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Trail Blazer & EN

In response to:

> And this is the publication that many would like to see the >AERC use >
as an> example for the business of the AERC News?> Bob

As a person who has dealt with both, as a subscriber and a writer, I
loved the comment I got the other day from a person who said, "We have
two endurance publications and they're both rather disfunctional"  I know
that TB is known for having problems keeping subscriptions straight.  To
be fair, I've had quite a few people tell me they subscribed once and got
an endless subscription that never ran the errors go both ways. 

Back when I was a regular subscriber I had no problems, so I can't say
I've had to deal with their lack of customer service. I will say that one
problem I've seen is that the office has moved a LOT...from Oregon, to
GA, back to Oregon, to Arizona... reminds me of the old "Bob's Bank" ad
on Prairie Home Companion.  It was a bank in a camper trailer and you
needed to finish your business before he headed to FLA. for the winter. 
Still frustrating do deal with sometimes I know, but I guess it'd be
worse if I was running it out of my house.  

People probably try to e-mail to the old addresses a lot and don't get
replies.  I keep practically every note I get from them just to make sure
I have the most RECENT address.  If you need it right now, it's  Sometimes the one in the jacket isn't even the
most recent.  This one's been around for awhile so maybe she found a
server she's happy with.

Now, as far as subscribing in Oct. and not having an issue yet, the
magazine only comes out every other month and that was right after one of
them.  I've gotten several notes from people commenting on my most recent
article so it appears that they're hitting the mailboxes right now.  My
neice who hadn't subscribed signed up somewhere for a free copy and
called to tell me how much she liked my it works for
somebody I guess.  

Now, comparing it to EN, I'll have to go with Trail Blazer if I could
only get one.  How can you say you get the standings with EN when there's
such a delay?  I'm determined someday to do the first two rides of the
year in FLA. so I can have my name in the standings until Sept...because
that's how long it takes everyone to catch up with you.  The first time I
got a jacket from AERC I didn't have a clue I was in the standings.  The
next year I had the sense to keep up with the points myself and monitor
the unofficial results on Ridecamp. That's the only way to do it if you
are really concerned with them....the on-line results are a big
improvement, but they still have to wait on the ride managers to get it
in so it's faster to see somebody's "as best I can remember" results on
RC.  It's not EN's fault, it's just the way things are...managers take a
while to send results in, and there's a pretty big delay with magazine
type publications.  

The first time I started really enjoying reading the ride articles in EN
was one of the much criticized full color articles when Trish Booker
covered the Old Dominion (or was it Cosequin?).  It was a super write-up
and had great pictures.  That one was first class.   Bobbie Lieberman,
Wynne Brown and Genie Stewart-Spear's coverages of big rides are of that
vein also.  I just didn't realize how lacking the coverage in the others
was until these started showing up.  Endurance simply doesn't get this
sort of knowledgeable in depth reporting in other magazines.  

I think people who are listing me as an important contributor to EN are
confused TB subscribers.  So far, I haven't done much for EN.  As a
matter of fact, I didn't even sign onto the committee as a writer, since
I'm already stretched thin there.  I volunteered as a cartoonist. I sent
one and they haven't bothered to publish it so I haven't sent another. I
guess that since they can put a $300 ad in the space the cartoon would
take up so it's not economically feasable. 

Maybe there are some who say EN should be a newsletter, not a magazine. 
The problem is that in many ways EN can no longer compete in the
Newsletter department. Now that we have ridecamp anything that has to
wait through a magazine delay is already old news. But, we need at least
one magazine and I'm afraid we're going to lose TB as I think endurance
riders are starting to give it up and it has to broaden its appeal to
average trail riders.   In the last year or so I could envision EN
putting TB out of the endurance magazine business, but I think that's
turning back around as the focus of EN changes.  If I were an advertiser
and EN went back to it's previous format, I'd choose TB hands down.  If I
were a reader and EN went back to its previous format, I'd DRIVE to
Arizona if I had to and hand Susan Gibson my money in person to get Trail
Blazer.  Personally, I like getting them both. I want my cake AND eat it

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