Am I the only one who is quietly mourning the transition of Exponent II from print to web?
My awakening as a young Mormon feminist came from the stack of yellowed X2s that my Mom gifted to me when I entered college. Another favorite treasure is the box of old Dialogues that sit in my hallway next to shelves that hold my current issues of Irreantum, Dialogue, ExponentII and Sunstone. Whenever I open these publications—both old and new–I am overwhelmed by how many treasures are contained within their pages. I rarely go to them with the intention of perusing a particular article. Rather, as I flip through their pages I find information and inspiration on a wide range of topics that I didn’t necessarily set out to find. But now I wonder what will happen as everyone starts using a web-based search engine to find articles in these journals rather than subscribing in hard copy? What will happen to the longevity of X2 as it transitions to an internet format? Will women, generations from now, still be accessing its pages?
Let me assure you that I am all for technology. I like being able to search Dialogue’s back issues from the UofU portal, and I am quite happy to download Sunstone sessions to my mp3 player. But I still wonder if the transition from paper to a web format will be a death knell to the ExponentII? I suspect that it will stifle the serendipity of thumbing through a hard copy of the magazine and certainly it will be more difficult to lend your copy to a sister that you visit teach, or to pass on to your daughters. Moreover, as more of these publications archive articles in a digital format, I suspect they will have fewer subscribers and that many people will just “wait for the DVD to be released” rather than read the print editions.
What do you think? Have you bought the CD-Rom for Dialogue or read online Sunstone articles? Do you prefer this to hard copies? Am I a Luddite for continuing to value the dusty, sometimes crumbling, pages of the original journals?