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Old 06-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #41
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The press, be that newspapers, magazines, TV and the digital formats, blogs, etc, have to cater tot eh money. Money comes primarily from advertisers, not so much so from the subscribers.

I've been involved in several breaking news stories of late, and often times the press release that's handed (or emailed) to the reporter is as deep as they ever dig. A major revenue source sinks a boat on launch, yeah, it'll get reported, but dropped rather quietly and quickly. FLASH: Bimbo and her friend did something, film at 11. And that new story leads.

Most magazines are also not much more these days than fluff and puff, and craftily written press releases. And it ain't gonna get any better.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:52 PM   #42
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The press, be that newspapers, magazines, TV and the digital formats, blogs, etc, have to cater tot eh money. Money comes primarily from advertisers, not so much so from the subscribers.
I've bet the last 8 years of my life on the idea that there is another way. It's all based around a very simple idea - your customers are not the ones who pay you. It's hard to get your head around it, but the outcomes are extraordinary.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:33 PM   #43
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I've bet the last 8 years of my life on the idea that there is another way. It's all based around a very simple idea - your customers are not the ones who pay you. It's hard to get your head around it, but the outcomes are extraordinary.

Yes, customers are the ones who pay you. But in the world of media, just who is that customer, and what are they paying for? And in cases where you have subscribers and advertisers, how do you balance the different needs and expectations of two competing sets of customers? Lean it too much toward one and you disenfranchise the other.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:14 PM   #44
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Jeff: moving away from S d'A personally and poor old much-changed PassageMaker....I'm with you on the power of the crowd-sourcing model, but isn't there a strong case for 'synthesizers' within those models: people who can distil the many, many thousands of inputs and discern & report the trend(s) and consensus(s) in the mass data flow? I don't want to read 2000 reports on the best washdown pump....but I would certainly read someone who had done so and provided a concise summary of what owners of 80' yachts thought worked best and what folks with 36' power boats thought best and what almost everyone thought should be avoided.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:24 PM   #45
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Yes, customers are the ones who pay you.
That actually misses my entire point. And I know the language of this all makes it seem like I'm confused. I'm not. I definitely meant exactly what I said.

But this thread is about something different.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:42 PM   #46
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I don't want to read 2000 reports on the best washdown pump....but I would certainly read someone who had done so and provided a concise summary of what owners of 80' yachts thought worked best and what folks with 36' power boats thought best and what almost everyone thought should be avoided.
Perhaps you haven't been following what I've been doing for the last year. I agree that as review counts get high, it's harder to make sense of the bulk of ratings and opinions. But the raw ratings do give an overall opinion especially if you can see the distribution (like the Companion apps do today).

Still other things are needed. Over a year ago, we released eBoatCards. The purpose of that is to create a relationships database by which reviews can be tossed against. The community is small enough where you have a large set of contacts, friendships, and associations with many different segments cut in different ways. So if you see 200 reports about a particular washdown pump, you should be able to see the reports first from your friends who wrote reviews Then you might want to see what people who have a Hatteras think about the particular pump. Or perhaps sort the reviews by the "Catamaran" group because they anchor more than others boat types - who knows (it's just an example).

Finding "truth" will never be about relying on any one individual because you can fully never understand one person's motivations. You'll never know the products/services/payments given to a particular "expert" in hopes of getting a positive single article/blog posting/whatever. You'd be shocked to know how often products are given away and other attempts are made to buy someone influential.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:56 PM   #47
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Wow. What a mess. Makes me glad I quit PMM years ago. To many articles on systems and boats that I for one couldn't afford anyway.

There's the boat dream that most of us average Joes have and then the ones that are meant for the guys with big money. So anything PMM had to print after 2007 wasn't quite my cup of tea. So Steve D, while probable a nice and very knowledgeable guy, just didn't empress me.

Sorry, just my 2 cents, which is probable worth about -2c these days.

