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Editor's Corner (#130)

Welcome to the new format for The Geochemical News. A year ago GN moved from its traditional print media format, which was physically mailed to Geochemical Society members, to an all-electronic format of downloadable PDF files. Compared with the print version, the PDF version of GN had the advantages of full color and no printing cost, but it had some disadvantages as well.

One major disadvantage of a PDF newsletter is that people are simply not used to receiving magazines or newspapers as PDF files. Another problem with the PDF format is that there is no particular reason why such an electronic document should be formatted using a traditional 8.5'' x 11" (or A4) page size, which one must scroll through clumsily in both vertical and horizontal directions. Another concern is that visually rich PDF files of 20+ pages can be very large in terms of memory, making the download of such media inconvenient at best, and impractical at worst... especially if one's internet connection is unreliable or of low bandwidth.

It is for these reasons that we have abandoned the downloadable-PDF format and embraced the much more flexible and adaptive environment of the Web. The specific design of the new GN website is really a work in progress. Our immediate plan for the next few months is to completely redesign the Geochemical Society website and integrate what is now GN into the front news page of the GS site. So it's very likely what you see now will not be what you see when you next see it.

So stay tuned, keep reading, and please send us your ideas. At this moment the editors of GN are working with the GS Board to develop fresh ideas for the next incarnation of the GS website. We'd like to build a site that will service the needs of the membership, but to do that well we need to hear from you. What do you want from your Society? What features would be most useful, most informative, and would bring you back to this site again and again?

It's worth repeating that we're always looking for new content, and with this new format we have much more freedom to publish articles that include color images, longer text, and even multimedia files such as movies and audio. We depend - as we always have - on the contributions of the Geochemical Society members for our articles, interviews, announcements, meeting reports, and job postings. Keep them coming.


Johnson R. Haas & Carla Koretsky, Editors