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libertygrl
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Posted 08/03/06 - 12:50 PM:
Subject: the couch forum newsletter
hello everyone,

i want to start publishing a newsletter for the couch forum.

many forums, as you may know, offer monthly newsletters by email, but i’m talking about doing something a little different. another forum that i used to frequent (MPG) was talking about doing something like this a few years ago and i don't know if it ever came to fruition. in any case, i've always liked the idea of doing a newsletter and i would like to make it a reality here at the couch.

this is how i would like to see it work:

the newsletter will be published quarterly, in PDF format, sized for 8.5” x 11” paper, and distributed by email to a recipient list of individuals who have subscribed to the list. the reason for distributing in PDF format is that i would like for people to be able to print hard copies for themselves (and also to share with friends or whatever). down the line i would like to progress toward distributing the newsletter in a hard copy format. for now, we’ll start with PDF.

we could call the newsletter “the couch forum newsletter”, but i’d love to hear your suggestions for a better title. i’ve always been partial to the title “inklings” but maybe we could put some suggestions together for a title and vote on it.

submission guidelines:

active couch members may contribute to the newsletter. limit is 2 submissions per member, per issue. you may contribute 2 written pieces per issue, or 2 graphic pieces, or one written and one graphic.

written contributions may be essays or compositions with a limit of 1,000 words per submission. for example, for the first issue i plan to submit an essay i wrote on the role of metaphor in recovery from trauma. fiction or non-fiction is acceptable, as well as poetry. they must be your own original work. if you are submitting an essay, please cite your references. (references are included in the word count.)

written contributions may be edited for grammar and spelling ONLY, and edited pieces will not be published without your approval first.

graphic contributions will be accepted in the form of your own original art or photographs, in black and white or color. art and photographs must be submitted in JPG format, no larger than 1200 x 1500 dpi.

you will retain the copyright for your own work. each issue will contain a copyright notice that expresses that all works are being published with permission from the respective copyright owners.

the inaugural issue of the couch forum newsletter will be published on november 5, 2006 (on the couch’s 2nd birthday). the deadline for submissions for the inaugural issue is october 1, 2006. please email your submissions to me at tierrasimbolica@gmail.com. include the title of your work (if it has a title), and please indicate how you would like to be credited. your couch member name may be used, or your real name, or both, as you prefer. for example, my works will be credited as "Susan Lien Whigham, aka libertygrl". as a rule, submissions received after the deadline for the current issue will automatically be considered for the issue that follows.

as admin, i would like to do the honors of laying out the first issue, but i'm open to having other members contribute the layout for future issues if anyone is interested in helping out. all contributors to each issue will be permitted to proof the issue before it gets mailed to the list.

please feel free to share your questions and feedback.

lib


Edited by libertygrl on 08/03/06 - 11:40 PM
Monk2400
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Posted 08/03/06 - 5:25 PM:

Sounds like a fine idea, lib.

There is a wealth of talent here, so I dont think youll be pressd for content. How long is each issue going to be?

8)
libertygrl
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Posted 08/03/06 - 6:09 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
Sounds like a fine idea, lib.

There is a wealth of talent here, so I dont think youll be pressd for content. How long is each issue going to be?

8)

the length of each newsletter will depend on how many submissions we get. since the page size is 8.5x11, i'm guessing it will probably run anywhere from 2 to 6 pages on average.

hooray! i'm excited about this project. whee
OxygenJunkie
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Posted 08/03/06 - 6:18 PM:

It's certainly a fine idea and I would obviously participate. The 1,000 word limit will certainly be a test on how I can formulate ideas that are both articulate and concise.. -lol-

I think that, for a project like this to work, its essential to have a 'philosophy of continuity' and that means something that people can go back to on every issue, such as columns, regular features and the such. In that sense, I'd be more than happy to contribute a quarterly column (as was my intention elsewhere) which falls back on something I just love to do; which is my humourous twist on current events...

... thugh I must say my humour isn't exactly for the easily offended.

grin
libertygrl
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Posted 08/03/06 - 6:24 PM:

i think a quarterly column or feature is a wonderful idea, oxy. you just reminded me that i do intend to add a "mature content" advisory where appropriate. i look forward to reading your stuff.

thumb up
OxygenJunkie
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Posted 08/03/06 - 6:29 PM:

I think, ideally, you have 3 or 4 different people who have different interests and styles to contribute regularly. Give a bit of everything to everyone, so to speak.

For example, as the editor, you could, say, with each issue, give us your reflections on a given issue. I'm sure Terence has plenty of ideas to fill a column about philosophy in general, because he's very knowing on that, and you know we just need to have e-thinker contribute a column, which of course will be named 'All The Great Questions You Are Afraid To Be Asked." grin

In the next issue followed by our attempts at answering it (and you just pick the best sentences that were offered as answers). wink
OxygenJunkie
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Posted 08/03/06 - 6:38 PM:

I also wanted to bounce an idea off of people here, because I've never really seen it done, and I think it could prove interesting too.