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Old 06-06-2014, 05:20 PM   #48
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Just saying: how many boat reviews have you read in the last ten years? How many pointed out that the exhaust geometry was all wrong? What % of production boats have borderline or really bad exhaust geometry? How many diesel motors have shortened life due to poor exhaust geometry? Why are all these sea trail experts publishing in boating magazines not ever pointing this out? Multiply this issue by a large factor and you then have a good idea what new boat reviews and sea trails are worth. No doubt the success of such publishing is measured by how many boats are sold and if advertisers continue to pay for adds. The terms boat review and sea trial are as fuzzy as the recent use of the term trawler.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:58 PM   #49
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Just saying: how many boat reviews have you read in the last ten years? How many pointed out that the exhaust geometry was all wrong? What % of production boats have borderline or really bad exhaust geometry? How many diesel motors have shortened life due to poor exhaust geometry? Why are all these sea trail experts publishing in boating magazines not ever pointing this out? Multiply this issue by a large factor and you then have a good idea what new boat reviews and sea trails are worth. No doubt the success of such publishing is measured by how many boats are sold and if advertisers continue to pay for adds. The terms boat review and sea trial are as fuzzy as the recent use of the term trawler.
I've read probably thousands and none of them have truly been critical. However, I don't read them expecting that. I do learn some things about the boat. I like those that have tests as well.

I decided to randomly pick a recent review and note what I learned that would be of meaning if I was looking. Azimut Magellano 53.
-Base price
-All performance date, fuel usage, decibel readings
-Headroom below 6'5" to 6'10" but VIP Berth only 6'2"
-Twin cabin good storage but no space for anything but sleeping
-Really the 50 lengthened to allow for crew cabin aft
-Swim platform capable of handling Williams 320 at 880 lbs.
-Little heeling in turn
-No discernible planing hump
-Marketed as long range cruising boat but with barely 500 nm at 10 knots, doesn't meet my definition. Yes at 8 knots is much more.

So, although the review was very positive, I still learned some things. Sort of a crossover boat between a little bit of speed and economy. In my opinion doesn't really accomplish either that well. The 6'2" in VIP and the cramped twin would really concern me and probably the 6'2" VIP would eliminate it in my mind. Relatively quiet. Nothing that excited me. On to the next.

I enjoyed reading it. I knew up front it would praise the boat. But it was some information from a person who has ridden on one and walked it. And the tests are there. I've never made a buying decision just from reviews, but I've gathered a lot of useful information. As an example, read Pershing vs. Riva reviews, same company. Even the glowing Pershing reviews mention that they will pound a bit in rough water "as you'd expect." Well, I like the speed but don't want to pound. Read enough reviews and talked to a few people and Pershing was out of any consideration. Obviously this wasn't for a trawler. We sometimes like speed.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:24 PM   #50
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SD didn’t set himself up as a writer of boat reviews, he sold (and is selling) himself as an expert in marine technical matters.



Before spending a dime to subscribe to the product of what he wants you to believe is a superior level of technical knowledge, consider what he is selling and what it has probably cost some of his gullible clients.


In SD’s article “Attention to Detail” the photo below is offered as an example of “Installing electrical terminals over paint results in a poor, high resistance connection.”



Careful attention to the details in the photo show the end of the barrel is not painted. This indicates that the heat shrink tubing and wire were masked before painting of the area on which the terminal is bolted.
The head of the bolt holding the terminal does not show any indication of paint damage consistent with the use of a tool to tighten or remove the fastener or the washers.

It is impossible to determine the electrical characteristics of that connection by visual observation. To claim knowledge of the electrical status of that terminal is unprofessional and depending on the purpose of the observation, unethical and potentially costly. Any diagnosis based on visual inspection of this connection can only be called the result of a complete failure to pay attention to detail.

Publishing this photo as an example shows lack of regard for material facts and if the author was aware of the real condition, indicates a questionable level of respect for the readers whom he might have believed would or could not tell the difference. The fact that this photo is still used in the article may indicate that either the author doesn’t know any better, or his clients and readers prefer to avoid mentioning the obvious.

A pull quote from an interview with him that is on his site:

Q: What's one of the worst installations you've seen?
A: Not too long ago I looked at a boat, and all the raw-water hoses were actually pneumatic hoses.


That is very interesting. I wonder how much that detail cost the owner.

There are no “standards” for raw water hoses and generally, a hose sold for use as an air hose is probably extreme overkill for low pressure water. Pneumatic hoses are normally oil resistant, multi-ply, highly resistant to collapse from a vacuum, and are the same hoses used for hydraulics or other fluids.

If the hose was large enough to be used on the suction side of the raw water pump it was of far higher quality, chemical resistance and strength than any marine exhaust hose or other non-collapsible hose sold in a marine store.

Air and Multipurpose Hose | Goodyear® Engineered Products ::

If all he did was write boat review fluff pieces he would be just another harmless magazine hack. The fact that he is trying to enlist a new band of believers may not be harmless for many of them.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #51
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SD didn’t set himself up as a writer of boat reviews, he sold (and is selling) himself as an expert in marine technical matters.



