By Dan Shea
Since the last time I wrote Sitrep, two friends have passed on. These were guys who were well-known in our Class III community: Bob Faris, and Kent Lomont. If you haven’t been aware of this, we’ve posted information online for remembrances, and hope to bring you more on them later. Regarding Bob, please look into your back issues of SAR (Volume 11, Number 4, January 2008: and Volume 11, Number 5, February 2008) for our Interview with him. Kent never sat for an Interview; however, we’re working with his family and friends to put some interesting stories together for the readers.
Second quarter 2012: We’ve all been talking a lot lately about the new method of bringing Small Arms Review to you, so I thought I would run through some of the items that are frequently brought up:
1- We know that some of you have dial-up Internet connections, and we’re trying to work on cleaning up the file size so that you have better access. That’s one reason that the articles are text files with thumbnail pictures on the right of the screen. You read the text, then put your cursor on the pics to the right and scroll through them. Likewise, we’re working on the Ipad and Kindle access for those who use these items.
2- We also know that some of you don’t like going on-line to read. We have to balance that with how the majority of our subscribers have asked us to make the archives and past articles available in a searchable format. Thus the compromise between publishing a quarterly magazine, and having weekly article updates and weekly archival updates.
3- For some unknown reason, a number of our subscribers never really go into the website; they go to front pages and look, but don’t access the articles. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the site. Once you sign in, there are hundreds of articles and thousands of archival pictures, manuals, research documents, etc. that are being uploaded.
What do I think the most exciting thing about what we’re doing is? It would have to be the archives, along with our ability to respond to what’s happening today in small arms, as it happens. You can email us with ideas of what you’d like to see in the Archives, or work towards getting your own archival material kept forever online, available for future generations.
The Archive Project is something I’ve wanted to do for many years; start with the massive piles of photos, articles, manuals, research documents, data sheets, etc. that we have at LMO, add in many other libraries, and simply employ people to digitize these archives and make them searchable. That’s why it’s a pay site. Twenty bucks a year. Only ten bucks extra if you subscribe to SAR. That helps pay for getting the work done and making it all searchable. There’s a lot of volunteer work going on as well. Lately, Dolf Goldsmith has been coming over and captioning WWI and other rare machine gun pictures with me. We have other people coming over as well. This all becomes a resource for you, the reader.
So please, if you’re a subscriber, go the extra bit to get the online edition and archives. Up until today in late March, we’ve been open online for about seven weeks, and we’re at 1 million page views. We have almost half of our subscribers online now, actively going inside the archives. We’d like to get the rest of you who can go online, to do so, and then we can continue growing the archives and new content into something truly special and interactive for the small arms community.
We send one email a week to our subscribers, and plan to keep it that way. Once a week, late on Thursday evening, we email you and let you know what articles are in your Friday morning update, what back issue articles are now online, and let you know what to expect on the second weekly update. The following Tuesday is the archive update of photos, manuals, research documents, test reports, manufacturer sheets, etc. So if you’re “Online” with us at www.SmallArmsOfTheWorld.com then remember: Tuesday morning is your research document update, Friday morning is your article update. Of course, if we find something really cool, we’ll put it up as fast as we can.
Thanks for sticking with us on this; it’s a difficult transition into the 21st Century, especially since all of us are bookophiles that love the feel of a real book or magazine. I think the Kindle and Ipad allowing my wife and many of my friends to read their books on airplanes or wherever has helped sway me to this new method, but one thing I know for sure: Once we have this archive really cooking, it will be one of the best resources on the planet for small arms information, and allow our community another solid resource to search or just enjoy. - Dan
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