Will online sites such as ET spell doom for the Titanic society journals


Feb 14, 2011
2,447
32
123
As much as I like the Voyage and Titanic Commutator journals, there is no denying that Titanic buffs and writers have defected enmass to the internet to online Titanic websites-

As a sourse for Titanic information, the published journals cannot compete with the volume of information and online sites such as ET, Andrew's Titanic site and the Titanic modelers site .
Plus EVERYONE has a voice online, wheras Titanic 'politics' will result in censorship of some who wish to publish in the printed Titanic journals.
Whats do the societies offer that the online sites lack, and vise versa?
But there is something to be said for having a tangible journal to hold in your hands, and add to your collection.
Do you all feel the Titanic societies and thier published journalswill be here for years, or will they gradually die out, as everone jumps online?
I can see a time when some of the Titanic groups will switch to an e-zine format..


regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

John Clifford

Member
Mar 30, 1997
1,691
22
311
57
Hi Tarn.

As much as we may enjoy reading various articles on-line, there is a certain pleasure in receiving a quarterly publication that includes articles that may or may not appear on-line.
This is especially true when an author may choose not to post or publish on-line.
When was the last time an article was posted on-line, from Titanic authors such as Don Lynch or Paul Louden-Brown?

Also, a member of one of the survivors' families may not wish to submit an article to an on-line forum, especially if they worry about possible theft of their work.
As I am not an attorney, I cannot advise on what can be done to prevent such a practice, even if the article is clearly stated as being written by a particluar individual, nor the implications if an article includes an author's work (listing their names as sources, or acknowledging permission of said author) and is later taken by another.

I think that the internet will allow a greater sharing of ideas, and submission of articles.
However, as we saw from a recent posting on this site, such articles spur debates, the likes of which may not be desired by various authors.

The various Titanic journals will probably last as long as the sponsoring societies do, IMHO.
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
14
221
"Defected enmass"? I'm not sure about that Tarn.
I really don't know if any of the societies have been having member problems.

I know many of us who follow things both online, and the hardcopy journals. Some of us choose to publish both ways. There are advantages to each.

In my experience, I can see either. Online has the advantage of a lot quicker 'publication' - and IMO, I seem to get a finished product a lot closer to what I wanted/planned, than the paper versions.

But I can't deny, there is a feeling of 'permancy' associated with publishing thru one of the societies, that publishing online just doesn't hold. I *like* seeing my name on an article in a paper magazine or book!

And there is an actual permanence to the societies journals. For example, some of the old timers here might remember Bill Walden (the other BW). Bill had a great site which went into great detail on the German Titanic movie. Unfortunately, Bill died - and his site is gone too. Unless someone saved it all off, his work and research is gone too.

We have other people like Bill - who keep a lot of great information on their websites. But if something happens to them - all that information is gone!

Which brings up the subject - Phil Hind - is ET listed in your will? Who will keep ET up if you're gone?
 

Steven Hall

Member
Dec 17, 2008
648
10
113
"For example, some of the old timers here might remember Bill Walden (the other BW). Bill had a great site which went into great detail on the German Titanic movie."
- - - - - -
Now there was a gentleman indeed. When he passed away I felt much sadness.

Bill (Wormstedt) I believe you can still get the site by going through the "wayback machine". The old URL can still be found for Bill's site by searching the GOOGLE (Deja) archives.

Steve
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
692
483
Easley South Carolina
I wasn't aware of any mass defection to websites from any of the societies, and in the long haul, I don't think we'll ever see any such. Websites...even the largest ones...can be pretty fragile. Here one day and gone tomorrow such as Diane Law's Titanic Picture Palace. There's a certain advantage to having printed hardcopy at one's beck and call, not the least of which is that they're immune to computer viruses which can trash a website and they tend to endure whereas websites can vanish without warning. The books and publications also work when the power goes out.

