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Gryzor
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User-generated content

Post by Gryzor » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:07 am

I was a few issues behind on my RG reading but I'm now catching up... And I was surprised, not in a good way, by two additions I saw:

-first, the Discuss page. I really don't get all the stuff that gets pulled offline and put into the magazine. If I want to read other people's opinions I just go online and read them. We had "From the forum", the various tidbits from readers, and now this? What's the point? Sure, the topics it covers are interesting, but at the very least they could be turned into more extensive articles that would/could use quotes from us gamers. But sticking a few posts in there and calling it a day is... lazy. Apart from perhaps stroking the ego of someone who wants to appear in the magazine, how does it add to the uniqueness of a print magazine? And, a whole PAGE for it, just with a handful of quotes in a box? This is page filling and nothing more...

-then, the "help us find the Gaming icon" thingie. I get the fact that RG wants to gauge the public's opinion on this (though again it could be done online), but... Waste TWO pages on it? Really, guys? As if it's not bad enough dedicating whole pages to a single photo (I know all magazines do it, but I never understood it) in certain articles, but two pages for a non-article? It'd even be much more interesting if one pf the pages was a collage of screenshots, I see no real reason for a full-page photo...

Just my two cents. I renewed my subscription recently and I'm grateful that She Who Must Be Obeyed does not raise any eyebrows over my complete RG collection, but I'm finding myself skipping more and more pages...

T.

PS Back to the 80s/90s was one of my top favourite columns, so sad to see it cut down to two pages only. Two pages. As much as the Gaming Icon spread.
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gman72
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Re: User-generated content

Post by gman72 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:14 am

I think many of us enjoy getting our little sound bites published.
I think it helps to add a sense of community to proceedings.
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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Gryzor
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Re: User-generated content

Post by Gryzor » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:31 am

Oh, I understand both of your points perfectly, but that was not the issue I raised. Sure, it promotes the community, but regurgitating stuff from a forum does nothing for the magazine's quality. As I said, if I'm interested in what other guys like me are saying I can very well follow them on Twitter or follow the forum threads, I shouldn't be paying for the privilege of having said quotes delivered to me on dead trees. At the very least community content (which is supposed to support the magazine I think, not the other way around) should serve as a spark for proper articles, not be used as hotchpotch ingredient.
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Re: User-generated content

Post by psj3809 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:45 am

Get your point, perhaps thats why its not in the mag anymore, they only did that for a few issues.

The small comments of forum users in the letters page i think is good.

But as for the back to the 80s/back to the 90's being only 2 pages, every month of back to the 80's has been done now so thats why thats finished. Be good if they could do a 'late' back to the 70's' section.

At some point i think they should do back to the 00's as jan 00 is obviously nearly 15 years ago now, but i'm sure some people might say its too recent ;)

But yeah sadly back to the 80's finished, would love a bookazine or eMag of all the back to the 80's together !

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Re: User-generated content

Post by Gryzor » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:38 am

Ah, the thought did cross my mind about the 80s but I dismissed it for some reason (not enough caffeine when I was writing the OP). Bummer! Indeed a trip to the '70s would be really great - lots of computer content, but I love those pages for their cultural tidbits too. As a matter of fact I've been meaning to collate the music Top-5 of each month and do a gigantic playlist... And yea, '00s is just old, not retro...

As for the Discuss column, I think it did not appear in #135 but there's a thread about Discuss #136 so I guess it's back?
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Re: User-generated content

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:50 am

You're only regurgitating stuff from a forum if people read the forum. Active forum members don't even make up a percentage of our readership, so it's going to be new to many, many people who don't get involved here. I completely understand that it can be seen as a waste of a page if you have read it though.
Oh and we're looking at a way we can bring back the 80s, but we're also aware that many people don't like reading recycled material, so it's on the backburner at the moment. Discuss was missed last issue due to advert space.
Also the developer spread is finishing soon as we'll be planning the actual article in the new year.
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Re: User-generated content

Post by gman72 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:07 am

well personally I like all the little touches that link the mag back to the forum and hope they're not tampered with anytime soon. :D
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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Re: User-generated content

