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I'm sorry, if a newspaper can deliver today's paper with today's date then a magazine should be able to deliver this month's issue with this month's date on it... and just think, that all the confusion (you mentioned in your first post) with what issue you are working on would be reduced by, well, one or two months! :)




I was gonna stay out of this, but....

I once was a technical writer until I found honest work. There's a HUGE difference between 'small' hobby magazines like GR and daily newspapers and big-circulation rags like Newsweek. (Though I hear Newsweek is laying off. Something about falling cirulation due to partisan news coverage, or somesuch). Mostly it is staffing. Or, more accurately, the number of staffers (bodies) to get the magazine out. Newsweek has no sweat: they can hire the pick of the yearly journalism crop for mailboys. I don't think MH has that option, over at GR.

Personally, I've never minded slipped delivery dates on 'niche' mags. I think if truth were told, many of 'em are a labor of love on the part of the editor & helpers--both of 'em. I doubt GR has their own printer, I bet they have to get in line at some job printer's to get their magazine out. Perhaps not, with the new technology.

I also can't understand why--besides the anticipation of getting the next month's issue--a hobbyist would be upset if his issue slipped in its printing date. To me, a late issue with excellent content is better than spot-on delivery with mediocre articles.

Another thing I've noticed is the lack of pulp mags, as used to exist in the 60s and 70s. Now, all are 'slicks', even the quarterly ones. That costs more, you realize. I've enjoyed reading my auction-buy of 70's era NMRA Bulletins, pulps every one, but full of good info. (Of course, a few typos, the occasional picture printed backwards, minor stuff I'd gladly put up with to save money and thus be able to buy more of them on different subjects). I don't recall ever seeing a typo in a GR, and I long ago developed the eye for that. I wrote before word processors.

It's human nature to complain. After all, it's free.

Les
 

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Allen,

I didn't write that. It was a 'quote' response to which I replied in essentially the same vein as your post to mine. This board's sofware glitched, somehow. (It had to be, I'm not smart enough to use a computer. So it wasn't me.)

I'm not sure why the cover date is a big deal either.

I believe if you'll go back and look at the post again, you'll see the point I was trying to make. Below the quote.

Les
 

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Allan,

No apologies necessary.

I do wish the lower-circulation mags, at least, would offer online service. I'd be willing to pay--but not at the 'paper rates'. Say, 33% of the present circulation rate, just off the top of my head. Then, for any article I wished to download, I would pay a fee, perhaps in the range of $2-4, less for advertisements. Much less. But there is the occasional adv I'd copy.

Lest those rates seem ruinous to a publisher, look at it from a subscriber's postition: I pay monthly to access a site. To download an article, I pay again. I have to have a color printer, and that printer needs cartridges and paper. Or, I have to have lots of memory available. (But that solves a filing & physical storage problem). I have to have at least DSL. And for all this investment, I want subscription/downloading rates that are appreciably lower than snailmail in the aggregate, even if I elect to download every article in the issue. As an aside, an editor could get his finger on the pulse of what's hot and what's not in realtime, and perhaps chart his path differently.

I'm not sympathetic with the non-computer owners. This is the 21st century. I recognize that a publisher must take into account the percentage of computer usage in his targeted audience. If it is low, then paper is likely the way to go.

But suppose someone wanted to publish online oh, say "Traction Topics". To get it, you have the equipment, or you don't. You pay a reasonable sum, or you don't. I think a mag like that could be done at a profit. I call it a 'slice of the niche' pub. That's where the Web has a great advantage that I don't see being realized.

If I wanted, I could copy pictures off this site (and occasionally I do, always giving the owner notice I've done so lest he object. Never had an objection yet). While I haven't tried, I suspect I could copy posts. Thus, right here, for free (subscription) is a 'subscriber-written' form of magazine. That's why I'm unconvinced publishers really want online pubs. First, I think they're stuck in an economic net, second, I don't think they're flexible enough. Third, I think they're reluctant to change.

Those are my thoughts. The single biggest hardware bottleneck at present is the lack of a good 'reader'. Holding the monitor above my chest while I lie in bed is tiresome at my age.

One thing about an online magazine, there'd be no b*tching about late delivery!


Les
 
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