Before spending a dime to subscribe to the product of what he wants you to believe is a superior level of technical knowledge, consider what he is selling and what it has probably cost some of his gullible clients.


In SD’s article “Attention to Detail” the photo below is offered as an example of “Installing electrical terminals over paint results in a poor, high resistance connection.”



Careful attention to the details in the photo show the end of the barrel is not painted. This indicates that the heat shrink tubing and wire were masked before painting of the area on which the terminal is bolted.
The head of the bolt holding the terminal does not show any indication of paint damage consistent with the use of a tool to tighten or remove the fastener or the washers.

It is impossible to determine the electrical characteristics of that connection by visual observation. To claim knowledge of the electrical status of that terminal is unprofessional and depending on the purpose of the observation, unethical and potentially costly. Any diagnosis based on visual inspection of this connection can only be called the result of a complete failure to pay attention to detail.

Publishing this photo as an example shows lack of regard for material facts and if the author was aware of the real condition, indicates a questionable level of respect for the readers whom he might have believed would or could not tell the difference. The fact that this photo is still used in the article may indicate that either the author doesn’t know any better, or his clients and readers prefer to avoid mentioning the obvious.

A pull quote from an interview with him that is on his site:

Q: What's one of the worst installations you've seen?
A: Not too long ago I looked at a boat, and all the raw-water hoses were actually pneumatic hoses.


That is very interesting. I wonder how much that detail cost the owner.

There are no “standards” for raw water hoses and generally, a hose sold for use as an air hose is probably extreme overkill for low pressure water. Pneumatic hoses are normally oil resistant, multi-ply, highly resistant to collapse from a vacuum, and are the same hoses used for hydraulics or other fluids.

If the hose was large enough to be used on the suction side of the raw water pump it was of far higher quality, chemical resistance and strength than any marine exhaust hose or other non-collapsible hose sold in a marine store.

Air and Multipurpose Hose | Goodyear® Engineered Products ::

If all he did was write boat review fluff pieces he would be just another harmless magazine hack. The fact that he is trying to enlist a new band of believers may not be harmless for many of them.
I wasn't arguing about SD as I know nothing of his work. Just of dismissing reviews as useless. Biased yes. Useless no.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:09 AM   #52
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Every magazine is in business to sell advertising space.

If subscribers are willing to pay the postage , its a big help, but not required.

The filler between the sold space only needs to be interesting enough to have a good circulation number , to be able to charge for the add space.

The articles by SD frequently contain enough good concepts to get folks at least thinking about Quality of workmanship and parts for installations.

No one is perfect , but there are A LOT of real crappy workmanship in most production cookies.

Understanding that your brand new boat or a later yard installation may be dangerous is a positive.

Practical Sailor is a far better source for gear selection than any of the boating mags.

Pro Boat Builder a better source for real information .
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:52 AM   #53
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Every magazine is in business to sell advertising space.

If subscribers are willing to pay the postage , its a big help, but not required.

The filler between the sold space only needs to be interesting enough to have a good circulation number , to be able to charge for the add space

....
Yes, you're right.

Magazines can be traced back to the 1660's. The first advertising agency to sell magazine space happened in 1890. And 100 years went by with that model in place.

Does anyone really think that this model works in an internet world any longer? Ask Borders Books and hundreds of thousands of other stores if the internet hasn't changed things a bit.

At first, magazines thought their demise was because of the media itself. That's when iPad versions of magazines started cropping up. I had numerous conversations with magazine editors and publishers about why that wasn't going to work. But the iPad'ization continued. The attached picture is my analogy to that. It sort of missed the whole problem that they had - their revenue model, the interconnected data model, and the implications of social media. For the great majority of publications, making an iPad version of their magazine or even an iPad version of their reference book has been a flop. There are a couple of places in broad horizontal markets like the NY Times where the iPad digital content has helped but not in a stellar way. The problem again there is...the model, the interconnected data we expect, and the social part.

PassageMaker, Steve D', and the host of boat writers contributing to existing magazines and their model will only be left now as a reference about the history of media and advertising.

And that history? You'll probably read it online.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:41 AM   #54
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That actually misses my entire point. And I know the language of this all makes it seem like I'm confused. I'm not. I definitely meant exactly what I said.

But this thread is about something different.
I thought I was missing the point, but now see I didn't.

