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Are we still in love with print?


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6 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

the amount of time taken to Photoshop around the overheads.

But well worth it!  Absolutely brilliant bit of work. Best cover of the year of any of the magazines as far as I was concerned. 

 

Roll on 2020 and a new layout build with overheads.  In the meantime, I will be praying for an announcement on Monday morning from Margate - but that's for another thread.....!

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Neverwood said:

 and membership of a forum is of great help.

 

 

And this particular forum is excellent.  That's why I believe we should show thanks and support by buying BRM, whether it be print, digital or RMW Gold.

 

It doesn't run on fresh air.

Edited by cravensdmufan
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I'm always torn over this one: I wouldn't mind paying a subscription for RMWeb, but have not opted to Go Gold, because none of the things in the bundle are things I want need.

 

Don't the adverts make it pay?

 

If not, what about a plain vanilla subscription option?

 

 

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I have more or less given up on railway modelling magazines, they try to much to be all things to all people, which goes over old ground time and time again.

 

One thing that has definitely improved is the quality of the photographs.

 

I nowadays prefer Backtrack and Railway bylines which tend to deal in depth with specific articles

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18 minutes ago, NINJA said:

One thing that has definitely improved is the quality of the photographs.

 

Indeed.  And by the same token so has the modelling that appears in the magazines (the modern digital lens can be cruel!).

 

That's why my mate and I carry on buying each month.  And look forward to them.  The layout photography is fantastic these days.  So much inspiration. 

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I subscribe to Railway Modeller but have given up on the digital edition, it just doesn't work for me.

 

BUT I also subscribe to Railway Heraldis only available online, and I find that the pdf version is an excellent read, even if it is digital. 

 

Perhaps it's because the RM is laid out for print and therefore doesn't work in digital, and vice versa for RH.

 

John P

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I wonder how many "I don't buy magazines" are not buying simply because they cost money? Nowadays, a lot of people expect everything to be on-line and more importantly, free.

 

Obviously I am biased, but I get a bit wound up sometimes being told I shouldn't get paid for my job by people who wouldn't do theirs for no money. Sadly, on-line advertising brings in very tiny amounts of cash unless you get truly massive amounts of traffic, but generating quality content costs money. Yes, you can squeal away making an unboxing video, but how many of these include real information, which takes time to pull together, and not just reading the outside of the box? Yet, I've been told there is no need for magazine reviews because "it's on YouTube".

 

The magazine world will continue to evolve, RMweb Gold is very much at the forefront of this, but I suspect (and hope!) it will be a long while before it goes away altogether.

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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

Don't the adverts make it pay?

 

No.

 

1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

If not, what about a plain vanilla subscription option?

 

Not a very compelling offer - if you can have the same facilities whether you pay or not, pretty much everyone will opt for not.

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Well I’m a magazine junkie . I don’t have any subscriptions but typically buy one a week, depending on what I fancy . That could be Modern Railways, Todays Railways, Modelling Mags, aicraft or boat mags . I just browse and pick the one that’s most interesting to me . But even I have noticed that I’m spending less time reading magazines and more time on YouTube . For me to buy a mag now it really needs to be something I have a direct interest in . 

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19 hours ago, Rob F said:

I am (or was) a self-confessed magazine junkie. I had subscriptions to:

 

  • Model Rail
  • Rail
  • Railway Magazine
  • Modern Railways

I stopped taking Railway Modellor nearly  20 years ago and apart from that the only magazine I have ever stopped taking was BRM.

 

However, I have come to realise that I was actually reading them less and less. My house is filling up with back issues and my head finally overtook my heart over the Christmas break and I cancelled them all, apart from Modern Railways. It was a sad but also a strangely liberating experience. I just get my information fix online these days. It maybe that in the future my resolve will leave me and I will have a relapse but at the moment I am quite happy with my choice.

 

I would be interested to know if others habits have changed over the years or maybe I was just an odd case in the first place!

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with all of this, although I took a similar decision a few years ago because cupboards and bookcases were full of magazines going back some 60 years. Many are now in boxes in the loft, which rather negates the point of having them - but I just can't bring myself to get rid of them. However, I have donated many of my hardback biography book collection to the charity shop which has lessened the stress on bookcase space somewhat. 

