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Allen Stark
October 6th, 2008, 11:02 PM
After finding out Swimmer takes 30% of our budget,I was thinking how to make it better.I think it is perhaps fine as it is now for what it does now,but if it is to help us grow...
What do you think?
Rodale had a magazine called "Fitness Swimmer' a few years ago and I thought it was excellent and I think implied that such a mag could be(almost) profitable.The current 4 in one format of "Swimming World" now seems excellent.Perhaps Swimmer should have sections:Competitive Swimmer,fitness swimmer,tri,noodlers(to be totally inclusive.)This might help with the problem of technique articles in Swimmer.The articles seem aimed for the middle and are too simple for elite swimmers and too advanced for beginners.
If you want to sell issues how about more pictures of good looking Masters swimmers in swim suits(it worked for Sports Illustrated.)
I don't find the "new product"section very helpful as it just gives what the company says.How about product testing? I expect a company would be glad to say"our goggles were the top rated by USMS-publicity for us.)If you really want to sell how about product testing on LZR vsTracer Rise,vs Nero Comp.I bet most swimmers,coaches,and parents would be interested in that.

ViveBene
October 7th, 2008, 08:26 AM
There are lots of ways to improve the mag, the site, the membership, and so forth. The big question is, how do we get anyone's attention? And then effect some changes?

I'd like to see the gear reviews moved to the Web site, with perhaps a single good user review in the mag (the user review should, I think, include the company's description of its own product). Last night I was reading some online reviews of backpacking stoves, and they were extraordinary. User reviewers ran tests under different conditions, watched the fuel mix separate at 30 degrees, calculated everything possible about canister life for heating different volumes of water, and so on. The gear companies occasionally responded by changing their product. Ande did some good tests with Speedo's swimsuits. I'd like to see that in a separate section of the site so I don't have to Search and Sift.

Association-specific mags that come with membership are rarely sold outside the association, but a narrow readership doesn't automatically lead to less than ideal content. I've watched member mags make a decision to improve quality and content, pick themselves up by their bootstraps, and DO IT. I have 30 years' experience in publishing (editorial production), including budgeting and print contracting. I would happily put my name in to improve the mag. . . .

Swimming does face a distinct challenge, or several, in respect to content areas. It is unique to the individual working in the water. The venues are limited. The options for a swim vacation are few (v. a hiking vacation or destination vacation). The technique sections of Swimmer aimed at the middle ground are certainly useful to swimmers I know and are saved, but do not address higher-level needs, as noted by Allen S. So the character of the sport establishes some parameters (or limitations) for the magazine's trajectory. Perhaps Swimmer should be regarded as a good, basic, out-the-door effort laying a base for future improvements.

The mag has the look and feel of a low-budget production. This can be improved without much extra cost; one can get a really good design template, and use it for a while. In July-August issue the USMS contacts, including Web site url, championships url, and so forth, are in a box on page 45 of 46 pages in the mag, looking like an advertising box on a page with other advertising boxes. This would be better placed at the front of the mag. "My favorite practice," on page 12, is in white type on a black background, which is illegible. The coach is boxed on a peach background. The design separates the coach from the workout. [Edit: Oh, now I see they are two separate things: online coach v. print publication workout.] "Inside USMS," page 42, is another incoherent-design page. There is very little on the upcoming convention. Endowment Fund, also on page 42, looks like a footnote to something. Any clinics? A calendar page? "The Face of Masters Swimming," as discussed on these forums? Advanced technique? OW column?

Kudos to Bill Volckening, the editor, and the contributors for getting the magazine to volume 4, issue 4. That's a lot. Here is the closing statement of his letter on page 4:

"If you have an idea for USMS or SWIMMER, please get in touch. We're not just dreaming. We're listening."

VB

ViveBene
October 7th, 2008, 09:19 AM
Ideas for Swimmer

If ppl would like to throw out ideas, I'll compile them here, then send thread to Bill Volckening. Maybe that will help.

This is a compilation of ALL suggestions. (Some are mine, many are not.)


I. Look and Feel

A. Layout and design
1. Streamline appearance overall, following model such as Outside magazine or SI.
2. No black backgrounds, please! Cannot read.

B. Organization
1. Move "USMS Contacts" box out of advertising pages and to front of mag, under Letter from Editor.
2. Reorganize "My favorite practice" page.
3. Retitle "Backsplash" page

II. Content

A. Sections
1. Sections for competitive swimmers, fitness swimmers, tris, noodlers
2. Technique sections not very helpful because aimed at middle; too simple for advanced and too difficult for beginners
3. "New products" section not very helpful as it just reproduces what the company says about its product; how about product reviews?
4. Put extensive user product reviews on the Web site
5. Product reviews only one issue per year. Use space for other things also on a once-a-year basis, such as a review of upcoming clinics in the winter/spring issue, or a book review section from time to time.

B. Columns
1. The face of Masters swimming [see also point 10 below]
2. OW swimming
3. Special (not "secret"!) swim places
4. Monthly Q&A (see post 13 below for examples)
5. "Ask the Coach": everything from technique to how to overcome pre-race jitters
6. Guest columnist, content to vary by quarter, in acknowledgment of many different swimming interests (competitive, tris, OW, etc.)
7. Club Corner: Reproduce a good article published in an LMSC newsletter [invite Canada to participate from time to time]
8. Club column: feature different USMS clubs around the country, with membership, top 10 meet times, workouts, what their pools look like.
9. Technique column: frame-by-frame analysis of a swimmer's good stroke
10. (From Quicksilver): More detailed athlete bios instead of just their favorite workout. Not necessarily the top ten achievers. I think we all take special interest in hearing how others juggle our work, family, and recreation time. Kind of like swimmers of the month.

C. Features
1. Storied deep pools
2. How to lobby effectively to start a Masters swim program
3. How LSMC chairs retain USMS membership
4. Clean water concerns and swimmers
5. Special swims USMS swimmers (or others) have constructed for themselves. This has HUGE potential. I'd like to know more about the 23.4-mile swim the length of Chgo that Marcia Cleveland, Chuck, and [third person] did this summer. Why did it take 3 years to put together? Surely there is a good story here! Ron Lockman's Mexico-to-Oregon, pier-to-pier swim would make a terrific story, maybe more than one. Someone on the boards planned to swim ca. 100 miles over a short period; a story? Reminiscences from our own "geochuck," who has been dropping enticing tidbits from his personal history of marathon swimming into various threads. The story potential is really unlimited.
6. Import content from LMSC newsletters (see post 13 below for examples). This could be implemented immediately, I should think.
7. Articles on dry-land training, stretching, etc.--techniques to improve swimming.
8. Guest articles by "great" trainers or coaches, such as David Salo or Bob Bowman. Interview Coach of the Year.

