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Chris Knight

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Alf":j6r3zdkf said:
waterhead37":j6r3zdkf said:
I reckon the amount of interesting project type writing is just a function of the number of folk willing/able to write about it
Or maybe the amount paid is disproportionate to the amount of effort involved... :wink: Actually, my problem is I can either do woodworking or I can write about it, but I'm not up to doing both. As long as the required submissions are for projects, I'm stuffed. I simply don't make enough! Anyone wants ramblings on woodworking theory though, I'm your woman. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
Alf,
Perhaps I should not have been so restrictive in my post and perhaps you are highlighting a failing in editorial policy. You are the best writer on woodworking stuff I have ever read bar none. Of course that view is formed by the stuff you have written about - 99% of which interests me but still leaves lots of areas you have not covered. Any editor worth his salt should have a policy that covers the stuff you have written about.
 

frank

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i dont buy uk mags anymore when i look at them on the shelves it seems like i would be buying an advertising mag with some woodworking articles thrown in ,i get pop wood and fww sent over from the states they dont seem to have as many adverts and much better articles and its true you can put fww down but the next time you pick it up you want to read it again how many uk mags can do that ???
just my two pence worth :?
 

Alf

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waterhead37":1mwwalp2 said:
You are the best writer on woodworking stuff I have ever read bar none. Of course that view is formed by the stuff you have written about - 99% of which interests me but still leaves lots of areas you have not covered.
Oooo, I'll have the first half of that for the workshop wall. \:D/ It'll comfort me as I bleed on the latest piece of unfortunate timber. "Never mind" I shall say to myself, "I may be a lousy woodworker, but at least I can write about it" :lol: :lol:

Frank, I think one of the things FWW got absolutely spot on right from the start was having a policy of no ads between the main articles in the middle of the magazine. It just seems to make things flow better. One of the problems I have with the UK mags is often the content and the ads are hard to distinguish - or is that just me? :? Article length is another one. Too often I get the impression an article has been made to fit the space, instead of taking the brave step of saying "right, this one deserves to be expanded to six pages or whatever, put feature X on hold 'til next month". Take the long bow guy in GWW this time. Now evidently he was interviewed for the one page Benchtalk feature, but I would have thought he would have interesting things enough to take it to a couple more pages so why "waste" him on the one page Benchtalk? Well that's just my feeling on it, but then I'm not an editor (thank goodness) so I can whinge from the sidelines in perfect safety. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Pete W

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Steve Maskery":1nw5tcoc said:
two very simple reasons ... Money and market size.
No argument there... I've spent the last 20-odd years working in the magazine industry and would have killed (my publisher, usually) to have anything approaching the resources of my US colleagues.

My original post was a quick response to Tony's question; I certainly didn't want to overly criticise GWW because, as I noted, I think it is the best of the UK mags.

And I'm definitlely looking forward to next month's tool cabinet article :).
 

wizer

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just a quick thought on the subject of advertising.

Do you think that you notice the UK ads more because they are more 'appealing'/'attainable'

I flipped through a copy of PWW and did not notice the ads at all. I think this was mainly because I was conscience of the fact I was reading a US mag and the ads were not aimed at me.
 

wizer

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I also agree that Articles could be longer and more detailed. This benifits not just the newbie, but the pro too. I don't know how the whole magazine industry works but surely they can afford a few more pages for articles.

Alf: I agree with Chris. You are a very tallented and interesting writer/woodworker. I am sure you could get work freelance for these mags (even the US ones?). Surely if you are designing and building something then all you really need to do is log your progress and take a couple of hours to collate this into an article at the end?

I think this is true of many of the regular's here (argee springs to mind). Maybe GWW and other UK mags need to look at this.
 

beech1948

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Alf,

I'm with Alf on a couple of things.

GWW does look like advertising which is interupted by articles. Perhaps a more aspirational view would be to experiment with the FWW approach of not interupting articles with ads.

With FWW I find I still read the ads even if just out of frustration at the low costs in USA.

The segmentation issue for me is that FWW with a 280,ooo per month circulation is very small in a US total population of 650,000,000 ++. In fact they are probably in exactly the same situation as GWW.

I do believe that there are 250,000 Europeans who are likely to subscribe to GWW if the formulae was right. I believe that per 65,000,000 of population ( rough UK pop) there are as many "EU" craftmen in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden etc etc etc as in the UK. So thats say 22,000 circ for GWW times 14 countries which is 264,000. The same as FWW.

Can GWW, The Woodworker and newly amalgamated Woodturner, F&C survive in the UK as is with current strategies. Probably not.

