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Posts Tagged ‘News’

HOG Tablet EditionHarley-Davidson is unleashing the next wave of innovation.

The HOG® Magazine is a perfect-bound magazine published 5 times a year and mailed directly to the members of the Harley Owners Group® (H.O.G.®) as part of their membership package.  The magazine features product information, riding stories, and photographs as well as in-depth stories about motorcycle travels around the world on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

There are a number of good reasons to become a HOG member if you’ve made the commitment to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  If you’re already a member then you just got a FREE bonus.

I’m talking about the tablet edition of the HOG Magazine.  The tablet edition contains all the same content as the print edition, plus digital-only content such as expanded photo galleries, interactive web links and more.  You can get more information HERE or go directly to iTunes HERE and download the app.

There is no charge for current full and full life members.  The app is included as part of your membership benefits and you don’t need a new account or password for the Apple App Store.  You can use your existing iTunes account credentials to install Newsstand and download the HOG magazine app.

I downloaded the app to an iPad mini this week and the magazine content came to life.  The photo’s pop and it’s easy to navigate the various articles.  I really liked the ability to click on a link and get expanded information from the article.  I suspect there will be a lot more interactive content in future articles such as video and audio.

Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of H-D and HOG.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Launched in 1994, the “American Rider,” a bi-monthly magazine which targeted Harley-Davidson enthusiasts is folding.

The June issue will be its last.

Advertising is way down, newsstand sales are minimalistic and subscription rates are falling.  As a result the Affinity Group (Ventura, CA) reported their intention is to fold the content into the sister magazine “Rider” which reportedly has a monthly circulation of 140,000.  An on-line presence will continue, but three staff positions were eliminated due to the closure. Hopefully they’ll retain Clement Salvadori who is a contributing author with high quality and interesting articles.

The demise of American Rider has plenty of company.  According to this report there were 367 magazines which shutdown in 2009 and 67 went on-line only.  This number is much improved from the 526 magazines that closed in 2008 or the 573 magazines which closed in 2007.  According to this site which tracks magazine “death pools”, even the all powerful EasyRider and V-Twin publication were caught in combining their circulation numbers as “real” to advertisers and neglected to mention the blending.

It’s not just magazine publications.

One day I expect to open my front door and find a booklet with 4 tiny little pages.  This booklet will be known as The Oregonian.  It could well happen to the New York Times or Los Angeles Times.  They’ve all shrunk the height, the width…got rid of so much material that many question why newspapers are necessary.

The Rocky Mountain News is gone.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, gone.  In fact, since January 2008 at least 120 newspapers in the U.S. have shutdown.  More than 21,000 jobs evaporated.

Be it magazines or newspapers, part of having freedom of the press is the freedom to let whoever is producing the best information be heard.  If that is bloggers then so be it.  To narrow down the parameters of what counts as “the media,” is restricting the press.  There is nothing that states that the NYTimes or NBC are valid news sources and for example the Cyril Huze blog is not.  The validity of a news source is based on their reputation of having produced accurate and responsible results in the past.  Reputable bloggers know this and work hard to abide.

Publishers will either need to change and accommodate the way people want their news, or fail.  That is the way the market works.

Photo courtesy of American Rider/Affinity Group.

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DonkeyKanye West is a ‘jackass’.  And not because of his 2007 video for “Stronger” which used a genuine Japanese motorcycle gang in the video.

Here’s the 411 — President Obama ‘off-the-record’ called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won.  You can listen to the audio HERE

Yes, Kanye did hand the microphone back to her, but like the 19 year old she is, she was overwhelmed and couldn’t speak.  Thus cementing her status as a singing teenage naif.   The ABC reporter, Terry Moran, who overheard the casual between-us-folks chatter — which is often a part of the technical set-up before an interview officially begins — tweeted yesterday that President Obama was “off the record” in an interview with CNBC which a few hundred thousand people @RT the Kanye ‘ass’ outing.

