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Garden Railways Magazine Stands strong.

8959 Views 73 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Les
Ya Know after all the years of this magaizine its still nice to see it show up at the door.
Its nice to have a place you can direct folks to.
This isn't a kiss up because I contribute.
Its the fact that even with rock throwers and all the critics we still have a mag we can call ours.
I to have been disoppointed at times untill I get my focus right and additude ajusted.
Some only worry about getting their "moneys worth".

Do you ever get "your" moneys worth on anything??
Not having the mag is hard to imagine.

So I say thanks to all those who TRY and stick their necks out on the line to keep the magazine going..

Get on with making the Hobby grow.
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I don't see online replacing print magazines anytime in the near future. First, the number aren't there. GR's own web site doesn't get the traffic this one does, and this one--if all the registered users were actively reading the board--would still only be 20% or so of GR's circulation. I'd guess in terms of active users, that number's probably closer to 5% or so. It will be quite some time before those numbers begin to come close to matching. Second, the content would have to change considerably. People get bored quickly if all they do in front of the computer is read. They want videos and interactivity to keep them coming back. The web is such a flexible medium, so content really needs to be catered to take full advantage of that medium. Lastly--and probably most importantly--the revenue stream hasn't been established yet. Even the big media companies are still wrestling with this one. It's got to be economically viable to succeed. If you're paying for contributed content, producing more interactive content in house,(which is inherently more expensive than just words and pictures) and paying for the bandwidth needed to get it to the reader, you need a strong advertising policy in place. The old pay-for-space model doesn't work. Pop-ups get blocked, and people get highly annoyed when they have to click through an advertisement to get to the content they're after. For some reason, it's a lot harder on the psyche to click a "close" button than simply flip past the printed ads.

You can expect to see GR (and every other print magazine) work over the coming years to significantly increase their web product. At this point, the aim is still largely supplemental, with the model being the magazine driving people to the web site more than vice versa.

As for content, I have my three pages every issue, and that's about as much influence as I get. I would like to think that a column called "Garden Railways Basics" would be recognized as being concepts for beginners, so in that light, I'd like to think there's something new for beginners in every issue.


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Bill, no offense at all. I, too, would like to see a bit more content on-line. I know there are efforts underway to do that, but it takes people to create the content, which takes time and money (and people). I'd love to see an easier way to navigate to all the on-line resources that are available. Every time I go to the home page, there's a different article fronting it (including some of my columns), but I have yet to find an index or clickable link to just see what's available. Perhaps in time...

Todd, I can't speak for others, but I write mine first-person because I'm writing about my personal experiences. There's also an inherent difference between a technical document and a magazine article. First person is a lot more conversational.


I think right there you've laid bare an issue that nearly caused me to drop the magazine. Beginners need 'concepts', true. But they quickly progress to needing much more than that. Once a newbie learns about gauge, for instance, what else can one say?

About the very basics, not much, which is why my columns over the recent few years have been geared more towards what I call the "basics of the next steps," things like repainting locomotives, refurbishing old buildings, photography, those kinds of things. At various points, I do go back and revisit the "basic" basics, but the trick is to do so in a way that doesn't get repetitious. The information needs to be repackaged in a new context.

An issue not addressed in the year I've been subscribing deals with 'scales'. To my memory, there never has been a picture or drawing comparing ALL the various scales available in G. I think that issue is a very serious one. And I'm speaking of the mainline gauges, not the various narrow gauges that could be introduced by the occasional article on one of them.

Scale is actually one of the more difficult concepts to explain, for a number of reasons. First, there's the confusion of everything running on the same track which is a huge hurdle for one to get their hands around. Second, there's the fact that prototype trains of one gauge came in different sizes, so while a model may be labeled for one scale, it may serve quite well in another. I'd love for it to be black and white, but it's not. In truth, I could probably write 6 different columns on scale and gauge to fill an entire year's worth of magazines, and still have an audience of vastly confused people come December. It's a lot like geometry. Once it clicks, it all makes perfect sense. But until that point, it's a muddy, incomprehensible mess. Last, you've got to want to understand it. Many people in large scale simply don't have any interest whatsoever in scale. They just want something that looks cool running through the garden (which only perpetuates the first point). But your point is well taken, and given the flack in a similar thread, perhaps it's time to revisit.


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