, etc.
But, as I was re-reading a little bit of history, I kept reading the blog. It was like old-times. Almost no headings, no pictures, and best of all your folksy remarks as Editor.
Dont get me wrong; the current format is great, like a slick numismatic magazine (ANS or Numismatist). The pictures are fine and as the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words.
But I miss the old style where you pretty much had to read every line and spend an hour doing this (remember Im a numismatist and retired). Now I scan the blog in ten minutes look at all the pictures and partly read the headlines. I stop to read, except the book reviews and any item that sounds like numismatic news. I skip most of the summaries and links from newspapers or coin sites.
I miss the odd comments sent in to you by your readers. I wish you would get back to the style of the old days, where your personality always came through. The E-sylum will always be my Monday read, so take this as just a point of view from an old timer.
Reader comments are always welcome - so what do others think? Have we sold our soul to buy into the spiffy new format? I'll admit I was a little reluctant to put in the clickable table of contents at the top of each issue. Give people a way to skip over some things and they're going to do it. This is one reason why some auction catalogs are organized practically at random - to encourage people to read the whole thing carefully, where they might find gems they'd otherwise pass right by. But the convenience of having a compact list of contents seemed to outweigh the down side. Better to let people quickly find the stuff they care about than to risk losing them entirely in an overwhelming mass of content.
Comments from readers who came up to me at the Baltimore ANA were universally positive on the new format. Those who admitted to not reading each and every article (and I don't blame them!) were glad to have the added navigation, making it easy to scan the issue before going back to dive into specific articles in detail.
As for my folksy comments, they're still there, but I'll admit to having less time than before to write them. Demands of the day job and family keep me hopping, and time spent inserting images means a little less time available for writing editorials.
My numismatic diaries continue, although in most weeks my numismatic life is as dull as the suburban neighborhood I dwell in. It's our readers who have the most interesting things going on. So please do write in once in a while, either to react to an E-Sylum article, ask a question, or tell us a bit about your latest research. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
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