Should NSS NEWS go digital?

NSS News, other caving publications, and books.

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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Mar 22, 2013 3:37 pm

Extremeophile wrote:There are over 700 issues of the NSS News, 16 years of Speleo Digests, 4 Convention guidebooks, all the ACAs, NSS Bulletins ... all available digitally for NSS members. I can't imagine carting around all those boxes of publications is more convenient then a few mouse clicks.


This is spectacular. What a wonderful resource.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 22, 2013 3:47 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:
Extremeophile wrote:There are over 700 issues of the NSS News, 16 years of Speleo Digests, 4 Convention guidebooks, all the ACAs, NSS Bulletins ... all available digitally for NSS members. I can't imagine carting around all those boxes of publications is more convenient then a few mouse clicks.


This is spectacular. What a wonderful resource.


I agree. I read every single ACA, and a few Speleo Digests. I just wish that more old Guidebooks were available.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Ditto. A couple of cavers I know were instrumental in getting the KIP archive on line, and I for one am grateful for that.

Digital distribution to members is coming soon, and I think it has been long overdue. However like most of you, I also support print publication remaining available for those who want it. For right now, I would enjoy both modes. Digital gets it to me immediately and is more functional with all the traveling I do, but the paper copy still holds some nostalgic and practical (coffee table, loaning to others, etc) appeal. At least for now. Eventually I will have to get rid of over a decade of NSS News, as I simply don't have the ability to store them where they can be easily accessed (except on line!) With print versus digital there would be no difference in cost for me as a life member, although of course now I don't have the luxury of threatening to drop my membership whenever the NSS makes a change I don't like.

PS Derek, thanks a lot for making me choke on my food while reading your earlier post figuratively comparing the NSS News with Playboy.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby mgmills » Mar 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Extremeophile wrote:Here's a trial ... click on the link. NSS Members only. You need to enter your member number and zip code the first time, but then your browser will remember in the future.

https://secure.caves.org/nss-business/publications/NSS_News/2011/December_11.pdf

There are over 700 issues of the NSS News, 16 years of Speleo Digests, 4 Convention guidebooks, all the ACAs, NSS Bulletins ... all available digitally for NSS members. I can't imagine carting around all those boxes of publications is more convenient then a few mouse clicks.

Just to be clear, I am also against elimination of the print edition. It has it's uses. I just find digital versions of publications to be more useful. Most newspaper and magazine subscribers are also finding this to be true.


I went to the link above. It is hard to read in the PDF format. You must scroll up an down to follow the columns. On my computer the font was "funky" and hard to read. Perhaps it is my 3+ year old computer and programs but everyone can't afford a new computer every year and may not be "savvy" about how to "tweak" the views they get on the screen.

I support online being an option and also am told that some online journals look different than the print versions and are easier to read. Due to where I live I have limited internet access so for me at this time print is a more attractive option.

I support offering members options.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby BenS » Mar 23, 2013 10:36 pm

Probably just an outdated version of Adobe Reader that needs to be updated. You can zoom in on the top toolbar where it shows a percentage and there is a dropdown menu. You are forced to scroll no matter what.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby mgmills » Mar 24, 2013 9:11 am

BenS wrote:Probably just an outdated version of Adobe Reader that needs to be updated. You can zoom in on the top toolbar where it shows a percentage and there is a dropdown menu. You are forced to scroll no matter what.


Thanks - I'll try an update. The scrolling however detracts from the enjoyment of reading.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby Extremeophile » Mar 24, 2013 9:33 am

mgmills wrote:
BenS wrote:Probably just an outdated version of Adobe Reader that needs to be updated. You can zoom in on the top toolbar where it shows a percentage and there is a dropdown menu. You are forced to scroll no matter what.


Thanks - I'll try an update. The scrolling however detracts from the enjoyment of reading.

Just like escalators detract from the joy of climbing stairs. :big grin:
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 25, 2013 7:58 am

The point is that digital has problems all its own. It is a viable technology that will nonetheless not meet the technical or cultural needs of many members today.

Like NZ I like digital but want my magazine. For better or worse a PRINT magazine is still a pretty clear indicator of an organizations stature. Printing token hard copies or B&W will solidify the Society as an organization in decline and probably help it fall.

