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Advertising electronic journals Stevan Harnad 11 Dec 1991 19:35 UTC

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
[Posted with permission of Ken Laws]

> Date: Tue 10 Dec 91 22:55:36-PST
> From: Ken Laws <>
> Subject: Advertising
> You say in your message that advertising is a snap.  I wish I were
> finding it that easy.  Your situation differs from mine in several
> key respects.  First, lists already exist that reach your customer
> base -- and you know how to use those lists, and are not barred by
> commercial concerns.  Second, you have little concern over how many
> people join -- if they do, great; if not, that's their loss.

True, and PSYCOLOQUY has support from Princeton, Rutgers and APA. But
that's precisely because the journal is not commercial, but attempting
to develop and provide a new service to scholars, scientists and
practitioners, one that may eventually help ease the burden on research

> I find that people reading the stream (and other netnews
> streams) are not good prospects.  They already have all the
> mail they can handle, and for free.  I need an Internet list like
> AIList to advertise on, but it no longer exists.  Better yet, I
> need to reach individuals who have net access but don't use it.
> I've contacted several thousand such people, and will eventually
> reach at least ten thousand, but it's no snap.  Even dealing with
> hundreds of bounce messages is a pain, and then I have to "sell"
> all those who respond to my advertising.  The only way to get
> prices down is to bring in many members, and that means that I
> can't be indifferent as to the percentage that joins.

> Life in the commercial world is ... interesting.  -- Ken

Ken, I admire your work and wish you well, but I fear that it is
premature: The potential value of serious journals has not yet been
decisively demonstrated on the net in any field, even though the
potential is there, and huge. I'm not interested in the commercial
sale of scholarly journals on the net, but before that even becomes a
possibility, it must be proved convincingly that the net is not just a
big, free graffiti board. That's what I and others are trying to
do, and it will take time. Until we succeed, "selling" it will be

Stevan Harnad

P.S. May I have permission to post this to the pertinent journal editor
and serials lists? (I've branched it only to a few colleagues with a
close interest in this issue.)

> Yes, you may distribute the post with your interspersed reply.
> But could you add the following P.S.? -- Ken
> P.S.  For those not familiar with the Computists' Communique,
> it is a service to the AI/IS/CS research community.  The associated
> mutual-aid association, Computists International, is structured
> as a for-profit service.  Free delivery of the Communique over
> the NSFnet backbone has been authorized by NSF for a trial period.