A model to look at is Local Newspapers. I get the Crowthorne Times, there are 5 other similar versions of this to suit local villages but almost identical content. A way to go.

Alan
 

Steve Maskery

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WiZeR":2m1thcbx said:
Surely if you are designing and building something then all you really need to do is log your progress and take a couple of hours to collate this into an article at the end?
I wish!
Wizer, my generous friend. If it were that easy everyone would do it.

I reckon that every major project I write up takes me 4 or 5 days work, over and above what it would take to make the piece if I didn't write it up. I have to provide an accurate cutting list (although Pete has often got me out of a hole on this) the copy, which is rather more than just logging my progress and spending "a couple of hours" at the end. I have to take pictures along the way, properly annotated, and, most time consuming of all, create drawings which tell the whole story, which GW then completely redraw :shock: . Then there are often phone calls and emails afterwards to clarify some point or another. Then I have to set aside a day when Pete comes up to photograph the finished article.

And in all this I have to try to make it interesting to read, whether or not the reader plans to make the piece up, and I take considerable care to try to ensure this is the case.

This isn't meant to be a whinge, my relations with the mag are pretty good for the vast majority of the time, and I do it bcasue I choose to, but there really is considerably more to creating an article than you imply.

Try it! :D

Cheers
Steve
 

Ian Dalziel

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I’m with Steve on this one…..I’ve been missing for a few months as I’ve taken a promotion at work and it’s been a far bigger burden than I thought it ‘wood’

I found making the projects the easy part…step by step photos were no problem even finishing a project wasn’t too bad but getting them to a stage where I had to write into stages on how its done is very difficult for me… simply because I want to work with my hands…I want to go out to the workshop and design something then create it,,and be proud of it.
I don’t know about Steve but I found the writing part very difficult often taking a lot longer than the project simply because it has got to make sense and be readable and interesting…but it’s not woodworking…its authoring
GWW editorial team are very skilled in bringing projects together….you should see how they get sent…I enjoyed being part of the team for a while and I think you’ll see a few more changes over the next few months some will like, some wont. I’ll still read the mag and do the odd project but not in the same way I was unless I can step aside from difficult working conditions and get focused back into woodworking..but I don’t see that happening very soon but you never know…I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed doing the workshop series and getting feedback from the people here on the forum


Ian
 

Steve Maskery

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Ian
I hope you don't disappear from the mag, we can't afford to lose the excellent input you have contributed these last few years. We need more good quality projects, not fewer!

Cheers
Steve, founder member of the mutual admiration society.
 

beech1948

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waterhead,

I probably got the total size of US population wrong...it was a quick input requested and answered by my son...but I think the point is still valid.

regards

alan
 

wizer

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Steve/Ian

ok so maybe i was a little naive. I do realise that there is more to just jotting down some meaningful notes and throwing them tigether to make an article. It is clear to see that the articles I have read from both of you are very proffesionally written. But my main point was that there are plenty of talented woodworkers here and this can only bring a diversity to such a magazine. More woodworker journalists must mean less preasure to produce articles so quickly?
 

Midnight

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I remember when I first started out, trawling through the newsagent shelves, coming home with an arm-full of mags on a quest to learn... every UK title in print...

repetition... repetition... repetition...

same tools compared, marginal differences in wording, same net result; nothing that stood head and shoulders above any other... just enough comment per tool to blaw meaningless wind up the manufacturers wazzoo... gimme a break..!!!


1) Aspirational content making nus want to see the magazine
2) Moving away from its current DIYish focus..see 1) above
3) Focussing onto "how-to" and skill building articles
4) Become aligned with the higher end tool manufacturers
5) A focus on the spectacular skills of the UK, the reputation of the UK toolmaking industry and the history of high end cabinet making skills we have.
5) Actually making a decision about its future which is not limited by a UK only view.
now that is a brief that I'd sign up to in 3 year subscriptions at a time... add honest tool reviews, Alf's for example, reviews where it's obvious that the author has spent more than 30 secs getting his / her hands dirty and written an honest "warts and all" review...

gimme shop articles that help me raise my skill level, not dumb them down to big-box mentality... I'm as hungry for knowledge as I've ever been... but bird feeders..???? pleaseee.!!!!!