To that end, another great segment of our society in which the customer is not who you think it is, is the medical industry. Which explains why it costs so much and is so crappy.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:46 AM   #55
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Still other things are needed. Over a year ago, we released eBoatCards. The purpose of that is to create a relationships database by which reviews can be tossed against. The community is small enough where you have a large set of contacts, friendships, and associations with many different segments cut in different ways. So if you see 200 reports about a particular washdown pump, you should be able to see the reports first from your friends who wrote reviews Then you might want to see what people who have a Hatteras think about the particular pump. Or perhaps sort the reviews by the "Catamaran" group because they anchor more than others boat types - who knows (it's just an example).
Umm, Last year during a time of money flowing out, with little flowing in, my wife tried to convince me to make a database, much as described above.
Understanding both the need and the tremendous undertaking it would mean, I looked at her like she had two heads.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #56
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To that end, another great segment of our society in which the customer is not who you think it is, is the medical industry. Which explains why it costs so much and is so crappy.
It's a parallel and a great example of dividing the customer and payer - but in a bad way. The problem is that the customer in that case (the patient) has diametrically opposed desires from the payer (the insurance company).

In our world, the customer (the boater) and the payer (the manufacturer, marina, boatyard, whoever) should have identical desires and goals. Because when that occurs, the magic happens...
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:06 AM   #57
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PassageMaker, Steve D', and the host of boat writers contributing to existing magazines and their model will only be left now as a reference about the history of media and advertising.
Passagemaker is on the right track with its digital and social offerings. It may be moving toward more credibility by replacing the likes of SD with credible writers with a depth of knowledge and experience that has been sorely lacking.

The popular magazines will probably struggle and fade away, I have to agree with that but the model used by Boat International Media and The Superyacht Group is working very well and will probably continue to do so. If PM follows their model, which it appears to be trying to do, it may survive. But as long as PM relies on rack sales it will fade away. Until it energizes its readership to participate in useful (to them) online features, it will fade away.

I don't know if you have ever seen the B2B yachting magazines but they are magnificenly produced, pay good writers well, and are free to a select and targeted audience. Their advertising revenues make it possible to support social activities at shows like FLIBS and Monaco that make trawlerfest look like the Yuma boat show.

There are a host of very narrowly targeted magazines that cater to decision makers in specific industries. They are free to those readers, have an online presence and attract high value advertisers. The writers are subject matter experts who know what they are writing about.

That is where magazines are going, they are not going away. If nothing else, they offer what digital never will ... a physical presence and an open door.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #58
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If nothing else, they offer what digital never will ... a physical presence and an open door.
That exact conversation happened in board meetings at Border's and within a thousand other companies that have since disappeared when they realized they couldn't compete in 2011 any longer.

Personally, I've been a customer and have been a paid writer by PM. I've never even see their door and have no idea what state their door is even in. To 99.9% of their readers and customers, PM has the exact presence as every internet company that exists.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:19 AM   #59
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I think that with 25 years as an owner and publisher of both newspapers and magazines, and now an editor with two major boating publications, I can offer some answers here.
First of all, media is changing. It always has with the introduction of new technology. When radio was invented, print was doomed. When television was invented, both radion and print were doomed. And now that we have the internet, television and print are doomed yet again, while it's accepted that radio is somehow going to survive. Go figure, eh?
Yet print continues to prevail, and in well managed companies that recognize just who the customer really is (about the only thing Jeff got right in his various diatribes here), and in many places, print media is actually growing. However, since AC has an axe to grind here, Jeff chooses his information very selectively. There are a great many studies I can present to prove that point, studies that others choose to ignore as it doesn't support their point of view.
To the accusation that magazines pander to advertisers....to a greater or lesser extent, that's true. On the other hand, there are many, many stories to be heard in this industry about how Active Captain actually will place a competitor's advertising directly beside the name of a marina who chooses not to advertise.
I have heard the word 'extortion' used by people, quite credible people whose names all of us know, discussing this. So perhaps Jeff needs to reconsider his take on advertising, and all of us need to recognize that Active Captain has a dog in this fight, and consider his comments in that light.
Jeff makes the comment about how much gear is given away to magazines by companies seeking a good review. That's true - but really, Jeff - do you expect us to believe that you paid for every single piece of gear on your boat, that none of it was given to you by the manufacturer? Or that you don't think of those companies more favourably?
Really?
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:31 AM   #60
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Every magazine is in business to sell advertising space.

If subscribers are willing to pay the postage , its a big help, but not required.
I receive magazines Sea and Yachting free, and I never asked for them. Presume the publishers are increasing their "subscription" base so as to maintain/increase advertising revenue and/or are attempting to get me dependent upon the magazines.
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