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J Tiers
10-05-2012, 07:30 PM
The publishers apparently called me today, although I was not home to take the call, interested in my opinions. Apparently a goodly number of the 3000 (!) or so subscribers must have contacted them.

My wife spoke to the caller, and apparently the idea of a CD version was broached. That sounds to me like a decent alternative. CDs can be done fairly cheaply in bulk, which 3000 is getting to be, and have the advantage of being pre-organized, not requiring a person to organize their own storage means.

Anyway, if you are less than perfectly pleased with the online "blog format" (yes, I am afraid that IS political spin), you might email them and ask about a CD format, if that appeals to you more. I think it does to me.

I don't know if there would have to be any degradation in quality to fit onto a CD, it is possible. I don't know what the total file size for the magazine is in electronic format, but from experience with other smaller publication files, it could go well north of a gig or two in full-size. But A CD might be a good compromise, it isn't as if print is exactly high-res. And who wants to download a few gig per issue?

Mcgyver
10-05-2012, 07:41 PM
Hopefully they are bright enough to use the highest possible settings on acrobat. I've seen the MEW digital copies and they're a joke, just about unreadable. Storage/bandwidth is so cheap there is just no excuse for trying to conserve bits and bytes....and mailing a disk makes objections of the dial up people moot....tell them they'd be better off making it a DVD not a CD.

Nice to see they're trying figure it out to the customers satisfaction

a side note, its is amazing how many firms put up low resolution pdf's on the web sites. So low res that diagrams and labeling are simply not readable. In a perfect world, Mr. Foxworthy would be mailing them a special (barely readable) sign. How can a firm expect the market to buy they're technical competent when they can't create a readable pdf? Grrrrr

John Stevenson
10-05-2012, 07:56 PM
Hopefully they are bright enough to use the highest possible settings on acrobat. I've seen the MEW digital copies and they're a joke, just about unreadable.


The online viewer is not bad.

This is an example as a screen shot.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/MEWpage1.jpg

The problem is software related when it's saved as a pdf file, something in the way the online reader works degrades the saved page.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/MEWpage2.jpg

this is the same page from a saved pdf file.

achtanelion
10-05-2012, 10:15 PM
Although I'm not one of their readers, this idea sounds good to me. Although DVDs would be the better option (especially given the price differential of pennies between media).

Reminds me of the old saying, never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes.

J

Pete49
10-05-2012, 11:22 PM
Personally as an overseas subscriber it saves me $26 dollars so I am more than happy with the pdf method but can see the benefits of cd or dvd but its easy enough to save them to either format. I guess by doing the online magazine they will save themselves some costs and the magazine stays viable. Much better than folding and losing another publication in the narrow field we work in.
Pete

oldtiffie
10-05-2012, 11:46 PM
Though I am not a fan of CD/DVD in lieu of a magazine, I can see that if the resolution (of the pdf file) is good/high enough it should meet the "readability" requiremet.

I take it that there is a good indexing feature.

A high resolution monitor helps too.

I wonder if George could provide a short term trial run of the magazines on CD/DVD particularly for those that are overseas where distance, time and cost are impediments.

I read in the US press that the US Postal Service (USPS) is looking to reduce their costs and services and to increase costs to users/clients. How will that affect mailing times and costs?

I'd elect to stay with the magazines.

How well could you stop copying/pirating of the magazines on CD/DVD and how simple is any protection to bust or get around? You can bet it will get tried. I understand that there will be pass-words" and some sort of lock/encryption etc. but if the down-loading/on-line reading "tied" to a particular computer/user?

ikdor
10-06-2012, 03:55 AM
If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
This goes as well for your own backups....

Igor

Circlip
10-06-2012, 06:17 AM
Instead of doing only half the job, MEB should go the whole hog (bad pun) and supply electronically and cut out the delivery/non problems at source. If anyone wants to copy and distribute from the mag it's not too difficult so the old landlocked hard copy option doesn't hold water anymore. Disengaging postal services not only saves the subscriber money, but also the originator distribution headaches re P&P but also copying time (3000 x How long per disc?)

