Oct 24, 2008 at 1:57 pm #1456040
Don WilsonBPL Member
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
You do have the option of requesting a check which will exactly match the 3/4 remaining value of your subscription. In your case, that would be $18.75.
DonOct 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm #1456042
Thanks Don. I may do that. I'd prefer to roll it over into a premium membership though. The $18.75 is worth 9 months right? That would be fair. No mailing, no running to the bank to cash it, etc.
Actually, rereading the e-mail, the statement,
"All subscribers have been issued a store coupon in the amount of $14.99 (original subscription cost) to be used on a future order."
is wrong. My original subscription cost was $25.Oct 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm #1456054
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
There's certainly no shame in paring down. I'm glad that BPL will be able to refocus and divert more resources to the website, gear, and book arms of the company. Looking forward to what's next.Oct 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm #1456062
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Personally, I think it's a good decision to stop the print magazine if it was detracting from the web content. It's the web content that I value highly, the print mag was simply icing on the cake.
Hopefully, we will see more articles online from the simple but informative one about the relative strength of tent stakes to the more complex articles like that very comprehensive winter footwear one.
I for one, appreciate the fairness in the coupon/refund policy.Oct 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm #1456064
Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Sure the coupon is nice and all.
Till you go to use it and find out it only works on merchandise, not the shipping and handling. Blah! The cheapest shipping option is $6.80 when I went to see about using the coupon.
So in essence I get to pay to use a refund.
Yeah, personally? I will just eat the $15.Oct 24, 2008 at 5:04 pm #1456066
Ken T.BPL Member
I agree with what Michael just said. A little sad perhaps, but the magazine was a disaster from issue 1. Still love the website. I certainly spend enough time here. Glad I did not renew last week :-)Oct 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm #1456068
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
As Don mentioned earlier in this thread you are able to apply for cash refund in the form of a check rather than having to use the coupon.Oct 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm #1456069
Chris WBPL Member
I don't get it. Why does it matter if the coupon discounts $15 off an item or $8 off an item and $7 for the shipping? You pay the same amount either way. If you're wanting to buy a $5 item and then have it also cover shipping, why not just wait to use the coupon till you want something that costs over $15?Oct 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm #1456072
Jolly Green GiantBPL Member
Not that I get the right to vote or that my vote would matter in this case, but I'm really disappointed to lose the magazine. I really enjoyed it, and in fact, actually merely scanned the online version because I wanted to save the colors and in-depth stories only truly available in the print version for a place other then when I was hiding behind a keyboard.
The flexibility of having something so small and well done which could be taken with me was of great value and I always enjoyed having the option to read it again and again no matter where I was. I'm just not sure I'm interested in reading the magazine online as the loss of brilliant colors, tactile feel, and the general nostalgia of something I could hold in my hands was of more value to me. I appreciate the fact that it allows all of us to have a smaller footprint, but I find it a little hypocritical to say that BPL supports getting out, getting back to basics, and embracing life the way it was in the past when things were more simple. Forcing me to spend more time behind my keyboard is against every one of these values and it is a shame. I think BPL underestimates the fact that the magazines weren’t merely tossed into a landfill after going through it once as I know of no one who doesn’t consider them valuable enough to keep on a shelf for constant reference and review. Each is a story of history, triumph, education, and passion. It’s a shame BPL puts their magazine in the same category as other periodicals on the market because it wasn’t. I also have a tough time swallowing that the costs of the magazine were simply too much to bear because as anyone who purchased nearly anything from the UL movement will attest to – this stuff ain’t cheap. Apparently there are more than a few people who are willing to pay top dollar for things that fuel their passions and overpriced bivys, tarps, bags, packs – and magazines were no exception.Oct 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm #1456077
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Ryan & BPL staff,
I have enjoyed the online and print/digital magazine. I have been frustrated with the delays and downloading at times, but really appreciated having a copy to read on business trips. I think some of the members that have expressed negative opinions here should consider that BPL have put themselves out there on a risky venture that we all enjoyed when it clicked. BPL's exposure is much greater than the $15-25 that each of us have invested in it.
So don't get too worked up that it didn't work perfectly, and appreciate that BPL is dealing with it in a reasonable manner. Hey, we're family here so that means we can complain about each other, but let's keep it in perspective.
I'm glad that we still have BPL. It's the only website that I check almost every day, and have learned quite a bit from it.
Thanks and keep up the good work!
