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Mags Limiting Online Access


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JSD and Swissmiss--I am inspired by your responses so far to my question about how eGulleteers still use local libraries. Thank you. JSD--how many of these books are cookbooks or about food? I guess what I'm getting at is how good a job do local libraries do with the subject of food and cooking? Can you go back and look at Gourmet magazine issues from 1965? Is it just Junior League cookbooks or can you find a copy of Tsuji's "Japanese cooking :a simple art?" Are any libraries out in the hinterlands buying reprints or folio versions of historic American cookbooks from the 18th, 19th or 20th C?

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I am a major library consumer. We have a decent branch four blocks from our apartment and I go several times a month. They can get just about any book in the world through interlibrary loan and the computer system works well for holds so you never have to worry that someone else will get the new Janet Evanovich before you. Although I like to own books that I might potentially keep for life, I use the library for most "perishable" books, like novels and travel guide books. For browsing magazines, however, I prefer Barnes & Noble.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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I love my library and support them financially - voluntarily - not just in overdue fines. I've read most of the food related essay type books, and skimmed many new cookbooks through their collection, as well as fiction and other non-fiction works. We have on-line reservations - frequently, I get uncirculated books when I am paying attention to what's coming out. I haven't looked for older magazine issues in many years - but I would guess I would see significant lapses due to unreturned or damaged goods. Circulation here is still significant.

Twice a year, there is a Friends of the Library book sale - ask HeyJude about how she adds to her cookbook collection! (How much damage did you do last weekend?)

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JSD and Swissmiss--I am inspired by your responses so far to my question about how eGulleteers still use local libraries.  Thank you.  JSD--how many of these books are cookbooks or about food?  I guess what I'm getting at is how good a job do local libraries do with the subject of food and cooking?  Can you go back and look at Gourmet magazine issues from 1965?  Is it just Junior League cookbooks or can you find a copy of Tsuji's "Japanese cooking :a simple art?"  Are any libraries out in the hinterlands buying reprints or folio versions of historic American cookbooks from the 18th, 19th or 20th C?

As a test, I checked, and I just now put a hold on Tsuji's "Japanese Cooking". It's checked in, but at a branch I don't go to. It'll probably be at my branch in a day or two. I get a lot of cookbooks from the library. Sometimes I buy them later if I like them. I bought Cucina de la Familia and Marcella Hazen's book that way. I don't think they have old magazines. Many times, though, I've requested books I've read about and they've ordered it, and I'm the first to check it out. To have a book for 3 weeks gives me a much better opportunity to really study it, rather than leafing through it at a bookstore. I don't think they can get old books, either. However, they already have a lot of old books, only they got them when they were new! Several times a year they have a big sale where they get rid of books, and I've bought many cookbooks at them. Many times I've bought books (at bookstores) that at first I had checked out of the library. I really love the library.

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At our branch library -- and at many others -- they also have free Internet access. I'm amazed at how little use those computers get, while people pay money to use Internet cafes.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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At our branch library -- and at many others -- they also have free Internet access. I'm amazed at how little use those computers get, while people pay money to use Internet cafes.

Does your library have coffee to spill on the keyboard? Urban Hip hop music to distract you from what you want to accomplish on the net? A woman with a pierced forehead to not really help you with problems you may have?

I think not. :smile:

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At our branch library -- and at many others -- they also have free Internet access. I'm amazed at how little use those computers get, while people pay money to use Internet cafes.

Overdue fines are the bane of my existance. i think our library exists on the fines I pay. Steve, our library also has free internet access, as did my son's public school for a while. The school board decided to institute a program whereby the community could come into the school after hours and learn to use the Internet. Or ust use it if they didn't have a computer at home (and some people don't, my Vice-chair on council being a classic example). We volunteered to pilot the project,and the school board supplied the comptuers. We staffed the room with volunteers. No one came. The project was closed down after 6 months, the school got to keep the computers.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Does your library have coffee to spill on the keyboard?  Urban Hip hop music to distract you from what you want to accomplish on the net?  A woman with a pierced forehead to not really help you with problems you may have?