Regards Ian.

Mcgyver
10-06-2012, 10:18 AM
If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
This goes as well for your own backups....

Igor

I didn't realize that, thanks.

J Tiers
10-06-2012, 11:58 AM
Instead of doing only half the job, MEB should go the whole hog (bad pun) and supply electronically and cut out the delivery/non problems at source. .

They planned to........... you missed the original discussion

A number of us were less than pleased with the prospect of spending a long time downloading hundreds of Mb files, onlt to burn them to our OWN CDs to avoid having such huge storage on teh computer.... storage is cheap, but not as cheap as a CD... although a stick memory can be had at 64 gig for $30 or so, maybe less by now. However, they are not perfect, and not necessarily good as a sole backup. Neither are CDs, but they are not bad.

The stick memory would be good for a while... until the file format becomes incompatible, or until the "dinosaur" USB connection disappears like RS232.

loose nut
10-06-2012, 01:31 PM
Dvd/cd publication doesn't solve the money problem that the owners have, they would still have to produce the medium and then mail it with little to no savings over the printed magazine. Not going to happen.

Barrington
10-06-2012, 02:48 PM
If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
This goes as well for your own backups....

Igor

I'm afraid this absolutely NOT true - a completely different format is used for DVD video and DVD data discs, just as there are different formats for CD audio and CD data discs.

Think about it for just a moment and you'l see how ridiculous it would be to design a data storage medium that couldn't correct for a single bit error !!!!!

Cheers

.

J Tiers
10-06-2012, 05:50 PM
Dvd/cd publication doesn't solve the money problem that the owners have, they would still have to produce the medium and then mail it with little to no savings over the printed magazine. Not going to happen.

Well, if you are certain........... but THEY brought it up.

And producing a CD is idiotically simple these days.... any band can get hundreds made.....

I took it that the postage wasn't the issue, but rather the printing....

The "production" has to be done regardless, that is what a publisher does, get it set up ready for printing (or alternate distribution). The magazine may have been submitted to the print facility on a CD format anyhow.

printing is expensive, and particularly so in low volume, with high quality, as with their "centerfold feature" engine photos.

Since this idea of CDs cuts the entire printing problem out of the deal, I would expect that it would indeed provide a significant savings. CD duplication is nothing like the same deal as printing, collating, binding, etc an entire magazine.

If you do not believe that, then explain why so many computer companies etc dumped hard copy manuals in favor of CDs........... It's simple....... they were a lot cheaper. Of course, now they are not even doing that....... but ..............

The Doctor
10-07-2012, 12:35 AM
If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
This goes as well for your own backups....

Igor

Actually a DVD has much better error correction than a CD. This is true for both data and video.


Ed

Black_Moons
10-07-2012, 01:17 AM
I wonder how much money magazines could save in printing costs if they didn't have advertisements and just charged the subscriber the actual costs of doing business.

Circlip
10-07-2012, 03:21 AM
A number of us were less than pleased with the prospect of spending a long time downloading Hundreds of Mb files,

How many pages are there in one issue? Tain't exactly Machinerys Handbook.

Once you include postal and delivery into the equasion, all is lost. Check with the rants of your countrymen re ME and MEW deliveries from the UK or are we working on sod the rest of the world, it's our magazine!!!

Regards Ian.

fixerdave
10-07-2012, 04:21 AM
What's a DVD? CD?

Oh, you mean those old things that people don't use anymore.

Seriously, they're going obsolete. Many computers don't even come with them... Tablets? Netbooks? No optical drives there. No need for it. Too old, too limited in capacity, waste of time and space. Sorry, but optical media lost to ultra-cheap hard drive space, flash memory, and high-capacity downloads. Optical medial is done. Building a business model around it at this point... well, it's kind of silly.