TomOct 24, 2008 at 6:30 pm #1456080
Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Chris, I am a well known tightwad. And to be blunt, I don't need more gear – I have too much as is.Oct 24, 2008 at 6:40 pm #1456082
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
I actually like this. Nice.Oct 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm #1456083
>Do you see the confusion here? I hope so.
So after all the words in all the threads in all the years, this one had me in tearful relief!
There was certainly no lack of effort, and it appears that even in history, there may be problems parsing the nomenclature.
The crux of this communication issue is that the words PRINT, DIGITAL, and ONLINE, compose the anagrammed phrase "NILLING TREPIDATION". This translates into a fearful reluctance and a lack of understanding in anyone who sees the words PRINT, DIGITAL, and ONLINE. This is the only possible explanation.Oct 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm #1456084
Karl KeatingBPL Member
As the publisher of a small-circulation magazine that has been around since 1990, I well appreciate what it takes to produce a handsome, well-written publication aimed at a niche market. Most small magazines fail early because they never achieve a sustainable number of subscribers. Most that survive just barely hang on.
(Small magazines rely chiefly–often exclusively–on subscription income, not ads, because their readership, being so small, is unable to attract advertisers. Mass-market magazines, on the other hand, get nearly all of their income from ads. Some of them, in fact, are mailed at no cost to subscribers because the ad revenue covers everything. This is precisely how I'm getting "Backpacker.")
Ryan doesn't say how many paid subscribers his magazine ended up with, but I suspect it was far fewer than the original business plan had projected. Had there been triple the paid subscriptions, perhaps the magazine would have continued.
For my part, I'm saving all the copies, because they're worth saving. The staff did a good job and needs to make no apologies for the content or quality of the publication.Oct 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm #1456092
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I've enjoyed Backpacking Light far more and for much longer than the 6+ years I've contributed to it. While I completely understand the decision to discontinue the magazine, I'm also saddened by the loss. I have the full library and have read every word in these mags. I'll keep the collection indefinitely and it's likely they'll be on a shelf when I'm in a convalescent home. It was an honor to have an article in one magazine and an image in another and I thank Ryan and Co. greatly for that opportunity.
I also feel that our online magazine will benefit from this refocusing. I look forward to more in-depth content on the site, despite the fact that I'll miss the portable journal.
My bottom line, though, is that I love Backpacking Light. If ditching the print magazine is what's required to keep this community and publication sustainable, I stand firmly behind that decision. The last thing any of us (readers and contributors alike) is to see BPL go the way of Alpinist.
Doug JohnsonOct 24, 2008 at 9:23 pm #1456093
Stephen MorseBPL Member
@scmorse1Locale: Bay area
It's all about the content. I will look forward to browsing the website.Oct 24, 2008 at 9:29 pm #1456094
Monty MontanaBPL Member
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
I'm one of those who regrets the passing of the BPL print mag as it was well executed and certainly something to keep on my bookshelf as important reference material. Having it appear online was not a bonus for me…I like books. The writing was on the wall last month I guess when I read that Ascent folded. It was a coffee table quality production that won many commendations for its photography. It was also headquarted in Jackson Hole, probably the most expensive piece of realestate in the country, so their overhead must have been phenomenal compared to, say, being headquartered in Rock Springs. When I was there once applying for a teaching position the local rent exceeded the teaching salary. I left. Rumor has it that Bozeman is becomiing the new Jackson Hole.
I don't consider the printing of a small, quality book (it's more of a book than a mag) that people will save as violating any enviromental ethic, especially when one considers a recent report that estimates the number of U.S. computers that end up in the landfill in a year would fill a hole large enough to contain four Empire State Buildings.
As for the cost of subscription and the irregularity of publication…well, it was still money well spent and I'm glad I have all the issues. Go into a Barnes and Nobles and see what $14.95 will get you. Not much; most books are a whole lot more than that these days.
I just noticed that BPL is printed in China. I once was caught in the pincers of a quandry such as this and switched to in-house publication and everyone was pleased with the results.
Accept, let go, move on. I await the last issue, #11!Oct 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm #1456096
Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Though I never subscribed to the magazine it still is sad when people I have come to know must make decisions to end things that they've put their hearts and energy into.
I've been mulling over the whole decision and wondered if it would be possible, for those who want it, to set up the online content in such a way that it is nicely printable per customer via a service like Blurb. That way BPL accrues little or no costs and the subscribers can get their printed magazine if they want.
