Author Topic: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE  (Read 3569 times)

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jmlaboda

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Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« on: July 15, 2010, 02:30:44 PM »
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http://index.mrmag.com/

Having just used it within the past couple of weeks I was shocked when I found that the site has been removed by Kalmbach. For any seeking information on what articles there were about various subjects this is a real shocker.

asciibaron

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 02:48:14 PM »
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where have i read this before?  ;D
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 04:24:18 PM »
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I don't know why they don't simply put it on CD and either sell it or offer it as a free bonus to new subscribers.

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 08:02:17 AM »
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I don't know why they don't simply put it on CD and either sell it or offer it as a free bonus to new subscribers.

Because it grows every month? Free bonus to new subscribers? What about old subscribers? Magazine rack purchasers? The Index was a public service and it would be a major headache if it goes away.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 12:21:16 PM »
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I don't know why they don't simply put it on CD and either sell it or offer it as a free bonus to new subscribers.

Because it grows every month? Free bonus to new subscribers? What about old subscribers? Magazine rack purchasers? The Index was a public service and it would be a major headache if it goes away.

The other thing they (or someone entrepreneurial) could do is create an index that is subscription based.  Offer so many lookups for a set price.

But regardless, the existing business model wasn't working for Kalmbach or it would still be there.

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2010, 02:20:47 PM »
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Early on, it was a good reason top go to the Kalmbach web site. Now there aren't any.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

Hyperion

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2010, 04:01:47 PM »
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Offer it as a free add-in on a CD that is updated and released yearly but only provided to those who buy subscriptions at full-price.  It could only help the number of subscriptions they sell and would likely convert some of the minimal-profit $29 ones into full-paying $45 (or whatever it is) ones.

Or better yet, only on an as-requested basis to full-pricers so you don't incur any expense for the majority who'd never look at the thing.

Kalmbach doesn't catch any flak for selling the thing for $20 or something what was otherwise free to subscribers.  And they provide an incentive for people to buy the full-price subscription.  And one would have to think that removing the index hurts highly profitable backorder and/or copy sales, so making the info available adds a nice revenue stream.
-Mark

John

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 05:09:05 PM »
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maybe they could put it on those DVDs they send me :)

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 05:43:43 PM »
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Why are we trying to help Kalmbach make more money again? It seems they're doing pretty well by recycling old articles into over-priced books and e-media packages. How about they keep the reference free to all, as a pimp machine to sell overpriced back issues and recycled stuff?
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 06:02:14 PM »
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Why are we trying to help Kalmbach make more money again? It seems they're doing pretty well by recycling old articles into over-priced books and e-media packages. How about they keep the reference free to all, as a pimp machine to sell overpriced back issues and recycled stuff?

Don't be a hater.  ;D

Hey, I admit they aren't perfect, but if it weren't for Kalmbach, I bet there would be a lot fewer of us in the hobby.

Does that mean they get to hold model railroaders "hostage"?

No, of course not.

Without seeing their cashflow sheets, I'm betting their profit/loss is much less rosy than it was back in 1980.

But all in all, keeping that index up to date and allocating the band width for it is or was taking $$. 

I think an inclusive online index is a great idea, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to be free. 

Hyperion

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2010, 06:26:26 PM »
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Why are we trying to help Kalmbach make more money again? It seems they're doing pretty well by recycling old articles into over-priced books and e-media packages. How about they keep the reference free to all, as a pimp machine to sell overpriced back issues and recycled stuff?

Because clearly the old way wasn't working out for them so asking for it back isn't gonna happen.  Unless you think they're truly run by a bunch of retards (in which case I doubt they'd be doing "pretty well"), I'm fairly sure they didn't sit around a table and go, "You know what, that index sure makes us a *****-ton of money on back issue sales, I think we should just dump that sucker for the hell of it!  Man, it feels great to piss off those stupid model railroaders!". 