Yes, I still have optical drives in several of my computers. I even make the occasional boot disk for old gear I'm working on. But, anything new... USB boot, downloaded apps, and I've not picked up any media (music, pictures, videos, whatever) in physical form in years. Well, I still buy the occasional magazine. I do like reading magazines still... but only until I pick up a decent sized tablet. The little tablet I have right now is what goes to the bathroom with me - browsing the web, reading the news, comics, whatever. It falls on it's face when dealing with magazines in PDF format though... just not big enough to see a whole page. That will change soon... the 10" tablets from China are getting very cheap. Soon. At that point, I suspect I'll never buy a magazine again. Welcome to the 21st century.

Website, donation-based would be best, maybe an App-Store or 2 (iPad and Android). Maybe go the Amazon online publisher route, or equivalent (not that I've ever bought anything from them). There are a lot of modern options... a DVD in the mail is not one of them.

Ultimately, niche market magazines will thrive under crowd-funding systems. I even have my own design for it HERE (http://fixerdave.blogspot.ca/2012/01/how-to-replace-copyright.html). You just need a community of people willing to get together to support something they think is worthwhile. The less overhead you can get away with, the better. You want to leave as much money as possible for the people producing the content. Distribution is near free... this is the information age after all.

David...

J Tiers
10-07-2012, 12:02 PM
What's a DVD? CD?

Oh, you mean those old things that people don't use anymore.

Seriously, they're going obsolete. Many computers don't even come with them... Tablets? Netbooks? No optical drives there. No need for it. Too old, too limited in capacity, waste of time and space. Sorry, but optical media lost to ultra-cheap hard drive space, flash memory, and high-capacity downloads. Optical medial is done. Building a business model around it at this point... well, it's kind of silly.



Ao you are suggesting distribution on several dollar stick memory instead of 25 cent CDs?

CDs or DVDs are still VERY common, and work fine. We'd just have to transfer the on-line data anyway, and I am NOT gonna do that... It's like kit furniture... costs just as much, takes 5x the time. Mfgr transfers the labor to YOU.

lazlo
10-07-2012, 12:21 PM
I'm afraid this absolutely NOT true - a completely different format is used for DVD video and DVD data discs, just as there are different formats for CD audio and CD data discs.

Think about it for just a moment and you'l see how ridiculous it would be to design a data storage medium that couldn't correct for a single bit error !!!!!

Agreed, I'm not sure where that original comment came from, but the DVD logical format most definitely has extensive ECC (error correcting codes):

www.lightbyte.com/DVD_Sector_2.doc

The problem M.E.B. is going to find is that the digital copies will show up in minutes on the 'Net. The complete MEW archives are now freely downloadable, for example.

J Tiers
10-07-2012, 12:47 PM
Agreed, I'm not sure where that original comment came from, but the DVD logical format most definitely has extensive ECC (error correcting codes):

www.lightbyte.com/DVD_Sector_2.doc

The problem M.E.B. is going to find is that the digital copies will show up in minutes on the 'Net. The complete MEW archives are now freely downloadable, for example.

If that became an "issue" , with 3000 subscribers, I would "tag" each copy as it is downloaded, or put on CD, and it would become immediately obvious whose subscription would need to be rescinded......

ikdor
10-07-2012, 03:18 PM
Agreed, I'm not sure where that original comment came from, but the DVD logical format most definitely has extensive ECC (error correcting codes):



Allright, I confess that I'm repeating what I've heard from someone else a looong time ago on the error correction. I didn't actually bother to check the facts as it seemed somewhat plausible. Sorry about that.

Igor

loose nut
10-07-2012, 06:09 PM
Well, if you are certain........... but THEY brought it up.

And producing a CD is idiotically simple these days.... any band can get hundreds made.....

I took it that the postage wasn't the issue, but rather the printing.....

Getting CD's made MAY be cheaper but they are not free and whether it was an issue or not postage is still an expense. For a ma and pa operation that is bleeding it retirement fund money, every penny counts and the online method is nearly free.

