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I definitely appreciated the reviews. Also, you are correct on your analysis of the Sunstone website - it looks about 10 years behind the times and is very difficult to work with. I know that they are running on a shoestring and all, but if they want to bring people in they need to make some dramatic changes.

I would heartily agree with that. I don't wish to be negative, but their website needs an extreme makeover soon. I would suspect that such a website acutally has a negative impact on trying to get new subscribers.

Was there any discussion at the conference about the "graying" of SunStone? How are they going to appeal to a new and younger generation of scholarly Latter-day Saints?

Sometimes I think they let themselves get too far out there in some of the discussions. There is too much of an anti-faith feeling to their topics. Maybe the existing leadership is too battle hardened or too secular to be relevant anymore. Who is interested in a thoroughly secular LDS scholarly group? I wouldn't think it holds much appeal for non-LDS members except as a platform to attack the gospel.

Kevin, I think all of the "alternate" LDS publications are scrambling to make inroads with the "under 40" LDS market. Their difficulty, I think, stems from (1) the fact that younger LDS are oriented toward video and online media, not magazines, journals, or conferences; and (2) the LDS Church has been so successful in its move to the political and religious right that there just aren't many young LDS "open minds" to appeal to.

But there's a real market opportunity here for a conservative version of Sunstone. Or has Meridian Magazine already done that?

Dave, I'm not sure open minds, even with the scare quotes, is quite accurate. I think many people, like myself, have very open minds. I think that a certain segment of papers in both magazines were quite troubling to us. Both magazines have definitely improved of late. They have to. Their main clientele is reaching the age where they'll be dying. But the issue is less open minds than being of that much interest to my generation and younger.

As for Meridian being a conservative Sunstone. Perhaps. I tend to think both have similar flaws with just different biases.

Clark, you seem to be speaking as if I restricted the set of LDS members with "open minds" to those who are Sunstone subscribers, which I did not do (not being a subscriber myself ...). "Open minds" was the most descriptive and least objectionable term I could come up with on five seconds of reflection to describe the set of LDS members who are potential Sunstone subscribers. I think it's a shrinking pool, but it certainly extends well beyond their subscriber base.

If there were a ranked list of the members of that set, Clark, I think you'd be near the top.

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