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Old 07-02-2012, 10:45   #31
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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On the internet everyone is an expert
How is that different from the bar at the boat club?
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:58   #32
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I used to subscribe to cruising world, but their insistent refusal to do anything about boats costing less than about 500k and up just pushed me away. Boat of the year was a joke. Price does matter! How can it be boat of the year when the price is high only about 30 can be sold a year??
I hung on for awhile to read the cruising articles about destinations, but even that became all about odd, expensive or extremely rare destinations - how many go arctic sailing? Or cruise the Caspian Sea? Unless I have been wrong for years, I believe 90 % of all cruisers ate in the caribbean!
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Old 07-02-2012, 13:18   #33
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Maybe sailing mags aren't for sailors at all! Maybe they are really for those who are dreaming to become sailors! I know I liked them a lot more back before I started sailing and have gotten less out of them and enjoyed them less each year since I started sailing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 23:32   #34
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Thanks Don,
I read all the posts hoping to get my 2 bits in and you have to beat me to it. I totally believe it is market driven. People that own boats aren't in the market. But, the dreamers are there and yes they like the shinny boats with so much wood you couldn't possibly have enough sundays to maintain it.
How ever, I do like the cruising stories the most. I also want to know where to get an anchor to hold well, in every corner of the world.
Cheers
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Old 09-02-2012, 00:13   #35
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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I think you have hit the nail on the head .

Obviously folk don't like change - especially when it does effect their livelihood - but a long line of industries (and workers) have had to cope with that, Journalism / Publishing are just one more category.

The only effect that Rupert Murdoch style whinings will have is preventing the current players (who are in pole position) from exploiting there current advantage over the new players. The future always arrives - whether folk like it or not.

FWIW, I see the key role as being the Editor's chair - except that the job has to get a lot more hands on than simply corraling a staff of Journalists.....not least because there won't be anyone to corral, at least not on the staff and also more of a Managing Editors role. The upside is that the Industry will require a lot more Editors (and good money to be made - including from self employment, as costs radically drop). Downside for the Journos is that much (most?) of the copy will be written for free - or in exchange for peanuts, so far less paid / full time Journos will be required.

I don't see why (with some smarts and the application of technology) that a Magazine could not be produced by one person in the Editors Chair, plus a part time Webmonkey / gofer......with those being the principle costs. Hell, could even also do so in printed form - for Free! (IMO first mover on that one will be in prime position).....albeit the money to be made from online (and not from subscriptions ), nor from simply flogging electronic versions of printed adverts (although nothing wrong with that as one of the revenue streams). and no, am not giving up any ideas .

For new entrants into "publishing" the new world will not seem strange nor will they be comparing to what went before - will decide on whether or not a viable business opportunity based solely on whether can make enough money for them today - not what folks made in the past, doing a job that in effect no longer exists.....
Clearly you don't work in publishing. You think it's possible to produce a printed magazine with just an editor and a "web monkey" on staff and give it away? Where do you propose that the content comes from? Would that be from skilled journalists who are willing to write for free?
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:48   #36
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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Clearly you don't work in publishing. You think it's possible to produce a printed magazine with just an editor and a "web monkey" on staff and give it away? Where do you propose that the content comes from? Would that be from skilled journalists who are willing to write for free?
Nah, don't work in publishing ......call me a fresh pair of eyes . Have thought about it in the past - won't rule it out for the future.

Content comes for free - or as good as. As a business, no point simply complaining about that free competition - use it!

I accept that not a direct replacement for a "skilled" Journalist, but doesn't have to be. But plusses as well as minuses to that and not simply on the cost.

That's where the Editor earns his money, by finding people who are at least semi-literate , and possibly a bit of copy tidy up (plus ensuring articles are not simply biased infomercials) - but IMO readers will accept a less polished product (and even enjoy that) if the writer has a good enough story to tell. IMO with magazines the "Skill" of a Journalist is being able (and often being required to)......polish a turd .

The alternative is stick to the old approach - but that medium term simply has no commercial future (notwithstanding that many magazines will try that approach - it's a human nature thing ). It is possible that some (specialist) Magazines will survive with that approach, but not for the majority. I accept that will be a pisser for the current Journalists - but it is simply a change or die scenario. or move into something else.

Just as a Skilled Horseman was not needed within the Taxi industry once the motorcar arrived you won't need the same entire (old) skill set in the publishing industry - but doesn't mean that the Skilled Horseman can't become a skilled car driver (and setting up own firm also became easier) and even to make more money from the same basic activity (moving people from A to B), even when prices drop - just need some different skills. But (just like Journalists), would be in prime position due to at least some of their current skills - in this case knowing how to get from A to B.