D. Specials
1. Pictures of good-looking Masters swimmers in swimsuits
2. Centerfold: Quicksilver's buff cat (been doing pushups for a while)

E. Announcements
1. Clinics
2. More on what USMS org is doing, such as Convention
3. Integrate Endowment Fund better
4. LMSC scholarships
5. How USMS is involved in clean water and environmental issues (certainly could feature meets such as Big Shoulders, where a portion of the meet fee goes to Great Lakes Coalition)

III. Other Ideas
1. Window decal. A decal could be included in the first quarterly issue of the year, or sent separately to new members with registration. [Note: You can purchase decals now; they are under Merchandise/Publications. They may be an older design.]
2. Do away with mag. Put all info on Web site. Stroke tips are useful but could be put on the Web site.
3. Don't do away with mag. Mag is a "push" factor that unites swimmers, whether they swim with a club or not, and makes them feel they belong to org.
4. Put monthly technique on a pullout stock card.
5. Magazine arrives inconsistently. (And don't know when to expect first issue.)
6. Magazine not worth saving.
7. Would like to continue a magazine, but a better one.
8. If go to an all-online mag, have period of overlap to be sure the online version works at least as well as printed mag for users.
9. A national membership magazine is not within the core mission of the org.
10. Mag is not interesting.
11. More emphasis on competitions.
12. Less emphasis on competitions.
13. Mag is fine as it is now for what it does now, as a perk for members, but if it is to help us grow...[and attract new members], it needs an upgrade.
14. Tired of working online all day; keep printed publication.
15. Move to all-online with sign-in for paying subscribers: allows more timely publication of news of interest and easier archiving.
16. Non-elite swimmers need content and drills, too.
17. Like and use the drills.
18. Partner with an entity like Flowswimming to produce technique videos [presumably this would be under the aegis of USMS's publishing services].
19. Mag is pretty well done. At least flip through every issue.
20. Ditto, but: more killer, less filler.
21. Articles written at junior high level.
22. Prefer not to receive magazine and to have membership fee discounted.

Hoosier
October 7th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Noting that at the last board meeting it was announced that next year USMS will be operating with a deficit, if this magazine COSTS USMS money to produce. I say do away with it. put the info on website. I like the magazine, and always work with the stroke technique tips each month, but I could get that information just as easily from a website. I dont think the magazine helps at all with recruitment.

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 7th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Starting the magazine when it was started was too early. USMS should have waited until there was an ED. Magazines are very hard to produce. This is especially true if the organization has no staff. Vivbene has some good ideas. However, "Why would some one want to read this magazine?" seems to be a question that no one asked. The magazine by Rodale supposedly went under because of the ad about the video tapes for a better sex life. It was a good magazine. I have most of the issues I got. I still go back to them to read many articles. I rarely even read 1/3 of our magazine let alone go back to old issues.

On other threads, I've questioned if a national magazine going to members is really with in the vision and mission statements of the organization and reflect the core values of the organization. I would have to say no to all. I wonder if we really have core values. What are they and where are they?

Mswimming
October 7th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Noting that at the last board meeting it was announced that next year USMS will be operating with a deficit, if this magazine COSTS USMS money to produce. I say do away with it. put the info on website. I like the magazine, and always work with the stroke technique tips each month, but I could get that information just as easily from a website. I dont think the magazine helps at all with recruitment.

Agreed. Do away with it. I never seem to get a copy consitently anyway. I think in the few years I've been a masters swimmer I've only received 5 or 6 magazines. And none of those have been particularly interesting.

knelson
October 7th, 2008, 01:12 PM
The magazine by Rodale supposedly went under because of the ad about the video tapes for a better sex life.

How did that make it go under exactly?

As far as USMS Swimmer I think it's pretty well done. I always at least flip through it. I have to say I very rarely read it cover-to-cover, though. I'd like to see more emphasis on competition, e.g. coverage of Nationals and other major meets/OW swims.

LindsayNB
October 7th, 2008, 01:42 PM
I tend to be sympathetic to the argument that the same purpose could be achieved with an online magazine BUT I would be extremely cautious about about cutting out the single most visible membership benefit received by non-competitive swimmers based on feedback from a subset of your membership that might be biased toward the competitive side.

A printed magazine is a "push" technology that ensures that your membership is reminded that they are members of USMS on a regular basis. If you go to a web magazine without some sort of push mechanism you may lose all contact with a large portion of your membership that may not be sufficiently engaged to go to the web site, although an improved online version of the Go The Distance program might help lure a lot of members to the web site on a regular basis.

I would also urge that the online magazine be put together and operational for a period before you do away with the printed version so you can ensure that it really works in a sustainable manner. Don't underestimate the value of regular publication dates to force the content generation versus a website where the dates can be a lot looser.

I picked up a few issues of Swimmer at convention and am not sure if it is as bad as some here think.

aquageek
October 7th, 2008, 01:48 PM
I like the magazine and enjoy reading it. This is the one tangible benefit of membership and it should stay, along with a window decal please.

imspoiled
October 7th, 2008, 02:11 PM
How did that make it go under exactly?

As far as USMS Swimmer I think it's pretty well done. I always at least flip through it. I have to say I very rarely read it cover-to-cover, though. I'd like to see more emphasis on competition, e.g. coverage of Nationals and other major meets/OW swims.

I agree with Kirk. Recognizing that a large portion of the membership base does not compete, I understand why the mag can't be heavily weighted toward the competitive swimmer; however, it feels like the competitive swimmer is totally ignored. After each nationals a summary article is run, but what about the rest of the year?

Some of the articles read like they were written for the junior high school paper. Masters swimmers are adults who want to be informed, educated, inspired, and entertained. Too many of the articles are fluff, without in depth analysis of the subject matter. So much so I can't remember a single article from a recent issue that was thought provoking or needing a second look.

The old (pre-Swimmer) version of the mag used to have the monthly workout on a pull-out stock card. I also remember those workouts including several intervals for novice, intermediate & hard versions of the workout. The pull cards were great. You could take it right to the pool, or save the workouts without having to keep or copy the mag.

I also agree that the product section needs to be more than just a page full of ads. Why not ask a few people to test the products and write a review? Reading the testimonial of a real USMS member would be much more valuable than reading the manufacturer's hype. The manufacturer could even use those reviews in future ads. USMS could ask members to volunteer to become part of the 'reader panel' and be randomly selected to test/compare products.

ViveBene
October 7th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Good stuff; I'll compile everything - pros, cons, decals, the works.
Keep it coming!
Ideas for columns? Ron Lockman's Mexico-to-Oregon pier-to-pier swim is a beauty.

Thanks all! (Er, I have nothing to do with mag but will try to get all ideas to editor)

Lump
October 7th, 2008, 02:41 PM
I have yet to see one as I'm a new USMS member (but longtime swimmerA). "Letter to the Editor" or "Letters from the Reader" on articles are always fun to read in my Motorcyclist magazine, no reason it wouldn't apply here.

