Just had a quick scan + looks interesting.
International Mountain Bike Magazine - Flash based:
Very good indeed. I particularly liked the feature to download the GPX file of the Surrey Hills route
That's very good. Better design than most printed MTB mags.
Commercial venture or labour of love?
something else to waste more time with, when i should be working....
bloody hell 23 pages in before you get to an article. But all those Ads do look rather flash (hur hur)
Looks good but I normally read biking mags while in the bath, gonna be tricky with this
sound effects reminds me of reading books in oblivion...or was it morrowind?
thats rather impressive...
I downloaded the GPX route and it didn't work - although the file is not empty it didn't display any route.
Looks nice but on the bike fit bit they seem to be regurgitating that nonsense about using a plumb line to set your saddle position. I thought that had all been tested and found to be rubbish. Or maybe I'm wrong and the test to test it was in fact rubbish. Anyway someone somewhere is talking rubbish!
cue post to suggest it's me.
I suggest that you, sir, are talking rubbish!
Good - very good for free!
I'm amazed - there's a photo in there of someone with their Camelbak pipe under their arm instead of over their shoulder - I thought I was the only person who did that !
I downloaded the adobe update as instructed, and still couldn't see any of the articles. I'll try again later.
In the meantime, could someone tell me what they said about the Elixir R, please?
Why would you limit yourself by publishing on the web in a format that apes paper magazines? I don't quite understand. Surely we've evolved beyond the point where a web publication needs to look like a paper one so we know what it is?
Am I missing something obvious here?
I quite like online PDF magazines, rather that than have to skim through 100's of links to navigate a website (a-la bikeradar)
But why would I want to virtually click through page after page of ads? Just doesn't really make much sense to me, ditto the near total lack of inter-activity. It's a bit like choosing to make a silent film, there's nothing intrinsically dreadful about the format, but its limiting. Then again, what do I know.
Some people just love to pick fault
I just clicked on the contents tab, didn't realise there were even any adverts until you lot said.
I suspect the publishers may want to think about redistributing the ads throughout the pages.
The magazine format works for me too. Gives a whole load of new content in one hit, rather than the dribble of news on STW or the unwieldy mess that is Bikeradar.
Some people just love to pick fault
I dunno, I thought it was a fair observation. And no-one's really come back with a good reason to use a facsimile of a print magazine on the web. Familiarity maybe? Something more traditional-thinking advertisers can relate to? I'm interested more than picking fault, I was just wondering what the thinking behind it is.
The one hit thing is fine, but it depends how you use the web, if you tend to use sites on a daily basis then it makes more sense to have a drip feed of topical information rather than a big one off pile of content.
I guess I've always seen the web and magazines as performing slightly different functions, so it's slightly thrown me when things get mixed up together like this. Does that make sense?
Uncalled for swearing in the music on the Surrey Hills vid. A vid whcih featured some rather dull footage of people riding about two sections of trail.
Not bad, but not brilliant either.
First up I'm glad you found the magazine, yesterday was our soft launch day and next week we will be pushing it a little more, but it is great that so many of you saw it and felt the need to add some comments.
My name is Rou and I own and run the business behind the magazine so I thought I would take the time to answer some of your questions this morning before heading out on the bike!
I have answered all your questions, Badly Wired Dog, you had a few and my response is quite lengthy so I have put headers in this post so you can scan to the answer you want if you don’t want to read the whole post. My answers for you are at the end. If any of you do have any more questions feel free to ask, you can also use the facebook connect feedback feature on the homepage. I am really pleased so many of you liked it and I’m sorry if we will now waste some more of your time at work. Hopefully the content is worth it though.
Labour of love or commercial venture? Lots of ads?
It’s a bit of both really, I love biking, so does the whole team on the mag, everyone involved rides a mountain bike on a regular basis, and I mean everyone. So certainly that was the initial reason for us thinking about the project. But of course it is a commercial venture too. The concept is simple, we want to give you amazing content free of charge, but we need to fund that somehow, so the advertisers support the project, they get to advertise in a great magazine, and you get to read a great magazine free of charge. We will never charge for the mag, it will always be free and always be one click away. Hopefully we can get enough readers to impress the advertisers enough to keep them on board. We will be working with them to ensure the ads are more interactive and have some more video content to keep you amused. Hopefully you can appreciate the adverts mean you get the magazine for free.
Captain Flash Heart
Sorry about the three swear words in the music, I did consider whether to let it pass or do a “radio edit” in future I will make sure we do a radio edit, we were so pushed for time on our deadline it didn’t get done. In your opinion what would you like to see more of to make it ‘brilliant’? We are aiming that magazine at the everyday biker, riders like ourselves who want to ride probably more than their schedule allows. We are keen to ensure the content contains something for everyone. If you have any content ideas let me know and I will get the team to look into them.
Online magazine concept, why do it?
First up Badly Wired Dog, I’ll explain the online mag format. You're right to ask why we emulate a paper magazine and there are several reasons. When we launched the company 3 years ago we started with an online kitesurfing magazine. I had been the editor of the UK mag for some time and was in need of a change. My brother is a techy guru so we got together and started to develop online publishing. It was pretty basic back then and it has moved on a lot over the years.
