By Lance Winslow
There appears to be some serious debate these days as to what an Ezine is. Most people simply call it an Electronic Magazine and in fact this is the definition that appears in the back of many Books and eBooks on the subject.
Unfortunately electronic magazine is too simple a definition and many people believe and Ezine is a newsletter or magazine, which is sent out via email. You can see how this debate got started and how those who specialize in Ezine Publishing or distribute content to Ezines are concerned about it.
Nevertheless, I think absolute definitions are not smart to use because the Ezine Format is still evolving. Some Ezines are in both Print and Electronic. Some are sent by email, or on a computer system and then printed and distributed. Some are printed, scanned and then emailed.
So in this case a Printed Work becomes an Ezine when it is mass sent by email even if at the time it may not have been intended during its creation to be distributed in such fashion. It makes sense to be careful with definitions otherwise you box yourself in and miss a potential opportunity in the future as things evolve.
Meanwhile many folks post what they call Ezines on their companies computer networks for those vendors, employees and departments which use a specific intranet system. Even though they call their electronic newsletters and magazines Ezines, they do not fit the most used current definition of the word, as it is used in the real world.
Many Printed Magazines have weekly updates, but do not call their weekly newsletters Ezines, as to not detract from their mainstay or printed version. So, the highly controversial debate rages on.
No matter if you are print publisher, editor or writer or an electronic publisher, editor or writer, chances are with all the cross-overs the definition is much wider than once thought. Consider all this in 2006.