I also think we have A LOT of experience swimmers (competitive, open water, triathletes) so why not put it to use and have a "Guest Columnist" each issue. If you just asked me, or whoever you picked a few qualifying questions and tell me what area you want me to write on, how many words, etc. I know I could write something by a deadline of your choosing.

imspoiled
October 7th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Good stuff; I'll compile everything - pros, cons, decals, the works.
Keep it coming!
Ideas for columns? Ron Lockman's Mexico-to-Oregon pier-to-pier swim is a beauty.

Thanks all! (Er, I have nothing to do with mag but will try to get all ideas to editor)

How about a monthly Q&A where the members send in Q's and an 'expert' gives the A. Heck, the Q's could even be taken from this forum and formally answered by an expert. Things like, "I'm getting this pain in my shoulder, what does that mean?", or "I'm a triathlete. Why should I do IM sets?"

I would also bet that LMSC newsletters have some great articles that could be imported to the mag. That would really make it interactive. Our LMSC newsletter has had some great articles about cross training for triathlons, good pain vs. bad pain, etc. These were written by USMS members and/or physical therapists, doctors, nutritionists.

swimshark
October 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
The old (pre-Swimmer) version of the mag used to have the monthly workout on a pull-out stock card. I also remember those workouts including several intervals for novice, intermediate & hard versions of the workout. The pull cards were great. You could take it right to the pool, or save the workouts without having to keep or copy the mag.

I also agree that the product section needs to be more than just a page full of ads. Why not ask a few people to test the products and write a review? Reading the testimonial of a real USMS member would be much more valuable than reading the manufacturer's hype. The manufacturer could even use those reviews in future ads. USMS could ask members to volunteer to become part of the 'reader panel' and be randomly selected to test/compare products.

I agree 100%. I don't need to read a few pages filled with non-paid advertisements in the product review section. I want true reviews.

I loved keeping the workouts, too. I know they are on here, too but having one to tear out and take with me would be nicer.

ViveBene
October 7th, 2008, 03:22 PM
About stock cards and tip-ins: presses are automated to the degree possible, and anything not run on the press as integral to the magazine is associated with extra costs. Even if the total cost for printing and inserting a stock card is under 50 cents per unit, doing it 35,000 times adds up to many clamshells.

But that leads to a new idea: stock cards with different workouts, perhaps scaled and for different purposes, the size of a recipe box, sold in a pack.

:applaud:

The Fortress
October 7th, 2008, 03:29 PM
I never seem to get a copy consitently anyway. I think in the few years I've been a masters swimmer I've only received 5 or 6 magazines. And none of those have been particularly interesting.

I haven't received a copy in awhile. The last one I read had a horrible suck up article about Olympians scratching events and playing golf in Austin. Who cares?

Vive's and Imspoiled's suggestions were very good.

ViveBene
October 7th, 2008, 03:54 PM
Thanks, Fort!

I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but I'll imagine, with no difficulty, LOL, budget restrictions and a lot of volunteer time, not to mention a huge and heterogeneous readership to be served. So I am grateful to the editor and the writers for producing Swimmer and getting it to us. It's a big job.

Decals are, I think, a low-hanging fruit. Let's say $2 or $3 each to cover manufacturing and mailing cost, plus a few cents to USMS per decal. I know nothing about USMS administrative organization but doubt anyone in admin would want to receive a thousand $3 checks and mail a thousand decals. Therefore, it might be a USMS member's joyful task for, say, a year, then turn it over to next person. Any volunteers? Any conflict with how the org wants to run things? Is there a liaison with admin to work out details?

Reproducing good articles from chapter newsletters in Swimmer should pose no difficulty in implementation, as it is a matter of making the editor aware of good content. Just drop an email to Bill Volckening and ask that the material be considered. I'll add "Chapter Corner" or something equally awful to the list of potential Column material. <grin> I'd like to know what other chapters are doing, and what Masters Swimming Canada is doing as well.

swimshark
October 7th, 2008, 04:25 PM
About stock cards and tip-ins: presses are automated to the degree possible, and anything not run on the press as integral to the magazine is associated with extra costs. Even if the total cost for printing and inserting a stock card is under 50 cents per unit, doing it 35,000 times adds up to many clamshells.

But that leads to a new idea: stock cards with different workouts, perhaps scaled and for different purposes, the size of a recipe box, sold in a pack.

:applaud:

As a graphic artist and former print-shop employee, I know this can be done each month without too much cost or interruption. If it is something that a lot of the customers want, then it should be looked in to.

JimRude
October 7th, 2008, 04:35 PM
As far as USMS Swimmer I think it's pretty well done. I always at least flip through it. I have to say I very rarely read it cover-to-cover, though. I'd like to see more emphasis on competition, e.g. coverage of Nationals and other major meets/OW swims.

Ditto. More killer, less filler.

Allen Stark
October 7th, 2008, 05:01 PM
As I said I think Swimmer is OK for what it is,a perk for members.I would like it to be more.I thought when it was started the goal was for it to be sold on newsstands etc. and make a profit,or at least cost less than we were paying Swimming World for Swim.If it is going to represent USMS to non-members it needs an upgrade.

ensignada
October 7th, 2008, 07:11 PM
But that leads to a new idea: stock cards with different workouts, perhaps scaled and for different purposes, the size of a recipe box, sold in a pack.



Collect, share them, trade them with your friends! :bolt:

ensignada
October 7th, 2008, 07:15 PM
As a fairly novice, occasionally competitive, fitness swimmer, I really enjoy the simpler drills, such as the free drills in the last issue. I can't tell you anything else about that issue, but those pages are in a plastic bag in my swim bag.

haroldbuck
October 7th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Rodale had a magazine called "Fitness Swimmer' a few years ago and I thought it was excellent and I think implied that such a mag could be(almost) profitable.

I used to subscribe to that until they went kaput. I really liked it until it went under and they substituted some nutrition magazine (Prevention?) without asking me. I was able to get them to extend my Runner's World subscription instead, though.

blainesapprentice
October 7th, 2008, 10:14 PM
I used to subscribe to that until they went kaput. I really liked it until it went under and they substituted some nutrition magazine (Prevention?) without asking me.

Me Too!!

I 100% loved that magazine...they did the same thing to me with the Prevention magazine though.

mermaid
October 7th, 2008, 10:27 PM
O Kittens!
I get regular issues and enjoy flipping through and reading them.

I like getting a hard copy mag - It's a nice change from the e-world.

Bill does a great job and does try to lasso other contributing editors. I think if you tell him what you want - he'll listen.

Although the mag. get a few $$ from USMS - I don't think Bill "makes" a whole lot of $$$ from USMS. Please slow your wagons down on the inuendo that he is somehow corrupt.

ALM
October 7th, 2008, 11:00 PM
You can buy decals right now from the USMS National Office. Click here:

http://www.usms.org/admin/natoffice.php

They're 4/$1.50, or 100 for $20.00. The decals are the static-cling, window decals. The "stickers" are stickers that you can put on notebooks, etc.

I'm the Missouri Valley registrar. I try to buy something each year to send out with the swimmers' USMS cards. One year it was decals, another it was luggage tags, last year it was the USMS Planner. This year I might go back to decals again.