I have a new level of respect for Obama.  Calling out Kanye was the right thing to do.  Yet, the jackass quote was soon retracted!   ABC issued an apology to both CNBC and the White House (and removed the Tweet, but not before folks screen-grab images of it).  It’s difficult to know, but what if a Caucasian had stormed the stage and used such language to an African-American entertainer?  Yeah, I’m on thin ice with an inference to the “R” word, but it does create a moment of pause.  For those who think the entire event was scripted or “staged” then you’ll appreciate this site.

The losers in all of this is the American public.  Real stories can’t get traction.  Health care is too complex and we’ve got ADHD.  We’ve become a nation of public spectacles, gossip, and misinformation.  Sure frivolity has a place, but what we revere in popular culture has almost nothing of value.  Furthermore, who didn’t know the “K-man” had been acting like a jackass previously?  It’s like his jackassed-ness was his career.  Finally now he truly is a superstar!   Stay classy Kanye! 

You might think I’m over doing it here, but… People spend money dressing and living like rappers, going to the Palms in Vegas to splash in the pool while consuming overpriced liquor and flash hand signs.  In a “me” society, who can expect anybody to behave properly, with humility.  Twenty four hour news from one celebrity mishap to another not twenty four hours on explaining bills in Congress, or Supreme Court decisions.  We indeed need a readjustment.  But they need the ratings!

Kanye is, ratings.  For anybody who’s got a trinket to sell.  And we’re buying it! 

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newsI’ve been out an ‘bout riding the past week, but occasionally during my travels I’m pulled into discussions about blogging and the troubles of the newspaper industry.

It goes something like this… the newspapers are doing all the “real” reporting, and your blog as well as many others are merely “rehashing” the news without having done any real research.

I have a viewpoint on the topic and part of the problem is that “real reporting” and “news” are not that easy to define.  For example go to Google News right now and type in “Harley-Davidson layoff,” which indicates there are 262 articles on the same subject. I am sure that there are not 262 reporters out there gathering H-D layoff news firsthand. How many of these represent (and are monetized by) the people who actually did the original news reporting, and how many of them are rewrites, copies, or blog posts about the original news reporting?  If you type in “Michael Jackson drugs” the number jumps to 15,373!

It’s naive to think that news is only stuff like H-D plant closures, Michael Jackson’s death, a UN summit, a car accident; in short, stuff that requires a reporter to do the good old fashion reporting, which includes going there, attending the press briefing, taking a picture, calling people and asking for statements, etc.  Yes, that’s news. But I’ll tell you what’s also news.

  1. A summer Poker Run – bring 2 cans — which benefit the local food bank
  2. A benefit ride to support a fallen veteran
  3. The CoC meeting and motorcycle legislation topics
  4. I upgraded the TC-96 to Synthetic oil and the clicking noise went away

Who writes about these things?   Blogs. This is why blogs are popular, not because they’re rehashing news from big media publications, writing their opinions without contributing any facts. They’re popular because somewhere there’s a person who took great interest in figuring out how to do something and then write about it.  Like that person who determined which airplane seats are the best to be seated in and started a blog writing about it… you can’t find this information in any major newspaper!

new_newsThere’s another common misconception about blogs: the newspaper industry acts as if all the blogs were the same. A blog can be a lot of things.  There are blogs with one writer who write about motorcycles once a week. There are motorcycle blogs with a full staff who write 20 posts per day. Some blogs only do opinions. Some do rumors, some do original reporting, some do reviews, and some mix two, three, or four together.

This is why every attempt by the newspaper industry to define a common “enemy” that’s killing them will fail. They’re dying the death of a thousand cuts, and focusing on splogs (which are, most blog publishers will tell you, pretty much irrelevant in terms of stealing traffic) or aggregators will achieve nothing.

The fact is that blogs are here to stay, that many of them are valuable, that they’re attracting eyeballs and some are even taking a piece of the ad revenue pie from newspapers.

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