Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Trail Runner Magazine Launches "Inside Dirt" E-Zine

Trail Runner Magazine subscribers and Trophy Series participants were greeted this morning with an e-mail announcing "Inside Dirt", their new e-zine (a magazine delivered via e-mail). What do you guys think - is an e-zine worth $1/month?


The scoop is for $1/month (basically $1/newsletter), you can receive an 8-10 article newsletter that follows a similar layout to Trail Runner Magazine (minus the pictures, apparently). The inaugural issue included stories about the Lean Horse 100, snowshoeing, finishers of the Grand Slam (4 100-mile races), and runner-submitted articles about the Sahara Desert Stage Run in Egypt, Teva Mountain Runner Chris Lundy, wildlife, recovery, etc. All of the articles were well-written, similar in length and scope as TRM. FYI, they are soliciting articles for future e-zines.

Personally, I seem to suck in as much trail running/ultra running news as I can get, so the more the merrier. I'm curious to see if y'all think it's worth the $1/month. I chatted with a few runners over e-mail today, and here's the pro's/con's we came up with:

Pros: The writing is of high quality and hearing from other runners is always great. It also seems like a more natural distribution for updates to the TRM Series, and on upcoming races. Although the first e-zine didn't have hyperlinks, it seems like a natural way to lead people to other web sites to learn more. One runner also picked out that even if you don't subscribe, there is an "unsubscribe" in the e-zine, which allows you to get off the TRM e-mail lists (apparently this has been hard to do in the past).

Cons: This first issue is very text heavy, and many of us agreed that TRM's outstanding pics are a big draw for their magazine. Perhaps this will change in the next e-zine issue. A few of the runners I spoke with said they didn't think it was worth $1/issue without the pics, but then we had a long discussion about "what is worth $1". Blogs, Flickr, Race Sites, and Running Clubs/Groups mean a lot of content and pics are free, there's just no promise as to when and how it's delivered.

I know hundreds of you subscribe to my blog through the Feedblitz e-mail service. What do you guys think? Would you do Inside Dirt for $1/month?

- SD

11 comments:

  1. Here's why it's never going to work.

    Scott, could you forward the e-zine to me and my Yahoo Group of runners? Suddenly...it's FREE!!!
    Larry

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  2. When did you get the e-mail? I didn't get one...

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  3. Its only one dollar. Its not like thats going to break you. Were there ads in the newsletter? If there are ads, it should be free like eWeek, InStyle and others.

    Emma

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  4. I heard about this advertising scheme on a another blog, that gives away free Sony portable gaming systems. It sounded like a scam, but after I googled it, it was legitmiate. You have to sign up for an offer from one the sponser companies. I did a free trial one. Here's the link, check it out.
    Sony PSP

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  5. Lots of questions. Where did they get the email list from. Did the Trophy Series participants give permission for the race directors to turn over their emails or their mailing addresses. Did the race directors know that the emails were going to used for this purpose.

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  6. I'd pay a buck. Anything to get more trail running info. It's just a buck.

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  7. You have to be really desperate for cash or not get the online thing at all to try charging for contentor have ...I think it is amazing to ask people to pay for content that the Magazine is not even creating. The magazine claims "This is great spot to share information and stories with your fellow trail runners." Folks read blogs, write blogs - if you have any extra dollar or two give it a road runner as motivation to try out your favorite local trail race - now that's creating real value. Online newspapers and magazines should be for free - hey even the New York Times understands that.

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  8. I think it would be great if it were free, but a buck a month is a reasonable fee for an e-zine produced by TRM which lends credibility to the contents.

    I'd also pay a buck a month to keep visiting your blog too! Like it or not Scott, your blog has made you one of the top, if not the top authority, on all things trail...your opinions, stories and articles carry great mojo...and I'm sure your blog played no small part in TRM's decision to be more timely with trail news through the e-zine.

    Hopefully TRM will use the e-zine to keep us much better informed on the TRM National Trail Racing Championship Series...let's face it, 7 months of racing and they devoted maybe a quarter page of news total to it, left a lot to be desired. So my hat's off to the TRM e-zine. A great idea.

    Your friend,
    Dale Reicheneder

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  9. I am sure it is worth $1, but it would be nice to have pictures.

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  10. I think it's great. I like it all - e-zine, magazine, blogs! There still isn't enough.

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  11. Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. It sounds like many of you like the idea of "more trail running content" no matter what the form. Perhaps TRM will read this and take up some of your tips.

    Regarding "where did they get my e-mail", I'm not exactly sure. I suspect it comes from one of three sources - your subscription form (if you're a subscriber to TRM), their web site (if you've signed up for stuff), or if you ran a TRM Trophy Series race (in order for a race to be counted in the Series, TRM requires race directors to submit all the racers contact info with the results). It's possible they could have also purchased an e-mail list from the likes of Zappos.com or others.

    I look forward to seeing how Inside Dirt does!

    SD

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