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Monday, February 12, 2018

death of print


DEATH OF PRINT
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note: a heads up.  I notice my Kindle books I've bought, as in good cash money on the barrelhead, after a time of inactivity will "fade away" off of my tablet.  Then I have to download them again.  When Amazon goes tits up, and they will, there go all your books you thought you owned. 
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We can all guess why newspapers have died.  The cost of a disposable media and transportation were subsidized by advertising.  You can see this clearly with the Thrifty Nickel type free advertising papers still given out ( Craig’s List and such haven’t killed them, but more on that below ).  Yet today newspapers everywhere are shrinking in size and not delivering all week long.  Online advertising is of course blamed, just as Amazon is blamed every time a corporation does something stupid and needs a scapegoat. 

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But as we have already covered, Amazon is just a few percent of retail sales and they got that way by losing money.  They are not the cheapest prices anyway, just the most convenient One Stop Shopping like Wal-Mart used to be.  If you are smart like you should be a NEVER buy onesies and twosies but always in bulk, almost everything Amazon sells can be found cheaper.  Amazon is half the online market but the other half is comprised of retailers letting customers have access to more inventory.

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So why are newspapers dying?  To my mind, they have offered such an inferior product that no one wishes to either buy what they are selling or advertise what you are selling on them.  If it was a question of out of control commodity prices, the recycling of newspaper wouldn’t be a money loser.  If it was a question of Craig’s List, there wouldn’t be other services locally that offer a better product than they do ( Craig’s list blows rabid monkey chunks ).  Newspapers, simply, aren’t even worthy of fish wrap anymore.

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If you look at the NFL and its retarded-ness with allowing those poor financially exploited Black Bucks to spit on the national anthem ( not that I am one of those jingoistic “wrap yourself in the flag before you light it” idiots, it is merely symbolic like the Black Panther salute at the Olympics ), and see the crashing numbers of supporters for the sport, or see the six o’clock TV news get almost no viewers, what you are seeing is a backlash against PC indoctrination being shoved down our throats.  The more newspapers go PC and report Pravda “news”, the less people are going to support them.  It isn’t JUST politics, it is there being zero news reported.  Why buy a NO-news-paper?

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I was watching a YouTube video, for no other reason than I wanted to vegetate my brain and stop thinking, on the lack of sales of the Star Wars toys.  The typical cool figures like Darth and the like were sold out, but the FemWarrior ones were still on the shelves, a year or even two after the movies release.  Girls aren’t interested in being warriors, no matter how much the Bitches Libbers push the agenda.  And boys certainly don’t think girls make cool fighters.  I find this hilarious, as biology is proving more powerful than LibTard indoctrination since Kindergarten.  Perhaps there is a bit of hope after all and not all boys will pop Ritalin and drink soy milk.

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But why are niche publications in print failing?  Niche products are after all most likely to be supported even at high costs.  If you remember the widow of Tappon still publishing their newsletter from Oregon into the early 80’s ( I think-don’t quote me ), you’ll recall the very high price at the time.  And basically it was because there was few other alternatives.  I was publishing a ‘zine from the beginning of the 90’s and there was almost no other competing amateur survivalist publications.  There was American Survival and that seemed to pretty much it ( the attempt by Soldier Of Fortune to compete with Tappon and ASG failed quickly ).  Tappon’s went on for a time but it just wasn’t anything special.

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American Survival Guide attempted to blame the Internet on its decision to close publication, but I’m of the mind that after Y2K, there simply weren’t enough preppers left to support its costs.  Yes, some advertisers would embrace the Internet, but the Internet doesn’t deliver eyeballs all that well.  If I don’t see a catalog in the mail or an ad on an article I’m reading, I forget the company exists ( for all but a few, anyway.  We already covered how most prepper companies aren’t needed anyway, but I won’t return to that subject ).

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So, companies STILL need to advertise.  Why not on paper?  Why is everything online now?  Why haven’t there been any successful paper prepper magazines for nearly two decades?  There are plenty of posers, but they are so expensive you might as well buy a book on the subject.  Which includes the newly rebirthed American Survival Guide.  Which is terrible, by the way.  As are most of its cousins.  Do you remember the print mag “Survivalist”?  It ran for twenty or thirty issues and then its subscribers list was sold to Backwoods Home.

