Rock Garden Quarterly

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McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

Exciting developments, Ian. Obviously SRGC is moving the same way as NARGS with latest journals online but restricted to members and older ones open. It can only make sense. Good to hear.

As far as internet-only subscriptions there are cost implications which are obviously the only problem. Its OK if only a few of the current membership swap, and great if lots of new people enroll. The snag comes if lots of current members switch. That means the costs of producing a paper journal for the remainder becomes much more expensive per head since the cost overheads are still there however few copies you produce.

Don't think that's a problem when you start out, but it could easily become a problem at some point.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Maggi here, actually, Malcolm.....

Yes, we began some time ago by publishing issues 1 to 113 online and have continued to add more.

As printing and postal costs are rising all the time, it may well happen that the case for paper publishing becomes unsustainable without major changes, if at all. That is a bridge that will have to be crossed but such changes as we are working on now will, we hope, at least mean that there is a way to provide the membership with the services they wish for and expect and also aid in the provision of the wider dissemination of knowledge and information that our constitution calls for.

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

I did wonder if it was you Maggi but didn't like to presume.

You're quite right that costs rise although the cost of printing journals has not risen any faster than inflation for the last 7 or 8 years. That's largely because of improvements in technology which have meant above all that the editor/designer of magazines is doing more work pn such things as layout rather than paying the printer to do it.

I reckon the big issue is that many of the current membership of organizations like ours are older than the average in the general population. They tend, still, to like the printed copies of magazines. But new members, often much younger, are much more inclined to want an online version, either as an extra or, in some cases, instead. It's really a matter of time and serving the particular membership we already have as well as the one we want for the future.

We live in interesting times.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

I think you are right Maggi, I am being a Luddite. That incredible resource of having all the Journals online and available for research, and particularly your comment about Charitable aims, certainly ties in with everything I think such specialised plant Societies should be, and I would be really interested to know the readership of the AGS Website/Forum, especially given the great energy put in by a relatively few who contribute to them. I would also agree very much that ongoing practical information and aspects of growing is important, which presumably is why good blogs generate such committed followings. But I do love the Alpine Journals coming through the door and you can leaf through old copies in a way that isn't quite the same on a computer screen.(And having spent a great deal on both the AGS Encyclopaedia and a back run of the AGS Bulletin, I do use them both a lot).

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Tim wrote:

I think you are right Maggi, I am being a Luddite. That incredible resource of having all the Journals online and available for research, and particularly your comment about Charitable aims, certainly ties in with everything I think such specialised plant Societies should be, and I would be really interested to know the readership of the AGS Website/Forum, especially given the great energy put in by a relatively few who contribute to them. I would also agree very much that ongoing practical information and aspects of growing is important, which presumably is why good blogs generate such committed followings. But I do love the Alpine Journals coming through the door and you can leaf through old copies in a way that isn't quite the same on a computer screen.(And having spent a great deal on both the AGS Encyclopaedia and a back run of the AGS Bulletin, I do use them both a lot).

I spent money on the AGS encyclopaedia as well- though I seldom use it. The very first thing I looked up when I got it had only the plant name with the instruction "see xxxxx" - so I turned to "xxxxx"  only to find the instruction reversed,sending me back to my original  query. It wasn't a good star and I find it full of gaps.
We have a full paper run of both SRGC and AGS journals and they have their uses, of course.
But my eyes have really been opened by seeing  journals,  the IRG and Bulb Log displayed on an i-pad  - the capacity to enlarge text, photos etc is a real boon and what's more,  I have been shown by Ian's example that it is possible to have not one journal, but the whole run of journals, on that reader to take wherever one wishes. Now THAT is something that you'd never manage with the paper versions!  ;)

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

... and that's why we digitized them!!!

Good innit

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

McGregor wrote:

... and that's why we digitized them!!!

Good innit

Good? It's flippin' fantastic! ;) ;D

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

I shall ask my daughter to buy me an ipad for my birthday - I'm pretty much converted!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Tim wrote:

I shall ask my daughter to buy me an ipad for my birthday - I'm pretty much converted!

:D  Good luck Tim - such requests are usually made the other way round are they not?

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Tim wrote:

Whew, change is in the air! I agree very much about being able to view the Quarterly online and those extra photos are really nice to see. But I wouldn't be without my paper copies of the Quarterly, the AGS Journal or SRGC, even though my bookshelves are groaning.

Understandable to be sure, didn't mean to imply I'm for the wholesale digitization of my prized botanical reference collection, but I would gladly move lots of it into a digital format if given the chance.  I too have all kinds of old out-of-print publications that I cherish.  And I do have a fairly extensive run of ARGS/NARGS journals, RHS, AGS, SRGC and a couple dozen others. Even if NARGS goes totally digital on all the past journals, I would probably keep my quarterly publications, as I've gone through the decades with them, they have considerable nostalgic value, including having provided the cover drawings for a couple of them and some articles inside.  I always like getting an extra "author's copy" of the journals, so that I can give one to my Mom (so she can brag about me to her friends) :-[, she's 83 but still does that ;)  But I foresee reducing my burden on my groaning shelves by 25% or more.

The hardest thing to give up would be stacks of old garden catalogs.  My wife tried throwing them out a couple times, in fact, there's still a shopping bag full of them sitting in my basement from her last spring-cleaning as she reclaimed family ownership of one of the household bookshelves ;)  I value the catalogs, as it is often the only place where plant varieties and cultivars are described, and maybe a bit of anecdotal reference information can be gleaned, many of these catalogs predating the digital era.  So I understand first hand just how hard it is to let go, but I'm in a stage in my life where I want to reduce clutter and simplify, so NARGS going digital totally works for me.

By the way, been enjoying the rest of the discussion, thought I'd just jump in on the sentiments expressed above. By the way two, the new Garden Vision Epimediums 2013 catalog arrived today, I still have every GVE catalog since I became hooked on these plants, in fact I keep them on my night table; NOT to be thrown out!

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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