1 2
Josh
Josh HalfDork
11/17/09 9:28 p.m.

Cool stuff.

So I finally get a blurb into "Say What", but of course I was immediately upstaged by Wally's one-liner :).

Neat to see that my 2 cars are #1 and #2 on the top 25 list. Every car I've ever bought is represented on the list, so obviously you guys did a good job :).

alfadriver
alfadriver Dork
11/18/09 7:39 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: Please don't read my column on the john. It creeps me out to think about that.

You might be bummed to see that the last 3-4 years of CM and GRM are in my bathroom. Safe storage.

E-

InigoMontoya
InigoMontoya Reader
11/19/09 8:10 a.m.

I am enjoying flipping through the digital copy, although my screen size makes for alot of scrolling, and my happy mouse scroll wheel does not like the reader.

That being said I really like the videos, and the GRM "ads" that you guys did.

I do feel a bit dirty thinking about JG tuning his wife with all the 'water based lubricant' around the house however.

kabel
kabel Dork
11/19/09 10:13 a.m.

Dang it, I think my earthlink spam filter gobbled up the email.

carguy123
carguy123 Dork
11/19/09 1:32 p.m.

OK, I've finally waded totally thru the digital mag and I have some critiques.

First let me applaud you for the effort and for trying it out. I think this is a noble idea, but (you knew there was one coming) I don't think it is probably the best medium for the magazine itself. You have said that you have no intention of replacing the paper mag so I guess you've seen some of it's limitations as well.

At first I thought it would be great to have this as well as the print mag, but after all the time and energy it took to read this I feel a digital enhanced supplement to the mag would be a better idea.

You don't replicate the mag, you simply give us the additional content you couldn't put in the mag or some supporting videos in the supplement. This has the added benefit of getting people more intimately involved with the GRM website and the forums. It adds a personal or homey feel to the GRM experience since you will feel more like real people than Motor Trend or one of those ivory tower boys.

The reason for me saying this is that it is basically it's too hard to read the electronic version and it's very limiting as to where and when you can read it. The paper version can go anywhere and it's easy to pick up or put the mag down. You can dog ear the pages, read it in bed - on the pot - while having sex with your wife (combining two really good things makes both better), or on an airplane while it's on the runway where no electronic devices are allowed. You don't have to worry about power cords or batteries or dropping it and breaking it . . . well, you get the picture.

I had a lot of trouble viewing the mag on my laptop. I had to continually keep switching viewing percentages. If I'd had a 21" screen all of my issues would have disappeared. I finally found that viewing at 75% was a good compromise between being able to view the page in toto and yet having it large enough to read the print. I didn't discover this workaround till the Accord article where I was trying to see the pics and tie the captions to the proper picture. Up until that time I'd turned the page in a Fit To Page (FTP) mode to see all the content and find out where I wanted to go to be able to find the story and then zoomed up to 100% so that the print was actually legible.

Why flip back and forth between viewing percentages so much? THE ADS! Your yellow boxes were in the way and didn't allow me to easily scroll or move the page around without accidentally clicking on an ad. Consequently I stayed far, far away from the ads and didn't read any of them. Not the best endorsement for your advertisers. A more elegant way to do the click thru would be to have the dreaded yellow box be in a specific place like over the name. That would let you more easily navigate without loosing your train of thought by always having to deal with a transition to a different web page.

Speaking of train of thought problems, those ads at the beginning of the videos were the worst idea ever! You thought you were being cute, but if you were deep into an article and wanted to see how the video applied or enhanced the article by the time you'd gone thru the ad you'd totally lost your train of thought about the article and how the video was supposed to fit. I finally quit watching videos and then came back and watched them separately. I'm sure I missed one or 2 because of that.

This may have been a computer prob rather than a viewer prob, but my pointer kept getting "stuck" to the page. I used the pointer to move the page around to be able to see the whole thing and it would stick and I'd have to click on the page to unstick it which would immediately cause it to change the viewing percentage. If the ads hadn't had such a large click thru box I wouldn't have had to navigate that way.

So, yeah, I enjoyed it and it was a great first effort. There are some things that can be improved, but so what. I'm not sure I'd read the digital version every month but it's kinda nice to not have to carry the print version around with you to be able to show someone a neat article. As long as you're near the internet you can access the magazine so that's really cool.

