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Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre

Unless you have recently arrived from another planet you cannot have failed to notice the drift - should I say the rush - towards electronic communication technology. The take-up in just the last five years has been phenomenal, everything now seems to be e-this and dot com that. Every product advertised on the TV is accompanied by the website address of the manufacturer, and now there are even mobile phones which allow you to receive emails while on the move (though quite why anyone would actually want to do this is beyond me, though the technology is fun).

Always keen to adapt to changing climates, the European Palm Society is no slouch when it comes to keeping up with the future. The exciting news is that ours is the first Palm Society in the world (and there are many) to go fully on-line. From the current issue, our magazine, 'Chamaerops', is being published on the web. If you don't have a computer or access to the world wide web, don't worry, as we will still be publishing the 'hard copy' of our journal, and your membership will remain unaffected. However, consider the following which are exclusively offered on the net.

Our magazine 'Chamaerops' will be published on the internet every quarter in full and glorious colour. Accessible to all e-members via an individual password, you will be able to save pages and read later, or, more likely, read it on-line. As each issue is superseded it will go into the Chamaerops Archive, where along with ALL back issues (35 to date) it will be fully searchable using keywords. Thus you will be able to look up all references to a particular plant, or, say, all articles by a particular author. We are working on getting all back issues archived and more are being added all the time, though it may be some while before the archive is complete.

Secondly, we will have a palm forum in which all members are invited to join. Make contact with other enthusiasts, ask a question about palm cultivation, and generally chat about our favourite subjects with other members right across Europe and the world. Also we will have a Buy & Sell spot where you will be able to offer,or seek, free of charge, surplus plants, seeds, or anything else palm related. Commercial companies are invited to buy advertizing space too.

There will be a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page where you can find out all about our Society, contact details, membership requirements, information about our get-togethers, etc.

Next, the Palm Shop will be open for business. Here you can buy back issues, badges, T-shirts, Chamaerops binders, etc., at prices that are specially discounted for members.

Finally, we are planning to build up a photographic library by and for members, who are again invited to contribute.

And all this for only £12 (= Euro 20 or US$19.50) per year!

The free Public Area offers a selection of Chamaerops articles to give you an idea of what to expect in the Members' Area. Becoming a member is easy. Get enrolled online within one minute, using our secure, encrypted enrollment service. And for a limited period only, you can access the whole site using the password 'tryout' and login 'chamaerops'. Our website address is of course www.palmsociety.org. Go check it out!

I hope that you will be as excited by this new development as I am and will want to enjoy the benefits of the European Palm Society in the 21st Century.

See you in Cyberspace!


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