The primary (not only) reason for the push now is money. saving money by going digital while driving membership down by going digital doesn't add up. Instead of 10,000 members for a 12,000 member budget you end up with 8,000 members with a 10,000 member budget (as an example).... with many versions of computers, software, and connection speeds it will work better for some than others especially if we increase length and photos with bigger file sizes. With a sizable portion of people considering the NEWS as their primary (if not only) reason for membership, making it harder or less convenient for people to enjoy doesnt make sense.

Having them pay extra for print is an option, but if dues + Print = higher out of pocket, then again...you have a 8,000 member society on a 10,000 member budget and have accomplished nothing but losing members.

I am admittedly biased, I joined the NSS and eventually bought a LIfe Membership for 1 reason...The NEWS. Cave Conservancies do a better job at everything else important to me with respect to caving IMHO.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 25, 2013 1:50 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:I am admittedly biased, I joined the NSS and eventually bought a LIfe Membership for 1 reason...The NEWS.

Interesting. I've heard others say the same thing, but not me. After much deliberation I decided to do the life member thing a couple of years ago as a personal commitment to the NSS. It was also my own small way of counteracting the negative vibes of membership losses, WNS policies, NSS headquarters naysayers, and other grumblings. Of course this doesn't stop my occasional grumblings, but now I can't threaten to drop my membership on a whim every time I disagree with something. :big grin:
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 26, 2013 5:14 pm

Certainly there are lots of motivators for people to join the NSS. We have members I am sure who have never set foot in a cave or who haven't actually read the NEWS in over a year. But there are probably enough people for whom the NEWS is the primary reason to make messing with it precarious.

I almost certainly would have dropped my membership by now if I was paying yearly. Of course since being a NSS member and being absent during the yearly election meeting is a requirement for our Grotto Officers, I might still drop it just to be safe if I miss the meeting :big grin:
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 26, 2013 5:22 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:Of course since being a NSS member and being absent during the yearly election meeting is a requirement for our Grotto Officers... :big grin:

Et tu, Todd? :big grin:
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 27, 2013 6:43 pm

I have so far managed to be present at the election meetings and thus avoided that fate :)
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby Extremeophile » Mar 27, 2013 9:56 pm

Some people are content to criticize others without taking any personal responsibility. But then some are more skilled at recognizing faults than in creating solutions.
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby Mike Warshauer » Mar 29, 2013 6:49 am

I'm pleased that digital NSS publications, in particular, the NEWS, are being seriously discussed. I brought up this idea about 4 years ago but it was generally rejected. I live in western central Mexico, and I would be interested in rejoining the NSS if publications, notably the NEWS, were available without exorbitant mailing fees.

I'm not sure if it has been already been pointed out that a digital publication does not have to be emailed to the recipient. All that is necessary is to send a link in an email to members that "the (date) NSS is now available at (link)". Click click. No big deal.

About the supposed size and slowness of digital files delivery: we are in a rural area of Michoacán and depend on a relatively slow microwave system of Internet. Somehow I have adapted to this and fairly regularly download PDF files, including some grotto pubs. Remember, once the download starts, you don't actually have to sit there watching the progress bar creep across the screen. You can do something else while the file downloads in the background. IMO, it's time to break free of outdated concepts and enter the Digital Era. Those who want to receive print copies should be able to do so, while the option still exists.

To me the digital pubs mean that I can get them here in the campo ranchero of Michoacán, México and be assured of timely delivery. And, no more torn covers; no water stains; plus I can feel good about helping to save some trees from the pulp mill.

Saludos,
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Re: Should NSS NEWS go digital?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Mar 29, 2013 8:51 am

Mike Warshauer wrote:I'm pleased that digital NSS publications, in particular, the NEWS, are being seriously discussed. I brought up this idea about 4 years ago but it was generally rejected. I live in western central Mexico, and I would be interested in rejoining the NSS if publications, notably the NEWS, were available without exorbitant mailing fees.

I remember both of us being involved in that discussion, Mike! Glad to see you're still kickin' it down in the deep, deep south.
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