NAM Alliance Magazine Feedback and Ideas Let us know what you think of the current issue and what ideas you have for future issues.

Whats wrong with the Alliance magazine?

  #1  
Old 03-06-2008, 07:15 PM
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Whats wrong with the Alliance magazine?

So far we have received lots of comments about how much people like the Magazine. However in order to make it better we need to know what you did not like. Please feel free to offer constructive criticism in this thread. It's only with your comments that we can do better.
 
  #2  
Old 03-06-2008, 07:36 PM
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OK. I'll bite. Overall it is great. But if you want feedback, I found the general text font hard to read. I'm wondering if the fonts are embedded in the pdf file or if my Mac replaced it with something other than what you are intending. The letter spacing looks a bit funky so that might be an indication that I'm seeing something a bit "off."

I'm sure your designer knows this, but for long passages of text, a serif font is much easier on the eye and faster to read.

Let me know if you want to do any testing of fonts or pdf settings. I'm a 20+ year graphic design veteran!
 
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:51 PM
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I had no problem with text size on my laptop monitor, although I had the document fit to width, when viewing as full page, yes, it's not possible to read it.
I'd also like more informative captions under the image/photos, pointing out special details.
Overall it's a really great first edition and future editions will give more ideas for improvements.
 
  #4  
Old 03-07-2008, 07:43 AM
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Take a lesson from Winding Road. That format is much easier to read.
 
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottinBend View Post
Take a lesson from Winding Road. That format is much easier to read.
In what way, do you mean the page layout? Or the browser thing you have to download to view it? Winding Road was a good pioneer of the E-zine, but when they went from PDF to the new setup I haven't been able to view it offline and have given up on it.
 
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:23 PM
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In the layout. The current portrait format is too difficult to read, go to a landscape single page view.

And it is free..............
 
  #7  
Old 03-07-2008, 04:31 PM
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How about making it available at something less than $40 a year.
 
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:34 PM
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by quikmni View Post
How about making it available at something less than $40 a year.
Get people hooked then raise the price. If ur stuff is good people will follow.
 
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by IMGRFX View Post
I'm wondering if the fonts are embedded in the pdf file or if my Mac replaced it with something other than what you are intending. The letter spacing looks a bit funky so that might be an indication that I'm seeing something a bit "off."

I'm sure your designer knows this, but for long passages of text, a serif font is much easier on the eye and faster to read.

Let me know if you want to do any testing of fonts or pdf settings. I'm a 20+ year graphic design veteran!
my wife is also a 20+ year GD veteran and she had the same comments. We ran a few through a new digital press and it's hard to read even in print. It's something gnatster and I have been talking about already....a print copy is in the mail to him now.

the other thing I noticed is blank space...the total is 48 pages when it should be more like 40 with proper font, three columns and spacing.

the TOC is duplicated on the cover and the first page inside. Page numbers don't belong on the back cover. Nor do article titles belong vertically in the gutter (a no-no).

overall.....it's a great first effort but needs someone with a print or magazine background to tweak it (i.e. needs a lot of work to go to print....looks more like a club publication/newsletter than something you'd find on the newstand). I realize it's web-focused....still...even that's hard to read.
 
  #11  
Old 03-07-2008, 05:47 PM
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I still can't believe that Mark can't cover the cost of this e-zine with the ad revenue.
 
  #12  
Old 03-07-2008, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottinBend View Post
I still can't believe that Mark can't cover the cost of this e-zine with the ad revenue.
I think you're coming at this from the wrong angle. the $40 isn't for the mag. it's a premium subscriber fee and the mag is one of the benefits
 
  #13  
Old 03-07-2008, 06:24 PM
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$40 for a magazine subscription would be a little steep, I'm waiting to see what other benefits Alliance members get before I judge it's value, I'm sure some would like to just get the magazine though so maybe a discounted subscription only deal would go over well?
 
  #14  
Old 03-07-2008, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottinBend View Post
In the layout. The current portrait format is too difficult to read, go to a landscape single page view.

And it is free..............
DESIGN:

Ditto on the landscape format. If you're a digital magazine, make it optimize the space of a typical format for a computer monitor. I see that NAM Alliance is set up for printing, but to be honest, I'd rather keep it on the computer.

It also seems like the bulk of it is 'content' type pages. I really like the big, beautiful and sparse lead-in pages (like Page 9) to help break up the flow a bit.

CONTENT:

I also wouldn't mind seeing a credit page for all those involved in the development - designers, 'staff' writers etc.

I would mind seeing articles about different aspects of the community that relate to MINIs but aren't always about the car. There is a huge thread about Diecast MINI collecting. I've seen some folks with HUGE collections of mini MINI toys. It would be cool to showcase some of those folks.

I wouldn't mind reading about the folks who plan events. Working with our local group, I get to see first hand the amount of work that goes into coordinating and planning events. It would be cool if those stories could be shared with all those who don't realize the extent of those efforts.

As much as we love our cars and having a great resource of how-to information, NAM is also about the MINI community. I wouldn't mind reading more articles like The Featured MINI and Phenomenon.
 
  #15  
Old 03-08-2008, 02:10 AM
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Just a small thing, but on the ads that are "clickable" and take you to the vendor website, could you make the *entire* ad clickable?

As an example, on page 40, there's an ad for Show Car Detailing, but to click through to the SCD site, you have to click the ad in one of three places that comprise about 5-10% of the entire ad area - the words "Black Wow" near the top-middle, the tiny picture of the Black Wow bottle at the top-right, or the SCD logo at the bottom-right. Plus, there's no indication what parts of the ad are clickable, so you have to kind of hunt around.

With rectangular ads, I'd suggest just making the entire ad a link to the advertiser's site.
 