Keep up the good work and definitely keep pushing the envelope!

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/19/09 2:28 p.m.

Good feedback. I think the biggest problem was the choice of interface. Many of the complaints voiced here could have been addressed with a different format.

A PDF with clickable links would be my suggestion. Since this issue is FREE! and intended to get distributed as far as possible, uncoupling it from the server would allow it to be shared far more effectively. Then it could show up in torrents, get saved on people's hard drives, etc. It would get into a lot more hands. Heck, you could put it on thumbdrives and give it out at trade shows for a slightly cooler toy than a printed mag. From the point of view of an advertiser, I'd want to see the digital version as easy to spread as possible.

Put the videos on YouTube or the GRM server and have the videos be simple links. That keeps the size of the file under control and speeds loading times. Since PDF is a standard, the cross-platform question is handled. Adobe's free Reader is a lot less buggy than that proprietary one used by GRM's printing company.

In terms of being portable, I know Tim's thinking about eReaders like Kindle, Nook and the Sony and what they might do. I do most of my reading on one these days, and if the content was properly formatted for the medium I'd love to have GRM on it. I'm more likely to read from it because I always have it with me. Far better battery life than a laptop too :)

alfadriver
alfadriver Dork
11/19/09 2:36 p.m.

It does seem like a PDF format would have solved my issues, too- since they seemed to be linked to the format, and the server. The ads can still be simple links, too.

I'll try it again, now that the desire has tapered off some, but only one more time.

Eric

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/19/09 2:56 p.m.

The problem with the PDF would be if you were trying to control access. If you were selling digital subscriptions, for example. There are some ways around that I'm sure, or you simply let the PDFs roam free and don't worry about subscriptions. That's a change in business model..

For this experiment, I think the PDF would have been the way to go. Unless GRM also wanted to see how well the proprietary server-fed solution worked. Unfortunately, I think the problems with that interface overwhelmed the potentially interesting digital vs paper discussion that could have resulted.

porksboy
porksboy Dork
11/19/09 4:07 p.m.

Im not even gonna attempt loading it on my pentiun II running windows 98. It wont even load the gRM home page any more. Only thing I can look at is the disscussion board and I have to access them thru a Google search. Yeah I know, I need a new puter.

carguy123
carguy123 Dork
11/19/09 4:10 p.m.

The viewer wasn't all that bad once I figured out the 75% thing, but the yellow boxed ads really made it difficult to manuever. Had the name been the link point you'd have known what to avoid in an ad and it would have been easier to scroll around.

I always look at all the ads and call on a few things, but I sure as heck didn't here - I avoided the ad boxes like the plague. I'll save that for when I finally get my paper version. And when can I expect that at my door?

BTW Keith on of my inadvertent click thrus was to Flyin' Miata and I didn't see any special. It might have been that I wasn't in the proper frame of mind because I was disgusted that there it went again, but I did make somewhat of an effort to see what you had special since you'd posted earlier to look out for the specials.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/19/09 4:43 p.m.

I did? Hmm. The boss is away, I wouldn't have been able to make that happen. We did talk about it as a possibility but I certainly shouldn't have said it would happen.

JoeyM
JoeyM Reader
11/19/09 6:09 p.m.
carguy123 wrote: ....t it is basically it's too hard to read the electronic version....I had to continually keep switching viewing percentages.

The same was true on the PC[+] I used to view it. Worse, each time I changed size, the background turned red and the images failed to reload. I had to go back to the "Pages" tab each time to fix the background color.

I gave up trying to read it.


[+] - the computer had the following settings:

System: 2.41 GHz CPU (Intel) with 3.24 GB RAM

OS: XP professional, Service Pack 3

Browser: Firefox 3.5.3

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar Reader
11/19/09 10:21 p.m.

I wasn't able to open it at work, but with all the filters and whatnot that wasn't surprising.

Tonight I finally had some time to try it from home and was able to get in. Even better was having my car on page 23 as the Internet Hot Rod of the Month! If it wasn't so late I'd call all my friends. Maybe I will anyway.

Thanks guys!

-Rob

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
sl80aNSAo3jGTEgSbuDmyMlagXXZL8orO4IchRYB3rfvdvwCbqRUnlNmVCO7SPYS