They have no sort of public responsibility to provide the information, so if they deemed their current model to not be worth their while they don't have to do it.  So you can sit around and whine that it's gone or you can think of ways that might make it worth their trouble to do whatever is necessary to make the data available again and maybe they'll actually consider them.  Or you can speak with your wallet, stop buying their mags, and if enough people to do it that might be reason enough for them to bring it back.
-Mark

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2010, 08:51:28 PM »
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So you can sit around and whine that it's gone or you can think of ways that might make it worth their trouble to do whatever is necessary to make the data available again and maybe they'll actually consider them.  Or you can speak with your wallet, stop buying their mags, and if enough people to do it that might be reason enough for them to bring it back.

Mark,

Are you familiar with the concept of brainstorming? Obviously not, so troll up, cat daddy.

This has, historically, been a free service. As the statement says, it was donated to Kalmbach as such. The idea of turning it into a Kalmbach-member-only benefit smacks that idea in the face, which is why I was defending its remaining free.

In the same spirit as its development, it would behoove the publisher to offer the package to developers in the public domain to bring it back to life, if possible, ala open source effort. I honestly don't believe they gave it much thought and my guess is there's talent out there that could "crack the code" and tease the data out to be able to find it a new home. And if that fails, well at least we tried.

Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

Shipsure

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2010, 09:10:45 PM »
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Personally I think this is the suckiest thing they thought of yet.   I agree, they at least should have taken some time to check out options or offer it to someone who could keep it going.  Next time they come around and blow happy smoke at me for more advertizing dollars I'll remind them of their poor decision making here.  Anyone who does any sort of research, or has more than two magazines stacked next to the can uses this resource...a lot.  It's one of the things I appreciated about their organization.  I also appreciate the fact you need to make a buck, but a little advanced warning would have been nice. 

Joe

Hyperion

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 09:17:28 PM »
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So you can sit around and whine that it's gone or you can think of ways that might make it worth their trouble to do whatever is necessary to make the data available again and maybe they'll actually consider them.  Or you can speak with your wallet, stop buying their mags, and if enough people to do it that might be reason enough for them to bring it back.

Mark,

Are you familiar with the concept of brainstorming? Obviously not, so troll up, cat daddy.

This has, historically, been a free service. As the statement says, it was donated to Kalmbach as such. The idea of turning it into a Kalmbach-member-only benefit smacks that idea in the face, which is why I was defending its remaining free.

In the same spirit as its development, it would behoove the publisher to offer the package to developers in the public domain to bring it back to life, if possible, ala open source effort. I honestly don't believe they gave it much thought and my guess is there's talent out there that could "crack the code" and tease the data out to be able to find it a new home. And if that fails, well at least we tried.



The "concept of brainstorming" relies on the fact that much more than a single idea is proposed, and that, by definition, these ideas will be of varying values and of a variety of different means of acheiving similar goals or differing means of achieving even different goals.  So, sorry to tell you, but it doesn't mean "latch onto whatever idea sirenwerks wants".  

While the idea of handing it over to another group like the NMRA that's already asked for it, is certainly the most ideal solution and I haven't seen a single person say otherwise, it may not be the one that Kalmbach wants to go down.  If Kalmbach wants to monetize this (and being that they're a business, they're Kalmbach, and they apparently didn't offer anyone the opportunity to do otherwise with the software, that would seem to be the case) that's their prerogative, and so then the desired solution may be one that minimizes the cost to the consumer with the most potential value to Kalmbach.  Hanging your hat on a single idea, or demand as the case may be, rarely works in your favor -- especially when it's essentially relying on a for-profit business to do something out of the kindness of its heart.
-Mark

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroader Magazine Index... GONE
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2010, 09:27:30 PM »
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I'm not a web developer but I have managed small mid-size projects for NPOs, spec-ing databases and re-designing user experiences for existing extranets and web-accessible databases, so I have a handle on what is possible and how things work. And I know a lot of programmers and web developers who work in the open source world. Hell, my neighbor still programs in Cobalt for the feds. My spidey sense just isn't tingling the right way with this.

"MS-DOS language"? MS-DOS is an operating system, not a language, and MS-DOS was written, if I remember correctly, in ASM. I'm gonna throw caution to the wind and inquire with Kalmbach if they will release a copy so I can try to get some pro bono talent in to figure out how to tease the data out. I just don't think Kalmbach spent a lot of effort on this and it's too valuable a resource to loose.


Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.