The cost of getting an inch thick manual printed makes using a cd much more attractive, many companies now make you download manuals from a web site and save the cost of the cd but the difference between the cost of a small magazine and a cd isn't nearly as great. Producing thousand of cd's and postage for them is still $$$$$$.

Dealing with or accepting piracy of the online mag. may have to be something they live with if they can stay in business at all, this isn't some "1 percenter" tiring to rape everyone for every penny they can and the hell with the results, it sounds like death is knocking at the door and they are trying to keep her out.

Like it or not we will have to accept the fact that paper and printing is getting more expensive all the time and the downloadable digital solution is what is going to happen. The printed page is going to be an expensive rare option for the rich.:mad:

J Tiers
10-07-2012, 08:25 PM
Well, the magazine may well dwindle away if they go to 100% online "blog format only". I will be part of the dwindling, almost certainly.

But since THEY brought it up, I have to assume that THEY know their costs at least that well, no doubt better that you do (or than I do). You/we should not presume to decide what their costs and needs are.

If you read the email, you will see that "blog format" is pretty accurate..... they will release the articles one by one... so you get the mag in dribs and drabs.....

It's a nice mag, but at present I can't see myself renewing it after my blog subscription ends..... I'm not even that pleased with the CD option.

What's so nice about the online option for anything is that it is deletable at the drop of a hat.... Lawyers must love it. Think how hard it is to recall printed material once distributed.... but files? "Access denied" is so simple.... simply delete it and "it was never there".... everything now has "plausible deniability"...........

fixerdave
10-07-2012, 09:59 PM
Ao you are suggesting distribution on several dollar stick memory instead of 25 cent CDs?

CDs or DVDs are still VERY common, and work fine. We'd just have to transfer the on-line data anyway, and I am NOT gonna do that... It's like kit furniture... costs just as much, takes 5x the time. Mfgr transfers the labor to YOU.

No. not at all. I'm suggesting, if you want to be old fashioned, that you download it and save it on your $75 terabyte hard drive ($75/212 DVDs worth of space = 35cents per 4.7GB). Of course, these days many people in this always-connected world wouldn't bother keeping local copies... it would just be there "in the cloud" when they wanted it.

I'm old... I still keep an extensive library of media. I'll admit it; I'm a pack-rat. But, even I archived all my CDs/DVDs to hard drive then chopped up and disposed of all that useless plastic. I just didn't have room to store it anymore. Yeah, I have an off-site backup hard drive too. I'm almost half way to filling up that terabyte, what with all the backup copies of useless stuff. When that drive gets full, I'll just go out and buy a 5 terabyte drive (or whatever's cheap that week). Optical media stopped keeping up to this pace a while back. It's like, they announced "Blue Ray" and the response was "who cares?"

So, let's flip this around... You want to distribute a magazine to people and you want to make money doing it. So, you put it online. You give the subscribers an account. With that account, subscribers can bookmark, highlight, add margin notes, and export the whole shebang to a PDF so they can print out the pages they want and take to the bench. Your computer blows up... no problem, the website has everything... your notes are there, all the little bits of information you added. You want to work with some other people, other subscribers by the way... you "share" your notes with them. They can see your highlighting, what you found interesting, the extra bits. Oh, by the way, they're on another continent but that doesn't matter. Maybe, your notes are so good that the magazine gives you a kickback when people subscribe to your notes. Now, you've got subscribers hustling for more subscribers for you. That's a very good thing. Maybe you'll get more than that 3000 subscriber base you started with.

This is a business model that will make money. The subscribers pay for that extra web-enabled features that you just can't copy on Pirate Bay. Every time they come to your site, you get the opportunity to sell tracked and targeted advertising. You give the stupid magazine away, just expect (no, HOPE) everyone will copy it. They will anyway, if it's any good. You're opinions on copyright won't make a snot of difference. The money is in the value-added website that you're offering, the community.

I mean, sure, you could try to sell mail-order DVDs with a magazine burned on to them. You might make a few bucks, for a while.

