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Scuba Diving's New Look


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#1 Keith@Scuba

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:43 AM

Check it out: Starting with the March 2008 issue, Scuba Diving magazine has a new look, whiter paper and a larger page format that will allow us to showcase the very best in underwater and topside photography.

The March issue began mailing to subscribers this week and will be available on newsstands Feb. 19. You'll find it at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and at more than 650 local dive centers.

Can't wait? Get a sneak peak at the March issue now at: http://www.scubadivi...d/march_preview

Enjoy!

Keith Phillips
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Scuba Diving
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Kphillips@staff.scubadiving.com
size_comparison.jpg

Edited by Keith@Scuba, 30 January 2008 - 08:44 AM.


#2 rtrski

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:38 AM

Sorry if the following seems overly negative, but I'm afraid it's my honest opinion:

I'd be more interested in hearing whether there's any improvement in the informational content, vs. the endless parade of "Top 10 Dives in ____", "Top New BCDs just like last year's but with more BLING", and "Top 330 pieces of extra useless equipment you need to avoid drowning!" marketing articles.

The information's never useless ... entirely ... but certainly heavy on the superficial 'best of' type lists, and dumbed down to the least common denominator. But don't think I'm picking on you alone - I can't think of a current activity-related magazine that doesn't seem like it's more published for the benefit of the advertisers and manufacturers than for the benefit of the reader but "paid for" by the advertisers. PC Photo, Bicycling, etc...they all crossed that line into marketing mouthpieces long ago. (And Dive Training actually made me gag with an article about gear that included not just text but PICTURES to the effect of "be sure to take the 'stiffeners' out of your fin pockets; they fit much better". Are people REALLY that stupid? I pray the author was being tongue-in-cheek, but suspect they were actually just filling column inches and really held their readers in that low regard.)

If Scubatoys didn't give out free subscriptions to customers, I wouldn't be getting it. But I do hope the format at least makes the market-speak more pretty to look past, so some of the photographers here get in (not me - I'm entirely mired in Sucksville School of Photography for the Blind still.)

To my chagrin I haven't signed up for Eric's new mag yet. I need to...

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#3 DeanB

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:25 PM

(And Dive Training actually made me gag with an article about gear that included not just text but PICTURES to the effect of "be sure to take the 'stiffeners' out of your fin pockets; they fit much better". Are people REALLY that stupid? I pray the author was being tongue-in-cheek, but suspect they were actually just filling column inches and really held their readers in that low regard.)


Bugger thats where i went wrong... I new my feet weren't THAT big !!!!!

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#4 scorpio_fish

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:14 PM

(And Dive Training actually made me gag with an article about gear that included not just text but PICTURES to the effect of "be sure to take the 'stiffeners' out of your fin pockets; they fit much better". Are people REALLY that stupid?


I'm an instructor. Do you want me to answer that?
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#5 rtrski

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:25 PM

OK, sure, it's something that a lot of people probably do ONCE. More out of forgetting to take them out when gearing up than really THINKING they should be left in though.

Do you really want to defend the need to explain that the stiffeners are not a 'wearable' part of the fin in an article, with pictures, even in a magazine that is aimed toward newer (but already certified) divers?

But we're digressing. I'd still be interested in hearing if there's any different editorial direction planned for Scuba Diving, or if it is just a 'cosmetic' change.

Edited by rtrski, 30 January 2008 - 02:25 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#6 pakman

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:59 PM

but but but... the magazine is now bigger (physically!!)...

It's got to be better! :)

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#7 cor

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:31 AM

Hi Keith, thanks for coming to tell us about changes to Scuba Diver magazine! It's much appreciated. Welcome to wetpixel.

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#8 scubamarli

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:10 AM

I think it's great when busy industry folks keep us up to date on new developments; thanks!
Cheers,
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#9 Giles

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:04 AM

I think the new size looks awesome and i guess will deinfately make it stand out on the news stands.

Oh and just for the record i love the Top Ten this and Thats ... gives me ideas at places to look into more.

Can't wait to see one !
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#10 yahsemtough

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 05:51 AM

I think it is a great improvement.

I agree with Marli and we should remember that all magazines cannot meet everyones needs. They have to select a niche market they are trying to capture. It may not be your thing but I do not think it is fair to slam them for it. Offer useful suggestions IMHO.

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#11 tjgreen

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:26 AM

Keith, thanks for posting. The new sample layout looks great, some of the photos jump off the page. Appears your graphics design/layout folks have been hard at work too, the overall look and feel is less clunky. Only wish you'd rolled out this change before the best-of photo edition last year.
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#12 rtrski

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:42 AM

Look everyone, I understand being "nice" to industry reps since we would like them to come by and contribute. Even if only in a two-post drive-by advertisement. But I can't have an opinion? :(

My 'slam' was aimed at one article Dive Training if anywhere; the general critical comments were directed not solely at Scuba Diving but at a lot of magazines which seem to be far more marketing than ever before.

I did not single out or "slam" Scuba Diving, apologized if I seemed contentious, but asked if there would be any difference in editorial direction vs. just cosmetics (don't you think I should ask what their plans are before making even "constructive" suggestions for the articles I'd like to see? Personally I hate it when people give me advice without finding out my own plans in work first...don't you?).

