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Steve Lee
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Steve Lee commented on a post on Blogger.
Thanks everyone, for the thoughtful responses to what I thought would be a snoozer of a post!
Peter, I agree that there is an ongoing 'tug of war tug of between the social media/youtube crowds and the publishers'. I would add that there's more yet to this tug of war: the disintermediation of model railroading is underway. The displacement of Big Model Railroad Media (BMRM) by new media habits and distribution models is but one aspect of the ongoing reconfiguration of the Model Railroad Industrial Complex. There's fear and loathing about dying hobby shops and the China-centric model railroad supply chain, but Internet-based commerce, while not social or tactile, gets us connected to supplies we need faster and more economically than ever (it's easier to buy taps and screws and magnets on Amazon than at a LHS; not sure how many swap meets I would need to troll to find rare old traction items that turn up on Ebay) There's also the quiet tech revolution (laser cutting, 3d printing, etc) that has introduced new creative power into hobby manufacturing. Put another way: more, better, easier to get model railroad stuff than ever and arguably more model railroad community than ever. I, for one, welcome our new overlords, and as Ron points out, I welcome the new voices and innovators who have been overlooked by BMRM.
Trevor and others make some valid observations about the limitations of podcasting for promoting model railroading. It's a visual hobby, after all, and at some point we want our model railroad media to show us the trains! That insight alone explains BMRM's weak enthusiasm for audio content.
Speaking of insights, Trevor paints a somewhat bleak picture of the economics of running a flagship BMRM publication, in addition to recounting of his and Jim's effort producing the top-quality TMRS podcast. I have doubts about model railroading video content overtaking the old school publications in terms of revenue and circulation/viewership, and I'm aware that prices of everything in model railroading--including subscriptions for paywalled online content, whether video or text--is an ongoing issue that evokes complaining and negativity. But if the online content is worthwhile, I think people will pay for it. What BMRM needs to do now is show the value of its editing and curation, and if it can do that with magazines and video, it should add an edited and curated podcast to their offerings.

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