Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stunning Fall Sunsets

We are all moving ever closer to lives anchored in a digital world. Who doesn't send one-line messages to family members on birthdays instead of mailing cheesy cards these days? And a gift is now just a click away - no tape or wrapping paper required.

It's no secret that Facebook (and its social media buddies) can be a real time vacuum. But are we really connecting with each other? 

When something happens to really grab you, what do you do? You want to tell somebody, right? It's human nature to share our stories and our experiences in life. Writers, artists and musicians have been communicating their emotions socially for centuries. The digital world has become a place where lives can connect instantaneously in ways that reach far beyond the keyboard. If you look out the window to see an amazing sunset, for example, the social media black hole can suddenly become a goldmine of images like these.

Last night's sunset was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen - and I wasn't even at the beach! I was sitting at my dining table catching up on a week-long back log of CWO emails and social media posts. When I glanced through the window I caught a blood red glow sinking behind the trees. It took me seconds to post an alert on Facebook about the sunset: Is anyone else seeing this blood red sky??? My page immediately lit up with stunning photographs of the light show.
These three photo's came from Paige Riley's cell phone. Here's what she posted on her Facebook page when I asked if I could share her pics:  

It was quite incredible.. I raced to the beach to catch the end! I wanted that fire! Unfortunately my panoramic pics didn't come out... Share away! The more people get to see that love, the better! Xo
Facebook is a great tool for sharing moments like this, when we all get to experience a glorious Cape Cod sunset, whether you live here or not.

I'm still learning to navigate the online platforms that become more complicated every time I use them. Our children could hold a masters degree in online communications by the time they are 7 years old, while parents and grandparents are left scratching their heads for hours trying to figure out a task a child could complete in seconds. 

Facebook is just one example of how an online business can change to capture the whims of its users. As an online magazine, CapeWomenOnline is also adjusting how we operate in response our readers' feedback. 

In our Spring issue we introduced social media plugins to our website - something several readers had requested - so they can see what's going on on our CWO Facebook and Twitter pages while they peruse the site. As the designer of the magazine, it was my job to build a new layout that incorporated these additions. Once I settled on a design it was then Jane's job to weave her Web Princess magic and bring the whole thing to life. Do you think either of us knew what we were doing? Not a chance! It was all trial and error until we got it right.

This is where online publishing can get really interesting because the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. For a creative mind like mine, which sees ideas in motion before they even exist (Jasper calls this a "visionary" approach to business) it means "If you can see it - you can be it!" How wonderful!

This was the view from Jane's living room last night. Although the image is nothing more than a collection of pixels translated into something we can relate to, the emotion this image evokes is rooted in reality. This is because our minds can't tell the difference between what is real, or what appears to be real. So when we see a spectacular sunset we may feel a sense of awe and gratitude whether we are looking at a photograph or watching it in real time. 

This is where our real and our digital worlds collide - and there can be a balance between the two. As publisher of a digital magazine, I believe we are riding a wave that is taking us into an exciting future where anything is possible. I can't pick up a copy of CWO in the traditional, tangible way, but I can feel its content, respond to its messages and participate in the events that happen offline, where real Cape Women come together to celebrate our rich culture and community.

Like the sunsets that color our skies with breathtaking splashes of yellows, oranges, purples and pinks, our online magazine is a place to share stories that inspire and capture the special moments of our lives. Through articles, poetry, artwork, photographs and letters from our readers, CWO sheds light on the women who live on Cape Cod and invites readers to participate in our vibrant community.

We are so much more than a digital collection of articles and images - we are a conversation that is taking place across multiple media platforms. If you aren't already a part of this conversation, we invite you join us by adding your email to our email list. Subscription is FREE and provides updates on new issues, events and fun gatherings as we support each other's creative and business ventures. One such event is happening this Friday night - it would be great if you could join us! 

Edith Lake Wilkinson is coming back to Provincetown.

Click HERE for details about this fabulous new exhibit at the Larkin Gallery, in Provincetown.

Click HERE to read an article by Jane Anderson, Edith's Great Niece, in the Winter 2013 issue of CapeWomenOnline magazine. 

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