 

I still have a subscription to Backtrack, which I have had since the beginning and now (as I have a gold member) I get BRM via exact editions. I have no real preference of e-magazine over the printed version; but despite my ban on printed books - when an offering such as 'Transition' (Colin Gifford) appears I make an exception. 

 

 

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PP

 

i agree that many would carry on freeloading, as I’m doing now, but some of us might not.

 

Maybe I’m unique in having an aversion to paying for something I don’t want, but being prepared to pay for something that I do want, but can get for free.

 

K

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Living in Canada, British magazine worldwide subscription rates are outside my budget, so going digital made a huge difference to me. When I first started subscribing I really didn’t care for digital magazines for the same reason others have mentioned, but I got used to them fairly quickly, and I wouldn’t read them any other way now. I’m on holiday at the moment, and I have my entire collection of BRMs with me for when the rain really starts bucketing down. 
 

I find nowadays that I tend read the magazine for inspiration/ armchair modelling, and the internet for ‘how-tos’.

 

That said, I love books. I bought a digital book the other day and I just can’t get into it at all, so I’m going to get and read the tree-based version.

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I don't buy any of the modelling mags anymore, unless there is a specific article I want. I don't subscribe online to any either. I haven't missed them but would rather have a paper copy of something than have access online. I also used to buy 2 US mags too and Rail Express, Rail and Traction but no longer.

 

As for books I have started selling off my surplus ones recently and only bought one book in the last year I think. I only buy ones with colour photos in now and my most recent purchase was a new Strathwood issue. I will continue to buy books but only ones of specific interest. My recent purchase was £34.05 + postage. Having said that I sold one which was a 1984 OPS publication which was originally priced at £7.95 which seems a bit extravagant for the 80s. The money I don't now spend goes on modelling matters.

 

I

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Looking at this from the inside out, I like the permanence of print and I'm repeatedly told that all the electronic stuff will disappear over time. I know that all magazines used to go to the British Library. I'm not sure if that is still a requirement or not. I couldn't imagine having produced any of my books for a purely digital platform, there's something just too satisfying about seeing one's work in print. Yet I don't have copies of many of the magazines I've worked on or contributed to. I don't, for instance, have a copy of Model Rail No. 1 (Autumn 1997) despite the fact that I put so much work into it. I have the odd copy of MRC , TI, Modern Transport, Steam Railway and Modern Railways etc, in which I produced an article I was particularly pleased with, but like most magazine readers, I don't have the space to keep file copies of everything. On the digital front, I did blog for a while but I never really felt that it took off, so, yes, I'm still wedded to print. (CJL)

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6 hours ago, JCL said:

Living in Canada, British magazine worldwide subscription rates are outside my budget, so going digital made a huge difference to me. When I first started subscribing I really didn’t care for digital magazines for the same reason others have mentioned, but I got used to them fairly quickly, and I wouldn’t read them any other way now. I’m on holiday at the moment, and I have my entire collection of BRMs with me for when the rain really starts bucketing down. 
 

I find nowadays that I tend read the magazine for inspiration/ armchair modelling, and the internet for ‘how-tos’.

 

That said, I love books. I bought a digital book the other day and I just can’t get into it at all, so I’m going to get and read the tree-based version.

 

WADR Print for me every time.  Don't like on line mags as I get tired of looking at an illuminated screen, its bad enough with a PC let alone an I phone.  The price doesn't bother me as everything else these days costs, so why not the mags.

   Happy New Year. 

 

                                        Brian.

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Everyone's situation is different of course but the best move I have made in regards to railway modeling is to stop buying magazines. I used to subscribe to Model Rail and  frequently bought BRM, Hornby and Railway Modeller, plus various railway magazines. I stopped buying mags and instead bought tools and timber and started building a layout. Not buying magazines helped me stop being an armchair modeler and actually have my own (not yet completed) layout rather than just look at the layouts other people have built.