Post by Gryzor » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:18 am

Hello Darran, thanks for jumping in :)

I'll have to disagree though - regurgitation is not in the eye of the beholder; if you copy it, verbatim (maxell? Amsoft?) then it's not much more than that. It's like having a company that runs two TV channels and saying, on one "oh, you don't want to watch our other channel? That's ok, here's what they're saying!". It's a forum. People can visit it and find out. If they don't, and if that's more than 99% of the mag's readership then why force it down their throats anyhow? (and Discuss, in its current form, is quite a bit of space waste... I mean, quite literally - whether I like it or hate it).

Yeah, recycling material would not be something anyone would want indeed, I wonder if you can think of another way to bring the 80s back (bar a time machine); what about the 70s?

And yes, I gathered the developer spread was going away as soon as material was collated/decided upon, but this doesn't excuse 2 pages x however issues it needs :(
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Re: User-generated content

Post by markopoloman » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:19 pm

I've no issues with using forum stuff in the mag. Surely it is good for the forum as more people might be interested in joining it. Gryzor if you didn't look at the forum and had never been here, would you have visited to see what it was all about?
Back to the 80's needs to return. Surely those little snippets of the past that were in the old back to the 80's are the tip of the iceberg!!!
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Re: User-generated content

Post by psj3809 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:22 pm

I think Back to the 00's !! Nearly 15 years ago, thats pretty retro

And also please please Live compile an eMag (They do quite a few via their app for a few quid, eg Lucasarts/Ultimate) of the 80's combined

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Re: User-generated content

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:22 pm

We'll just have to agree to disagree then Gryzor.
When you look at the sheer amount of exclusive content that can't be found anywhere else that's in the issue each month, I don't think a couple of pages are really going to ruin most people's enjoyment of the magazine.

I'm not sure about a back to the 70s. Records are quite sketchy and sourcing images would be extremely difficult. We have discussed it, but I'm trying to think of another way to get them in the magazine. I think if we run a back to the noughties there would be voodoo dolls made of me (I'm pretty sure a few are already floating about).
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Re: User-generated content

Post by The Laird » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:26 pm

Back to the 70s would be really cool, would need to start in the mid-seventies at the earliest though as not much happened before then. Getting screenshots of games would be easy with today's emulators and there is plenty of arcade artwork floating around. :D

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Re: User-generated content

Post by psj3809 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:31 pm

Yeah i reckon it would do well, or call it 'Back to the 'late' 70s' !

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Re: User-generated content

Post by Gryzor » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:07 am

@Darran:Sure, let's agree to disagree, but you didn't address any of my specific points :)

I understand why Back to the 70s would be difficult, but then again I've got faith in RG's staff; you've pulled amazing feats in the past so I'm sure it could be done with some research... My only "concern" (well, not mine as I wouldn't mind it but maybe you would, being a UK-centric magazine) is that 70s press as a source material is US-centric (or I may be wrong; I don't remember seeing much stuff coming from the UK from the 70s...?)

@markopoloman: well, I probably wouldn't visit the forum personally, just from reading quotes from it, but I'm sure some would, so I see your point. However:
-as I said before, the forum is there to support the magazine I guess, and not the other way around. I'm paying for the magazine, not to read ads for the forum.
-it's being done lazily; I kind of like, for instance, questions posed to devs from forum members, but just having entire features made up of forum quotes is such an easy way to get it done with... If it were turned into an actual feature, for instance an article based on those quotes on the issue at hand, it'd be much more ok. And it'd promote the forum equally, probably.
-it's wasting too much space. As I said, the Discuss page is mostly empty - it takes so short a time to read through a small box on an entire page...

Glad to see I'm not the only one missing Back to the 80s. But I guess, if it's been covered indeed then it'd difficult for it to return in its past form :(
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Re: User-generated content

Post by merman » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:50 am

Back to the 70s would require a different approach, as Darran says.

I think people underestimate the time and effort that goes into some of the "user generated" content though.
Take the recent Top 25 articles. They are much more than just a list.
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