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Issue #20 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine
I agree! I'm glad someone can get us back up and running again.
Working on this issue today. So far, I have:
- episode 9 of the Ridin' Out the Storm chronicles
- a stack of nifty advertising assets for Galac-tac
- ??

I have the following in mind:
- editorial from our editor emeritus (Grim!), if he's up for it
- editorial content from moi
- a new Tribal Starfleet Trade Report (also moi)
- some content I had written many many months ago
- layout done in MS Publisher
- a rough survey of the PBM landscape
- calls to action (for players, moderators, contributors, advertisers, and forum posters)

What I would welcome from any contributors:
- any PBM-related stories, articles, or even just news blurbs
- commentary on past issues
- live updates on any games you're currently playing
- art, ads, promos, filler, comix, etc
- advice!
quick update: I spent the bulk of this holiday week on family stuff, and a set of interesting gaming activities, but did not work on S&D 20. This is disquieting to me. I want to get this rolling, but there is significant inertia to overcome, momentum to start building, time to dedicate, thoughts to unpack, contacts to form, and perhaps trepidation at the thought of trying to fill Grim's shoes, knowing it will be nearly impossible to come close to his achievements.

More than anything else, there is my notion of moving into a writing career. I don't mean that I'd be looking to S&D as a full-time job, but rather that editing a magazine like this would be a positive and healthy step toward that dream. I'd learn lots, fail some, and learn again. I have multiple other writing concepts in the works, and would like to press ahead on multiple avenues. S&D can help me get this engine cranking. Just need to apply the elbow grease.

I have a pile of articles and enthusiasm in my inbox from a few fellow members of the "inspired by Charles" club. Tonight I will try to start this by applying daily effort - by acting like this is my job - by writing and organizing every day. I'm not setting a target date yet, but I will keep you all posted. Just wanted you all to know that the wheel is going to start turning tonight...
Thank you for volunteering for this huge, but very important task. Sadly, PBeM is on the brink of going extinct IMHO. S&D has helped rekindle interest in a gaming format that has been passed up by the largely ignorant masses in favor of the far more shallow glitter-coated gameplay found on mobile devices. By producing an S&D issue, you are helping those of us who prefer the deeper gameplay found in PBem. It is a good and noble fight to wage!
(11-28-2020, 03:31 AM)ixnay Wrote: My goals:
- stay true to Grim's vision

And what was that vision? That's a fool's errand. To one's own heart be true. Therefore, stay true to your vision, not mine.
I think it is time to try something different. Collecting articles in a single massive PDF issue is, IMO, a failed experiment. Someone needs to pronounce this single big issue patient "dead" instead of endlessly pounding upon the chest of the dearly departed.

The net result of holding up all articles until one massive issue is ready is NOTHING gets published in a timely matter because it is such a monumental task. Kudos to Grim and Ixnay for trying to breathe life into this corpse of single issue delivery.

In my opinion, if the goal is to save PBM, then the articles that have been written and collected need to be published far more frequently in a medium that is digestible to younger people...

For example, a Facebook page. Surely it is better to release articles every few days than every few YEARS?

Apologies for any ruffled feathers. But someone needs to say, "He's dead, Jim. You grab his wallet. I will grab the tricorder."
The only problem I have with Facebook is how hard it is to find things. You don't get timely notices. You don't get articles by date, etc. Plus getting Zucked for random things or by malicious actors.
One of the things that Grim tried once might an in-between option - publishing on a regular basis whether there are articles or not. Grim, bless his attempts, tried to then fill out issues with his own articles, but I think that was even more difficult. Perhaps only the title page and table of contents should be required, plus anything else that's available at publication time? Having to keep up a regular feature that has to appear in each issue sounds counter-productive unless someone has lots and lots of free time (which none of us do).

FYI - I refuse to participate in Facebook, so I wouldn't be able to see things that only appeared there. Other folks may have similar opinions. If it was on this forum instead, I could go with that, but I don't see much activity going on here directly, the Facebook area being much more popular. So a PDF would not require participation by either group of folks and still be available to anyone that was interested. If someone could spend some time writing a little automation software, a PDF could be generated more-or-less automatically, given a source of text to publish (in a form that wouldn't require more than automated formatting). Optimally, article & ad submissions could be done on-line (subject to human approval to avoid garbage). It doesn't have to be beautiful if it's steady and relevant.
RktSci and Davin both raise good points about the drawbacks of using Facebook. However, simply putting out smaller PDFs on a niche forum seen by very few people will not bring in any new blood in my opinion.
But both Facebook and (and anywhere else we can think of) can advertise the availability of an issue through a single download link. It's not actually ON the forum, so doesn't require any sort of participation there.

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