But why do it?
At the time a lot of the advertisers in the paper kite mag were asking where there money was going, they put in an advert, yet had no measure of whether people saw that advert, if they responded to it and if it actually paid for itself. With online publishing this is the opposite, advertisers can see very easily how many people saw the advert and how many people responded to it.
There is also as you suspected a familiar aspect for the advertiser too, we are working with them offering pages, double pages and half pages. As opposed to obscure banner sizes.
You mention interactivity, it is far more interactive than a paper magazine, and that's the point, you can read it, watch videos, listen to the unedited interview with Martyn, download the route for the trail guide, learn from the tech movies and enjoy the page-flipping tech too. The idea is to make a paper magazine come alive on the web.
A magazine is a familiar format, we are all used to it, you have a front cover a back cover and pages in between, it is easy for people to navigate through as you can just keep clicking the pages. Of course you can use the navigation bars as well to skip around the mag, but the idea is that it is more structured and ordered than a website which can quickly become messy and filled up. Each back issue will remain online as well so over time there will be an archive of mags at your fingertips that you can access for free whenever you want without having them take up space in your cupboard.
Instantly the magazine can be read globally, without having to ship 20 copies here and there. 1 person in Paraguay can read the mag if they desire. Our kite mag is read in over 160 countries worldwide, we miss out on the central African countries but there isn't much kitesurfing that goes on there!
Lastly it is green, printing on paper, no matter how organic and recycled your paper, is harsh on the environment. Then after you have printed your mag you need to distribute it, this involves burning fuels and shipping heavy paper round the globe. Again not great on the environment. I'm not an eco warrior, but I do like to think that I am doing my bit to not make a huge impact on the Earth.
Hopefully that goes some way to explain the format, it is something we have found to be hugely popular over the last three years, it allows us to put creative design onto the web, as opposed to just dull web pages. I hope you get used to it and enjoy it too.
Thanks again for taking the time to check out the mag, i hope you pass the link on to your friends and spread it around.
Read it yesterday and, although not a fan of online publications, enjoyed reading it. Forwarded the link on to a few friends as well. Good work Rou.
Probably related to ABP but I found the advertisement pages refused to load for me...which was a plus
Ok.. having pondered this thread for quite a while I can sum things up thus...
A commercial venture has launched an online mountain bike magazine that seems to be taking a slice of the advertising pie and possibly readership that we rely on to pay the wages of this commercial venture. Now.. competition is absolutely fine and dandy. I'm all for the free market.. No really! But personally I wouldn't dream of popping over to your website and using your forum to explain and promote our business.. Much in the same way I don't do that over on Bikemagic or Bikeradar and probably why my equivalents on those sites don't do that here. We are all competitors and the market tends to encourage progress and higher quality but come on..
Note I've not pulled the thread. But it seems to me to be a bit like walking into a local shop and explaining to the customers in there why your shop is better. I don't know.. As the person here responsible for the commercial side of things am I over reacting a bit?
That's fair enough, I didn't start the thread and was merely responding to questions asked.
Appreciate where you are coming from although I would like to think our end products are two very different things.
Fair points from Mark but, tbh, I wouldn't lose sleep.
we want to give you amazing content
Then I await the second issue with anticipation but the first was a bit.... unamazing. One lengthy interview in which Martyn Ashton mentions Diamondback enough for me to notice it. I then couldn't help but notice the Diamondback/Raleigh ads. It also seems quite Surrey/Freeborn (again, I kept wondering what was going to be featured in ish 2: South Downs or Chilterns?) focussed. The reviews? Insipid. 'Skills section'? Soul-destroyingly unoriginal. It didn't really stand out as a mag with any clear personality or point.
Fair enough it's free but it was very... <shrugs> meh.
Still be buying ST mag - I don't particulaly like online bike mags- ya can't take it away with you on a biking holiday, on the bog, read it at bed time etc..... Enough said
Very sorry... at first impression I don't like it... Sorry
I'm fairly certain it's not my instinctive but misguided "I'm the oracle of all mountain biking " knee jerk reaction...
Not trying to be an arse for fun either... just didn't make me want read it again??? I'm sure plenty will!
Initially..I will admit It's all just from little picky stupid things... but then I was thinking what's new hear apart from being on line...
demographic is a word I don't like... but what's your target... I have to to target consumers all the time...and across the board...
I just hope it isn't me... cos you missed sadly!
Early days maybe?
You just cant beat the sound of Singltrack hitting the floor as it comes through the letterbox. You cant beat the excitment as you flip through the pages just to look at the pictures before you read it. You cant beat the practicality of reading Singletrack where you want - no web based publication is as good as a book/mag in that respect.
If you want online stuff there is a great forum already - we are all using it now.
The interface between reader and information is poor when its online - its tactile, familiar, simple, foolproof and reassuring when its in a magazine / book.
You could read it on the bog by taking a laptop with you...
Wash your hands...
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