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“Survivalist” wasn’t all that great, but it was good enough to subscribe to.  The articles were mediocre but, embarrassingly, better than what most online blogs were delivering.  So why didn’t they just go to Kindle publishing only like Backwoods Home did?  By avoiding print and delivery cost, a “paper” magazine could stay in business.  So, to be clearer, it isn’t the lack of paper magazines that is the issue, but the lack of periodical in any format.  Why can’t we have a prepper periodical ( that is more than a gun/camping overpriced attempt ), even an electronic version?

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With the case of “Survivalist”, the original writers were all replaced by hacks.  I mean, the articles turned putrid.  It became embarrassing.  At first I enjoyed the arrival in the mail of the mag, and read most of the articles and all in all it was something I looked forward to.  The advertisements sucked-they were no where near as good as the old ASG ones.  But those could have improved if the magazine had increased circulation.  But why would the circulation increase when the articles were so damn bad?  They went from mediocre to unreadable.  So why buy the mag if there weren’t ads or articles?

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I stopped reading Shotgun News ( I still refuse to call it by its new name-hump you, you bastards! ).  For decades, you bought it for the ads ( I even ran an ad in ‘90 ).  That was all there were besides the little columns on gun politics in DC.  But then the ads started to suck.  They just went to a few big companies instead of everyone and his brothers.  Perhaps some of that was due to the changes in the gun laws that penalized impulse buys.  Perhaps their paper and mail costs forced them to increase their rates too much.  So, why not go to an electronic publication?  No one keeps back issues anyway. 

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As a customer, I subscribed to keep track on gun prices.  But with only a half dozed advertisers, I was better served just visiting a couple of web sites.  Then, I stayed with the subscription for all the articles they started including.  But even those went to crap.  Now they are all just like the other gun porn mags that pimp overpriced stuff.  I want a two thousand dollar scope?  Are you insane?  So, why exactly would I subscribe, with no ads and no articles worth a crap?

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Look at “Gun Tests” magazine.  I don’t care if I read the paper newsletter or just online, they have a quality product.  They are also fair on their pricing.  For the cost of a mere two issues of ASG, I get a years worth of Gun Tests AND access to all their old issues online.  I think this is it at its core ( and why folks like Creekmore and Rawles are seeing problems getting advertisers ).  If you don’t offer quality, your business will not survive.  It can’t really be any more basic than that, can it?  Pretty and glittery and flashy might attract eyeballs and garner those ADD’ers that are easily distracted, but it doesn’t make a viable business.

END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2GYqxsp )
 
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25 comments:

  1. I heard ASG went down the tubes when the publisher's wife took control over it and turned it into a yuppie camping magazine.

    I remember how bad it got the last couple of years.

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    1. Oh, sure, a once turd turned into a putrid turd. But that was the articles. The ads were always the attraction. I can't remember how those were in the last years.

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  2. Dear James, I continue to stand in awe with bowed head at the expertise and skill you show when delivering the bad news that we are screwed. I am honored to have your blog listed on my blog list in hopes others will find their way to the Oracle of ELko! and glean some of your wisdom. Your old friend, Randall

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    1. Many thanks-I need all the help I can get. I gain one for every one I pissed off and drive away, so it is a constant battle to fill the diminishing ranks!

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    2. Neither one of you can get rid of me !

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    3. The"Oracle of Elko". I like that!

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    4. Yeh, Spud, but you're a little "off" :)
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      It does have a bit of a ring to it, but perhaps too pretentious.

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  3. Evolution. I think certain thinks are going to "die" simply because there are evolutionary forces at work on the outside periphery that is not seen or noticed. Payphones are gone from most public areas-businesses due to cell phones (even obama phones for the poor) many times I seen destitute/poor people who are not adapted, needing to use a pay phone for emergency calls and have a stupified look on their face when told "there ain't none". Best buy is dropping dvds-cds? Newer Vehicles have usb port to radio, but no cd player for all those you blew money on over the years. If the economy chugs along and things hold together a couple decades, there will be an upheaval out of business-resource necessity that we reading here won't recognize larger than what our grandparents witnessed in their lives. Only the butt-simple things I see while watching american cowboy/western movies on free t.v. are the tangibles that will last or be the new - new things. Plan accordingly.

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    1. The Druid Dude had a few articles on the scaling back on tech. No need to go back all the way pre-electronics, but sticking with older tech. I have a pretty good collection of VHS movies, but also DVD's ( to supplement over the air TV ). I'll be damned if I pay for Cloud movies.