 

Also there was a time when all of the information and reviews of new and upcoming models was in the magazines, but of course now there are the forums, facebook groups youtube etc. Finally the printed magazines just take up so much space.  

 

That all being said I appreciate that some people like to have a reference collection of magazines and enjoy getting them each month.

 

 

Edited by BillH
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On 30/12/2019 at 21:48, gordon s said:

 

Then along came the web and the immediacy of asking a question and getting an answer in a few minutes left magazines behind. Now the web has developed to such a degree, magazines are virtually obsolete for me, even as works of reference. 

 

Although, it's notable that very often, although the web gives the immediacy of a question being answered within a few minutes, the answer can still turn out to be 'it's in this book or magazine article' 

 

The other thing I find is that information on the web is still not always permanent. A case in point- I was recently looking for a bit of early-70's motor racing trivia  and so far can only find an incomplete version of the information I'm looking for- frustratingly, I know exactly where I found it previously, in a thread on a motorsport forum, but sadly the scan someone posted of the original document seems to be no longer online, and the transcribed versions I can find elsewhere are less-than-complete

 

I certainly buy less mags these days, and reduced my archive during a house move a few years back, but at the moment I'm still buying the 4 main UK railway modelling titles every month, and still prefer them in paper rather than electronic form

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17 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

PP

 

i agree that many would carry on freeloading, as I’m doing now, but some of us might not.

 

Maybe I’m unique in having an aversion to paying for something I don’t want, but being prepared to pay for something that I do want, but can get for free.

 

K

 

You only have to take a look at those trying to make some money out of the web in our hobby using Patreon accounts or other means. They raise virtually nothing no matter how much quality content they throw at the audience. On that basis I'd say you are pretty much unique in being willing to pay for something you can have for free.

 

Ultimately, people will vote with their pockets. If they don't want paper magazines then sales will drop and the magazines will close. What happens to forums supported by magazine sales I leave to your imagination. It's no different from those supporting large on-line retailers who refuse to pay tax, one day they tax revenues will fall and all those lovely services will close down.

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It’s a fascinating discussion - yet nobody has mentioned one aspect that is a factor for me - paper quality. Some I refuse to pay for as it feels like flicking through tissue paper! I read RM each month (printed), and Railway Herald each week (digital) and was thinking of subscribing to BRM when rmWeb Gold came out, which ended up being a win-win with the back issues. I would disagree with Phil’s earlier comment that rmWeb Gold is at the forefront of (digital?) magazine evolution, but it works for me, and the inclusion of a ticket for a BRM show may be enough to make me attend the Doncaster exhibition this year  - not been in years! I would add that is rmWeb forum went subscription I would happily pay, but I suspect I would be in the minority - which then leads you onto if the number of contributors drops, so does the quality and variety of the forum, which means people don’t renew and it is a downward spiral.

 

I think Digital Mags do struggle - they are still based in a print world because a) that is what the industry is geared around, and b) changing the format to be truly digital costs money which ads to the costs - ironic when one of the aims is to reduce costs! But I get on fine with the two that I read and enjoy them.  It’s interesting somebody said I read magazines but look at digital ones - genuine question here - in that case do you just LOOK at this forum, or given that you have responded to OP did you read it, in which case, what is the difference? I am being pedantic of course, and I totally understand what the poster meant, but it begs the further question, is it just be cause a digital magazine represents a change, which, generally, people don’t like?

 

Rich

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Professionally, I spend a significant part of my life staring at a screen, reading papers and emails. Therefore, when I get time for my hobby, I prefer to put the screen away and read paper-based articles of interest to me. I also like the idea of not being 'advertised at' by a screenful of uninteresting rubbish attacking the edges of my vision. Having the option to choose to read a specific advert in a magazine works better for me as I will usually do this if I am looking for a particular item to purchase.

 

In a similar vein, my employers are increasingly pushing for all papers and articles to be made available electronically. However, when I talk to my students, they ask for all readings to be made available on paper. When I ask them why, many of them prefer this option for ease of reading, especially those who have specific learning needs - something that I think is sometimes is forgotten in our digital society.

