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Transitions IV
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, let's see, yes, yes, no, maybe, possibly and uh - I don't know...

Anyway, the wolf should not spike the football...
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Nameless
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I can't fault Nadja's willpower, I do have to wonder about her sense of business.

I'm sure that in a lot of cases internet 'zines failed, because they didn't have the funds to go the distance (invest enough in ads and the stamina to get over an initial dry spell), a LOT of dot-coms did have ridiculous amounts of funding.

What Nadja is trying to do is the business equivalent of WW1 tactics (or American Civil war tactics, for that matter): Throw enough soldiers at the enemy and hope that the other side runs out of men first.

Advertizing can make up for a lot of things (unfortunately), but Hillary does have a point that there are a LOT of problems that a web-only 'zine has to address.

First, if I remember correctly, T4 is set a few years in the future, but I don't have any idea how the infrastructure for a web-only magazine is. It's nice to be able to read the 'zine at your PC, but most people want to be able to read it while they are not sitting in front of the screen as well (like while they commute). If there is no suitable infrastructure for them, then it won't succed. Things like an iPad, Kindle, ... being commonly availiable and cheap enough for the integnded users (reader in the target demographic) to use.
And if the infrastructure is there, then it's VERY unlikely that no other magazine has succeeded in making it work. Maybe not a sports mag, but...

Second, there's the fact that a lot of people simply like to have a physical magazine. Some people simply like to collect magazines. You can't leave a web-zine lying around in a waiting room for people to find, read and like enough to buy. You can't lend it to a friend, ...

Third, there are a lot of problems that you have to address: Copy protection (DRM, Digital Restriction Management). What happens when your subscription runs out? Do you lose access to all the old issues?
For me that issue alone is the reason I wouldn't even consider paying for a web-only 'zine. Once I buy a physical copy of the magazine, it's mine and nobody can take it away (short of breaking into my house). With a web-only 'zine it can be gone from one minute to the next because the company folds or simply decides that it isn't making enough money.

Fourth, (this is connected to the first), the main target demographic for a sports magazine isn't computer geeks. The average reader will most likely have below-average computer skills and be less likely to have advanced gadgets (like an iPad). So those devices must be really common for the plan to succeed.

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Tigermark
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Nameless. It's the Filly's story, but I do want to address one point you made.

Already today, much less in the time of T4, portable information systems are becoming very common. iPhones, iPads, Kindles, all the PDA's out there will likely only multiply and become more useful and common. Having a web-based 'zine on those would not be a difficult thing to imagine. As to your other points about how it's done, I'll let Aslaug have her say on them.

(Also, as to a hardcopy, perhaps the 'zines come as full savable downloads, and for a hardcopy, printers keep getting cheaper and can do amazing things these days.)

Just my take on it.

TM

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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree on several of the points made by Nameless, but I mean ... -I- read the newspaper daily on my telephone and I'm really not that good at computers (I still can't even upload my own chapters, for example, let alone maintain my website).

Transitions IV is set in the mid 2020's, and I must admit I think in fifteen-sixteen years time, things will be different than now on many, many levels. But I agree that Nadia is shooting with buckshot.

However, she does have her father's considerable fortune backing her. There's no doubt she couldn't do that kind of thing if she didn't have Leo's wealth behind her.
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Nameless
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my main points about the infrastructure is that it's basically a chicken-and-egg problem. You need the ckicken to get the egg and vice versa. But the reverse is also true, if there's a chicken, then there has/had to be an egg somewhere.

What I'm saying, is if there is the infrastructure (iPad like devices cheap and simple enough to be in common use), then there WILL be web-zines. You need content to get people to buy those devices, after all.

Looking at the current situation, I give it at most another 3 years or so until web-zine subscriptions become commonly availiable. At first most of them will be either additions to an existing magazine or start-ups who want to get somewhere without all the cost involved in production and distribution of a physical magazine. Later regular magazines will start to move to a web-only format. The first will probably either be targetted at the "computer" crowd (some of whom may even prefer a web-only 'zine, because it's more "l33t") or small specialty publications where producing the physical magazine adds a big overhead because they don't have the numbers to benefit from the ecconomics of scale. Also, these kinds of publications tend to have a more "devoted" customer base, who are more likely to go along with the change.

At the moment the biggest hurdle for wide-scale adoption is IMHO legal. How do you make sure you get paid for the mag without taking all the fun out of the reading experience while leaving your customers some semblance of privacy.
With the physical magazine, daddy can give it to junior when he's done with it (for the moment), but if they want to read at the same time, they either have to buy two or one of them has to look over the shoulder of the other. And when they are both done, they give the mag to the friend of the family who's not that much into sports, but who still likes to read about it every now and then. How do you implement a simple feature like this with computers (dad could give his iPad to junior, but then he couldn't use it to read his other magazines, some of which junior is DEFINITELY not supposed to read)? Not huge a problem if you track access of every article and how long it's being read, but then you'll have set up a system that makes Orwell look like a libertarian daydream.

While it would most likely not really hurt Leo's finances if he simply had to write off the expenses involved in the marketing blizz Nadja is proposing, I do think he would eventually like to get them back. Anything else would make Nadja's business sense look bad, if nothing else. So she has to be aiming for a huge audience.

And IMHO that makes the decision to go web-only especially bad.

The bigger the numbers the less overhead a physical publication entails. It costs (more or less) the same to do the layout if you print one piece or ten million. Printing and distribution costs go way down with the increasing numbers, ... If they were looking at a "we want to do quality reportin, even if it will cost us readers" situation, then it would be different.

The other problem is to do two changes at the same time. Sure, you're going to some lose readers with the change in reporting style / quality, but the bigger problem will be switching from a physical magazine to an on-line ONLY one so quickly.
For one, unless consumer protection is dead and burried (with a stake throught the heart) in the USA, you'd have to cancel all current subscriptions or at least give all subscribers an easy "out" since you'd be making a HUGE change.

I see no problem with pushing the on-line issue with the intetion of eventually closing down the physical magazine, but doing such a massive shift at the same time is VERY risky.


Well, ok, the ecconomics of the matter aren't the main focus of your story, but still...

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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering all the above, it may be that the end result might be keeping the 'paper' editions for another year or two to 'test' the 'on-line' market /marketability (along with all the conditions for which it becomes a workable)...
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bastion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 22 of T4 is up
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, my bad, said year, should have said edition....

Am I hearing Wedding Crashers? in the background?
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bastion
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're continuing Transitions 4 with the newest chapter.
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Seattle, things are looking good (changeover almost complete and ideas are ... )

In India, preperations are nearly done...
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In India: It looks like a pass play and ... is intercepted at the goal line... and coming back the other way...

In Seattle: Reality check complete...
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PantherZ
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Aslaug,

I'm a big fan of your story 'Transition' series.

Just asking, when is the big wedding of of Kalen and Vishalya?

And if I'm guessing Steve and Kalen going to have a double wedding? Razz
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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi PantherZ. It's good to hear from another reader. Transitions IV kinda died on me. I am still hoping to be able to finish it sometime soon but ... I really ran out of impetus to write it. It did not sit too well with most of the readers, and I guess I just felt it was better to leave it where it was.

But I may try to get it done one day soon.
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PantherZ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch, guess I have to wait then.

Anyway tried reading your other works but doesn't really hit me.

I like Transition II because I could relate to the military side of the story as I have just recently released from active service (not with the US military force).

Keep the good work going.

Regards
PantherZ
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(* raises eyebrow *)

Quote:
'Facinating'
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