I tend to think of the websites, mailing lists and forums as an additional way to bring the community of Titanic and liner buffs and researchers together, but they're no substitute for any of the societies and their publications.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
5,045
318
353
I think that if there has been a fall in membership of the societies it is due to the loss of members who were inspired to join by Cameron's flick. I understand that was certainly the case in this country. (The Land Down Under)

Notice the near extinction of the Titanic newsgroup. When the movie was about, it had 100 or so messages per day.
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,473
7
233
I think online sites, especially ET, can only help the societies. If an organization like
BTS, TI, THS, etc... choses to post an article on ET, it is good representation of their work.
It can only help to show what the society has to offer. Or simply, it is free advertising. Word of mouth doesn't seem to do it anymore. ET, which is the largest repository online, keeps the Titanic 'alive' on a daily basis. I think it would be mutually beneficial for a society to share what is in it's archives with ET for those reasons.
 

Bob Read

Member
Mar 3, 2002
393
7
171
THS has been around for 41 years. Let's talk after any of the online sites reaches 20 years.
The main thing THS has going for it is an organizational structure and an actual dues paying membership. Also online sites have public foodfights which can be hard to control. If THS has them, they are behind the scenes and don't do as much damage. Most of the online sites haven't achieved that level of stability.
We'll just have to see.
 

Lee Gilliland

Member
Feb 14, 2003
511
9
171
quote:

Also online sites have public foodfights which can be hard to control. If THS has them, they are behind the scenes and don't do as much damage. Most of the online sites haven't achieved that level of stability.

Agreed, and one of the nice things about the journals is, as they appear more of a scholarly because of the form, people are a lot more unlikely to be rash. Writing an article requires a lot more contemplation merely because there is a certain formality about a magazine. I mean yes, the internecine warfare may continue, but it's definitively reduced by certain formats. Books impose a similar stricture as well.​
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
60
308
Print journals and on-line sites can complement each other very well without the latter supplanting the former.

The hobbyist magazines and society journals themselves fulfill different niches and have different styles - some are more formal, providing scope for a more comprehensive development of an argument or research piece, other magazines tend to be more accessible to members who wish to share their love of the subject but have not undertaken comprehensive research - these tend to be more chatty and orientated towards briefer 'titbits' with the odd longer, more comprehensive piece. Yet another journal, clearly influenced by the background of its editor, had a good deal in common with newspaper format, complete with news pieces and more fully researched and presented feature-type articles.

Some sites - such as ET and Andy's 'Titanic Titanic' - have pioneered the quality of the on-line Titanic articles, in terms of layout, originality etc. There is also provision in these sites for more immediate, and possibly dynamic, interaction and exchange of ideas. Unfortunately, such spontenaity, often coupled with anonymity, has a down side as well - either through genuine misunderstandings or other motives, discussions can deteriorate quickly in a way they wouldn't through a letters column or face to face.

As much as active participants might think that *everyone* has access to the internet, that is not yet true. I've sat for hours at Conventions chatting to members who don't know and couldn't care less about the activity that takes place on-line - their participation in the Titanic community is through the Societies, their journals and their conventions and meetings. Tarn certainly has a point about the democracy of accessibility on-line, but not all people who lurk feel comfortable enough to post, or desire to do so - there are tremendous numbers of lurkers out there who, for various reasons, read but do not post.

The net is a great tool and has its place - it has facilitated great leaps forward in communication between people interested in this subject and accessibility to resources. On-line articles, archive catalogues and data sources are invaluable. But I view them as being componants of the Titanic community, of which the Societies and their print journals are also a vital part. I may be a troglodyte, but as much as I enjoy participating on the net, I still get a buzz when the latest Commutator or ADB arrives in the post, and they sit happily beside the maritime books on my shelves.
 
Jan 5, 2001
2,299
128
258
Hi!

I have to agree with much of what Inger has said, as she has made many points that I would have put forward, but phrased them far better than me.

Somehow magazines do have a much greater sense of permanence, whereas websites can indeed simply vanish. Bill W. has raised some valid points with regard to research that has simply vanished, although the developments that are taking place with regard to archiving websites 'as at' various dates are commendable.