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I buy print versions of various mags very rarely nowadays - almost exclusively for an article or item I'm interested in - and with the price of magazines in general, even then I sometimes think twice. Especially, and I have to be honest, if its (primarily) available free on the internet, whether that be facebook, youtube, blogs, forums or even the TV.

Alot of the time, I'll buy secondhand mags at shows - often at only 20 or 50p a pop. Manchester MRS used to have a great secondhand magazine stall at its Xmas show (I haven't been for while so it may still have..).

Another reason I don't buy mags very often is they repeat themselves and this doesn't just apply to railway mags. I get Gardeners World occasionally and the same subjects crop up at regular intervals at certain times of the year - as you'd expect - so a sub for me would be a waste of money.

 

One pleasure I do enjoy is sitting in my whirlpool bath with nice glass of red, reading a magazine - ya can't really do that with a Kindle.

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2 hours ago, MarshLane said:

It’s interesting somebody said I read magazines but look at digital ones - genuine question here - in that case do you just LOOK at this forum, or given that you have responded to OP did you read it, in which case, what is the difference?


The difference is about settling down in relaxed mode (comfy sofa, bed, good seat on a train etc) and devoting ones entire attention, for a significant period of time, to what an author is attempting to convey, rather than dipping-in, giving a quick response if appropriate, and moving on.

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2 hours ago, MarshLane said:

I would disagree with Phil’s earlier comment that rmWeb Gold is at the forefront of (digital?) magazine evolution

 

Music and television have evolved to a subscription and streaming based world, why not magazines?

 

Imagine that we ditched the single issue every month/4 weeks and instead, subscribers just have access to an enormous repository of articles which is added to every 2-3 days.

 

Freed of the constraints of paper, an article might be very traditional, a video, podcast, 3D print file or access to a live event feed. It wouldn't matter and you'd no longer consume the content in the same way if you didn't want to.

 

The trouble is, quality content costs money. Even if you don't pay people, they still need equipment to create it. Serious vloggers have serious kit and someone has to buy that. Maybe you argue that the vlogger buys it because it's their hobby and the return is the ego boost of lots of views, but that simply excludes those who don't have deep pockets whereas the hobby magazine world offers the easiest route to paid publication for anyone.

 

At the moment, the BRM digital issue comes with extras. Andy and I always take too many photos when we shoot a layout. All go to the editor and designer for use on the page, but the leftovers can be fitted into the digi version at minimal extra cost, just a bit of designer time. I'm working on a big build which could generate more steps that we can fit on the page. I'm doing the work, so in an electronic world the reader could have more content. Conversely, we could also run tiny pieces with 2-3 steps which don't fit the standard format.

 

Those who spot that we keep returning to subjects would find that there are many ways to do things and the search option would allow them to discover this. A good example is modelling grass - if you haven't read a mag in years you might not have spotted anything beyond scatter powders. New materials arrive, but the old ones aren't always obsolete so you might like the option to look at all of them. Also, as your tastes and interests chance, you will find old articles that once didn't appeal, now do. Maybe instead of just getting BRM, your sub could give access to all the railway titles (GR/EiM/Traction/NGW). Today you aren't interested in all of these enough to buy all the magazines, but if you could dip in as you wanted? Maybe there is demand for another title covering Monorails (for example) or even (gasp) foreign railways, that could go in the mix a lot more easily and cheaply than launching another magazine!

 

All of this has to be paid for. Adverts bring in ever smaller amounts of cash, and users boast about using ad-blockers which both removes the visual intrusion and any reason why an advertiser would support the publication/website. If we want to continue to evolve and improve then money has to come from somewhere.

 

Now there are plenty who would be delighted to see all model railway magazines close. Then magazine supported forums would disappear and discussion would fall back on Facebook - who make money from you in less palatable ways. Maybe people will still set up forums, but after a while the financial and time demands on the owner will see these fade away as they have in the past.

 

RMweb Gold is new and very few people are solving these problems or approaching the opportunities in the same way. We can't be sure it will work, but no-one is coming up with any better ideas. This is very much my opinion and not official, but any publisher has to look to the future, and not just the next 6 months.

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