There's other stuff for sale from the National Office. The USMS thank-you notes are nice for sending to your officials after they've worked at a meet.

Anna Lea

lapswimmr
October 7th, 2008, 11:20 PM
Sounds like the magazine is loosing money. Cost of printing/postage..and a limited subscription as its a specialty magazine. I liked "Fitness Swimmer" to a point where it got too slanted to "speed swimmers" and not 'fitness" swimmers. Keeping a balence is important but hard to do as there always will be a "need for speed" as thats the sport of swimming Olympics ect. Not us "Mrs. Elmer Fudds" with our strapped swim caps. and hair care issues.. Lol. I would suggest moving the mag to a online mag with a sign in for paying subscribers. a pdf type file can allow subscribers to print out the mag if they want to save articles. "Teaser" articles can be released for those who are not subscribers.. Less print cost and postage. You will have to have adds positioned on the page all around the page really as the revenue will be needed. One big advantage is that the time lag between what happens and the article can be smaller as you are not waiting to send the mag to the printer. So you will be more recent with articles, and you can get online input , articles pictures from authors world wide which is important and quickly get them up on the mag so it should be intresting .

LindsayNB
October 8th, 2008, 12:10 AM
I'd like to know what other chapters are doing, and what Masters Swimming Canada is doing as well.

Masters Swimming Canada phased out the printed magazine in favor of an online magazine, and then the online magazine was phased out in favor of just posting the articles on the web site. And then we lost our editor and primary writer, so we're currently in the process of rebuilding our content creation capacity, hoping to have things going again in the next month or two.

We were spending more than a third of our budget just on printing and postage of the printed magazine, which was ok when we weren't doing much else. When we started becoming more active we found projects that had much higher value to the members that we redirected the funds to. Two examples are the Million Metre Challenge which is a program that lets members track the distance they swim and provides recognition at various milestone distances, and the mymsc.ca web site which in addition to news and resources gives members an integrated view of their results, rankings and records and their involvement in programs like the million metre challenge, check off challenge, the pentathlon program, 1km challenge, etc. We really need to do more on the news and communications front, but we are also attempting to put more financial and time resources into producing permanent resources in addition to newsy articles.

Although the timing might not be right to use this analogy, I think consideration of the magazine is somewhat akin to handling investments, the right time to sell an investment is when you have an alternative investment that you expect to have a better return. Does USMS have something more important than the magazine that it could accomplish if it had the $300k+/year to invest?

In the way of a radical change suggestion, maybe you could team up with floswimmer (or set up something along those lines) where you get someone to travel around the country with a video camera interviewing swimmers and coaches, and going to meets, and maybe go one step further and work with masters coaches and swimmers to produce video technique segments. Video is a way better tool than printed paper to convey drills and technique points and the technology, including underwater video, is dirt cheap these days. It would also give exposure to different programs, and coaches and swimmers. I think you could do a good job of it well within the budget for the magazine and still have money to put the best parts of the magazine online.

JMiller
October 8th, 2008, 03:33 AM
Actually, I had 1000 of these made on 3x5 inch card stock at 10 cents each. So for $100 I have an effective way to "connect" with the "casual swimming" public. Of course, my web link is "commercial", but there's no reason why it couldn't be linked to on-line swimming info.

1193

Let me tell you, the average swimmer eats this type of stuff up, they watch me swimming "easy" and think that's an incredible feat, so they pretty much listen when I speak about swimming. It doesn't matter that I'm a dime a dozen, truth be told, it's my sales/writing ability that sets me apart from the average. This is where the bread and butter is, my friends. Swimming sales person meets general public, let the web page do the rest.


Good stuff; I'll compile everything - pros, cons, decals, the works.
Keep it coming!
Ideas for columns? Ron Lockman's Mexico-to-Oregon pier-to-pier swim is a beauty.

Thanks all! (Er, I have nothing to do with mag but will try to get all ideas to editor)

Marjorie, I'm going to trust that you'll keep your word and forward this idea on to the appropriate people.

ViveBene
October 8th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Actually, I had 1000 of these made on 3x5 inch card stock at 10 cents each. So for $100 I have an effective way to "connect" with the "casual swimming" public. Of course, my web link is "commercial", but there's no reason why it couldn't be linked to on-line swimming info.

1193

Let me tell you, the average swimmer eats this type of stuff up, they watch me swimming "easy" and think that's an incredible feat, so they pretty much listen when I speak about swimming. It doesn't matter that I'm a dime a dozen, truth be told, it's my sales/writing ability that sets me apart from the average. This is where the bread and butter is, my friends. Swimming sales person meets general public, let the web page do the rest.



Marjorie, I'm going to trust that you'll keep your word and forward this idea on to the appropriate people.

Absolutely, Jonathan. I have directed the thread to the editor's attention (editor@usms.org). Could you please PM me with info on acquiring your workout cards? Thanks!

Jayhawk, Thank you for the info on decals and stickers!

Lindsay, Thank you for the info on Masters Swimming Canada! I looked at the site, and it seemed to be in the process of building its online presence. I agree that a magazine, a physical printed object, serves a purpose of unifying membership (which definitely has a dollar value, altho' one a little more difficult to compute for bottom-line purposes). I'm sure USMS org could find something to do with $300k, but as it has made a commitment to the mag for a period of time, let's have the best we can.

My thought was to give some space to Canadian activities from time to time, perhaps in a new column for chapter activities or reproducing an article published in the chapter newsletter. Thus, one quarter we might have an article from Philly chapter, another quarter from Austin, another quarter from Pacific Masters, another quarter from Canada.

I spend my life reading, writing, and editing online and probably wouldn't add another online reading obligation. A printed mag makes me very happy.

I'd be in favor of technique videos

Lapswimmer - It's hard to create a balance sheet for a print publication that has indirect benefits overall, or that an org deems "right" for it to do because it increases the public profile of the org. For example, might the recidivist rate (annual non-renewal rate of USMS membership) be higher without a mag? It's awfully difficult to say. A mag has something for the members to come together over; it contributes to organization's sense of itself as an entity.

I have now forwarded this entire thread to the Swimmer editor, who is doing a creditable job, for which I thank him. Please continue with brainstorming and responses!

VB

blainesapprentice
October 8th, 2008, 07:10 AM
Is there a reason that Swimmer is only for the membership? Would it be horrible if other swimmers--such as those on the forums who love swimming and being a lap swimmer but have not yet decided to join masters were to subscribe to the magazine?

I think opening up the pool of recipients might generate some good turn-out and in return-generate a greater awareness of masters swimming and maybe even encourage some of those lurkers to join. I'm sure if it was open to others to subscribe that you could get doctors offices to subscribe (esp. those that deal with athletes on a more regular basis) and gyms that have magazines for those in the cardio rooms, and that would be in addition to any other individuals who might subscribe. I know its a nice perk to have this exclusive master's swimming magazine--but it would be a more effective magazine if it hit two or three birds with one stone--making it more worthwhile for the money and efforts it costs.

