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John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Paying twice for BPL content on 01/23/2006 19:40:28 MST Print View

Forgive me if I missed an important post on this somewhere. I just clicked on the excellent Scotland article, and realized that I have to shell out additional money for the print edition if I want to read the whole thing. Doesn't it seem a little tough on loyal subscribers to make us subscribe twice if we want to read all the content?

Noticed that the "print vs. online" comparison notes "no overlap in editorial content." While that may technically be true in the Scotland case, it seems like splitting hairs. We gotta subscribe to one to see the pictures, the other to read the account?

I believe BPL provides a valuable service/product, and feel like my online subscription is money well spent. I certainly believe people should be paid for the work they do. But, this feels a little like we're being led by the nose here...

Struggled a bit with the subject line, don't mean disrespect to Jordan et al, but am concerned, and wonder what the community's opinions are.

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 01/23/2006 19:59:32 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Paying twice for BPL content on 01/24/2006 11:06:47 MST Print View

It seems that this might be a sensitive topic to touch, but I agree with you, John. I, too, was turned off by the "teaser" of the Scotland article, and felt vaguely mislead after reaching the conclusion and realizing that I could read no further unless I got the print magazine. I really want to know what Chris Townsend had to say about his gear and his trips in Scotland, but I have no inclination towards purchasing the print magazine. Now I will never know what the conclusion of the article is.

I feel that as a paying subscriber here I should be able to read any article that appears here to its conclusion without having to pay yet again for the "privilege" of reading yet another magazine. If the BPL staff feels that an article should only appear in the print version of the magazine, then provide a reference here to the article, but don't just give us a "preview". The online BPL magazine shouldn't act as merely a showcase for the print version. I didn't subscribe to this magazine to pay for advertising of the other magazine.

BPL has been a wonderful daily read for me, with a lot of information that has helped my whole hiking style evolve. I've come across products, ideas, and people that otherwise I might never have learned about. The discussion boards have brought me in touch with quite a few like-minded people with whom I can share my passion for walking and making the best of my skills. But I'm not paying for the discussion boards per se; I can find that easily elsewhere.

I joined BPL after reading one of the early articles about Bill Merchant. It's what I expect of the magazine, still. I don't expect to read only gear evaluations, but a good range of articles about techniques, travel accounts, and profiles, too. And I don't feel that I should have to only get a taste of these articles or to pay extra to finish reading the articles.

My 2¥'s worth (that's less than 2 cents mind you!).

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Paying twice for BPL content on 01/24/2006 11:21:36 MST Print View

I agree with both of you. Perhaps I'm confused, but didn't the print magazine and online versions once have the same stuff? Seems like when I was not a member a couple of years ago and would peruse this site, the membership basically offered hard-copy versus electronic versions of the same thing (but perhaps I misunderstood).

It does seem a bit too much like advertising for the print mag to show pictures with no text. And I'm sure if anyone subscribes only to the print version, they must be irked not to get the pictures.

Chris Moore
(txtwang) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Paying twice for BPL content on 01/24/2006 16:08:29 MST Print View

I felt like the Townsend pic's were posted here b/c the print versions are b/w and they are MUCH nicer in color. It may have been a tease, but I didn't feel that way, but I subscribe to both the print and online versions. I think both are still being tweaked and developing their own personalities.

BPL/BMW advertises all kind of stuff on this site the doesn't come with the online membership (Cocoon, titanium spoons, books, DVD's, etc.) I don't have a problem with that. It's good stuff!

james schardt
(jamie_s) - F
Whoa. on 01/25/2006 08:07:57 MST Print View

I didn't realize they had different content. I thought it was just a difference in media.

I don't like it either. Not good.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Online vs. Print on 01/25/2006 08:33:11 MST Print View

It does seem that the primary focus of the online content is all about gear. And the gear knowledge is great. But I am interested in seeing more about technique "in action".

I would love to see if that content will be in the print mag., but I have been waiting for the Dec. issue I paid for in Nov....and it is getting close to Feb.

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
response from the management? on 01/30/2006 14:50:14 MST Print View

I sent a request for a response to this via the support feature, will keep you all posted if I hear anything.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Re: response from the management? on 02/02/2006 18:49:10 MST Print View

Any response yet?

My paid membership here is about to expire and Im curious to know whats going on to help me decide what to do.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
what's the big deal? on 02/02/2006 19:34:20 MST Print View

I don't see what the big deal is. They are different services. Each one is priced fairly on its own.