IME Journalists do tend to have a rather over inflated opinion of self worth .

But time will tell..........
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:37   #37
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Why not start an online magazine, and just publish what ever someone sends in? Wikkipedia does it. Keep it sailing related and publish photos of different sailors and destinations. Also have a "how to" section. All with a grain of salt and tongue in cheek, take it for what it is worth, or leave it. We could call it "Cruisers Forum". Oh wait that is already taken.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:04   #38
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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Why not start an online magazine, and just publish what ever someone sends in? Wikkipedia does it. Keep it sailing related and publish photos of different sailors and destinations. Also have a "how to" section. All with a grain of salt and tongue in cheek, take it for what it is worth, or leave it. We could call it "Cruisers Forum". Oh wait that is already taken.
The "problem" with CF is that the good stuff gets mixed up with rubbish and dissapears quickly into the Ether (Bin / Archive - same thing ) and doesn't even manage to acheive the status of Chip paper along the way .

But that's simply the nature of Forums - to get folk to contribute worthwhile stuff (and that definition varies for each reader, and it's not all about hard facts) a forum needs to offer something in return, for CF they only have some vague sense of "community" that is largely created by the stuff oft called "rubbish" .

If somewhere offered not only that but also an opportunity for their contributions to not (effectively) be quickly thrown in the bin / archive (same thing ) by providing a coherent indexing function (like a magazine or a book or a library) rather than simply a random search generator ......together with a decent link (and a plug!) into own Blog / Website (personal or commercial) then writing something at least semi-coherent becomes more attractive.....Links are the new sweeties .......AFAIK Wiki doesn't throw it's content away every day / week or month - it improves it every day / week and month......so doesn't need an archive. or a bin.

Oh, just to say, the above not a criticism of CF - IMO it does what it does rather well , but it is what it is........
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:27   #39
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
That's where the Editor earns his money, by finding people who are at least semi-literate , and possibly a bit of copy tidy up (plus ensuring articles are not simply biased infomercials) - but IMO readers will accept a less polished product (and even enjoy that) if the writer has a good enough story to tell. IMO with magazines the "Skill" of a Journalist is being able (and often being required to)......polish a turd .
As someone who does work in the industry I can tell you:

#1. The vast majority of magazines in North America went to your model some time ago -- long before the ascendancy of online publishing. I don't have a lot of direct experience with European markets, or with sailing mags specifically, but here in NA most mags are produced with a small number of staff (editors, business managers, etc.) and a much larger stable of commissioned sales people and freelance writers & photogs.

#2. As someone who has had to polish those turds, I can tell you that it can take a lot more time, and therefore money, to work with a poor writer. Relying on crappy writers (no matter how good the story is) is a receipt for added work, and added costs. This is why most mags (both online and old fashion print) rely on working freelancers.

#3. The problem of bias is innevitably exacerbated in a world where maximizing profit is the only driving force. Publishing has always been a business, but over the last two or three decades the pursuit of the bottom line has become the only driving force for much of publishing (just like with most other businesses). In doing so, short term decisions are made to cut costs and maximize quarterly returns. The result is poorly writen mags that are really just barely-desguised ad sheets. As a result, readership has been dropping, although profits in general remain healthy.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:28   #40
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Absolutely, and CF fills a much needed void. It is a place where the Wannabes, the Neverwas, and the Been there, done that. Converge, and it is pretty democratic, makes for a pretty lively mixing bowl. I do like the idea of an E-zine that would get material contributions with no regard to any commercial advertisers. The only proviso is it would have to be true, and accurate, much like the news reporting of days gone by, kind of.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:53   #41
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Lats and Atts is the only sailing mag I've bought for several years now. I think it's geared towards real people on real boats.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:45   #42
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
As someone who does work in the industry I can tell you:

#1. The vast majority of magazines in North America went to your model some time ago -- long before the ascendancy of online publishing. I don't have a lot of direct experience with European markets, or with sailing mags specifically, but here in NA most mags are produced with a small number of staff (editors, business managers, etc.) and a much larger stable of commissioned sales people and freelance writers & photogs.

#2. As someone who has had to polish those turds, I can tell you that it can take a lot more time, and therefore money, to work with a poor writer. Relying on crappy writers (no matter how good the story is) is a receipt for added work, and added costs. This is why most mags (both online and old fashion print) rely on working freelancers.

#3. The problem of bias is innevitably exacerbated in a world where maximizing profit is the only driving force. Publishing has always been a business, but over the last two or three decades the pursuit of the bottom line has become the only driving force for much of publishing (just like with most other businesses). In doing so, short term decisions are made to cut costs and maximize quarterly returns. The result is poorly writen mags that are really just barely-desguised ad sheets. As a result, readership has been dropping, although profits in general remain healthy.
That's interesting. cheers

FWIW, a lot of my day job does involve turd polishing. and nailing jelly to a wall (They be arts not science )......so I do understand that side of business .

