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Thread: FSC New Look

  1. #16
    As with most of the crap I write, this will take some time to read, because there are several points, which need to be discussed. Some of my points will be blunt and may rub you guys the wrong way, but when considering them, please try to remove yourself and your ego from the discussion and take an objective look at the situation/dilemma.

    That said… lets talk this one out a bit and see what we come up with.

    We don’t have any desire to shove this new format down your throats, and tell you “tough luck, deal with it”. Obviously as a racing organization we need racers, and we do our best to give you guys as much exposure as we possibly can. I know most of your racing budgets far exceed that which you can make back with prize money, contingency, etc.

    The exposure you get through the magazine, online, National Dragster, etc., helps ease the sting on an expensive hobby. You want to see your picture, name. etc., in FSC – I get that. Happy racers will continue to pay to race with us – I get that also. Unhappy racers? Well… maybe they will go somewhere else to race. That leads to question one:

    Question 1. Do you race with us BECAUSE of FSC?

    Just like the NMCA needs racers to “put on a show, ” FSC needs “racers” too. These “racers” are our readers, and most of those readers aren’t NMCA racers.

    Each month we print 25,000 copies of FSC; of that number I’d estimate 1,000 go to members/racers who are either currently active or have been racing with us over the past year or so. Of that 1,000 (or 1/25th of our readership) I wonder how many actually read the race coverage of each class? With that in mind here’s question two:

    Question 2. Do you REALLY read ALL of the race coverage, or do you read your class, look for your photo, or mention of your name and then toss the mag in the trash? If you race Open Comp Do you care that Lutz beat Rini on a holeshot, and if you do, did you read about it first in FSC, or did you already know it?

    As I wrote in my column, timeliness has a lot to do with the decision too. One of the biggest gripes I have heard the past 11 years here is: “Why is the coverage so late?” Without getting into specifics, just know that it is, and that really won’t change in terms of what’s in print.

    By the time the magazine with Bradenton coverage gets in your hands, we are usually at the third race of the season. Old news was fine ten years ago, but a lot has changed in a decade. Heck, I can be on the starting line shooting you guys, and by the time I get back to the tower, someone has already posted from their phone, a picture of the scoreboard of some great run. By the time the magazine runs with coverage in it – that run has probably been eclipsed by one, or maybe two others, at DIFFERENT events.

    Timeliness is a serious issue with the magazine and I’m not sure posting lengthy stories of two-month old news really appeals to anyone other than those who competed.

    In other words, if we have 200 of you race at an event, and each of the 200 read the magazine because of the two-month old coverage, what about the other 24,800 readers? Leading to question 3:

    Question 3: Do the majority of our readers (non-NMCA racers) rely exclusively on FSC to get the current race results? Do they really read two-month old race coverage, or do they look at the magazine and say “WTF? I already know who won that?”

    Let me use my buddy Edgar as an example. If indeed he let his subscription expire (or didn’t renew his membership, since he wasn’t racing with us this year) what does that tell me? That tells me since he’s not racing with us, he could care less about what is going on. Taking that a step further, he probably doesn’t care enough about other classes to keep up with what’s going on.
    Why? Because he sees what’s going on on the website, forums, etc.,

    While I may be totally off base (and I’m sure Edgar will tell me so if I am)… I am going to make an assumption that since he didn’t race this year, he wasn’t going to be able to read about himself or see a shot of his car, thus no reason to pay to renew. And since he didn’t renew, one could deduce that he doesn’t really care that much about what the rest of you are doing, to pony up 45 bucks.
    Please remember, I am making assumptions here in an effort to make a point.

    Question 4: As a racer, do you only read FSC to see/read about yourself, and maybe read the stupid crap on the back page? What about the rest of the magazine? The Tech, features, interviews etc?

    Maybe you see where I’m going with this already, maybe not. The point being if only 200 people of 25,000 who read the magazine each month are the only ones who are passionate about reading individual pages devoted to class coverage each month, are we not alienating 24,000 other folks?