This is New York.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Does your library have coffee to spill on the keyboard?  Urban Hip hop music to distract you from what you want to accomplish on the net?  A woman with a pierced forehead to not really help you with problems you may have?

This is New York.

What are you? John Rocker?

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Hop--though I feel for you, I still find your perspective unrealistic and unpersuasive.  My response would be to appreciate having gotten x issues or x months of service for free and grateful for the chance to really find out how much I valued that content.  It's the ultimate in money back guarantees--become completely familiar with our product for free--and then when you realize without a doubt that our product is special--pay for it.

And as far as local libraries, I don't think I've been in one in 5 or 6 years at least, maybe more.  Do you still have to have "library" cards or have they progressed to just using your credit card to check out books?  (Occasionally I have used a local B&N or other bookstore as a "library.")

I'm a taurus, I don't like change, Steve. What can I say. I'm sorry you haven't been to a library in that long; they really are wonderful resources and great places to get some work done (except on the children's floor).

Ok, so I haven't been persueasive in my objections to this new approach to offering online magazine content. How about this: if the access codes are only available to subscribers or newstand purchasers, why would they want to access the content online if they're already holding a copy of the publication? And if your response is that the publications may offer different content in each medium, then I ask you how is that progress? when once you were able to buy a magazine and it alone represented a self-contained compilation of all that publication's content for that month, now you have to go to two places? that seems absurd.

I get the whole thing about first offering the content for free and then having people pay for it. Don't much like it, but for the record I get it.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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I rarely use public libraries myself, but have a romantic idea that there might be some youngsters out there who find them a refuge, as I once did myself.

rest assured, they're still filled with anti-social dorks. :biggrin:

Who told you? :raz:

I would be using public libraries much more if I wasn't a member of a private library. A library of some kind is essential for me.

Edited by Wilfrid (log)
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Hopleaf, both the content, and the methods of access, of material suited to print and website are quite different. In-depth "study" material can't satisfactorily be read off a PC screen, and repetitive and selective access can't be satisfactorily achieved through print. The overall content of a magazine and its website may be virtually identical, but its presentation in the two places will be substantially different. Many 'serious' readers will welcome the same material in both formats, and will pay extra for the facility.

To return this thread to its specific food-related origin, it would be interesting to ponder how many people here would eb willing to pay a subscription at eGullet. I'm not suggesting there is any comparison to be drawn between eGullet and a magazine, but it does address the question of whtehr people are in principle willing to pay for internet material, and willing to pay for their leisure activities.

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My local library is really quite excellent for cookbooks (especially for a city of just over 100,000). The cooking and food section are comprised mostly of books from donations or memoriams of specific books. The donors obviously love good food and food writing. I'm most familiar with the baking and pastry section and its 150+ books. The collection includes Luchetti, Payard, Beranbaum (including the chocolate one), Silverton, Village Baker, Healy & Bugat, Malgieri, Gand, Brachmann and so on. I don't know enough to say there are any rare or hard-to-find books, but it's more than adequate. The main library and its local branches tend to buy at least two new cookery books every month. If a book isn't available in the local system, you can ask if they can get it in from a different city. I use the library mostly to borrow the cookbooks that I'm considering buying and to borrow fun novels that I know I'll only read once (such as the addictingly funny Stephanie Plum books).

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How about this: if the access codes are only available to subscribers or newstand purchasers, why would they want to access the content online if they're already holding a copy of the publication?

because it's a lot easier to search online than it is to thumb through mags?

try again, dude. :biggrin:

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OK Hop, you're going somewhere with

"if the access codes are only available to subscribers or newstand purchasers, why would they want to access the content online if they're already holding a copy of the publication? And if your response is that the publications may offer different content in each medium, then I ask you how is that progress? when once you were able to buy a magazine and it alone represented a self-contained compilation of all that publication's content for that month, now you have to go to two places? that seems absurd."

Here's how I might make the case--again, I haven't seen an example of this yet so I'm just speculating:

They want to protect their core paying customer base yet embrace changing technology, technology which threatens the old print media model.