Perhaps I was a bit inacurate with the term semi-literate as certainly agree that re-writing / polishing stuff is not a commercial proposition - unless in certain (limited) circumstances (sailor discovers Atlantis )....but I still don't think that means having to employ (or buy in) at commercial rates, even if the price of that is an overall drop in the quality of the written word (see my posts - I like to use 10 words where 1 would do ). There be a squillion people to snaffle from online - some of whom are also damned good writers, even if not "professionals".

The key point you make is that the magazines (for simple commercial reasons) have had to get too closely aligned with the interests of the advertisors - something all too evident from this side of the world as well.

IMO online means can break away from a business model that is solely based around selling advert space to 3rd parties. If the advertising truly has a real $$$ value (higher than what the advert sells for - and I beleive for many magazines it does, otherwise the advertisers would not pay for them!) then would seem sensible for the magazine itself to at least partially tap into that for revenue (and not simply by selling own logo umbrellas and T-shirts etc nor simply collecting on click throughs - albeit "every little helps" )......therefore allowing the magazine to be editorally independent of outside influences and be offered for free, including a paper version (if a demand for that) - albeit "magazine" perhaps somewhat of a misnomer for what I am talking about......even if you are still publishing every month in the style of a traditional Magazine. - if you are writing good stuff (that still generates income) just seems daft to throw away a potential income stream after a month .......online means you no longer have to.

Unfortunately I am too busy at the moment polishing turds to dip my toe into those waters. But maybe one day!
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:54   #43
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Maybe sailing mags aren't for sailors at all! Maybe they are really for those who are dreaming to become sailors! I know I liked them a lot more back before I started sailing and have gotten less out of them and enjoyed them less each year since I started sailing.
Exactly.

I once had an interesting conversation with a sales person regarding Merrell shoes (I am a big fan of their shoes let me say) and he said that after Merrell went big they stopped making shoes just for out door enthusiasts and now make shoes for "aspirational" outdoor enthusiasts.

I found it hysterical and so true. How many people do you see nowadays wearing hiking type shoes that that quite clearly have never done a day of hiking in their life.

Cruising world and even water sailing">blue water sailing are for those dreamers, and all of us have been there and now that we find ourselves doing rather than dreaming the things that we would find important and helpful are not discussed. Its simple economics really, how many dream versus how many do? Hard to pay the bills if you are only catering to a small minority of your market
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:58   #44
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Originally Posted by captain58sailin
Why not start an online magazine, and just publish what ever someone sends in? Wikkipedia does it. Keep it sailing related and publish photos of different sailors and destinations. Also have a "how to" section. All with a grain of salt and tongue in cheek, take it for what it is worth, or leave it. We could call it "Cruisers Forum". Oh wait that is already taken.
cruiserswiki.org

Great idea and already out there but I must say once you start looking into it it is sparsely populated. With all the experts here maybe they could spend more time putting good info in there versus battling it out here for 200 pages on the merits of mono/cat or chain/rode?

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Old 09-02-2012, 15:44   #45
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Re: Sailing Magazine Content !

Mike is right in saying that polishing turds can take a lot of time (i.e. money). Sometimes it's just easier and faster to write it yourself.

I don't agree that the skill of a journalist is simply to polish turds. There's still a need for good reporting and writing, and always will be. The market just won't support as much of it as it used to, or in the same format.

But the beauty of online publishing is that overhead drops dramatically when you no longer have to print and distribute a newspaper or magazine. Ideally, that frees up funds for some freelance help. The challenge is that online advertising rates are still much lower than print ad rates, though they're slowly increasing.

The decline of traditional journalism and the growth in online media has pros and cons. There's an awful lot of crap on the internets, and the accuracy and reliability of information tends to decline when it's being churned out by bloggers and "citizen journalists" that aren't accountable to anyone. And usually, you get what you pay for.

But as a previous poster pointed out, readers will accept a less polished product if there's a good story to tell. I think the most viable model at the moment combines the work of reporters/journalists with writing from contributors who aren't necessarily trained journalists - and that's okay. I think people want to see themselves reflected in the publications they read, so boating pubs should be a mix of voices and perspectives. Not every article has to be a shining example of great writing.

I don't know about journalists having an inflated sense of self-worth. It's a skilled profession, just like, say, a shipwright or an electrician. Good journalists have typically studied journalism and invested time and effort into honing their skills. People who don't work in journalism often don't realize what that entails or the challenges involved in doing the job well.
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