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    2. Yeah, I also have bunch of dvds,cds. I am selling off eliminating my vhs cause the tape dries out-cracks after a few decades in the dry desert-from aging etc. Just like 8 tracks and casettes. I need to buy extra dvd players and little cd radios at yard sales or thrift stores (never retail or taxed sales) so as to have equipment to play the items long past the collapse of trade-commerce.

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    3. I'm not too invested in the VHS-they were all free from trash picking. So, if they self destruct, no biggie. I won't buy another used machine, either, so the machine could break first. The DVD's I bought full price unless I could find them at the pawn shop for $2, and have four players, most hardly ever used. Should be good forever.

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    4. DvDs will only go about 10 to 20 years unless they are special archival ones. I have some old DVDs from early '00's that just fell apart after one recent playing. The ones you burn to especially so, but even late 90s manufactured ones will begin to show their age.

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    5. Damn, I forgot all about that. Gulp.

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    6. There is no affordable electronic media that lasts forever. Temperature is the big killer for the DVD/CDs just little minor daily variations eventually cause either cracking or delamination, they can also slowly 'melt' into other ones if kept touching them. I had a spindle of mostly unused read write CDs from the late 90s that became mostly one single uber stack. I really really really like how much information you can get in electronic format of various sorts, but I have yet to find an affordable way of storing such data over more than a decade or two. I am open to suggestions - currently I just copy the data to a new storage every couple of years. It think the circuits of simple e-devices will outlast the data if treated well...

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    7. I'm too cheap to really put a great deal of money into DVD's-it's kind of a "few a year" kind of thing. But you got me thinking I need to take what I have and move them up the priority to watch list over Amazon or Netflix. As for my writing, every year they get their new thumb drive. I lost all my first six years of writing because of my move from Apple to MS, added to a move where my truck broke down ( jettison everything and go on bus ), and shan't have that repeat.

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  4. Second your comments on Gun Test magazine. I pass my copies around after reading so each issue gets a lot of readership. They have some good articles on cheap rifles and also, surplus arms, in addition to covering the pricey stuff, so it's worth it to me. My own take on the rest of survival mags, is that if they have long articles on knives, describing in loving detail their favorites, they aren't serious. Spend $10 on a carbon steel 7 inch butcher knife, get a SWK, and you're done. Tim

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    1. SWK? I can't really justify the sub price on Gun Test, as I'll never be buying another gun ( I don't think ), but it does help slightly in the writing.

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  5. In our area (Pahrump) we had a guy come out from Vegas and install an antenna. One time fee of about $300.00, and we got rid of cable/dish forever.
    We get all major channels, plus about 12 more, with excellent reception. Paid for itself in less than 3 years. Course, we are not big TV watchers. We have Netflix for movies.

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    1. Why would someone charge that much? High pole? Gold plated? Installs aluminum siding for seniors in his spare time?

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    2. Not a bad expense if a good install, as he is cutting the cord and bill so forward looking there. Maybe during the coming dark ages we can get a pirate t.v. station powered up and broadcast our old movies and have totally non p.c. presentations. Like Lord Bison late at night!:) :) :) :)

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    3. I have so many zip-ties and c-clamps holding mine up I'd be surprised if my Afro-engineering ever fails on my antenna ( knock on wood ).

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  6. All print media is now or will be shortly, a casualty of the internet. Today’s people, many of which have never subscribed to a daily newspaper or even read a newspaper, they rely totally on their cell phones and computers, nothing in print. The last holdouts of readers are fed up with the inaccuracies and biased writings will soon be gone. As for advertising, the audience is to small for the businesses to get a return on that investment.

    I’ve been reading your ‘stuff’ for years now, started when you were selling your writings on “CD’s” for a buck! Long time ago! Even after many years, your comments are still spot on and I do enjoy them. I’m surprised some newspaper hasn’t offered a column space to you yet. Just like my friend Randall above, I have you in my blogs sidebar for all to get answers to today’s issues.
    Regards,
    Mike Yukon

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    1. Damn, you do go way back. Believe, it is appreciated.

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  7. I think that Tappan publication was called PSL (Personal Survival Letter). I remember it from magazine article references at the time. Several authors contributed to it, including Jeff Cooper, Rick Fines and others.

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    1. I subscribes and was underwhelmed. And this was a time I was both initially Hoovering in all survivalist sources AND askeert of Soviet nukes. So how bad did it have to be ( it could have been good enough, except for the price )?

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