ViveBene
October 8th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Yes, non-USMS swimmers may purchase a subscription at: www.usmsswimmer.com/subscribe (http://www.usmsswimmer.com/subscribe).

It's described as a benefit of membership. That's a very common relationship: one becomes a member and receives the membership mag, the production of which is supported in part by member fees (I don't actually know how the money moves, in this case).

Perhaps a few copies could be strategically placed in swimming venues as a trial, to see if membership increases. I think any increase through this tactic would be non-trackable, and probably not worth the effort.


Is there a reason that Swimmer is only for the membership? Would it be horrible if other swimmers--such as those on the forums who love swimming and being a lap swimmer but have not yet decided to join masters were to subscribe to the magazine?

I think opening up the pool of recipients might generate some good turn-out and in return-generate a greater awareness of masters swimming and maybe even encourage some of those lurkers to join. I'm sure if it was open to others to subscribe that you could get doctors offices to subscribe (esp. those that deal with athletes on a more regular basis) and gyms that have magazines for those in the cardio rooms, and that would be in addition to any other individuals who might subscribe. I know its a nice perk to have this exclusive master's swimming magazine--but it would be a more effective magazine if it hit two or three birds with one stone--making it more worthwhile for the money and efforts it costs.

anita
October 8th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Perhaps a few copies could be strategically placed in swimming venues as a trial, to see if membership increases..

Or placed in my mailbox :-) I have received two in the two years I have been a member.

Ripple
October 8th, 2008, 11:02 AM
Yes, non-USMS swimmers may purchase a subscription...
Perhaps a few copies could be strategically placed in swimming venues as a trial, to see if membership increases. I think any increase through this tactic would be non-trackable, and probably not worth the effort.

A local bookstore here in Calgary was carrying this magazine for a short time a few years ago. I'm not sure which distributor it came from.
I still miss the Rodale press publication, but I suppose swimmers don't need enough equipment to keep a magazine in advertising revenue. How many pairs of training fins is one person going to buy in a lifetime? Once most of us find goggles/suits/caps that we like we tend to stick with the make and model.

ViveBene
October 8th, 2008, 11:09 AM
Try info@usms.org. That is the address on the masthead for P.O. to contact with address changes, and also a general email address for questions pertaining to the org or the mag.

You might be able to receive free replacement copies if you can identify which ones are missing. (Again, I'm not connected to the mag, but this is standard policy of publishers.)


Or placed in my mailbox :-) I have received two in the two years I have been a member.

mjtyson
October 9th, 2008, 02:03 AM
I dropped membership for a few years and only just rejoined, so I haven't seen a copy of Swimmer for a long time. What I didn't read were the articles about meets. What I did like to read were any articles on technique.

What I wanted more of were articles on dry-land training, stretching or other ways to improve my swimming.

I had subscribed to Swimmer's World (or whatever it was called) some years back, and it was simply a magazine of advertisements with a few worthless articles. After one year, there was one article I kept, and it was one about using exercies tubes to strengthen your shoulders. Waste o' money.

quicksilver
October 9th, 2008, 08:21 AM
More detailed athlete bios instead of just their favorite workout. Not necessarily the top ten achievers. I think we all take special interest in hearing how others juggle our work, family, and recreation time. Kind of like swimmers of the month.

On that note, what about various masters clubs around the country.
What do their pools look like? who's one their team? and top ten stats of their swimmers.


My kid' "Splash" magazine has an ask the coach section...
Questions range anywhere from stroke technique to how to overcome race jitters.

And of course, the on-going technical photos which will appeal to both the novice and the elite.
Everyone can appreciate a frame by frame breakdown of how so and so swims so fast.


No one suggested centerfold yet.

haroldbuck
October 9th, 2008, 08:25 AM
No one suggested centerfold yet.

Your cat has to be pretty buff by now.

ViveBene
October 9th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Follow-up

The editor responded quickly and with thanks for the many ideas and different viewpoints expressed by members; some of those ideas and perspectives will likely be reflected in the next member survey, scheduled for 2009. The magazine is reviewed annually.

A couple of the larger issues raised in this thread, namely, is the magazine within the core mission of USMS, and is this the best use of funds to promote the core mission, were also addressed by an administrator. As a means of promoting adult fitness and health, Swimmer lies well within the core mission. As a big-ticket item in the annual budget, it receives laser scrutiny (my words). Discussions concerning its function and fate are ongoing.

Please contact the editor, Bill Volckening, at: editor@usms.org, if you have story ideas, and especially if you have journalistic tendencies and would like to pursue a story. (That's from me, LOL!)

For those who thought their club newsletter had good articles that would be appropriate for inclusion in Swimmer, why not send the article to Bill?

I'll continue to perform my scribal function and compile ideas and comments as they are posted here.
:)

(Quicksilver, your cat has been nominated for the first centerfold.)

VB
(Note: Quicksilver, aztimm, and mjtyson, your recs and wishes are now in the master list in post 3.)

quicksilver
October 9th, 2008, 07:43 PM
(Quicksilver, your cat has been nominated for the first centerfold.)




:eek:

ViveBene
October 10th, 2008, 06:48 AM
...
What I wanted more of were articles on dry-land training, stretching or other ways to improve my swimming....


I just saw a new (this summer) book on Amazon by David Salo and Scott Riewald, Complete Conditioning for Swimming, that looked pretty good. It has both in-water drills and dry-land core exercises to improve swimming. A check of the Contents and a few pages may tell you whether you want it or not. I plan to order it for myself. :agree:

VB

ViveBene
October 10th, 2008, 06:53 AM
:eek:

I think your kitten should be the mascot.

Mortifying the flesh, and all that. :)

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 12th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Fitness Swimmer had that ad for sex improvement tapes. The editor got so may complaints because it was a "family magazine" she had to apologize. It lost several subscriptions because of this. In time she was reassigned and then fired. Somewhere i have the copy with the ad & the copy with her apology.

From reading this, I truly wonder how many members don't regularly receive their magazine. When i had a problem, I e-mailed Traci and haven't had a problem since. I have sent e-mails to her since that time. she is very responsive.

If the magazine were to be sold on a newsstand then how could it possibly be a special advantage to be a member? As for the core values, I wonder what they are and if they are published? Truly it must be admitted that the magazine came out of order. There must first be an ED before the vision and mission of a nonprofit organization can be communicated out to the world. That is part of her/his job. As we have seen so many times, the magazine seems to have nothing of importance to its members except to say how great some swimmers are.

National organizations are extremely difficult to form and to then make successful. USMS has been successful. But the success drove it to make a very premature decision. When it was decided to break from Swimming World, that perhaps was a good idea (although I will argue that editorial voice is highly over-rated among many boards but for other reasons). Creating a new magazine without a national office, a true staff and an ED though wasn't.