I do think it's fair to say that a lot more information can be made available online regardless of space limitations -- for instance, while I have many thick A4 folders crammed with research material, as well as a host of A3 and A2 size envelopes with copies of various papers, surely this website would take up a whole room if each and every page was printed? The same can be said for shelves groaning with books. After an initial phase where I wanted to acquire 'every' new book, now I am busy scaling down my collection and being very selective in the books that stay in my shelves. If nothing else, money is also a consideration with the price of many books these days. (Not that I am complaining!)

I don't think that the internet will replace societies as such, even if the internet has been growing in importance in recent years, but it's certainly true to say that they compliment each other.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
14
221
One fantasy I've had - that some day, some enterprising soul will take the best of the 'fan-based' online articles, and publish them in book form. I've seen it done for Star Trek. And there was a compilation book about Titanic done a few years ago. I recall it had excerpts done from Beesley, Gracie, Butler and more.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
60
308
Sounds like a great idea, Bill - a collection of Titanic essays, opinion pieces, research...There are few good books along those lines. Walter Lord's TNLO is more in the line of a collection of papers than a single narrative. It's quite common in other areas of history - one of my favourite books on the Amarna period is a collection of papers dealing with different areas of study (religion, architecture, the royal family) and contributed by historians with different areas of expertise. There are occasional contradictions within the text (historians differ as to whether Nefertiti or Anksenamen was the author of a particular letter to the Hittite king), but it makes for a fascinating compilation of perpspectives and interpretations.

A 'Best of ET' would be great. I'd also like to see articles from the magazines anthologised as well, as often happens in print.
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
14
221
Exactly, Inger!

That's the kind of book I would definitely buy.

"Best of ET"? Who gets to choose? :)

But I would like to see things from personal web-sites too. Bill Walden's would have been great - but I suspect it's too late now.
 
Dec 8, 2000
1,286
6
223
Bill, unfortunately the Internet Way Back Machine doesn't capture all of Bill Walden's site. Just enough to whet the appetite, all the more cause for regret for what's gone in such a transient medium.

I agree with the comments that net sites and the societies are complimentary. While there might be a degree of duplication in some instances, both have a role in Titanica debate. As a minor example, I would never have found my way to the BTS or Irish Titanic Society without the net. There's also considerable material available through the various society publications that isn't available in any other form, as well as services some societies offer to members.

Dave G's comments re the surge in interest circa Cameron are all too true, but the newsgroup and discussion lists are still out there. Even though relatively quiet now, they existed before Cameron and will continue to exist after Cameron. How many people saw Cameron's film, hit the net for further info and are still here, on TT, on the discussion lists or signed up to various societies after being caught by the Titanic bug from 1997 onwards. Quite a few I would imagine.
happy.gif


Likewise, I note that ET has been online since 1996, so a tenth anniversary is rapidly approaching. Not into multiple decades by any means yet, but not a bad effort in context either. I know that the newsgroup and some discussion groups predate ET too.

(Bill, are you referring to The Titanic (Reader), edited by John Wilson Foster or The Mammoth Book of How it Happened: Titanic, edited by Geoff Tibballs? Both are triffic reads, particularly for those who might not have direct access to all the works excerpted from.)
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,384
14
221
Fiona -

I'm a lot like you. Joining the THS in 1988 got me a certain way in, but finding the internet Titanic Community in 1995 got me introduced to a lot more - different organizations, a bunch of people, and traveling around the US to various get-togethers. Hey, we even had a get-together last summer in the California desert!

As to the book I saw, it must have been "The Titanic Reader". I didn't buy it, as I had most of the pieces in their original books
 
Feb 14, 2011
2,447
32
123
The societies do succeed in making Titanic a community thing, with thier respective gatherings and conventions, but it could be argued that message boards such as the Titanic Modeler's site, Andrew's site, the Titanic lists, and ET's message board make it even more immediate and personal.
With much of our daily communication shifting online to email, Im wondering how future historians will be able to interpret our time without benifit of a paper trail.
Im glad to be in TI (joined in 89'); I was in THS (joined in 83' but was kicked out in 98'), and am a daily participant on ET.
More and more magazines and journals are gone to an online format- i used to write for a music fanzine, "The Doors Collectors Magazine", and they switched to an all e-zine format in 99', a common trend among fanzines.


regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

Similar threads

Similar threads