David...

J Tiers
10-07-2012, 10:39 PM
Whatever......

You like it, call in your sub.

me, I may still call in the cancellation..... it isn't as if I will ever BUILD one of the exact engines the have plans for....... I read it for the ideas, and other articles, and because I liked it.

So, now I don't like it so much. I may never download (or whatever) a single issue. I can cancel, probably, and then they will have 2999 subscribers..... then 2998 as another drops away... tick tick, drip drip drip........ The few who WANT it in online PDF may not be enough.

Business models are so much utter trash.

The reality is that a business model is merely an assumption that enough someones want what you have, and that they want it PROVIDED IN THE WAY THAT YOU PROPOSE TO PROVIDE IT. "Studies show" and all that................. sometimes they are right, other times it is "New Coke", or an Edsel.

A business model of an ice cream store is maybe good... everyone likes ice cream. The problem occurs when the "model" involves on-line ordering and an air drop of the ice cream cone into the waiting upturned open mouth of the customer...... THAT won't be quite as popular........... at least not with me, and I suspect not with you either. That business model is not viable.

We'll see if they still go broke, if they end up eating dog food because they tried too hard to save the mag and spent all their retirement money. It was a good mag, I'd pay somewhat more to get it in paper. I'd pay a lot less to see it in "blog format". Maybe nothing.

You, on the other hand, don't care that you can't read it without your terabyte drive (hope you have another off-site backup) and power, and a computer, etc...... Extremely high-tech-dependent.

me, I like to take the mag along........ no hardware, no fuss. maybe to the shop, maybe out by the pond. It takes no space, works whenever it is daylight, at least, and will probably be still "working" after your terabyte drive is corrupted, quits working, or becomes too obsolete to be used with new computers.

Most of the possible disasters that kill magazines are bad for terabyte drives as well, so no lengthy descriptions of fire, flood etc, are needed. Ditto for the lifetime of paper.... in 100 years, your drive will be pretty ancient. The mags could be still very readable... I have books over 100 years old.

.

fixerdave
10-08-2012, 12:44 AM
... I can cancel, probably, and then they will have 2999 subscribers..... then 2998 as another drops away... tick tick, drip drip drip........ The few who WANT it in online PDF may not be enough. ...

me, I like to take the mag along........ no hardware, no fuss. maybe to the shop, maybe out by the pond. It takes no space, works whenever it is daylight, at least, and will probably be still "working" after your terabyte drive is corrupted, quits working, or becomes too obsolete to be used with new computers.

Most of the possible disasters that kill magazines are bad for terabyte drives as well, so no lengthy descriptions of fire, flood etc, are needed. Ditto for the lifetime of paper.... in 100 years, your drive will be pretty ancient. The mags could be still very readable... I have books over 100 years old.

.

I suspect that drip has been happening for quite a while, all the way down to 3000. 3000 is, presumably, the cut-off (maybe past that considering the "retirement fund" comments), for what is a viable print magazine. Thus, for you, the magazine is now dead, finished, and out of publication, like so many others. Yet, it still lives in another form.

Will it continue to drip or will it change and thrive in a new form? That's the question. I'd like to see it thrive, though I've never even seen the paper version. This is why I put my comments in, trying to shed some light on new verses old. Bottom line, there aren't enough people like you left to support the magazine. They need to find new people to thrive. Catering to the old ones, dragging as many of them along as far as they can, is not a good way to grow. It might delay the inevitable for a while, maybe. I mean, just how many people are they going to keep by mailing DVDs instead of magazines? 100? 200? Maybe.

I too like magazines. I have, or rather had, a lot. I've still not got that technology replacement, but that's just me being too cheap rather than technology's problem. I threw most of my magazines away because they took up too much space. Still have the HSM and MW ones though :) Some day I'll just scan them, hopefully before my kid shreds them.

