I have been formulating this post for some time and while the subject matter has the real possibility of polarising people...my recent blog trolling has certainly confirmed that the situation is indeed also alive and well at least in Britain.
I, like many thought that blogging may be like the "Yo-Yo" and just be another fad that came and went without trace. How wrong I was...Blogging now is a very important facet of our hobby and also has the ability of spanning and cross fertilising on a global basis...and more importantly is free! ( for now ). Inspiration, advice, kinship and just plain old enjoyment has allowed the blogosphere to go ahead in leaps and bounds.
While all of this is happening around us...I could not help but ask myself the question..."Where does this leave the humble model related magazines and periodicals?"... Magazines, certainly were a very important facet of my earlier years in the hobby and before the internet, the only real way for modellers to be informed, entertained and inspired...apart from the exhibition and the club scene. So where does the cyber advancements leave our paper based technology.
To my mind there are many factors that will influence where our magazines end up. Firstly ( just like the daily tabloids ) online information exchange will govern the future of the printed word. How long it takes for many day to day printed items to become extinct is anyone's guess...Newspapers, periodicals, magazines and indeed the humble phone book will all succumb to cyber space and with the advancements in computers, internet speeds, methodologies and just plain old economics...I think the transition will be swift.
The next logical question is...are magazines still relevant?. That one comment will probably incur the wrath of many individuals in our hobby at least...but let us just examine where we find ourselves before any reader of this post is moved towards "taking out a contract" on my very existence. Whether one will publicly concede this fact or not...every conceivable "bit" of information relating to our hobby can now be found online. Even the very advertisers that fuel the salaries and running costs of the magazine are now to be found online, with some now having up to date (in some instances) blogs attached to the parent website and many even have links to a "demonic", to some, facebook page.
Some time back, I made a conscious decision to reassess my magazine purchases and to concentrate only on magazines that are well written, have absorbing articles, have the content I am interested in and provide value for money. I opted for the British magazines...as they have not yet succumbed to totally being absorbed with the "plonker" type of readership and still have many articles on "modelling" and the skills involved. As I have stated in an earlier post dedicated to the subject...I have now trimmed costs even further by having my mags delivered electronically. This all seems ironic given that I model NSW outline...but most of the modelling, weathering and landscape articles have a universal appeal and I still become absorbed with the fringe articles as well.
As for the local magazine scene...I have taken an annual "digital" subscription to our "leading" magazine...but in all honesty I cannot see this continuing as my interests cover ALL aspects of modelling and are not limited to "new releases" and a short hop around a layout...Have we really lost the appreciation of the true art and skills of modelling???. We also have to move away from the overtones that we are "privileged" to have the magazines that are available today...Any commodity that comes at a price is not a privilege. I certainly want more than 1/2 an hour of interest from any magazine that I purchase...digital or paper. To be fair I still look forward to AJMR when a new issue appears and would love to see this magazine on a more regular basis.
I guess the reason why some British bloggers bemoan their local magazines is possibly due to that fact that there are a plethora of offerings and choice over there... and as I am a fairly recent convert to some of these mags...I still find the content quite interesting and valuable.
And this is where I see that blogs (for me) will sooner or later replace the printed word. A mind boggling variety of subject matter, differing writing styles and skills, evocative subjects, progress of specific projects, superb photos and illustrations, inspiration...no matter what your taste...and last but not least...true "real time" interaction with the blog owner / writer.
And following a week where "real work" overtook my modelling time yet again!...a couple of shots of the shed progress. Still much to do...but we are getting there, albeit slowly. Internal asbestos sheeting is now complete, as well as the timber guardrails, and truck loading bay "buffer timbers"....all internals are almost complete and in readiness for the roof to be permanently installed, barge cappings, gutters and downpipes can then be fitted...subtle changes...but time consuming