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:38 PM
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Call it a personal preference, or maybe mine is just loading right, but I like the san-serif font - even on long copy. I'd like to see what some of you other folks are seeing.

Is this a perfectly designed piece? Probably not, but that's subjective and you're not out there to win design awards, just look nice.

It does look good compared to a bunch of publications out there, even some that are professionally produced.
 
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PGT View Post
I think you're coming at this from the wrong angle. the $40 isn't for the mag. it's a premium subscriber fee and the mag is one of the benefits
I realize that..........but it is about the only thing of value that is included in that price. And that is a stretch to call it something of value.

Winding Road and others seem to be able to do it for free. The cost for this is so minimal, I can't see how it couldn't be available for free.
 
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:39 PM
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ScottinBend...

You have made your point multiple times in multiple places. I get the feeling even if NAM paid you to read the Magazine you would still find fault with something. It's your nature, I've since learned to leave your thoughts out of any discussion. Thanks for becoming useless.
 
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:14 PM
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I liked it a lot & would like to see a different members car featured each month, also thought the 'how to' was great & should also be repeated monthly. What about a newly released product feature each month (i'm sure the vendors would like that too) Good luck with it.
 

Last edited by steve11; 03-08-2008 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:02 PM
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But I have noticed neither you nor Mark have responded to the question of why we should pay for this.

Not sure why you feel that I should not be able to voice my opinion. I thought I had a good point about the layout, but I guess you missed that point.
 
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:18 AM
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I'm not an Alliance subscriber. I could use more than 100 total PM's as mine fills up daily, but, being used to a 10,000 limit on another forum (since I'm a moderator), I don't care to pay for it here. The magazine is decent and has potential but to compare it ad revenues of Winding Road is silly....the advertisers here are a cottage industry in comparison.
 
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:57 AM
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I've been on the fence about the price. I didn't want to go down this road, because this isn't the place. However the topic has shifted a bit. BTW: Mods, if there is a more relevant thread to stick this post, please feel free to move it.

Don't get me wrong. I think the price is a good value for what you get and you're supporting this portion of the MINI community. Also, I have no problem with Mark, Nathan the new owners of this site OR anybody creating 'added' options to enhance the NAM experience and make a little money on the side. As long as the basic service is free and the option to upgrade is mine. Awesome.

I guess the reason I'm on the fence about the $40 price is because of my personal point-of-view of it's value. Here's how I, personally, break it down:

Larger Private Messaging Space - Although I think this is a great addition for MOST folks, I'm not a frequent user of this service.

Larger Personal Gallery Space - I pay and use flickr. It's a separate expense, but I get much more than 3x the regular gallery space. Also, the photography community over there goes beyond NAM (plus, I haven't used my free NAM gallery yet).

Custom Titles- No value to me.

Alliance Member designation in all your posts- Little value to me. Once membership caché picks up, this would change. Right now, it's a banner ad promoting the service - which is a good thing.

Custom Avatars - No value to me.

Custom Profile Pictures - No value to me.

NAM Garage Space - No value to me, only because I frequent other forums and I have a personal site for this. For others, this is a great tool.

Subscription to the NAM Alliance online Magazine
- GREAT feature, but like other's have said, I'm going to assume that ad revenue is covering the cost of this. No printing and distribution hard costs, so hopefully the money is going to the folks putting it together.

NAM Alliance Magnetic Grille Badge - THIS IS AWESOME and, in fact, the one thing that's keeping me on the fence.

SO, here's how I break down the expense:
$0 - More gallery space - I would have given it $15 but I'm not giving up flickr, because the pro tools over there are awesome.
$5 - Other Site Upgrades - Like I wrote, these tools are great for most NAM users. From my perspective, I get these on other sites and they don't hold that much value with me.
$10 - Magazine - Although the ad revenues would cover the expenses, I consider this a donation to continuing the good work.
$10 - Badge - that's a fair price considering the going rate for magnetic badges. Unfortunately, not everybody is a badge fanatic as me.

So that equals a total of a $25 value for me. If the Alliance price were $25 (even $30) I would have jumped on it immediately. $40 just pushes it outside of MY perceived value. I'm not trying to nickel and dime NAM. Obviously, folks are joining like crazy and DO see it as a great value.

I pay $25 for my local club membership. Although I don't get everything Alliance offers, I do get to participate in events that our club puts together as well as discounts and deals.
 

Last edited by dickdavid; 03-09-2008 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:40 AM
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I was part of the PT Cruiser site and for the Pit Stop membership you got access to the service manual How To's . Also in that site was the Member How To's with photos of the installations of Mods and repairs, and TSB's and Recalls.
This was all in one place and when you did a search it took you to that thread. It cost extra for the Pit Stop site, but well worth the money. I like the magazine which I printed out for easy reading.
I think the Alliance would be worth it if we got things we do get else where.
Thanks
Gary
 
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottinBend View Post
But I have noticed neither you nor Mark have responded to the question of why we should pay for this.

Not sure why you feel that I should not be able to voice my opinion. I thought I had a good point about the layout, but I guess you missed that point.
I learned very early that if you don't have something nice to say to not say anything at all. Regardless, we provided a number of services and features that people have been asking for plus put together an online magazine. There will also be some additional features coming that will come out as soon as everything I need to get done for the Dragon are done. Personally I don't feel that I should be required to convince you to pay for a membership. You either choose to or not. Its your decision.

I'm glad that Nathan posted what he did because I was ready to post something along the same lines. As you seem to find so many things wrong with the site and me personally I still don't understand why you spend any time here. Perhaps its time to start a What's wrong with ScottInBend thread since I know there are plenty of people I've heard from that would like to give you some constructive feedback.

Mark
 
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:27 AM
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