They can explore things online in leveraged ways that there isn't room to do in print because print is expensive, static and space is always at such a premium anyway. More pictures, more Q&A's, more interactivity, more timeliness given the immediacy of the medium rather than deadlines. Technology could be employed on the web to search and find and link to content which has been referenced quicker than looking in the back of a magazine for a source. Say you're reading Corby Kummer's latest piece on icewine and you remember he wrote a piece on dessert wine a year or two ago. What if you wanted to read that right after or even alongside the current piece? Well, on the magazine's website you could do that and you could do it effortlessly. For some, that's worth paying the print price for. Speed, efficiency, connectiveness. In print you'd have a recipe--what if you wanted it doubled immediately to cook for more guests? what if you wanted to use metric instead of that shitty American volume system all recipes seem to be force fed down our throats? I'm just using the beginnings of the eGRA as a example and perhaps not a persuasive one--but we already have that here. I don't think it's hard to imagine that there could be online value added to a print version in ways that make the print version even more valuable for certain subscribers.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Hopleaf, both the content, and the methods of access, of material suited to print and website are quite different. In-depth "study" material can't satisfactorily be read off a PC screen, and repetitive and selective access can't be satisfactorily achieved through print. The overall content of a magazine and its website may be virtually identical, but its presentation in the two places will be substantially different. Many 'serious' readers will welcome the same material in both formats, and will pay extra for the facility.

To return this thread to its specific food-related origin, it would be interesting to ponder how many people here would eb willing to pay a subscription at eGullet. I'm not suggesting there is any comparison to be drawn between eGullet and a magazine, but it does address the question of whtehr people are in principle willing to pay for internet material, and willing to pay for their leisure activities.

maybe if I had more money available, I wouldn't have such an issue with this. I'm not poor, but I'm not rich either, so I have to be creative about getting my hands on food articles; the web has, up until now, offered a welcome alternative to shellin' out the cake.

If eGullet suddenly started charging, I'd find it really difficult to continue to participate here. On the other hand, if I had an abundance of money, I do enjoy it here enough that I would probably pay.

Many 'serious' readers may, in fact, welcome the same material in both formats; but that fact doesn't necessarily guarantee that they'll pay for online access. A lot of people will, in principal, have a problem with this.

If anything, the approach shouldn't be an all or nothing thing. When you go into a bookstore to buy a magazine, you have an opportunity to sit in the magazine racks and preview what you're about to put down hard-earned money for; hell you can read an entire article and decide there's nothing else in there for you and put the magazine back on the shelf. With what they're implimenting, you won't have any opportunity to preview the content, you won't be able to even purchase an article on a case-by-case basis. If they want this to work, they need to think it through further than they have.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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They can explore things online in leveraged ways that there isn't room to do in print because print is expensive, static and space is always at such a premium anyway.  More pictures, more Q&A's, more interactivity, more timeliness given the immediacy of the medium rather than deadlines.  Technology could be employed on the web to search and find and link to content which has been referenced quicker than looking in the back of a magazine for a source.  Say you're reading Corby Kummer's latest piece on icewine and you remember he wrote a piece on dessert wine a year or two ago.  What if you wanted to read that right after or even alongside the current piece?  Well, on the magazine's website you could do that and you could do it effortlessly.  For some, that's worth paying the print price for.  Speed, efficiency, connectiveness.  In print you'd have a recipe--what if you wanted it doubled immediately to cook for more guests?  what if you wanted to use metric instead of that shitty American volume system all recipes seem to be force fed down our throats?  I'm just using the beginnings of the eGRA as a example and perhaps not a persuasive one--but we already have that here.  I don't think it's hard to imagine that there could be online value added to a print version in ways that make the print version even more valuable for certain subscribers.

National Public Radio and Reuters, among others, use the web format to provide expanded coverage of a reported piece. The broadcast might have a long form of four minutes, the website might have the ten minutes from which the four have been extracted. More coverage, prior reports, etc.

Kalmbach Publishing's Trains magazine uses their (currently free) website to provide additional maps of article locations, accomodations, restaurants, related travel sites, and advertising. It's a supplement to the articles in the print version, and allows online discussions, local advice, etc.

Whether I'd pay for web access to a publication which solicits me with 90% off the cover price discounts is another question. The answer is probably NO

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Here's how I might make the case--again, I haven't seen an example of this yet so I'm just speculating:

They want to protect their core paying customer base yet embrace changing technology, technology which threatens the old print media model.