Hoosier
October 13th, 2008, 08:09 AM
"If the magazine were to be sold on a newsstand then how could it possibly be a special advantage to be a member? "
Because you would get it WITHOUT paying additional fees. It would be INCLUDED with you membership. Just like Sports Illustrated is for various sport clubs.

"National organizations are extremely difficult to form and to then make successful. USMS has been successful."

Yes, great organization, proud to be a member. (My decal is on my vehicle, all my friends know I am a Master's Swimmer.) But the word "been" is the point. I am concerned that an organization who is going to apparently going to operate at a loss, can continue as "successful" Success is constant, must always be renewed. I personally love the magazine for what it is, and always get my copy. But when the amount needed to keep it going puts a strain on the Organizations budget, maybe it needs another look at. Oh, and by the way if you dont read the meeting notes on this site, you are missing some important information. For example: I would agree with the board, that knowing the salaries of the employees is important, and to say(as some did a reent meeting)that the wages of the employees is confidential even to the Board that oversees same Organization,makes me laugh. LOL

haroldbuck
October 13th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Fitness Swimmer had that ad for sex improvement tapes. The editor got so may complaints because it was a "family magazine" she had to apologize. It lost several subscriptions because of this. In time she was reassigned and then fired. Somewhere i have the copy with the ad & the copy with her apology.

Ah, yes, I'd forgotten that. But that's probably just a symptom of the larger problem expressed earlier, that swimmers don't spend a lot of money on gear and so it's hard to get a ton of advertising for a swimming magazine. So I guess they had to look elsewhere.

I remember seeing the ad and thinking, "Hmmm, that's kind of odd. I didn't expect to see an ad like that in this magazine," but apparently other people had a much bigger problem with it.

LindsayNB
October 13th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Since several people were big fans of the fitness swimmer magazine it would be helpful if someone could post the table of contents from a few issues so we can see what the content mix looked like.

Somewhere on these boards there is a thread that debated the merits of creating the magazine from before the decision was made. I think it would be interesting to look back at but I can't immediately find it...

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 13th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Swimmers are among of the best educated, highest paid interest group in the world. There is no reason that the magazine cannot get better advertisers as do many other interest group magazines of similar groups. the reason is, I believe, we don't understand the relationship between organization, structure, core values, vision, and mission. This is why it should have been recognized that the magazine should not have been started until there was an ED.

As for salaries being published, I have worked only in nonprofit organizations. Never have I seen individual salaries published. There has been in some budgets, the salary of the ED published under board expenses and then thee other staffs' salaries published either under operating expenses or a specific line stating salary but not specific. The Ed works and holds her/his position at the will of the board. Other employees are hired and hold their jobs at the will of the corporation. I just finished a class on boards and their relationships to the organization, the ED and the staff. It is truly the most misunderstood relationship in the business world, I believe.

As for Fitness Swimmer, I have several old copies. If you want to know about it send a private message and I will respond. I think the advertisement ordeal was perhaps a convenient way of removing it from the Rodale Press magazine list. I know there were complaints but I had also heard that there were several problems with the relationships between the parent company and the various editors. If I remember correctly, prior to the woman who did the ad being fired, the previous editor had been replaced by her. I think that previous editor is now the editor another magazine that looks at sports. The magazine made title changes in its history and was always stating that it was working hard to reflect and address the interests of the swimming world.

I am a member of another even more limited-interest organization. Many luxury consumer companies advertise in the magazine we receive. This magazine is not a product of the organization but an outside publisher. I've never seen it on any newsstands. I will say from experience that the quickest death for an organization is to provide its magazine on newsstands. Look at the Smithsonian's RAP and SNAP memberships (People in the metro DC area who do not take advantage of RAP are really silly.). I used to work at RAP. We would send out copies to those interested in our programs but never in large amounts nor to newsstands. Both Mrs. Sollinger and the current ED, I believe, are insistent about this. I truly hope that the newly hired ED will be able to last with the organization and understands organizational structure to make our membership a great future.

JMiller
October 13th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Swimmers are among the best educated, highest paid interest group in the world. There is no reason that the magazine cannot get better advertisers as do many other interest group magazines.

This is a remarkable comment, and I completely agree. It would also help to have a commissioned sales person make that case to potential advertisers, "selling" space in the magazine. This could reduce the production cost away from the "membership", given that the board agreed to the products being promoted. Initial prices would be a bargain compared to other magazines, which would be an attractive feature for a business wanting to get into print.

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 14th, 2008, 02:06 AM
What ever happened to the survey results?

hofffam
October 14th, 2008, 08:38 PM
My biggest problem with Swimmer is that it is so.....benign. There is no edge, no attitude at all comparable to what is in this board.

It almost seems like they are working so hard to avoid offending anyone. If we have to offend 5% of the readers/members to gain 20% that is OK with me.

USMS is for adults. No need to make it kid-safe.

To the earlier point about advertising - I see no reason it can't have had for Porsches or vodka or other adult-targeted products.

Please - no pathetic "what's in your MP3 player" articles either.

ViveBene
October 14th, 2008, 10:14 PM
My biggest problem with Swimmer is that it is so.....benign. There is no edge, no attitude at all comparable to what is in this board.

It almost seems like they are working so hard to avoid offending anyone. If we have to offend 5% of the readers/members to gain 20% that is OK with me.

USMS is for adults. No need to make it kid-safe.

To the earlier point about advertising - I see no reason it can't have had for Porsches or vodka or other adult-targeted products.

Please - no pathetic "what's in your MP3 player" articles either.

The writing is serviceable but could be better. Most of the articles suffer from a "first paragraph" problem. You really have to sweat it, take a walk, discuss with friends or the dog. "Did you ever wonder" and "Most US Masters swimmers are familiar with" are not riveting opening lines. The story subjects are somewhat obvious. Swimming makes you feel better. Dancing is good exercise.

I agree, the mag through its membership should be able to attract a variety of advertisers: watches, cars, shoes, sportswear, bookcases to hold all those swimming DVDs and references, food and nutrition, related sports, lifestyle items (bicycles, etc.), Rodale Press, Morningstar, business services. Digicams. But businesses catering to adults can't afford to blur their carefully cultivated corporate image by advertising in what looks like a low-budget or children's mag.

Things work out, or they don't and get changed. Getting through 16 issues is a lot. I want to commend the hard work and successes of the editor and contributors while at the same time asking whether the magazine can be more than it is now.

VB

Frank Thompson
October 15th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Since several people were big fans of the fitness swimmer magazine it would be helpful if someone could post the table of contents from a few issues so we can see what the content mix looked like.

Somewhere on these boards there is a thread that debated the merits of creating the magazine from before the decision was made. I think it would be interesting to look back at but I can't immediately find it...

