A Wider Audience

Voice Card  -  Volume 31  -  John Card Number 12  -  Mon, Apr 4, 1994 12:04 AM

This is a response to VC 31 Drury 5 ("Kudos from a friend")...

Thanks for passing along those kudos, Drury! Actually I've received several interesting responses to my little Wired blurbs. This wee bit of fame is a partial compensation for my lack of fortune (I only get $75/pop from Wired).

Of the most interest to this group are the three, count em, three, unsolicited notes I have received requesting "subscriptions" to Archipelago. The first was from Sweden via the internet. More recently, I have heard from a man in New Jersey and another fellow at some unidentified location out there in cyberspace.

The following snippet is from this third fellow and represents the most interesting response to date:

"I find your description of Archipelago fascinating. You may be working in an area that overlaps with some of my interests - but my thoughts have only just begun to gel. Let me describe where I'm coming from:

First off, I have a longstanding interest in periodicals. There is so much available outside the mainstream stuff that people are unaware of. Lots of fringe rags, special interest pubs, and whole communities operating without notice by others. There are thousands of these things, and a lot are electronic. My inquiry to you about Archipelago was partly driven by my continuing exploration of electronic journals.

Another motivation for me was this idea I have. I'm thinking about setting up a BBS devoted to electronic communication. Not a typical BBS for file suckers or adult GIF images. This would contain, in large part, as wide a collection of electronic publications, journals, etc. as I could build and maintain. (I was looking to see if Archipelago was a possible addition.) In addition, I was thinking about poems, short stories, etc. written by anyone with an interest in seeing their work "published" electronically.

Also, I'm trying to think of a messaging technique for communication between callers of this BBS that somehow goes beyond the usual chat areas that BBS's have. I've been looking for a messaging structure (or paradigm) that tends to favor more intellectual communication. I'm not trying to be snobish about it, I just want to create something that people could grow into, not grow out of. "An electronic village."

Anyway, what you are doing sounds interesting and maybe relevant to my (pipe?) dream. I'd like to take you up on your offer to send me the essay you wrote about founding the group."

I haven't yet got around to responding to this guy but in the meantime I have a question. How do you guys feel about other people reading your voice cards? We all understand (I think) that any written communication like a voice card has the potential of escaping into the wide world and thus into the hands of strangers. But so far we have, by common consensus, enjoyed a certain privacy. I sometimes show certain voice cards to friends and relatives, but so far I have not tried to publish our scribblings abroad.

What do you all think? If someone wanted to publish the last 30 issues of Archipelago, either in paper or electronically, would any of you object? Should we let our countless squirming cats out of the bag?