They can explore things online in leveraged ways that there isn't room to do in print because print is expensive, static and space is always at such a premium anyway.  More pictures, more Q&A's, more interactivity, more timeliness given the immediacy of the medium rather than deadlines.  Technology could be employed on the web to search and find and link to content which has been referenced quicker than looking in the back of a magazine for a source.  Say you're reading Corby Kummer's latest piece on icewine and you remember he wrote a piece on dessert wine a year or two ago.  What if you wanted to read that right after or even alongside the current piece?  Well, on the magazine's website you could do that and you could do it effortlessly.  For some, that's worth paying the print price for.  Speed, efficiency, connectiveness.  In print you'd have a recipe--what if you wanted it doubled immediately to cook for more guests?  what if you wanted to use metric instead of that shitty American volume system all recipes seem to be force fed down our throats?  I'm just using the beginnings of the eGRA as a example and perhaps not a persuasive one--but we already have that here.  I don't think it's hard to imagine that there could be online value added to a print version in ways that make the print version even more valuable for certain subscribers.

Ok, I see the value in offering conent online, as your examples state. All very positive. But also, all very convincing (and Fat Guy's gonna love this) as an argument against print. Why have print at all? If the content is better served to the consumer in an electronic format, and essentially would eliminate the cost of snailmail delivery, why is there such a need for print to begin with? That's how I'm understanding your argument for offering online access in conjunction with the print version of magazines, as essentially an argument against print.

I realize that print has to embrace the electronic medium and find creative and attractive ways to leverage their product within this new technology, rather than combatting it and finding themselves a 'has been.' I'm just not convinced that they've yet found the best way to accomplish this.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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I am still reading this thread, so forgive me if someone has pointed this out. I was sad to learn that many of my favorite websites are now charging money to access recipes. I thought the idea was to provide a few recipes to get people to buy the book...oh well.

Live and learn

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Hop--I think you'll see a lot of flexible models and payment options, tailored to how individual subscribers or users value their time and value the content. I do think, however, that will always be an appreciation for the immediacy of something you can hold in your hands.

Why don't you point those websites out Monica--might be instructive in terms of this conversation.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I went to the sanjeev site and at quick glance it seems he's positioning himself as a celebrity chef and authority in India? He's also published a CD-ROM and like 5 books with two more on the way. Part of the registration and access fee seems to include 3 of his "bestselling books" for the equivalent of $13. Did I read that correctly? Seems like a fair return and a fair revenue grab to me--especially if all the recipes archived are his. Are they? And in the time you perused his site and tried some of his recipes Monica--did you then buy any of his books or the CD-ROM as a result?

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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All the recipes were free earlier and they are his. Now to access them you need to sign up. I already have the books, a lot of the recipes on the site are from his show and not in his book. I guess, they hook you and then charge you. So maybe it is fair. (The books are published in India, where the cost of publication is a lot cheaper than here, so $13 seems good here)

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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But, as I tried to suggest to Hop earlier--wouldn't a more realistic, more fair, way to view it be that first he gave you all the opportunity you would need to freely access the content and decide just how valuable and useful it is--in effect, to establish its ongoing value for you--and then he gives you the choice of how to pay for it. If you or I were in his position--you don't think we'd like our "fans" to think our expertise, our content is worth paying something for? You don't think we'd like people to get hooked on what we provide?

Expand this to include something like the Rosengarten Report--a subscription newsletter with a tease of a website meant mostly to look good and pitch the subscription. He once "gave" all this stuff away--all his tips and comments about products--when he was on the Today Show and on the Food Network. He created a persona, his expertise was beamed for free into our homes and now that he's not on TV he's trying to extend (cash in on) that persona--and keep doing the same type of crap--"10 best mail order barbecue ribs," "My favorite olive oils"--just now it's in his newsletter. Does anyone begrudge him for trying? I think that's a different model than what we're discussing here about magazines figuring out how to use the web--but this discussion should include newsletters and personal food letters like this. What's the future for this model as well? Are you more or less likely to embrace a pay for content scheme with something very personal with less overt advertising?

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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