Here is the thread.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=3297

ViveBene
October 15th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Thank you for that thread! Goodness me!
:eek:

I was confused by how some terms were used in the thread, especially the early posts. To my knowledge, the following are accepted definitions:

Publisher: owns the content (unless specified that author retains ownership); thus, USMS as an entity is the publisher
Printer (vendor, contractor): puts ink on page at behest of publisher (a "full-service" printer may also hire proofreaders or do mailouts)
Editor: acquires or edits the content, following editorial board's direction; has general and day-to-day direction of the publication; should know the field (i.e., have participated in swimming); is usually salaried
Contract: renewed at 3 years

As reflected in the masthead of July-August 2008 issue:

"USMS Swimmer is published by United States Masters Swimming...."

"Publishing Services
Douglas Murphy Communications, Inc."

Hope this helps,

VB

LindsayNB
October 15th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Thank you Frank for digging that up!

One interesting fact one runs across in the first few posts is that the new magazine was expected to pay for itself within a three year period. It doesn't look like that has happened yet, it would be interesting to hear what factors have prevented that, and what the prospects are for achieving that goal in the future.

quicksilver
October 15th, 2008, 08:54 PM
To the earlier point about advertising - I see no reason it can't have had for Porsches or vodka or other adult-targeted products.



More money from sponsorship and advertising is a very good idea.
The list of sponsors has a few very well recognized brand names, but there are still many more possibilities.

http://www.usms.org/merch/sponsors.php

ALM
October 15th, 2008, 09:55 PM
I have a friend in the publishing consulting business. He says that it would be difficult for a magazine with such a low circulation (~45,000) to attract "big-name" sponsors.

Anna Lea

ALM
October 15th, 2008, 10:54 PM
...And, in case you're curious, here's a list of the 100 largest U.S. magazines by circulation:

http://nyjobsource.com/magazines.html


The top ten:

Rank, Magazine, 2006 Circulation
1 AARP THE MAGAZINE 23,434,052
2 READER'S DIGEST 10,094,281
3 BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS 7,638,912
4 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 5,071,134
5 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 4,741,353
6 LADIES' HOME JOURNAL 4,169,444
7 TIME 4,066,545
8 WOMAN'S DAY 4,027,113
9 FAMILY CIRCLE 3,953,651
10 PEOPLE 3,750,548

ViveBene
October 16th, 2008, 07:01 AM
I have a friend in the publishing consulting business. He says that it would be difficult for a magazine with such a low circulation (~45,000) to attract "big-name" sponsors.

Anna Lea

Yes. As well, there are few to no opportunities for synergy. And corporations try to protect and burnish the brand image through positioning advertising.

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 16th, 2008, 11:44 AM
I was once told that the reason why Rodale Press could be so successful was because they have so many magazines that they can go to advertisers with combined numbers. However, I get a sport specific magazine that has products like Cadillac, Swiss Watches, hotels/motels and occasionally a broker or two. also each event generally has ads. I think that we would have problems if every event took out an ad. Why very large or state finals aren't promoted through paid ads confuses me.

JMiller
October 16th, 2008, 11:22 PM
I have a friend in the publishing consulting business. He says that it would be difficult for a magazine with such a low circulation (~45,000) to attract "big-name" sponsors.

Anna Lea

Okay, I waited 24 hours before replying to this post. The assumption that only "big-name" sponsors are worth attracting, this has been hard for me to accept.

Independent entrepreneurs may see value in this venture, and that is their decision to make, especially if they are also a part of this special interest group.

Intellectual property has value.
Images have value.

Producing something of quality generates interest and that makes the advertisment worth more. Bottom line, that is a bargain for a business needing to invest in advertisment, even if their brand is "small".

Brand recognition takes investment, there's no way around that, even if you're not "big-time" yet. Look at how many young swimmers quit, because they weren't "big" winners, and twenty years later they realize, they actually did win, and that was because they swam. That is the masters message, and yes, that brand is worth the investment.

ALM
October 16th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Okay, I waited 24 hours before replying to this post. The assumption that only "big-name" sponsors are worth attracting, this has been hard for me to accept.

I didn't say they were the only ones worth attracting. They were the ones mentioned by others in previous posts (Porsche, Cadillac, Swiss watches, hotels).

ViveBene
October 17th, 2008, 06:09 AM
I'm curious: has the marketing department of Swimmer attempted to solicit advertising outside producers of swimming-related items? If so, what was the response?

(Some "middle name" companies that have crossed my mind are along the lines of Harry and David [fitness and health: fruit baskets], White Flower Farm, Williams Sonoma [health and nutrition: food prep], SwimTrek, other destination travel [dive magazines, dive agencies, National Geographic?], related sports equipment such as bicycles and trikes [gear and magazines], yoga [gear and magazines], running, moderately priced, functional watches [water-resistant, with timers: Swatch, Fossil]). Rosetta Stone, famously endorsed by M. Phelps, is advertising staff positions.

I'd try for:
--yoga mag
--destination travel (Aqua Moon Adventures already runs a nice ad; this zone seems a good one to tap)
--health and nutrition
--business services (Barron's, Home Depot)

Another idea percolating: A special issue focused on swimming-related destination travel would suddenly open the door to all things travel-related. I've already used Avis in my swimming-related destination travel. :) Took a Canon camera. Fossil watch (around $22).

VB

LindsayNB
October 17th, 2008, 09:08 AM
USMS conducted a large survey of the membership about their feelings about USMS Swimmer:
http://www.usms.org/admin/surveys/

BillS
October 24th, 2008, 04:54 PM
Let me start by saying that I like getting Swimmer, I like magazines in general, and I think Bill Volckening is a fine person who is doing the best job he can with what he has to work with. And I am one of those people cited in the statistics who refuse to read anything longer than one page on my computer screen.

But I am really enjoying the mixed media models like floswimming or Swimnetwork.com. The news is fresh, and the video content adds quite a bit to the experience that a magazine can't give you. floswimming also has a bunch of free features that look neat that I haven't tried yet; things like workout logs and coach/team communication boards.

I'd like to see USMS explore piggybacking on flo's site, or licensing the technology for a standalone site. Wednesday workouts, interviews with a wide variety of masters swimmers, competition videos, technique tips with video demonstration, and a whole cadre of bloggers (we could even cull some from here: Smith v. Smith on the horror of foreign students swimming Div I on scholarship; Geek v. Gull on the horror of grown men wearing briefs to a waterpark; Ande's blog could find a home; Thornton could weigh in on the benefits of frotteurism as related to swimming with nursing students, etc. etc. etc.)

Bill could keep his job; he seems to be about as personable and knowledgeable as Garrett at flo. Just buy him a bunch of plane tickets and a decent handheld camera. I'm sure he already has the laptop and wi-fi card.

No, it isn't push technology, and maybe it would reach a more limited audience than the magazine does. I think it would do a better job of providing interesting and useful content to that audience, though.

gull
October 24th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Let me start by saying that I like getting Swimmer, I like magazines in general, and I think Bill Volckening is a fine person who is doing the best job he can with what he has to work with. And I am one of those people cited in the statistics who refuse to read anything longer than one page on my computer screen.

