I was thumbing through my favorite anthology, Maine Speaks, and I got to wondering how Maine authors of the past would have reacted to the Internet. It's hard to imagine Longfellow, for example, with his own MySpace page. On the other hand, you know that the ultra-theatrical Edna St. Vincent Millay would have adored YouTube. How about E.B. White? I can't quite picture the author of The Elements of Style blogging at all hours of the day and night, but maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. White's literary descendants at the New Yorker have managed to go online without incident.
And so, too, have your friends at Down East.
It's my distinct pleasure this month to introduce you to the new . We've had an online version of this magazine at that Web address for a while. What we haven't had, until now, is a Web site that takes full advantage of all the capabilities of the Internet. Video tours; music mp3s; photo galleries of Maine's most beautiful places from its top photographers; online quizzes and contests; blogs by some of the state's most provocative and entertaining writers, including Al Diamon, Bill Roorbach, and Kathy Gunst; information on shopping, travel, and real estate; weather forecasts; excerpts from Down East books - that's the new . In essence, we've taken everything you like about Down East magazine and made it new for the World Wide Web.
Forgive me if I sound like Steve Jobs, but here's the coolest part: ultimately belongs to you. This Web site is a place for you to comment on stories and share your advice about living and traveling in Maine. It's also a spot for you to post your own Maine photographs alongside those of Down East's Brian Vanden Brink and Lynn Karlin. We hope it becomes your home page, in all senses of that phrase.
So you can now venture Down East on a daily or a monthly basis, however you prefer. We hope you'll stop by soon and pay us a visit. You'll find me blogging - along with my fellow editors - at a section dubbed "NxE," after our longtime magazine department North by East. In response to my very first post, one commenter graciously responded: "To quote the Firesign Theater, 'Welcome to the future. Glad to see you made it.' " That's how we feel. And in the nick of time, too.