    Now,… before you jump off the cliff… I understand more than 200 people care about class coverage. I also want to make sure that FSC is used as a tool to expose our brand of drag racing to as many people as we can. Yes… among those 24,000 non-racing readers, there are a bunch of guys who already race, but not with us. We want them to look at the NMCA and consider what we have to offer, and YES! I know that a lot of that allure is seeing their photo and a write-up in the mag.

    Chicken or the egg?

    Part of my job is to keep you guys happy so you continue to race with us, but the other hat I wear is to keep the rest of our readers and advertisers content with non-NMCA racing related stories, tech., etc. Yes. FSC is a house organ, but we’re not just a house organ. Unlike other publications which are, we fill our pages with a lot more info than just race results, and from the feedback I have received over the past ten years, our readers, racers and advertisers alike, enjoy that fact.

    Our new website, which we launched last year, was designed to address the growing demand for “instant” results, stories, etc., I know some of you have noticed our coverage at the track has expanded a great deal. As I mentioned in my column in this month’s issue, it is our desire to use the website as the main method for you guys to get race info, because it can be current while the magazine cannot be. Maybe this idea is a bit to forward thinking, maybe not.

    Time for another example – It’s your turn Bob (Curran).

    When we pulled “News and Rumors” from the magazine about a year ago, Bob called and asked what the heck we were doing? My response was by the time the magazine gets into people’s hands, the news or rumor published was months old. The idea of transferring those items to the website allowed us to be much more current with our news. Yet guys like Bob, who are very fluent online users, still missed them in print.

    One thing I have learned throughout this past year is the phrase “print is dead” is nowhere near the truth. It’s obvious that at least to an extent, readers of FSC could give a hoot about online coverage.

    “Give me print or give me death!”

    I digress.

    Finally – the financial reality. Costs are going up, the economy is still in the crapper, and we now have our NMCA WEST guys to look out for. If we utilized the old race coverage format and tried to cover two events like Pomona and Michigan, there would be nearly 60-pages of two and a half month old race coverage in the book. That leaves no room for other pages. We can’t do that. We just don’t have enough advertisers to support 60-pages of race coverage, 16 pages of tech, six pages of features/interviews, etc.

    If the economy returns to pre-2008 levels, then we may reconsider the package size, but to be honest, even then, I don’t think we’d be presenting race coverage as we had before (separate pages for each class). It just doesn’t seem to make sense any more.


    I’m not saying there is no room for compromise, or that you’ll just have to live with the new format. Hell, I wouldn’t have taken two hours to write this if I was just going to blow you all off.

    I knew there would be negative feedback, and I’m glad you guys chimed in. I’ve laid out my concerns and reasoning to you, now lets toss some ideas around and see if we can come up with a compromise solution(s) that serve as many of our individual needs as possible.


    Thanks for reading.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMCA Scott View Post
    Hmmm.... let me take some time to formulate a response, but until I do that, did you guys not read my editorial explaining the deal?
    Did you not read my post # 1 of this thread ? OH thats right you don't read anything I post. I forgot. Thanks for all your hard work , we all know you are trying to make it work.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NMC-1 View Post
    Did you not read my post # 1 of this thread ? OH thats right you don't read anything I post. I forgot. Thanks for all your hard work , we all know you are trying to make it work.

    Funny, Bobby.

    I'm not looking for pats on the back here at all, it's folks like Derrek and Mary, and now Evan, here in the office, who are doing a lot of the heavy-lifting. I'm just trying to explain the reasoning.

  4. #19
    Its still a great magazine. And when I said I threw it down, I did pick it up and still enjoyed reading it. You cant please everybody we all know that. Just some of main parts that I usually read was missing. And if a racer tells you they get the book and dont flip right to their class first looking for pics they are
    Full of crap...just throwing my 2 cents in. Keep it up and see you next year. Even though nobody knows who I am. Hehe

  5. #20
    Everyone.. please say hello to Tim. He's sad no one knows who he is. LOL

    Just razzing you, Tim.