But I am really enjoying the mixed media models like floswimming or Swimnetwork.com. The news is fresh, and the video content adds quite a bit to the experience that a magazine can't give you. floswimming also has a bunch of free features that look neat that I haven't tried yet; things like workout logs and coach/team communication boards.

I'd like to see USMS explore piggybacking on flo's site, or licensing the technology for a standalone site. Wednesday workouts, interviews with a wide variety of masters swimmers, competition videos, technique tips with video demonstration, and a whole cadre of bloggers (we could even cull some from here: Smith v. Smith on the horror of foreign students swimming Div I on scholarship; Geek v. Gull on the horror of grown men wearing briefs to a waterpark; Ande's blog could find a home; Thornton could weigh in on the benefits of frotteurism as related to swimming with nursing students, etc. etc. etc.)

Bill could keep his job; he seems to be about as personable and knowledgeable as Garrett at flo. Just buy him a bunch of plane tickets and a decent handheld camera. I'm sure he already has the laptop and wi-fi card.

No, it isn't push technology, and maybe it would reach a more limited audience than the magazine does. I think it would do a better job of providing interesting and useful content to that audience, though.

Great idea. Limitless possibilities. And a broader audience.

mjtyson
October 27th, 2008, 06:43 PM
I just saw a new (this summer) book on Amazon by David Salo and Scott Riewald, Complete Conditioning for Swimming, that looked pretty good. It has both in-water drills and dry-land core exercises to improve swimming. A check of the Contents and a few pages may tell you whether you want it or not. I plan to order it for myself. :agree:
VB

Yep, bought that book a couple months ago along with Janet Evans' book. Love them both.

Mookie
December 17th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Vivebene,

(bump)

This is a great thread! Thanks for the link. Any results from it so far? I'm going to chew this over during my swim, and get back to it. Or maybe after vacation, since I leave this PM.

ViveBene
December 17th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Vivebene,

(bump)

This is a great thread! Thanks for the link. Any results from it so far? I'm going to chew this over during my swim, and get back to it. Or maybe after vacation, since I leave this PM.

See post 39, "Follow-up."
The editor is aware of the thread. Changes take time, and the direction of the magazine is most likely decided by an executive committee, not the editor. So no hurry!

This thread would be an appropriate place to post further comments, or you can send them directly to Bill Volckening (email in post 39 and in mag).

tjrpatt
December 17th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Yep, bought that book a couple months ago along with Janet Evans' book. Love them both.

What! Janet Evans has a book out. I totally will have to buy it.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
December 17th, 2008, 01:23 PM
I'm very happy to see this thread bringing forward discussion to suggest ideas for SWIMMER magazine.

Being relatively new to the Discussion Forum, I was not aware of it before.

However, there are some non-factual statements made regarding the publication while it was in the hands of Rodale Press.

I have no idea who Craig Johnson is, but his statements are quite inaccurate.

Bottom line, the magazine was closed because Rodale has a very high standard for circulation and advertising revenue which was not being met.

Mary Bolster was not only a great editor, but a true fitness swimmer from an huge competitive swimming family.

But the numbers in masters swimming at the time did not support the expense of the magazine.

Doug Adamavich
December 17th, 2008, 03:21 PM
The big issue affecting all media is format and distribution. Just look at how popular newspapers and magazines (US News and World Report, Christian Science Monitor, among others) are going all-electronic due to the costs associated with print.

Why do we want to invest resources into a dying medium?

Rather than allocate time, money, and effort to print, why not make the website, forums, and email distribution tools top-notch? This would involve spending on infrastructure, software, and services but the costs would be much less than print and postage. Content could be fresh and include everything for every segment identified in Dr. Boyd's reports from two years ago.

Let's look at better ways to convey information and take advantage of tools that now exist for us to use. If people want/need to print something, have the articles available as PDFs. That is only my suggestion but we ought to consider it as an enhancement to our overall communications strategy.

:2cents:

Michael Heather
December 17th, 2008, 06:08 PM
As an LMSC chair and a participant at the annual convention, I would suppose that you know that there are about 30% of members that are not internet connected for one reason or another.

To suggest that we go entirely to web based publishing is short sighted at best. Parts of the magazine are already on the web, but to lock out many world record holders because they choose not to be connected would be counter productive. We must have the magazine in a tangible form, the trick is to print things that everyone wants to read. About 80% of the membership is non-competitive. They do not necessarily want to read pages of splits and race results, even though that is fascinating to many competitors. I think a true, competitive product evaluation is a bully idea, and will promote the concept.

Once USMS has grown to 150,000 members, we will start to attract sponsors and advertisers that can pony up some serious money, presuming we are ready to promote their products effectively in the magazine and at events. Are you all prepared for 8 foot high banners touting the benefits of viagra or ex-lax?

LonghornbackinTX
December 17th, 2008, 06:28 PM
I always like top lists. For instance, you could have top lap pools, top olympic pools. Annual lists. Historic swimming sites, etc....

That might appeal to swimmers of all levels, competitive, fitness, triathalete, etc...

mattson
December 18th, 2008, 10:01 AM
I always like top lists. For instance, you could have top lap pools, top olympic pools. Annual lists. Historic swimming sites, etc...

Maybe have a short column in each issue, picking a different state (and world nation) to list a few of the more public-available swimming pools. I had to do some searching to find a convenient pool when I was visiting Geneva (Switzerland).

Allen Stark
March 28th, 2009, 11:53 AM
The more I think about it the more I disagree with SWIMMER's decision to stop publishing the All American lists and only having the list at this web-site where it will quickly fall way down on the scroll.I am fine with expanding the role of the mag to be more inclusive,but not at the expense of the pool competitors.

orca1946
March 28th, 2009, 03:30 PM
Vivebebe has all that we could ask foe & maybe too much. Let's see what we can fit into the budget.

jim clemmons
March 28th, 2009, 06:50 PM
The more I think about it the more I disagree with SWIMMER's decision to stop publishing the All American lists and only having the list at this web-site where it will quickly fall way down on the scroll.I am fine with expanding the role of the mag to be more inclusive,but not at the expense of the pool competitors.

Me too. One or two pages every other publication isn't much.

ViveBene
March 28th, 2009, 06:57 PM
Vivebebe has all that we could ask foe & maybe too much. Let's see what we can fit into the budget.

Vive Bebe! I like it!
I aggregated what everybody said, regardless of persuasion. That way the deciders will have a complete set of opinions. I was a little dismayed to discover they use some sort of reading comprehension template, which may account for the dull writing (and why Jimb'y hawks his wares at Men's Health, which sexualizes every topic, including furniture and insurance).

Babe
:D

swimmieAvsFan
March 29th, 2009, 09:03 PM
The more I think about it the more I disagree with SWIMMER's decision to stop publishing the All American lists and only having the list at this web-site where it will quickly fall way down on the scroll.I am fine with expanding the role of the mag to be more inclusive,but not at the expense of the pool competitors.

i second that thought!