New Era for the Blue Ribbon

Back in 1977, when the first issue of our branch newsletter came out (originally called The Scottish Ramble and changed to The Blue Ribbon in 1982), it was unlikely anyone would have foreseen the way our communications technology would evolve in the next 33 years.  With the rise of the Internet and applications like email, the World Wide Web, and Facebook, we have increasingly found that a traditional paper-based newsletter has a much more limited role. More critically, we have lately been unable to find a member willing to take on the role of editor.  (You may have noticed that apart from the AGM-focused issue that came out last April, you haven’t received a copy for nearly a year.) These challenges, in addition to the considerable cost and work involved in producing a paper newsletter, led the board to appoint a subcommittee to consider the future of the Blue Ribbon.

This subcommittee, consisting of Branch treasurer Tom Harries and Branch chair and former Blue Ribbon editor Lara Friedman-Shedlov, met over the summer and also consulted with immediate past-editor, Barbara Cameron.  The group’s first task was to clarify the role of the various communications methods the Branch is now using, which include not only the newsletter but the public web site, the Yahoo email list and web site, and the our Branch Facebook page. The group considered several possibilities for the future of the newsletter, including 1) going with an online PDF publication (essentially what we are already doing, but trying to further reduce the number of paper copies printed), 2) an email-based version, or 3) a web-based version based on a blog platform.  After analyzing the pros and cons, the group recommended and the board approved the third option.  Starting with this issue, which will appear simultaneously in the new format, we will be transitioning the Blue Ribbon to a blog.  This will be the last issue to be produced in paper format.  Starting now and going forward, you will find the Blue Ribbon online at (there will also be a link from the public and Yahoo web sites).

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