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Thread: Magazine in a timewarp

  1. #21
    ‹bermensch Dank's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I agree with Harry. TGO is dated.
    I used to get Country Walking on a regular basis until 3yrs ago, when I got a bit more 'serious' and changed to TGO and Trail.
    Recently I bought the CW December Winter Walks edition to read on a plane and was surprised how fresh the mag was.
    Ok it doesnt have the in depth gear reviews and is a bit 'Jolly Rambler', but as a person who doesnt take much notice of reviews anyway, [preferring to try stuff on in real shops and act on personal advice from the reviews in OM], it presented walks well with Memory Map routes etc.
    TGO is a great little mag produced by a small dedicated editorial team, probably to very tight budgets and deadlines, and depending on regular advertising revenue. If the ads submitted are boring/dated/crap thats not their fault. Unfortunately this will subliminally influence the overall appearance of the mag.
    By the way..who remembers the flood of complaints from TGO readers when the front cover featured the bloke being chased by the bear?
    Let's not get too serious!

  2. #22
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Actually it appears that the reason why Highbury went under is the massive debt run up over a few years from buying up one small publisher after another to try and get bigger market share and circulation. Perhaps this means we'll see a change in emphasis from this "one game in town" of wanting constant growth.

  3. #23
    Goon
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    Captain. Re: "As a matter of interest, what's your opinion of avatars, animated smileys, etc. on forums like this?"

    No strong views either way. Can take 'em or leave 'em. Why do you ask?

  4. #24
    Mini Goon Perfidious Albion's Avatar
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    Trail (and CW), being part of the Emap empire, may have access to some resources not available to TGO. I do know, from contacts in retail, that Emap like to flood newsagents and supermarket shelves with their titles and, in the process, push others to the periphery (in display terms).

    TGO suits me although, if anything, I slightly preferred it prior to the last update. Trail is a magazine I will flick through with low expectations, mainly looking for the odd interesting route; whereas I will re-read back copies of TGO over and over.

    Also, and this is purely on a personal level, I find the attempts at humour in Trail to be particularly inane and roughly on a par with those of Gary Lineker on MOTD.

    And Trail doesn't have Jim Perrin.

  5. #25
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Advertising revenue has a massive impact on a mag's viability, and the amount of print advertising available has dropped very significantly over the last couple of years or so.

    A mag like TGO will make probably little from sales through Smiths etc (because of the huge margin these channels take) -- what really helps is subscriptions. So if you like TGO and buy it regularly and want to see it continue then do subscribe!

    Sure TGO could be sharper in its design, but like many others I prefer content over style any time, and the current design works fine for me. It's improved massively over the last few years.

  6. #26
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    I don't think Harry's trolling, it's a valid point.

    Personally I don't think tgo is amateurish in style. It looks different from Trail or Caravan weekly or whatever, but no less polished.

    I'm sure tgo won't me saying that if anything would give that impression, it's the occasional misplaced map/wrong date blooper.

    I guess at a lot depends on what you're trying to achieve.

    Another analogy: John Peel was a very successful radio dj for what was it, 38 years, despite hardly ever doing anything that might remotely be described as fashionable. tgo's mis-placed map was his record at the wrong speed. Ultimately it doesn't matter if your community is strong enough.

    It's interesting that Trail tries VERY hard to create this community feel with its readers' photo pages, Guy Procter's "see you all on the hills matey boys" editorials, and general "we're all a big gang of mad students" atmosphere.

    TAC (black and white, possibly xeroxed, no photos) automatically has that clubby feel because only about 28.6 people read it and most of the letters are from the contributors or Hamish Brown.

    tgo seems to do very well at what it sets out to do if you ask me. If it turned into "I'm a celebrity magazine get me out of this newsagent" I'd probably stop buying it.

  7. #27
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Personally I think we should celebrate the fact that we have two totally different style magazines to read.

