With this Winter, 2014, edition of the Promenader we are transitioning
from a “hard-copy” print publication to an online format,
perpetuating a valuable news source that has been in existence since
1962. Our online presence will be as part of the website of the
Rochester Area Federation of Round and Square Dance Clubs (RAF) at
The immediate catalyst for this change is the fact that the former editors, Betty and Andy Ludwick, were unable to continue producing the print version, with no one available to take over the editorial duties in that format. But this change is also an inescapable shift reflecting the way communication happens in our world today.
Over the past several years we have been steadily enlarging our use of the Internet. All of our copy is already received from reporters electronically, via email. Our section editing and proofreading likewise happen through email messaging. And we have been sending the completed pages to the commercial printer in electronic form. Only the printed copies sent to readers by U.S. mail existed in hard-copy form.
Meanwhile, the RAF website (squaredancingrochester.org) has been updated in recent years to make available online more of the information traditionally found in the printed Promenader.
So, our becoming an online publication is not so much a “change” as it is a next step in the direction that we were already moving.
This past summer, when it looked like the Promenader might not continue at all past Betty’s and Andy’s departure, a group of interested dancers got together to consider what it would take to make this transition, and to take the first steps to bring it about. Since then, Betty and Andy have provided graphic design and the web site has been re-engineered to accommodate the Promenader look and news content.
We hope the finished result will please readers and viewers and remind them of the former printed version, while greatly broadening the horizons of what we can communicate to dancers and the general public about our dancing world.
As to organizational changes, a three-person committee that is more closely linked to the RAF will oversee Promenader activities, while the existing staff of dedicated section editors and proofreaders will remain in place to continue publishing ePromenader content. Peter Emmel will act as Interim Editor of the online Promenader until a more permanent volunteer is on board. The Promenader email address (email@example.com) will also continue. And, of course we still depend on the conscientious corps of Club Reporters who submit news and information in time for each issue.
The publication cycle will remain quarterly at least until we get the format settled, at which time we will consult with readers, reporters and staff to review that policy and determine whether it should be changed.
An important consideration from the start has been to preserve our connection with readers who do NOT have access to an electronic edition and therefore need a paper copy. All sections of the new ePromenader are easily printable from most computers and tablets, and (along with several club presidents) Peter Emmel has agreed to make hardcopy arrangements for anyone who needs them. (Contact him by leaving a voice or text message at 585-732-1004 or writing to him at 24 High Hill Drive, Pittsford, NY 14534.)
For further details related to the paper-to-electronic transition and how the “ePromenader” comes together, please refer to a separate article of “Frequently Asked Questions” elsewhere in this issue.
The new format won’t be perfect. We welcome constructive feedback from readers. Our top priorities are to make the content complete and accurate and as accessible as we can. But in order to get it on-line in a recognizable "Promenader" style by December 1, we have had to make numerous choices and compromises. With patience and feedback, the format will evolve to serve the needs of the dancing community.
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the word "FEEDBACK" in the subject line so that it will not be ignored.
Betty & Andy, December 1, 2014