I tried to leaven my opinion with humor, self-deprecation, and overuse of smileys to also indicate I wasn't looking for a fight, claiming personal expertise (arguing from authority), or just playing forum seagull.

Yes, I was "that guy" who also read Playboy for the ARTICLES. :) But I sincerely don't think I was 'unfair', and still would like the question answered. (It would have been 'unfair' to express an opinion and ask for feedback in the photo contest thread as an off-topic ambush, but not in one where they are bringing up their format change themselves. As he's never posted before this, I couldn't post in feedback before...and before you ask, yes I have emailed the editor and given web feedback on articles I did like to give constructive reinforcement as well as contributing to their reader surveys).

Certainly no magazine can be everything to everybody, but if the magazine editors don't hear that there are things people who should be in their desired demographic disliked beyond cosmetics, they don't know if they are satisfying their intended readership or not. Just because we want more participation doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to also ask questions...isn't interactive participation from them what we want in a forum? Sorry, I'm not satisfied with just getting a press release in an interactive format site.

Edited by rtrski, 01 February 2008 - 06:17 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#13 yahsemtough

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:47 AM

Your opinion is always valid.

I just misinterpreted the tone. Fair enough. :(

Playboy has articles? :)
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#14 rtrski

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:53 AM

Thanks, sorry if I seemed defensive. Maybe the biggest difference is I'm not even remotely a potential contributor to the mag, so I don't have anything to fear by asking questions publicly? :) (Kidding!!)

Yeah, it has articles. "Miss September likes puppies, warm bubble baths, and traded her left cerebral hemisphere for those huge knoc--"

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#15 AllisonFinch

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:00 PM

I'm an instructor. Do you want me to answer that?



The REAL sad thing is that instructors still allow those people to get certified!!!

#16 ce4jesus

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:45 PM

Okay just my 2 cents and I'm a subscriber. I think it was in November they started lengthening some of the underwater photography tips from Frink. It actually gave some real coverage to a topic. Before it was very brief and sometimes left more questions than answers. That to me was a big improvement.
Lesson's for life is an excellent read and makes new divers think about what could go wrong.
The medical question and dive question area are also good reads. Sure the magazine has its share of fluff but something has to pay the bills. Later,
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#17 Keith@Scuba

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 10:28 AM

I did not single out or "slam" Scuba Diving, apologized if I seemed contentious, but asked if there would be any difference in editorial direction vs. just cosmetics ... Certainly no magazine can be everything to everybody, but if the magazine editors don't hear that there are things people who should be in their desired demographic disliked beyond cosmetics, they don't know if they are satisfying their intended readership or not. Just because we want more participation doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to also ask questions...isn't interactive participation from them what we want in a forum? Sorry, I'm not satisfied with just getting a press release in an interactive format site.


No worries, rtrski. Listening to negative feedback (let's call it constructive criticism) is all in a day's work for any magazine editor, and I do try to learn from any feedback that is indeed constructive.

To answer your question: This is a visual redesign, or to use your words, "cosmetic only." What we're showing folks is the new look of our magazine -- the fonts, design templates, page size and dimensions, but most of all for the shooters on this board, the way we'll be playing great photography. That's an area that we needed to improve and I think we've done it! I am also hoping to inspire more and more talented photographers to work with us now that we have a better showcase for their work.

There are no big changes in editorial direction. We have added two new columns: "Travel Savvy" (practical advice on making the journey easier and more fun) and "Ask DAN" (dive safety and medical topics from the experts at the Divers Alert Network). In March we also have a great feature from Ned DeLoach on how red lionfish are invading the Western Atlantic and what a team of dedicated divers from REEF is doing about it. We still have Ned's "Encounters" column (fish ID and behavior) produced with his wife Anna and buddy Paul Humann. We still have the wildly popular "Lessons for Life" column, we're still the exclusive source of ScubaLab objective gear reviews, we still have the Drive & Dive section (local diving). And yes, we will have yet another Top 10 Dives Map feature -- this time covering one of my personal favorite dive destinations, Tobago.

Bottom line: We have a darn good mix of content right now, one that makes a lot of paid subscribers and readers very happy. Am I always looking to do a better job and reach more divers? You betcha! So shoot me a e-mail if you want to provide direct and specific feedback. But as you said, we can't be all things to all people.

Keith Phillips
Editor
Scuba Diving
(912) 351-6234
Kphillips@staff.scubadiving.com

#18 wagsy

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:22 PM

Can we have a centerfold in it like in Playboy :)
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#19 rtrski

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 08:08 PM

Keith:

Thanks very much for taking time out for a well considered reply. I'll give it some thought and if I can pinpoint what bugs me a bit better, I'll let you know...right now it's just this sensation that I've read it all before, usually right off a travel brochure or manufacturer's website. For the record I do like the gear reviews, etc. and you do have to review the new stuff each year, I guess just after reading it for a couple of years it really starts to sound awfully similar. (And the problem may be the web, too - lord knows there's a huge number of "news blog" sites out there that just rehash reviews and postings from elsewhere, so who knows who copied whom first. :( )

Anyway, if you've already put me in the category of a picky curmudgeon, that's probably not undeserved. :) But that's the best I can express it right now. Sorry again if I sounded insulting or contentious - not intended, but there is something I wish there was more - or less - of. And the new format DOES look good.

Best,

rtrski

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...