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Bert Bergen
June 7th, 2004, 09:12 PM
I am wondering (after already sending an email to Dick Deal, Phil Whitten, and Brent Rutemiller) as to the logic of excluding over 40,000 masters swimmers from the "Premium Area" of their website. A posting on the site today says that they are thanking "loyal print subscribers" to Swimming World and Swimming Technique by giving them access. Unless something has changed, isn't SWIM Magazine part of their family of magazines (Deal's, Whitten's, and Rutemiller's names appear in both SWIM and on the website)? It smacks of a profit motive and a BIG slap in the face to all of us. I am also guessing that more masters athletes check that site than age groupers, so they offering the "benefit" to the wrong group! Seems oddly similar to the Italians decision to make everyone PAY for the World Championships results!!!

BTW, the way you get the premium access is if you PAY for the subscription, so it really is a PAID premium and not the "value added" one that they assert.

Aquageek, you are more cynical than I, what do you think?

Just stirring the pot a bit.

Sam Perry
June 7th, 2004, 11:14 PM
You could always start your own site, send people to every major meet worldwide to report on action, compile and provide virtually every article known about swimming, have all meet results from every level of the sport, etc. yourself. Oh yeah and do it all volunteer and free of charge. Heaven forbid you try to make a bit of a profit for all of your hard work. I am sorry, I am not being personal. I just feel like many people have such a cynical attitude to people trying to make a living can be somewhat hypocritical. Should I get mad that my coach and the pool I swim at charge me a fee to train?

aquageek
June 8th, 2004, 05:27 AM
I have no issue with this. If they choose to reward their subscribers with an enhanced web site, that is fine by me. Many other magazines already do this and many more have premium pay portions of their web site. The web is a business for many and they should be allowed to make their buck like the rest of us.

Howard
June 8th, 2004, 09:19 AM
I don't have a problem with them charging whatever they want. It's their business and they can set the business model any way they want. If I could change one thing it would be to allow a Masters swimmer to opt out of getting SwiM magazine entirely and pay a lesser fee.

The issue of the World Champ results should be addressed by FINA. The fact there isn't a requirement to release the full results allows the organizers to sell them as part of the business of running the meet. If it's a big deal then FINA should make it mandatory to release them or you can't be awarded the meet. It is frustrating to have friends there and not be able to see how they are doing.

aquageek
June 8th, 2004, 10:28 AM
I will agree with Howard - I'm highly annoyed I can't follow the progress of two of my buddies, both of which should do quite well.

Tom Ellison
June 8th, 2004, 10:55 AM
In my opinion, FINA is much the same as the IOC, and for that matter…the UN….a bunch of money grubbing bureaucrats filling their pockets every chance they get.

Bert Bergen
June 8th, 2004, 11:56 AM
Good points Sam, but why single out the SWIM subscribers as the ones who don't benefit? I personally haven't cared too much about the articles that I have been excluded from (Mike Collins reporting from World Tri Champs, or PH Mullins hospital visit - I DO hope he is doing well) but I am simply confused by the separation of who benefits and who pays. BTW, meet results, coaching announcements, meet invites, etc ARE available to everyone. "Interviews" and first hand accounts of events tend to be the items that are excluded.

Oh, and Aquageek, you can still BUY the results to check out your buddies. Apparently that is an okay option for you.

aquageek
June 8th, 2004, 12:25 PM
I'm really confused. What am I not getting? I do pay for SWIM, I guess. I would assume that part of my USMS dues pay for that subscription. Shouldn't I then get access to this fancy premium web site? That would make sense. Is this website associated with SWIM? If not, it's a moot point. If so, I want my access!

If I paid for SWIM separately, would I get to see the results from Italy? Do the swimmers in Italy know their results for free or do they have to pay also? What if no one paid, would the swim meet have actually existed since no results would get published?

I think we need some sort of diagram here.

Howard
June 8th, 2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Bert Bergen
Good points Sam, but why single out the SWIM subscribers as the ones who don't benefit? I personally haven't cared too much about the articles that I have been excluded from (Mike Collins reporting from World Tri Champs, or PH Mullins hospital visit - I DO hope he is doing well) but I am simply confused by the separation of who benefits and who pays. BTW, meet results, coaching announcements, meet invites, etc ARE available to everyone. "Interviews" and first hand accounts of events tend to be the items that are excluded.

Oh, and Aquageek, you can still BUY the results to check out your buddies. Apparently that is an okay option for you.

I think your Swim subscription is about $8 dollars of your USMS registration fee. Swimming World is over $20 at a discounted rate and Swimming Tech is around $16 for 4 issues. Maybe that's why the others get access and we don't. If everyone paid full price for Swim of $19.95 then maybe we'd get access.

Tim Hedrick
June 8th, 2004, 03:12 PM
Yeah, but...

The premium area is not given to Swimming World or Swimming Technique subscribers gratis. It is a paid "enhancement" to their subscriptions to be able to access the premium website contents. That seems fair enough.

Also one other thing to note: obtaining the premium subscription to Swimming World only allows one to access the Swimming World back issues (back to the early 1960's!!), not the Swimming Technique back issues. It's true the other way around as well.

A common feature of both premium subscriptions is access to the premium web articles as well as some of their stroke tips.

I tend to agree with the others on this: it's their website and content, and they can choose to offer it how they wish. I do agree with you, Bert, that it's highly likely that a larger percentage of Masters swimmers are more apt to use and pay for their services, so they may be missing out on a potential revenue enhancement there. Maybe they are devising a strategy separately for USMS members to access these areas, or potentially a premium area for Swim magazine premium subscribers (back issues, etc)??

Regarding the publishing of Swim, didn't USMS seek bids on that? Sports Publications International may not always be the publisher of the USMS magazine, just as (I think) there is a separate publisher of the Splash magazine for USS members.