(Anonymous)
Re: what's the big deal? on 02/02/2006 20:52:11 MST Print View

The big deal is that if the online subscription degenerates to a purely or almost purely review site, then some people might not want to continue subscribing to the online version and instead choose to subscribe only to the print version.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: what's the big deal? on 02/02/2006 22:07:01 MST Print View

Yes, that was what I was thinking. While the reviews are important to me and I learn a lot about new gear that I might want to try, that is not my main reason for subscribing to the online version two years ago. If reviews had been the original main focus of the online version as it seems to be now, I would never have subscribed.

The print version comes out too seldom and, due to its print nature, is neither timely enough, nor interactive. It is also quite a lot more expensive for an international subscription, not to mention the whole issue of environmental impact of using paper and air freight. I get a discount on the print version if I am a member of the online version, but subscribing to the non-online member print version is both more expensive and I get no discounts on BPL gear.

I don't really know where BPL online is headed. In the two and half years that I've been reading it (took me a while to decide to become a member) there has been quite a shift in focus. It seems almost all of the knowledge of UL techniques and such come from the forums now (and, I take it, in the print version), rather than from BPL itself. I don't even know why a print version is necessary. It seems the online version was a lot richer and more focused before the print version was introduced. Now there are two versions. Why? Is it because the BPL staff wants the more populous online version to be purely a money-generating venture? Fair enough, that is their perrogative. But count me out as a subscriber then.

Edited by butuki on 02/02/2006 22:09:41 MST.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: what's the big deal? on 02/02/2006 22:49:46 MST Print View

"it seems almost all of the knowledge of UL techniques and such come from the forums now"

Absolutly. Anything of interest on the main site is discussed on the forums, and its hashed out, rehashed, and if the topic is real juicy, the topic is beat until the proverbial dead horse is not just dead, but starting to get a touch putrid...

The forum content is extremely informative, and your not going to find it elsewhere... but I will say right here and now that the software quality of the forum is quite lacking, and that effects the user experience, and if BPL has any plans on making forum access "members only"... well, Im not sure the forums are reason enough to maintain membership here.

"It seems the online version was a lot richer and more focused before the print version was introduced."

True again... Were BPL what it is today, I wouldnt have subscribed. Now, the content of BPL is getting to be more and more "softball" and as I said, the good stuff is now all in the forum.

"subscribing to the non-online member print version... [means] I get no discounts on BPL gear."

I dont buy much of anything online anymore. I make what I can, and what I cant make, I try to find locally first. If I dont find it locally, Ill CONSIDER buying online but more and more I keep asking myself "If nobody has it locally, do I NEED it THAT bad????" Im not an uber-super-hyper-mega-light backpacker, and so I dont need the really specialist gear. Long story short, I didnt sign up or the discount. Truth be told, I havent bought ANYTHING from the BPL store.... of course that has as much to do with availablity of products as much as anything else.

However....

"not to mention the whole issue of environmental impact of using paper and air freight"

even though we are talking a minor impact, all things considered, I do whatever I can to reduce paper coming into my house. I thought BPL Online was great because there was a ton of information, and no waste. Kinda like gutenberg.org, but for backpacking. Now I find out that the good stuff is only available in print? Bummer.

So, anyway, I wanna know whats going on with BLP Print, BPL Online, and maybe a hint at whats going to happen with the forums, so I can decide where my $$$ is gonna go.

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
No Response Yet on 02/04/2006 10:56:58 MST Print View

Joe/All:
A customer service person replied that she was forwarding my query to Ryan Jordan. No further response to date.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Re: No Response Yet on 02/04/2006 11:13:27 MST Print View

Unfortunatly, the lack of response is starting to speak for itself.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Response kind of... on 02/04/2006 17:39:40 MST Print View

Hi all,
We've been following this forum, but prep for OR, OR itself, and catching back up after OR takes some attention. I'll answer more fully shortly, but in the meantime, one of BPL's tenets is to build a community of passionate backcountry enthusiasts. That's our goal with the two magazines (online and print).
Carol

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: what's the big deal? on 02/04/2006 22:23:24 MST Print View

RavenUL: "it seems almost all of the knowledge of UL techniques and such come from the forums now Anything of interest on the main site is discussed on the forums, and its hashed out, rehashed, and if the topic is real juicy, the topic is beat until the proverbial dead horse is not just dead, but starting to get a touch putrid..."

butuki : “I don't expect to read only gear evaluations, but a good range of articles about techniques, travel accounts, and profiles, too. If reviews had been the original main focus of the online version as it seems to be now, I would never have subscribed.”