Oh, I too have books over 100 years old, lots of them... scanned by the helpful people of the Gutenberg Project. 100 years from now, my trifling data collection (larger than I could read in several lifetimes), having been repeatedly copied to new media as it comes out, will still be available and quite readable (and search-able) on my (okay, my kid's) 147,573,952,589,676,000,000 terabyte drive, assuming Moore's law lasts that long. You can rail against technology all you want but the future won't give a snot about that either.

Oh, and yes, I do have an off-site backup. Thus, short of a Nuclear EMP, my silly collection will survive right up until my kid goes "what is this garbage?" Delete. Someone on the net will still have copies of most everything though, for as long as humanity exists. Assuming, of course, that they haven't used genetic engineering to eliminate that pesky pack-rat gene.

David...

oldtiffie
10-08-2012, 02:52 AM
One of the big probelms with magazines and CD/DVD's over time is that even if each individual issue has a good index of its comments the indexing is not carried forward or back to other issues. This leads to not knowing where a particular article or item is as regards its (other) content, details and month of issue. Over time this leads to not having functional indexes at all and stuff cannot be found at all or with difficulty. It doesn't need to happen too often and the "issues" (magazines and digital) don't get used at all and too all intents and purposes the content is lost.

A seperate regularly up-dated usable function index(ing) disk over say a year or more will help - the more so if that disk is well indexed as well.

The "Shop-made Tools" thread is a good example of this where the content is excellent but as it is totally unindexed and finding anything is a PITA which really is a shame.

The link:
http://www.homemadetools.net/

has made a quite good start at indexing and categorising its content and is far and away easier to use than the "Shop-made Tools" thread. It too needs some refinement but it is well on the way to being very good indeed.

I won't comment here at this stage as to the rights and wrongs of where and how it sources its content - but it is well worth a good look at to see what is possible with "Shop-made Tools".

As previouly here, a similar arrangment for "Indexing" disks or paper editions/inserts would go a long way to the media being a lot more useful and accessible over a quite long time rather that being hoarded gathering dust and perhaps ultimately being tossed out when they need not be as they can remain accessible and useful - and worth saving.

John Stevenson
10-08-2012, 04:08 AM
Whatever......

I have books over 100 years old.

.

Did you write them ?

J Tiers
10-08-2012, 08:21 AM
Did you write them ?

Not most of them. Would you believe it... I gave away my "author's copies", always thinking I had one left, but didn't. And now they are rare, and I can't afford them. Of course, it really doesn't matter, because I know what's in them.... I wrote the books, after all. Still, would be nice to have a copy.

loose nut
10-08-2012, 09:28 AM
Business models are so much utter trash.
.

Not this time, Fixerdave is 100% right. Look at this link

http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/ (no connection with Model Engineer Magazine)

This is an online magazine about model engineering/HSM/Live steam ETC. that is completely free, advertising supported. It doesn't "publish" randomly, it post new articles (how many???) once a week and has enough contributors to do that. They have the back articles available but recently had to take the older ones off line because there were to many and they didn't have enough server space left. Old articles are available on dvd, cheap (production cost) and at least one will be sold before it is on the web.

There are new online magazines popping up all the time on various subjects that have never had a print format. Most older magazines/newspapers have an online format now and it is only a matter of time before the print version goes the way of the dodo.

I too have hundreds of books and mags but I have over 20,000 books on my computer. Most will never be read but they are there as a reference library if I need them, which I do. I prefer the printed page but it is disappearing, we don't have to like it but we can't stop it.

JTiers, it is your choice to cancel your subscription but don't assume everyone else will or that they won't embrace the "new" format and don't shoot your self in the foot just because you don't like the idea. You may find it acceptable in the long run.

You can rail against the future but the future always wins.

J Tiers
10-08-2012, 09:11 PM
I'm stuck with 8 "issues" of teh blog format..... so maybe I will actually download some, and maybe I won't ever even access the mag files or whatever is provided. The money is unlikely to bother me.