Just an idea.Oct 24, 2008 at 11:38 pm #1456109
@charley289Locale: Cascades and Oregon Coast Range
Well. . . I only ever got two of them (9 and 10), but I looked forward to getting them in the mail. I love the look and feel of the mag, and the reading is good, too.
Regarding the press release:
I'll never throw mine away!
CharleyOct 25, 2008 at 2:55 am #1456110
Mike SnodderleyBPL Member
while this is certainly disappointing, I will look forward to the articles that would be in the print version going online. Will you guys publish a backlog of your previous articles to the website? I think that might be a good compromise for subscribers upset that their print subscription was canceled. Plus I know I would love to have easy access to some of those articles.Oct 25, 2008 at 4:28 am #1456112
John ManningBPL Member
I'm sorry to see the mag go. The format, the content, even the 'feel' of the mag were all perfect.
Like Darren and Michael From Dundee, I'm an international subscriber and will miss not getting issue 11 – which I'll have to buy online.
I do appreciate the lengths you've gone to to satisfy subscribers – you've gone over and beyond what would be necessary – but will miss the mag dearly. Takes me several days to read the mag properly, compared to Backpacker, the worthwhile content of which takes me about an hour to read!Oct 25, 2008 at 5:02 am #1456113
@breaksLocale: Flat Ohio
I have some sadness over the print edition ending. I am not a fan of digital editions (unless they're pdf's I can print), so I really couldn't care less about the zinio thing – used it once and never again.
I am a slave to my laptop all day long and find enjoyment in having a paper magazine that I can take to the coffee shop, sit in a corner and read. Or just sit on my patio and enjoy. When reading sacred text (BPL Mag), I'd rather not scroll, click, scroll, click, cuss.
So despite the roll of the dice on if/when my magazine would show up, I was always ecstatic to get it. It kept me company on many trips – business and pleasure.
As an ask, maybe BPL could put together a "cart" type functionality where we could easily go select the articles we wanted, then print them for on the go. That might be a great happy-medium for those of us that enjoy offline reading.
It sucks that all good things must come to an end. Whoever started that should be shot.Oct 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm #1456165
@beemancronLocale: Southwest US
I just received my copy of Issue #11. I have been taking it on some of my day hikes to read when I relax at a nice viewpoint.
Sorry there won't be a print version #12 to make a dozen great publications. The print versions became part of my weekend UL pack system, small and LW. I am going to miss the feel and touch; online is just not the same. Since content is everything, the Internet can facilitate an easier publication.
However, I don't think I will be downloading the online version to my iPod to read on any backpacking trips. It runs against my philosophy of no electronics in the wilderness.Oct 26, 2008 at 10:21 am #1456228
This is very sad news. I will miss the printed magazine very much. I liked the printed version not because I could put it in my pack, or curl up by the fire, but because my 50-something year old eyes have already been looking at a computer screen all day by the time it get home. (But I confess, I did pack a few along on Boy Scout outings and just sort of cast them out in the campsite. It was rewarding to see them devoured and discussed by the light of an LED headlamp.)
I have shared your troubles with the print version all along, and I MUST say that I have always found your staff to be very helpful throughout my complaints. No, I mean it. They kept me informed of the difficulties, and once even forwarded a print-ready PDF. So I give a sincere thanks to your crew for all of their struggles with the mag.
It was a refreshing read; the writing usually good and occasionally very good, it well done technically, with less gear mongering than the larger mainstream magazine on this topic. I loved articles like "the middle of nowhere" and the one on bear encounters. Honestly, there was nothing else like it.
I recognize this as a honest bushiness reversal. I wish you luck all in the future.
-chuckOct 26, 2008 at 11:19 am #1456235
@missingutahLocale: Smoky Mountains
What if, in lieu of offering coupons or refunds, that the option be to give an equal number of back issues? I'm not sure if enough back issues are lying around to suit the demand; but I'm sure many people who will miss the magazine, yet jumped on the boat late, would happily take the inventory off your hands and relinquish that $3.75-15.00. Currently a single back issue is $8.95 for members (much more than I'm willing to pay), but I think it would be fair to hand some of those over at the prorated $3.75/copy to us who missed out on future, and back, copies of the publication.
Just food for thought, since probably most people are like me and have enough gear already, and also aren't very excited about a $3.75-15.00 refund. I suppose your print advertisers wouldn't mind their old advertisements in circulation, and on coffee tables across America, instead of being in some storage closet in Montana.
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