Interesting discussion of print versus online poetry journals, although I have to say that to me it sounds rather like someone discussing the merits of gramophone records over digital music. Probably because I came of poetry publication age in 2006 and have always and only ever submitted work via email, to online journals.
Electronic submissions are an important element weighing in favor of online journals for me. I believe some print journals do now accept online submissions, but it’s completely amazing to me that many print journals still actually want you to print out your poems on paper, write a cover letter on paper, and mail the lot in a paper envelope using an actual paper stamp! What about all those trees, people?
Beyond that, if I stop and think about it, having poems in a hard copy magazine would be nice-ish, I suppose. But huge areas of my whole life are pretty much paperless now. No paper bank or credit card statements. No paper tax returns. No paper invoices, all my bills are paid online. All my important records are scanned and stored in an easily searchable digital archive. I just got my Kindle 2 and am loving it. (The first commenter on the P&W article above correctly underlines the value of a durable, searchable online archive, versus having to dig through piles and piles of musty paper magazines - assuming you have the room to keep them all around to be searched in the first place.) I move around a lot and want my important stuff to be small, portable and/or easily/always accessible. Online poetry journals are a no-brainer for me. And there are still dozens and dozens of excellent ones out there that I’d like to be published in and haven’t been, so….