  6. #21

    Talking

    Thanks buddy. Too funny

  7. #22
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    I may be looking at this as a proud Father and crew member more than a driver but these are my thoughts and Answers to Scott's questions.


    Question 1. Do you race with us BECAUSE of FSC?

    FSC played a big role in us wanting to run with the NMCA in Bracket class when you came to Bowling Green. We searched every page for just a glimpse of the wagon. We have learned that if you don't make it past first round your picture didn't make it. LOL. To have a write up in FSC is awesome. (Not Results) Thanks again for that. If you talk to any new racer that joins a class and goes a round and gets their picture in FSC thinks that is the coolest thing and tops off their race experience. I think you have the idea.

    Question 2. Do you REALLY read ALL of the race coverage, or do you read your class, look for your photo, or mention of your name and then toss the mag in the trash?

    Check our class. Put it down and read the rest later. I may not read all the class coverage but I do read the captions under the pictures.

    Question 3: Do the majority of our readers (non-NMCA racers) rely exclusively on FSC to get the current race results?

    No.

    Question 4: As a racer, do you only read FSC to see/read about yourself, and maybe read the stupid crap on the back page? What about the rest of the magazine? The Tech, features, interviews etc?

    See question 2. The tech articles and driver spotlights are good reading.


    Just a quick question. Of those 25,000 printed how many do you think are actually read? I have been in a lot of local speed shops and see stacks of FSC waiting for some one to take them. During races they pass them out to everyone in the cars. 4-5 per car.

    I'm retired Army and still work for the Govt. so I know change will always happen. I can deal with it. I have also worked at a post office processing plant so I know the movement of periodicals. In these times I understand the need for change and with out it we may not have FSC.
    Last edited by WR169; 12-03-2012 at 06:31 PM.
    Steve W.


  8. #23
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    If the NMCA must sacrifice space they have had in a national magazine long before Promedia acquired the naming rights just for the new NMCA West Series then just say so. Actually I think you did.

    But the magazine is far more than NEWS coverage it is priceless recognitions and time pieces that can not be destroyed and/or deleted with the touch of a button. If Denny Pett ( and I know he doesn't mind using him as example) has the recent BG shooout in print in FSC with (2) .00 R/T and a .013 Avg R/T then everyone he knew that had a Christmas tree would have a copy of that magazine under it. Pretty hard to do the same thing with forums and electronics.

    Plus I am sure he would save one for his grandson down the road. Now that is priceless. The NMCA supported it's own magazine ( Muscle Monthly) from as far back as 1994 which I still have copies. Plus as you said Scott you have never had better writers than whom you have now

    Not that I expect to ever get anything written again after this post..
    Last edited by NMC-1; 12-04-2012 at 02:03 AM.

  9. #24
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    Scott I read your column it makes sense but also kind of leans to print material is obsolete. Mainly as you say you can find the infomation any place on the web in closer to real time even the tech articles.

    read the index coverage last night. It is really the same round by round coverage. A couple of pictures less but the same. I just have to skim over the NSS stuff to get to the good stuff. You guys have a great product and a awesome staff, I'm sure you guys will do what is best for everyone. Most of my earlier responses were on first impressions and not a lot of thought and research.
    Steve W.


  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR169 View Post
    I have been in a lot of local speed shops and see stacks of FSC waiting for some one to take them. During races they pass them out to everyone in the cars. 4-5 per car.
    4-5? Each car should only be getting one mag. I'd like to know if this happens on a regular basis, or was at one or two events.

    Also, please let us know if you see speed shops with lingering copies. We have a waiting list of shops that want to get the mag and have enough traffic to distribute them within a day or two.

