I am exploring ezines and so far there seems something shady about them, like those promises in the back of movie-star magazines or advertised inside old matchbooks covers.
And isn't that so baby boomer -- matchbook covers.
For those born too late, these were thin packets of matches in folding covers of pliable cardboard. They existed before disposable lighters, which existed even before "non-smoking" sections were partitioned off from a worldwide swath of smokers. Now it's the opposite.
The matchbook covers were anchored with a striking section from which sprouted a score of sulfur tipped, cardboard matches. The exteriors could sport brilliant promotional art. Sometimes, on the interiors of the covers, were printed advertisements for the secret of turning a 98-pound weakling into Atlas, permanent hair removal, mail-order programs to obtain an engineering degree or home courses to learn dentistry or secretarial skills. I'm sure I ran across one or two that promised a publishing house would read my novel.
It was assumed, back when matchbook covers promised new careers and wealth and baby boomers were getting the best education tax dollars could buy, that only desperate, gullible people answered these calls.
It's not like I'm eating cat food, but even with my college degree and graduate credits, last week I tore off the flap of the ezine matchbook cover and sent it in.
This, insists my marketing guru, is the first step toward building a destination Internet site. Which is, by the way, www.vikivolk.com.
I think that is the point. Usually when I reach this point of understanding someone shrugs and says, "It's the Internet. Who knows?"
So, next ezine step is writing 10 (?!?TEN?TEN! 10 !TEN?TEN?!?) feature-y, newsy stories about how to do something that someone else wants to learn how to do via the Internet. So there's the focus. "Who knows?"
In the philosophical realm ezines mean giving away work for free. Which, yes, this here is free as well, but it seems different somehow when I push "publish post" versus someone else. Call me a dilettante, but I see a difference.
Either way, my colleagues rightfully fear what happens to value with product cost at virtual zero.They already see me as crazy and detrimental to the cause. This ezine plummet could confirm their worse professional fears for me. Obviously, there is shame. I can only hope on both sides.
As if the whole self-publishing concept isn't shocking enough. The notion of publishing work un-vetted, let alone unedited, is stomach turning to baby boomer journalists, those old enough to have watched "All the President's Men" in real-time.
Which, btw, is so Old-timer today. Which, further-btw, means aspiring New-timers, please, comment on 10 things you want to know.
Take that step into the New-Age, record a Comment here. Help an old journalist make a buck. "Who knows?"