What about a column where the topic remains the same, but the author changes? Usually, it's the same author, different topics, or an 'open opinion' page where its anyone about anything.

How about 'anyone on a specific topic?'

And I have an idea as to the topic... "The Legend Of (name here)."

Basically, a page for anyone to talk about a hero of theirs they want more people to know about, and why. I'm not sure anyone's had such a feature as a regular installement. In a world of such open negativity, I think it would also push for a positive.
Monk2400
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Posted 08/03/06 - 7:15 PM:

What about a column where the topic remains the same, but the author changes?


Francois, that is an excellent idea.

A variation is producing a continuing narrative with the same charactrs that is written by a new author each month, until we get round to the initial author, and so on. 'Next time on 'Johnny and Janie's Wild Adventure' see basta take the series to new and exciting places!'

If the series went on long enough, and was coherent, lol, we could produce a novella out of it.

The future looks promising!

8)
OxygenJunkie
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Posted 08/03/06 - 9:17 PM:

It's not what I had in mind, it was more a thought along the lines of 'separate texts' with the same topic, but you know what? It doesn't really matter anymore since, quite frankly, you're idea is even better!



libertygrl
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Posted 08/03/06 - 11:30 PM:

lol. i have my two pieces picked out for the first issue already so i'll have to give both those ideas a pass this time around. maybe next time...

zenlib
smokinpristiformis
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/04/06 - 4:20 AM:

well, we had some creative fun around here when we came here first (good times!)
i wouldn't mind a follow-up story in the newsletter

but seriously, i like françois' idea as well

every month something about a personal hero or a historical figure.. from another writer
it would be nice to find out why they picked that perticular person smiling face

nothing is stopping us from doing both ^^
libertygrl
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Posted 08/04/06 - 9:41 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
well, we had some creative fun around here when we came here first (good times!)


that was an awesome thread. (it was a story thread we had going on our old aimoo board - it was quite an adventure!)
libertygrl
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Posted 08/04/06 - 11:47 AM:

some more ideas for would-be contributors:

book reviews
movie reviews
website reviews
how-to articles
OxygenJunkie
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Posted 08/04/06 - 3:51 PM:

There goes my hope for the music review... laughing
libertygrl
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Posted 08/04/06 - 5:01 PM:

at this point, i don't know how many people will want to participate on a regular basis, so for now i'd like to offer the flexibility of allowing open submissions on any topic, rather than restricting certain topics to just one person, or assigning topics for people to write on.

so if more than one person submits a music review, that's just fine. or, if you guys want to collaborate with each other on multiple pieces, or do regular features and columns, or episodic pieces, or debates even, that's fine too. the guidelines may change after i put together the first issue and have a better sense of what kind of interest and participation to expect.
smokinpristiformis
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#16 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/05/06 - 2:14 AM:

good insight lib smiling face

let the newsletter form itself... i like it
OxygenJunkie
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#17 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/05/06 - 12:59 PM:

Oh trust me, I had no intention to imply any topic should be limited to an author. The Newsletter woll take form over time. In any event, it should prove a very interesting experience. smiling face
e.
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/07/06 - 6:24 AM:

Hi folks,

My 2p would be that whatever it is it should be fun.

I was writing a monthly article for a psychology magazine up until 3 months ago, when I ran dry. I started dreading the deadlines and just packed it in.

Nice and easy is my suggestion. Best of luck!

Cheers, e nod
IammyaspectofUs
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Posted 08/09/06 - 2:03 PM:

Sounds like “the people” are excited about building participation in this.

I think Oxy is right about the benefits of continuity and that a few regulars could offer it.

I sure like that revolving idea though.

I heard a writer once say that he found it easiest to maintain his own attention and promote his own enthusiasm when he was writing to “park on the down hill” as he put it.

Leave himself in a cliffhanger, or to never come up with a good ending as he left the table each day. Always leave himself wondering what happens next so that he could just start again the next day with imagination and anticipation. On the flip side of that the permanent author could offer something of that to the reader as continuity.

Liberty girl wrote: we could call the newsletter “the couch forum newsletter”, but I’d love to hear your suggestions for a better title. I’ve always been partial to the title “inklings” but maybe we could put some suggestions together for a title and vote on it.

Here are some of my ideas for either Newsletter titles or just for titles within it.

“Inklings,

and other stains lifted from the couch”


"Between the Cushions"

"Turning the Cushions" - A look at upcoming editions or ideas

"Fluffing the Pillows" - Admins update on forum issues

"Lost Pocket Treasures
from The Couch" - Old revised postings or topic gems

"Tails On The Couch" - This could be an article that profiles a member using a collaborating regular author and that member to write it. We could have it be understood that the information is either factual, completely fabricated or something of the two. It could really be a place of imagination and extreme character elaboration that is fun if handled respectfully. What do we want to show each other of ourselves if anything?

“The Coffee Table News" community article?

