The Slip Trail in the beginning of the organization 50 years ago was the main means of communicating to members. It was a mimeographed and later typed and copied and even later printed communication that came out at various intervals ranging from monthly to quarterly, then last 6 months. There is huge electronic archive that Cricket Appel scanned for us. Viewing them is a worthwhile adventure. Judy Nelson-Moore who has been a recent editor of the The Slip Trail has hard-copies of many years of issues that she is holding for our organization.
The Slip Trail was edited by various people through the years. The bylaws even specify a board position for Slip Trail editor. One of the primary editors over many years was Penne Roberts. She was so instrumental in keeping the organization going that she was given a lifetime membership…along with Judy Richey, who was treasurer for more years that is thought possible. Hopefully in the near future we can have an article on TheSlipTrail.com interviewing them and setting forth their stories which would certainly be interesting.
About 10 or so years ago, members complained of paper use and we started either emailing or mailing according to member’s choice. So many chose email that the cost and trouble of mailing became more than was worth it and we started emailing all issues. This was when Phil Green was editor. Also, about 15 years ago, Judy Nelson-Moore was invited to take over the email list of members who had emails. They started periodic emails. A couple of years later, eNews was started because it was determined all but about 12 people had emails. Now we have only 1 or 2 that don’t have email addresses. ENews became the primary means of communicating short announcements from member to member and from the board to members. The Slip trail became a place for longer articles on topics of interest to members. In the meantime, the internet exploded, information about ceramic art with it. Four years ago when the board voted to convert The Slip Trail to a blog, it was mainly because we were having extreme difficulty getting interesting and sufficient articles for the Slip Trail. What was needed was an editor who could write themselves or cajole others to write articles of significance. No one had the time or inclination, and we suspected that members were not reading the pdf slip trail anyway.
It fell to Judy Nelson-Moore to create TheSlipTrail.com. There were no good tools on our established website nmpotters.org which now handles membership renewal, and registering for things like workshops and the Celebration of Clay. We needed a different website so Judy created the blog using on the same server that hosts claystudiotour.com and celebrationofclay.com. Once again the only reason these are separate from nmpotters.org is because the website tools were simply not there on nmpotters.org.
The idea discussed in the board meeting where we decided to create a blog was that eNews would contain short and short-term announcements (i.e. for sale, wanted, event announcements) and The Slip Trail would contain longer articles of more permanent interest, such as articles about techniques, activities of interest for reading about over time, information about members, and lots of photos. Articles would be published on TheSlipTrail on an as-needed and as-acquired basis. Since people might not think to check the blog regularly, there was to be an announcement in eNews when a new article is published to let the users know when to read thesliptrail.com. We also added a “print” option on the blog in case people wanted a hard-copy.
Leonard Baca, while slip trail editor, started a “Meet the Members” feature to get people more interested in reading eNews. We felt this was something that would also be of interest on a longer term basis, so we also repeated these on the blog in the Meet the Member section.
Read about the submission requirements on the regular website of the NMPCA at www.nmpca.com.