"the future"? Maybe... and maybe not.... There are economic forces, but there are counter forces as well.

probably enough of the sheeple will eat up the on-line format of at least some magazines. The real problem is that the publishers haven't teh brass ones to charge what they need to. People like you always tell them it's futile.

Apparently "everyone" hates print media. And now "everyone" hates the CD option. Suit yourselves. THEY brought it up, I didn't, I merely mentioned it here, and NOT for you folks who hate print media, but rather for the ones who are not exactly shouting for joy at the mag going to blog format. Not my idea to do the CD....I never even talked to them when they called...... I wasn't home, and they didn't call the cell.

You hate it, keep quiet, You like it, ask about it. if enough DO ask, it might happen.

Notice has been given I think we were done here 29 posts ago.... pull ahead please

fixerdave
10-09-2012, 04:17 AM
... it is only a matter of time before the print version goes the way of the dodo.
...
I prefer the printed page but it is disappearing, we don't have to like it but we can't stop it.

I keep saying this too, but JTiers does have a point. Why is it going away?

The most expressed reason is that advertising dollars are now spread out over the vastly enlarged space of the web. It's just sucking up all the money and there's nothing left for print. I can see this for newspapers, especially because they lost the classified section dollars. But, I've paid for magazines that had no advertising in them. A lot of magazines are like that, actually. Niche magazines should easily be able to deal with no advertising - books do it. Individuals are now self-publishing books simply because they can. Relatively speaking, printing costs are way down. With technology the way it is now, it is possible to remotely print entire magazines at high-capacity print centres all over the place. There are probably dozens of such places in my little city. The college I work at could do it, will do it if you ask them, they want to do it as a revenue stream. Give them a PDF, specify the paper type, how you want it bound, and pick it up in 4 hours. A publisher could conceivably distribute a printed magazine all over the world and not pay a penny for shipping. Printing is way cheaper than it used to be. Nobody bothers with this, though.

So, why are many printed magazines disappearing?

I guess the one big reason is that I don't spend nearly as much on magazines as I used to. I suspect I'm rather typical in this. Again, why did we stop? For me... I think it was Google. When I want to find something out, I search the web. That's my go-to place now. I hate it when I have some vague recollection of reading something but can't remember which magazine in the stack it was. Oldtiffe talked about having useful indexes... Google indexes everything. I used to use magazines as a knowledge store... I just don't anymore. As a transition, I scanned in articles I found interesting before I tossed the magazines. I don't really even use this scanned store anymore. Google is faster, better. Printed magazines are now, for me at least, entertainment. Being cheap, I don't pay much for entertainment.

So, there you have it... the latest theory by Dave. Useful magazines full of knowledge will die because too many people like me would rather search the web than start leafing through a huge stack of paper. Magazines full of useless entertainment (won't bother listing off the titles) will last because people read them in a convenient format and then dump them in the recycle bin.

So, again bringing this around to the positive, how does VP (et.all.) get me to open my wallet?

Hard question... I am cheap after all.

First... I don't want technical information, useful stuff, unless it's also search-able by Google. 'Search-able' means that it is freely available on the web and not locked behind some kind of membership screen. If it's not just out there for everyone, then when I read it I have to make a copy of it in a personal store (copyright be damned). That takes work. However, being freely available... the question comes up: why should I pay?

Second... said technical information needs to be attached to some value-added feature. I've already mentioned some: the ability to augment said information with my own notes, bookmarks, maybe photos, even drawings, and then export the whole thing as a single PDF that I can print when I want. Collaboration is another I've mentioned. If I'm going to upload notes and photos of my progress on some published project... I should be able to share that with others if I want. Why should that sharing be on some separate forum? Why not build the feature right into the article itself? The Google listing of the article should show the list of people who have shared their notes on this article. If I saw a project come up in response to a search and it had 30 people sharing their progress on said project... I'd be interested in what's going on. That would draw a lot of people in.