"Notable Ass Printings on the Couch
from the people that made them" - Democratically nominated subjects and authors about things the greater forum would like elaboration on or just like to hear in this format for any other reason. Like what smokinpristiformis had suggested.

Maybe we could have more discussion about what we want to achieve, (get out of) the newsletter that we don't already get from the forum. What are the distinctions between the two that we could define and benefit from in the defining of them?
Basically discuss the intentions that will frame the possibilities of what is to come forth from the newsletter.

I ask about this because we already have conversations about things in the forum, are we to just expand the page location on what we already have and have that page solidify as permanent or is there to be a more focused intention as to a goal of product. I guesse articles are a more permanent and a one-way voice to read.

What if we request topics of each other and democratically. I think this could create al lot of extra depth for the participants that we normally may not achieve in more casual conversation. A way of prying a bit possibly but a person could always decline a request too.

I really like that revolving author idea We could vote for a regular to spotlight for the quarter in a column, then take nominations of what "we" would like that person to write about, and vote on that. The luminary would also have a nomination and vote for their topic too, it could be fun.

Lib wrote: some more ideas for would-be contributors:

book reviews
movie reviews
website reviews
how-to articles

I think this revolving author idea could make these articles to anticipate reading each quarter too. Maybe after a while the columns could settle down with regular authors that fit the column well. I don’t know I am just playing around with this revolving idea

I like that idea about revolving author for a column using new people, wow that could really in effect offer new people an interesting voice that they wouldn’t get anywhere else! How would that look? Sounds hard to facilitate within a quarterly but anyone got any ideas how to make that work or something of that effect? What would be a good parameter topic for that column that most people could handle easily? I really like the hero thing. It may be a good way to promote growth.
I am also intrigued about playing with part of the letter democratically, maybe that could happen with an understanding that lib is Cesar and allowing a sudo-governmet action as a source of amusement for her grace that allows for the community to have a creativity and a possible hand to guild it when necessary, An experiment if you will. No pressure, I too think the newsletter at this point is a thing of possibilities that should be treated with respect to libs wishes, as it is her site that we attend. I’m just playing around with the ideas.

I think an important aspect to consider when thinking about the possibilities of the newsletter is to maintain the ease of Libs need to maintain arranged relationships in relation to the newsletter contributors.
libertygrl
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Posted 08/09/06 - 2:30 PM:

Iammy wrote:
"Notable Ass Printings on the Couch
from the people that made them"

lol!

i like the coffee table news, or we could even just call it "the coffee table". that one's got my vote thumb upthumb upthumb up

maintaining arranged relationships? you lost me there, iammy. the only thing i'll be maintaining really is the layout, and that's just for the first issue. if other people want to volunteer on the layout for future issues, i'd love to be able to alternate or rotate layout persons so we get some variety in style.

i'll also be checking the spelling, grammar and word count. otherwise i'm pretty much open to whatever people want to submit. i appreciate ambition as much as the next person but i also know that expectations that are too high can have a tendency to squelch inspiration when it comes to actually producing something. i'm not aiming to publish newsweek here. like e. said, i just want to have fun with it. limit 2 submissions per person for the first issue, that's all i ask.

smiling facelib

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#21 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/09/06 - 2:44 PM:

"The Ottoman"

Along the same line
but I like the coffee table becuase theres always something to read on the coffee table.

Hey UKers, what do you have in front of your couches?

OxygenJunkie
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#22 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/10/06 - 9:25 PM:

If I may be so bold...

I think we need a name for the actual journal. I find nothing is more boring and uncreative as a site (or anything) that starts a newsletter or journal and just calls it "The (such and such place) official journal" or whatever.

This is the place for the armchair philosopher right? Why not call it:

"Armchair philosophers" (Title, bold and big!)

-the official quarterly of The Couch forums- (sub-title, smaller font))
IammyaspectofUs
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Posted 08/10/06 - 10:06 PM:

you look good bold

So "The Armchair Philosophers Coffee Table Journal" ?

Opinions?
libertygrl
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/10/06 - 10:32 PM:

OxygenJunkie wrote:
Why not call it:

"Armchair philosophers" (Title, bold and big!)

-the official quarterly of The Couch forums- (sub-title, smaller font))

sounds good, but the only problem i have with that title is that the couch is as much about art as it is about philosophy, so i would like the same to be true of the newsletter. we'll take a vote on the title though; those are just my thoughts. i still like the sound of "the coffee table" myself.
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#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/11/06 - 2:50 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

sounds good, but the only problem i have with that title is that the couch is as much about art as it is about philosophy, so i would like the same to be true of the newsletter. we'll take a vote on the title though; those are just my thoughts. i still like the sound of "the coffee table" myself.


Hi folks,

Yep, that has a nice relaxed feel. There was an episode of Seinfeld in which Kramer got a publishing deal with a coffe table book which was actually shaped like a coffee table, and had little fold out legs. It would be really cool if there was an image of a coffee table with magazines on it, and you could maybe click on a mag to open it. I'm getting carried away!

Cheers, e smiling face
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