I too have found myself contemplating whether to re-subscribe to Backpacking Light or move on. Perhaps this site should be more appropriately re-named Backpacking Light Gear… I ‘m not saying I haven’t picked up a few pointers on the latest hardware, and it’s not the $$ for the online subscription but more so the ubber blowhards beating the proverbial dead horse concerning gear or even worse the re-inventing of gear. What happened to the “Backpacking?” In Backpacking Light? So many times I’ve started off excited to read the articles from BPL Reviewers knowing how they would visit some of my favorite trails and national parks yet (with few exceptions Ryan’s Yellowstone / Beartooths Trip) they might as well stayed home with their gram scale, camped in their backyard. Am I missing something? Is it truly all about the gear? I’m beginning to believe this site has lost the trail and needs to back track. Personally I would like to see more articles about actual techniques, travel accounts, and interviews with the likes of Andrew Skurka, Brian Robinson, Colin Fletcher and even those in the industry Glen (Gossamer Gear), Brian (ULA), Ray Jardine (Ray Way), Henry (Tarp Tent).


Thank you for allowing me to let off some steam

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: What's the big deal? on 02/04/2006 23:04:19 MST Print View

I think it is difficult to express any feelings or opinions of doubt about BPL in part because it has been such a friendly and informative site. I visit here every day, something I do with very few other sites. I've come to respect and like quite a number of people here and I certainly don't want to create any bad vibes with any one. However, I'm also paying for this site and that is where the dissatisfaction comes in. I originally came to BPL for th same reasons that Roger seems to seek, but lately haven't really found much on that I originally liked so much about BPL.

I hesitated a long while before posting my opinion on this because I know that it must make many people uncomfortable. I find myself voicing this disassitisfaction and it comes with an unsavory aftertaste. But if I don't say something then maybe no one else will speak up either. Perhaps my opinion is wrong, misinformed, or contentious, but for all that, I really want the best from BPL.

Vic Lipsey
(vlipsey) - MLife
Print Ideas on 02/06/2006 07:12:12 MST Print View

Hello Ya'll,

I'm the managing editor of the print mag. Your insights are being heard and carefully considered. Thank you for your feedback.

Everyone here at BPL wants to put together a balanced, engaging publication that meets the needs of core users and also reaches beginners out there beyond our pages. We are constantly refining that balance and, like gear, we experiment with different strategies to find the best solution. The Scotland overflow content was one of those strategies to provide a home for important content that wouldn't fit in the current issue. Your feedback in this forum is helping us to revisit that strategy and fine tune it.

But I also would love to hear your stories and ideas that we may be able to publish. Do you have interesting trip reports, destination profiles, access to people who are making a difference in the sport, noteworthy photos, tasty recipes, and insightful UL feature? You have the opportunity to help shape this publication and broaden its reach. We need more freelance writers and photographers who know their craft.

Please post your article concepts. If there's interest, I'll start a new thread to expand the ideas further.

Stay warm!

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Response from Jordan on 02/06/2006 15:50:37 MST Print View

Hi all,
Here's Ryan Jordan's response to my customer service inquiry. I'm posting it in the interest of presenting both sides, and because I don't think there's anything particularly personal or confidential in it.
________

Hi John,

I'm back in the office after a break following Outdoor Retailer, hence the delay in responding. Thanks for your patience.

Our goal is this: we don't want to duplicate content between print and online. We are striving to achieve individual identities for both products. I think we've improved since Issue 1, but we have a ways to go, for sure.

As for paying twice for content, specifically regarding the Chris Townsend article, the decision came down to this. We simply didn't have enough page count available in the print magazine to publish Chris's entire submission. We felt that the gear list and photo essay were valuable enough to make available in some format, so we decided to put it online rather than not publish it at all.

We are still in the throes of trying to figure this out. Please stick with us and provide your feedback, so WE know what YOU want as readers. That is so important to us.

Best,
Ryan
---
RYAN JORDAN
Publisher

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 02/06/2006 16:01:43 MST.

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Re: what's the big deal? on 02/06/2006 15:54:10 MST Print View

I really second Roger's thoughts, couldn't have said it better.