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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paper

As I've been considering how to recognize our one year "blogiversary" this week I've happened upon the list of traditional anniversary gifts. I note the touch of irony in the first year gift: paper. While we've been producing a year of written offerings, not one of them was offered on the traditional medium of paper. Not one of these posts was created or delivered on paper.

Most of us have heard the question: paper or plastic? And many of us have moved beyond both and try to remember to bring our own cloth or other reusable shopping bag. In the office, the question is more likely to be: paper or electronic? We try to reduce the amount of paper by shifting to electronic files and communication wherever possible. I recently dealt with a smart young woman offering a quote to wash my windows. "We don't do paper. If you need a copy, I'll email you" was her very sensible statement.

I really don't need more paper in my house. It accumulates beyond my capacity to control it! Piles of paper--newspapers, magazines, letters from charities and businesses soliciting my attention, junk mail and advertising flyers threaten my efforts to declutter.

And yet, I do love paper. As a writer I cherish a good pen and a lovely notebook. Even a good old-fashioned scribbler cries out to be filled up with lists, notes, ideas for stories, sermons, lines of poetry. Nothing is more dear--or more menacing--to a writer, than a blank sheet of paper.

I think we still are in a very long transition period between paper and something else. Some of our readers still beg for a paper copy. They want a newsletter, or a paper receipt, or a print copy of something that really only is available (at least for convenience, cost and efficiency) electronically. Does the auditor really need a paper trail for everything? What about the historian? Where will future historians find the stories we tell if they're all stored on some disk, or email archive or lost in the ether of the blogosphere? I believe historians are truly troubled by the question.

But for What's the Good Word, this is the way we'll proceed. Each day, Carman or I will sit down in front of this blank electronic "box" and we'll write a New Post, and hit the word Publish. Our thoughts will vanish from our screen and go out to you, our dear readers. No paper copy, no print version, no collected works or anthologies, just a thought, an idea, a question or a concept from one mind to another.

What will you do with it? It's yours now. Have a good day.

Posted by Marion

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