  8. #28
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    Or is that "two totally different style magazines" including one to read?
    ;-)

  9. #29
    Goon Richie S's Avatar
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    I like the style of TGO. With modern design tools redesigning the mag wouldn't cost too much - well, unless you employ a bunch of consultants to tell you your logo is all wrong.
    But you can take it too far. Many of the mags in the US, once great publications like Outside, now have gone way too far down the style over substance route. It's full of people in north face and patagucci gear lounging around a cabin. They also continually have these long lists of people you never cared about.... oops, I mean the leaders in adventure sports, in model poses.
    It's all part of trying to attract younger, more affluent readers and the according advertisers as the outdoors becomes more popular and somewhat glam.
    TGO's and Trail's US equivalent, Backpacker, is going the same way, and the Editor seems to think he's a little too cool for school (but that's a side-issue I guess). They've also basically given up on gear reviews, as they can't afford to piss any advertisers off.
    I think the TGO is clean, uncluttered, and easy to read, and focuses on the content. Too many publications - becasue they have the capability to - go down the route of over flashy designs, that make things difficult to read. You know the one, where you have to search a cover page, holding the thing sideways, to read the Intro.
    TGO lets you focus on the important thing, the content, and doesn't let the design get in the way of that. Be grateful that there's a magazine out there where the people know their stuff, and obviously love the subject they're writing about.

  10. #30
    Goon Richie S's Avatar
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    NG Adventure does have a great design and content though ;o)

  11. #31
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    Good points Richie - genuine knowledge and enthusiasm is hard to sub-edit in.

    Maybe tgo could do a "2016" special - with stylish pics of Cameron lounging around in his Swiss log cabin, and CT wearing velvet salopettes ("hair by jmanning.com"). No gear reviews, just pastel drawings of rucksacks with no price tags ("freshen your Spacepacker with Swedish Pine and rustic knits").

    And a centre-spread of a big lass in knickers hanging off an E17 in the lunar Dolomites.

  12. #32
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    I enjoyed this months issue, normally I associate TGO with navy Ronhill tracksters and a tartan shirt ), but this one seemed very fresh.

    One wee thing, the waterproof review says that two way waterproof zips don't exist, I appear to have a YKK one as the front closure on my winter '04/05 karrimor Boma shell, have I been sold a bootleg?
    Also, hoods in two camps, wired or stiffened.
    Most of my hoods are wired and stiffened, must vote lib-dem then...

  13. #33
    ‹bermensch Ace High's Avatar
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    I did a trip on another ship two or three years back. I found two copies of TGO, a magazine I'd never seen before, in the tea shack. They were so good that I stole them; thus depriving my crew mates of a dammed good read. I've been a subscriber ever since and there is a goodly pile of back issues down in my cabin.

    The magazine suits me in every way, OK some individual issues my not exactly rock my boat, but over time the magazine suits me.

    What I appreciate most though is the magazine's integrity. If a piece of kit is lacking in some way it says so; you're not left to discover it for yourself half way up a Scottish hill in mid winter.

    Similarly, the editor and some of the contributors are very accessable via this forum; where else can you ask "Cameron, can you really get around that circuit in ten hours? It took us a day and a half in Oot's helicopter!"

    And I thought "the guy running away from the bear" cover was very amusing. It made a change to seeing disgustingly fit, well clad people or big craggie hills that I can only dream about! ;¨)

  14. #34
    ‹bermensch Jester*'s Avatar
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    " Trail is a magazine I will flick through with low expectations, mainly looking for the odd interesting route; whereas I will re-read back copies of TGO over and over."
    I find the reverse to be true.
    I have seen a few routes in Trail which immediately have me reaching for my boots, yet I can't say the same for TGO.

    Oh, and I read TAC, so are any of the other 27.6 readers on here?

  15. #35
    Goon
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    James, well said.

    Had a good look through the routes this morning. Even worse than I first thought. Badly presented, badly illustrated and badly written . . . apart from that they're great.

    Compared to the ones in Trail they are so poor it's not worth even going into.

  16. #36
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Troll on, Harry :-)

  17. #37
    Widdler Dave Rennie's Avatar
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    James

    I read TAC, its a good laugh

  18. #38
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    p.s. yes, I read TAC too, James.

  19. #39
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    TAC reader here too, so that leaves another 24.6 out there! ;-)

    For what it's worth I subscribe to Trail (it's worth it just for the freebie!) and occasionally buy TGO, usually if I'm travelling somewhere by train. As someone said above we should be thankful that there are two very differently styled mags out there that are both good in their own way.

  20. #40
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    One thing I will say is that knowing the back catalogue of stunning images available from the TGO related resouces like Colin Prior, Camerons, John, Jims and Chris's I am surprised that on the cover the image is often a bit drab compared to what is available. I think that with one of Colins stunning photo's on the front a lot more people would pick up the mag and then give TGO much more revenue.

    I remember a few issues back when they first got Colin on board, the image used on the front was fantastic and I know people who had remembered the mag on the shelf from seeing that image.

    Even the images taken by certain OMers would be fantastic on the TGO front cover, put that pic of Andrews on and it'll get more people picking it up!

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