  11. #26
    Thanks for the input guys. Keep it coming. The format will remain the same for the Indy coverage (since we are already committed to it). However, I hear your concerns, and we'll think about it more and see what we can come up with before Bradenton.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMCA Scott View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. Keep it coming. The format will remain the same for the Indy coverage (since we are already committed to it). However, I hear your concerns, and we'll think about it more and see what we can come up with before Bradenton.
    Not sure you realized how valued Fastest Street Car was to all participants regardless of the actual "news" timing. One more thing, as a racer it is important that we read how professionals as Derek, Mary and all, including you Scott especially, view our performance in writing to save as a keepsake.

    Also not sure what the pay is but now would be a good time to get an increase because imagine what this "world" would be without a FSC at all.

    PS Dave and I thought INDY sucked so you have a pass on that one. JK

  13. #28
    When I get the magazine -- I immediately turn to the NSS racing coverage to read how I choked and red lit (that's a joke son)

    I then put the magazine in the bathroom. I most always read your monthly rant, read about half of the tech articles -- depending on the topic, glance over the ladders, usually read the driver/car features, and I always read the back page.

    I thumb through every page, reading some -- skipping most, based on my meal the night before. If it was a lot of cheese I read more, if 5-alarm chili -- I'm out of there quicker.

    I did find myself scan the last issue for only NSS/NMC coverage -- as I'm about as interested in EFI Rumble and Open Comp -- as they are with Nostalgia Super Stock and Nostalgia Muscle. I know that makes me sound snobby -- but that's not the case. I'm just an old fart that just doesn't too much care about fuel injected GMs or propane fueled Mustangs. (That's not meant to be a dig -- just my area of interest)

    That's my personal perspective as a NMCA Racer.

    When I read National Dragster, I only read the classes that interest me -- and skip the ones that don't. While I'm a motorcycle enthusiast -- I don't follow Pro Motorcycle. I also don't too much follow the Sportsman classes. Others hate Top Fuel and only follow Pro Stock and Top Alky. Different strokes for different folks.

    I get a lot of magazine and I read a lot -- but there's only so much time to read so I'm selective and only read what interests me.

    I do vote for more Jet car coverage!

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMCA Aaron View Post
    4-5? Each car should only be getting one mag. I'd like to know if this happens on a regular basis, or was at one or two events.

    Also, please let us know if you see speed shops with lingering copies. We have a waiting list of shops that want to get the mag and have enough traffic to distribute them within a day or two.
    There have been several times last year and the year before we got a lot. Not recently though. I'll let you know when I see old piles in shops.
    Steve W.


  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMC-1 View Post
    But the magazine is far more than NEWS coverage it is priceless recognitions and time pieces that can not be destroyed and/or deleted with the touch of a button. If Denny Pett ( and I know he doesn't mind using him as example) has the recent BG shooout in print in FSC with (2) .00 R/T and a .013 Avg R/T then everyone he knew that had a Christmas tree would have a copy of that magazine under it. Pretty hard to do the same thing with forums and electronics.
    This is critical: the electronic information is useful but not timeless. I believe there is a sense that coverage on the internet is fun but it's not "real" unless it's in print.

    Quote Originally Posted by NMC-1 View Post
    Plus I am sure he would save one for his grandson down the road. Now that is priceless. The NMCA supported it's own magazine ( Muscle Monthly) from as far back as 1994 which I still have copies.
    Me, too. Stored in boxes, in chronological order.

    K
    Last edited by Keith Seymore; 12-05-2012 at 04:25 AM.
    2013 ==> 35 years racing the same car!
    2008 NMCA Original Parts Group "Nostalgia Muscle Car" #3
    2007 NSCA Rocket Fuels "American Muscle" World Champion Runner Up
    2006 NSCA Jeg's "American Muscle" #10
    2005 NSCA Jeg's "American Muscle" #6
    2004 NSCA Ramchargers "American Muscle" #4
    2003 NMCA BF Goodrich "American Muscle" World Champion Runner Up
    2002 NMCA/NSCA Mickey Thompson "Street Eliminator" #3
    2001 NMCA Mickey Thompson "Street Eliminator" #6

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