I want to read about the pro's techniques... their reasons behind why they do how they do things... and not just UK pro's neither; the net's making the global village a reality... a mag should reflect that ad make best use of online content too; the 5 min video-clips over on Taunton's site are worth their weight in gold for learning technique... how about master-classes on how the auld-timers built their best pieces... resurect some of the old skills...
I shouldn't have to go abroad to find a mag with content that I can blow through in 30 secs and feel under-whelmed, ... but untill such times as I find something worth subscribing too....
one good article once in a blue moon isn't gonna cut it, nuff said..??????
 

wizer

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flipping back through my copy of GWW tonight. I have noticed the ads do get in the way of the important stuff. The main offender is the ads for other non-ww mags. 5 in total!

I agree that the main ads need to be shifted back towards the back of the mag
 

MikeW

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beech1948":35yzq8sq said:
...The segmentation issue for me is that FWW with a 280,ooo per month circulation is very small in a US total population of 650,000,000 ++. ...Alan
Slight adjustment to the figure for US population...

Interim Projections of the Total Population for the United States and States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2030
Geographic Area: United States
Census April 1, 2000: 281,421,906
Projections July 1, 2005: 295,507,134
Projections July 1, 2010: 308,935,581
Projections July 1, 2015: 322,365,787
Projections July 1, 2020: 335,804,546
Projections July 1, 2025: 349,439,199
Projections July 1, 2030: 363,584,435
:lol:
 

Ian Dalziel

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Thanks for the vote of confidence Steve......I will still be doing the odd thing but not until my work realise that there are only 24 hrs in a day and not 48...I have just done 217hrs in 14 days and i'm knackered...and unfortunately the WTD doesnt cover me.


cheers
Ian
 

MikeW

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Please understand that I have not ever seen the GWW magazine and my comments are based upon magazines I have read.

I find this thread interesting. If you have followed threads on various US-based forums (probably any forum in the world really) as well as in the reader-writes-a-gripe columns usually found in the fronts of magazines, including FWW--and I think especially FWW--you will find the same complaints concerning pedantic content.

As Mike (Midnight) wrote, "... but bird feeders..???? pleaseee.!!!!!" In fact, I think most of us that have complained to magazines directly identify with everything he wrote.

To one degree or another, these problems face all magazines: skill levels of the readership base; publishing deadlines; quality submissions; costs and ROI; advertiser presence; and, to whatever degree, submissions from whom the readership perceives to be worth paying for. The last one is a credit to FWW in that they do often have articles from unknowns.

But I also do not think there is an easy fix to the problem(s) in so far as a published magazine is concerned. I do not think that even a semi-regular magazine would be able to pay its bills and make a profit if it aimed only at the higher end of skills. I do think that it would be an inspiration, though, for any reader who would bother to peruse it no matter their skill level.

I face this all the time. One of the regular features in FWW that consistently receives deserved praise is the Current Work section. Don't get me wrong, I am capable of pretty decent work. But there are times I see some of the work presented in that section and am thoroughly humbled.

I for one would like to find a magazine that would enable me to see and learn how to elevate my work. But I doubt that even if I happen to find one that it would have the same meaning for enough other people to continue being published. That's another issue facing publishers: What is valuable for one person might be utter rubbish for another.

So I personally have given up in the hunt for "the perfect" magazine. I accept that those I do review or subscribe to will never be "the one."

However, I have realized that even on some of the worst projects, there is often a tidbit that I can use, be it a technique, an interesting wood choice, perhaps it's only a picture of some jig being used with no real mention of its utility. Perhaps it simply sparks a new idea in a totally different application.

I do know that my hat is off to the people on this forum who are trying to make Good Woodworking into a viable magazine. It take perseverance and dedication in spite of the fee arrangements I'm sure. It certainly takes harder work than I would be able to muster.
 

beech1948

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Mikew,
Sorry for doubling the population of the US like that. I guess my sons estimate is based on feeling there are so many US citizens around.

Still 250k FWWs in 300,000,000 population is pretty small.

I also want to say that I did not intend my comments to be a bashing of GWW. For what GWW is trying to do may they succeed in volumes for many years to come.

Rather there was some professional pride ( there goes my ego again..darn it) involved in trying to recognise the issues. These are not just the current moribund view of the publishing industry but trying to see beyond to a larger ambition.

I was think just of a magazine which was used to attract people to a web site which had stuff from geoff Gorman, video instruction, articles, plans etc etc somewhat like a combination of FWW/Plans Now and Geoff Gormans sites. Of course it would need to charge small amounts for information or copies but so what the charges would be small and if the quality was there then it would be commercially viable.

The current GWW web site is a travesty but so are many of their competitors sites. Please can't we see some ambition from the UK publishing companies.

The BUT in this is that I believe there are as many humble, skilled amateurs around as ever in each EU country. Its really the issue of settling for the mundane when excellence is available.

regards

Alan
 

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