My first issue of anzsrs.org was posted in May 2002. Some 39 issues down the track it is time to reflect. There is no doubt that the site today is a very different animal to what it was back in those distant days. The site has become a part of all of our lives and I suspect a bit like the old pair of slippers - comfortable, comforting and waiting for us to slip our feet into them. That is a very nice state of affairs but, comfortable as it may be, it is not enough if the Society is to maintain its vibrancy and momentum. It is time for change!
Most editions have seen tinkering around the edges with the development of new departments and the, sometimes slow, death of others. With this edition the trend continues with the introduction of a book review to Library Corner and the rebirth of "From the Archive". Tinkering however, keeps something ticking over rather than breathes new life and inspiration into it.
This last month has finally seen my appointment as Publications Editor for the Society - I clearly need to take, or at least read, some of my own advice! Allied with that I have been pleased to accept offers to fill the role of Assistant Editor from Alison Boynton and Skye McLennan. I appreciate your offers and look forward to the challenges these new roles (all 3 of us) will provide. Both appointments have now been ratified by the Board so it is congratulations to both.
The development of an Editorial Team was first proposed in the Publications Review of a few years back and I am very excited about having a small team to bounce ideas off, to inject new perspectives and, yes, to share the workload. Sadly I see the workload increasing rather than reducing as the new Executive seems to be overindulging in caffeine! Many projects currently underway within the Society would benefit from involvement with the web-site.
Whilst the new team has not had a chance to discuss ideas and roles my vision over the next 6 - 8 months is to review the entire site. We need to determine what works, what doesn't; what is needed that is not there, what is there but not needed; how can the site can be made more user-friendly. The reality is that while it is still fairly easy to navigate, the sheer volume of material is getting harder to sift through. It is time, too that the site had a facelift - that definitely needs a woman's touch! We will be seeking input from members on many of these changes. It is probably time for another formal survey but it is also appropriate for members to perhaps discuss the site at their Branch meetings and send the feedback to any of the editorial board. Without this input, we cannot hope to deliver the best possible resource to the membership. It is equally important to let us know what you do like and don't like abut the site.
Nothing is going to happen overnight. The site is too important to the Society to make changes for the sake of making changes. Whether it develops into a stately Rolls Royce, a turbocharged V8 or a comfortable Astra remains to be seen.
I asked Alison and Skye for their thoughts as a way of introduction. Both have focused on responding to the wishes of the membership and I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide feedback.
Thankyou for your vote of confidence, I hope I can live up to the challenge of representing your voices! I looked up my trusty dictionary for the word editor before I put my hand up and thought the description was not too arduous. According to Webster's, editor is made up of two processes, borrowing and back-formation. A quick check of synonyms included opinion, remark, report. So, I eagerly await all your opinions, remarks and reports for us to borrow from so we can progress the formation of a web-site worthy of your opinions, remarks and reports! (Phew!). I am counting on you to make us look good! Looking forward to hearing from you all.
I'll be honest, when the call for nominations for the position of assistant editor came out, my initial reaction was to put my head in the sand and think to myself "someone else can deal with this". I recognised this reaction from a few years ago when I was approached in relation to filling the position of QLD board rep. I find it fortunate that I managed to shake off this thought and am still enjoying the challenges that we face as regional board representatives and the satisfaction this gives. Not really understanding what is expected of me in this new found role still has me a tad apprehensive, so I'll be looking to the membership to guide me and to define this position so as to maximise its return for the society. I'm excited by the learning curve that is ahead of me (however steep!) and the interactions which I'll have with you all as we address the ever changing face of the ANZSRS.
'til next month,
K, A & S