what newfangled Webs we need...
1993, the Magazine has done a reader survey
after each February issue. Besides asking readers what they think
of that issue in particular and of the Magazine in general,
we include questions about other topics of interest to us and
the Alumni Association. The first time we asked about Internet
usage was in 1995, when 36.9 percent of the respondents (54.5
percent of alumni age 35 or younger) said they were on the Web.
Last year, 73.6 percent were (100 percent of those 35 or younger).
This year may be the last time we ask--it can safely be assumed
that everyone is wired.
an aging Baby Boomer, I compare my Internet usage to that of my
15-year-old and know Iím far behind. I donít enter chat rooms
or have multiple e-mail accounts. I donít listen to CD snippets
on line. But a day that doesnít bring lots of e-mails--with photos,
layouts, or memos attached--is like a day when snail mail brings
only circulars and bills.
youíre like the Magazine staff, the nationís reference
librarians are fast learning the loneliness of the Maytag repairman.
Rather than call the library, we go to the Web. My bookmarked
sites say it all: Academe Today, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online,
the New York Times on the Web, Find a Person, Infoseek,
FedEx Tracking, Amazon.com, the Internet Movie Database. And the
U of C Libraryís electronic reference page (www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/db/ref).
transition from real world to e-world isnít without foul-ups.
Writing the above paragraph, I clicked my mouse, ready to copy
my list of bookmarks. No such luck. The computer froze--not once,
but twice. Caught in the Internetís information overload, I sometimes
turn from computer to dog-eared Rolodex, call the reference librarian,
and get help the pre-Web way, contentedly listening to classical
music when placed on hold.
the Web is here to stay, and the Magazine and the Alumni Associationís
Web sites have recently reinvented themselves to make information
easier to find. Thanks to Web Designer Joy Miller and Associate
Editor Kim Sweet, the Magazineís Web site (www.alumni.uchicago.edu/magazine)
has a new look and more user-friendly features. If thereís something
that would make the Web site more useful for you, please let us
has also helped the Alumni Gateway (www.alumni.uchicago.edu/Gateway/)
get a new look and new services--including a password-protected
online alumni directory. To use it, all you need is the URL (alumnidirectory.uchicago.edu)
and your ID number--conveniently enough, itís the number above
your name on the Magazineís mailing label.
A number of people objected to our decision to publish one particular
letter in the October/99 issue. Written by two alumni, the letter--which
we entitled ďHolocaust as political industryĒ--prompted many responses,
including phone calls, e-mails, and faxes from a dozen alumni.
Four of these letters were published in the December/99 issue
to publish the letter was a difficult decision. Generally, when
the opinions expressed in letters are controversial, it is our
policy to err on the side of free speech. In adhering to that
policy, however, we in no way desire to print letters that promote,
either overtly or in coded language, negative and hurtful stereotypes.
Clearly, this letter failed that test. We erred, and we apologize.