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July 24, 2014

In January the Amphora editorial board enjoyed a spirited conversation about the future of footnotes. Will they become—have they perhaps already become—the "slide rules of the humanities," legendary, nostalgia-evoking, but outdated, tools?

The world in which footnotes vanish, having been fully supplanted by links, mouse-overs, pop-ups, and the like, is that not-so-distant future world in which print has been replaced by all the various forms of digital communication that surround us today—and probably by many forms that most of us cannot yet imagine. But that day has not yet come. That Amphora would continue to publish a print version alongside its new presence in the APA blog and soon-to-emerge increased visibility on the APA website is not a choice the editorial board made without considerable conversation and thought. Put very simply, the argument for keeping the print version was that the editorial board wanted Amphora to remain a physical presence that is easy "for us to share, and for others to pass along to their friends." That Amphora should be easily shared and re-shared is a sentiment that all of us on the editorial board warmly embrace.

Sharing and passing along our interest in all things classical is, of course, the heart of outreach. Furthermore, the easy sharing and re-sharing of information is also the distinguishing feature of the much-touted socialization of the web. As Amphora grows into its new also-digital self, all the members of the association will have new ways to share and pass along our outreach magazine. And, importantly, we'll have more ways, and, arguably, more responsibilities, to "do outreach," if you will. As Ellen Bauerle has noted elsewhere, every APA member's social media feed can become an outreach vehicle. Every time we share something at once classical and relevant to the modern world in our feed, our friends in other walks of life see it. Recommending an article on the APA website to a like-minded but differently employed friend is an important way that we can all do outreach. When we hear an interesting new perspective on a classical topic, we can do some outreach by passing on the speaker or author's name to the Amphora editors or one of the APA blog editors. The APA blog, Amphora, and all of our association's electronic outreach initiatives give APA members more ways to show that classics is part of our personality, daily lives, and worldview. By sharing classical links outside the academy, off campus, and in the same places where we celebrate all that is interesting, relevant, important, and fun in life we let classics bask in the same light as the other facets of our nonacademic selves.

And just as "sharing" classics can be the result of a "post," or something as simple as handing on the traditional paper Amphora, so we have new opportunities to "like" (or "plus" or "Thumbs up," etc.), the work of others. As we were reminded many times at the APA/AIA joint colloquium called “Getting Started with Digital Classics” at our recent Chicago meeting, some of our best ideas come from cooperating with folks from other disciplines. Methods of "liking" ideas in other fields can include, among other activities, attending some science or business symposia and meetings. Showing interest in the work of others is one way to invite others to venture into classical things. When we show that we, as nonexperts, are truly interested in the work of researchers in other fields, we invite them into ours. For example, I frequently attend drama and theatre conferences, tagging along with my wife, who happens to work in that field. At these meetings, I never fail to meet nonclassicists with wonderful ideas about classics (at least one of whom has since published a piece in Amphora). Likewise, when wearing my business-development hat, I attend meetings about marketing and leadership. At almost every such meeting, I meet at least one person who is busy applying something classical to modern sales and business. Those meetings are an opportunity for me to hear a fresh perspective, and an opportunity for me to mention the APA and Amphora. And of course, I sometimes ask my new friend to submit something to Amphora.

Ellen Bauerle, the editorial board, and I hope that Amphora, on the web and by the hand, will be for all members an important part of our daily "sharing" and "liking" outreach activity.

Dr. Wells Hansen, Assistant Editor
Ridgeland Research