A bit of Oberlin history was made this past April with the publication ofOberlin on Oberlin, this campus' first exclusively on-line magazine, or "webzine".
In order to increase and encourage discussion on the web, OOO (rhymes with "shoe") has recently added a discussion forum where readers can post their ideas. The staff hopes that in the future it can become a place for genuine discussion and information.
"It's a place for anyone that has an opinion to voice it," Seth Grossman, a junior, said.
Part of the reason OOO was created is that the writers said they feel that there is not sufficient space for significant discussion on the Oberlin campus. The creators said that they believe print media is cumbersome because of the time, money, and labor resources that must go into it. Although the forum is not real-time, discussions can be carried out much faster due to the nature of electronic media. They would like to see it branch out as more people are on-line,and to try new things with it.
"I really don't think people see the possibilities of the web," sophomore David Rothschild said.
According to originator junior Ed Lewis, one purpose of the magazine is to foster discussion in the college community. It is primarily focused on feature articles rather than news articles, and the subject matter is occasionally less than serious. Although it is not strictly a humor publication, Lewis admits that it is sometimes satirical.
"There hasn't been much levity in Oberlin publications," he said.
Another purpose of OOO is to find a part of Oberlin "web culture" and contribute to it. The staff seeks to move the web from the realm of technology to that of genuine culture. According to Rothschild, the web offers a unique opportunity to begin "community-based journalism," which he sees as more interactive and accessible to readers.
The current edition of OOO features stories ranging from illnesses that strike the Oberlin population to toilet, bathrooms and architecture on campus. There have been about 10-12 pieces written for the publication this year, and non-current pieces are archived.
Due to its recently being linked to pages outside of Oberlin, OOO has grown immensely in popularity. This month, only about 17% of its hits came from the Oberlin server. Server statistics show that it is being read from as far away as the Czech Republic.
Oberlin on Oberlin
OOO's new forum
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 8; November 8, 1996
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