Third... as a creative and intelligent person, I would like said website to blur the distinction between creator and audience. If I add my notes to an article and share them... the original article creator should have the option if incorporating them into the original article. In other words, the articles should be fluid and alive. They should build on everything over time. The site should also allow me to earn my subscription by contributing shared notes or even entire articles. If I cross some threshold, I should get a cheque (or PayPal) for my efforts as an author. All contributions should be subject to membership review. Highly reviewed contributions should be worth more earned points.

Fourth... I'd actually like a monthly review magazine (yeah, in paper). It would include all the best-rated content from the past month. Give me the option: mailed copy or downloaded PDF. Maybe I can use my earned points towards getting next month's mailed copy (assuming there are enough requests for such to cross some cost-effective threshold). Or, I could just pay an extra fee each month for that magazine. $2 per month for website membership, $14 per month for website and a printed (mailed to me) magazine, for example. My choice. I think I'd actually really enjoy reading a magazine that I could just toss when finished and not worry about finding some bit of information later on. Everything would be on the web. I might even keep the copy if some contribution I made was mentioned in it.

So, in summary, build a community that is indexed by Google so I can search it, provides useful (and reviewed) content, values my contributions in an meaningful way, and gives me the option of a throw-away monthly printed summary, and maybe I'd be willing to provide that credit card number to be a part of it.

David...

J Tiers
10-09-2012, 08:24 AM
yeah, whatever.

On-line information is available at the pleasure of the holders. When they decide you no longer need that data, it is gone in microseconds. if and when the company is out of business, again it vanishes without trace. There is no "reality" to it.

Even YOUR cloud-based data..... that you think you own..... "we are very sorry, but a number of our customers have permanently lost data. Please refer to our policy document for advice on backup storage of data...."

Or the problem is as simple as a change in the software.... your data format is "no longer supported".

I have seen this with datasheets for electronic parts.... "poof", and it's like the part never existed..... SOME are kept on other sites, many are not available. Even when the part is not made any more (the usual excuse for killing the data), it may be needed in order to come up with a replacement part that IS made.....

The nice thing about printed stuff is that it can be referred to anytime, I have data that is for old parts (that I run into more often than you would think).... and am very happy to have that information.

Enjoy the new world that you yearn for... where nothing is really existing,. and everything can be deleted without trace. Even you. On-line passports....... you could be a citizen of nowhere in a nano-second.

Already there are companies which specialize in deleting unfavorable information about a person or company from the web..... all you need is the money to pay and you can look better on the web, those nasty truths about you deleted.....

oldtiffie
10-09-2012, 05:02 PM
You will probably find that after its gone "pfft" for-ever that you will gradually and increasingly hardly miss it.

Perhaps its like some-one forcing you to go "cold turkey" in giving up an addiction that you thought that you simply could not live without - but now you are going to have to!! and you will probably find out that going without it is not so bad after all.

loose nut
10-09-2012, 07:34 PM
Apparently "everyone" hates print media.

If you actually read some of the posts, I and others have repeatedly said that we like printed book etc. What we don't do is to beat our heads against the wall because we can't stop the digital world from happening and we have no power to do so.

Dave, you forgot one other point. Profit not cost. In this world, were maximizing every penny of profit is a moral imperative, publishers can cut costs and make more money with digital versions of mags. etc.

halac
10-09-2012, 08:20 PM
After I have read about the entire thread, I have yet to find out what M.E.B. is about.

I did a Google search, but nothing about machining. Can someone enlighten me please?

fixerdave
10-09-2012, 08:51 PM
After I have read about the entire thread, I have yet to find out what M.E.B. is about.

I did a Google search, but nothing about machining. Can someone enlighten me please?

Model Engine Builder, I presumed, at http://www.modelenginebuilder.com

And, re-reading the original post, I suspect I owe JTiers an apology. I had read is as M.E.B was looking for a new way to do their distribution but, in thinking about it, they were probably just asking for a way to keep him happy and not have him demand his money back. I mean, I'd be rather upset if I paid for a subscription and they just decided to stop sending the magazine.

David...