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Magazine Issue 26: Why Jonny Public won't settle for second best

Coaster Kingdom looks at why parks are so eager to have the tallest, fastest, longest, steepest or loopiest coasters. 

Important information on Magazine 

This is the last issue of Magazine, at least in its current form. But fear not, we're not taking our foot off the gas just yet... we're just changing gear.

Magazine has become the most popular feature on the site, and it is the one thing I endeavour to ensure is bang up to date. Features are normally written in the week before they go online to keep them as current as possible and they often involve a lot of research.

Unlike when Magazine first started, I am now the only person who writes articles with any regularity.

In the last year I have written over 100,000 words for Magazine, so I hope you understand the amount of commitment that goes into it.

The problem with Magazine is that the expectation is there that it should be updated by the 1st of every month. This has become harder and harder to achieve.

To give you an idea of what goes into Magazine, this is what the typical issue of Magazine involves:

  • Decide on a topic and how to best approach the subject

  • Research research research

  • Write the article, normally over 3,500 words

  • Source images, either from the CK Photo Library or by getting permission from other sites (which I often have to await a reply for)

  • Get the lovely Roz to proof read the article/check facts

  • Format images, write captions, polish up the article with diagrams or stat boxes and split onto separate pages

  • Find a suitable cover image, and design the cover

  • Resize the cover for thumbnails on the site, write the introduction for the issue to go on the Magazine homepage, Coaster Kingdom homepage etc

  • Find image for the Photo of the Month - criteria: it has to be a Coaster Kingdom image, it has to illustrate Europe and it has to be landscape

  • Link it all in and check it works 

  • Update the site, the RSS feed (if I remember...) and send out an update email to the mailing list

All this happens within a few weeks and assumes that there isn't an Open Mic article too. If there is, there has to be dialogue between me and the author, and that's another article to format, proof read and link in too.

I hope you can see why something had to give. 

What will change

  • Magazine - in its current form - will be replaced with a yet unnamed section. Like Magazine it will have high quality features, unlike Magazine we have the ability to update more than once a month, or less, depending on how much there is to write about

  • The whole site will move across to Blogger. This means that it is easier for us to update, easier to link stories to each other which will make the site a bit more interactive

  • Open Mic will remain. And because it isn't tied to Magazine, we don't have to worry about months where we don't receive any articles, it will just be updated ad hoc

The site will be made up of the following sections:

  • Reviews (many will hopefully soon be rewritten)

  • In Depth (provisional name to replace the Magazine) 

  • Open Mic (your chance to write articles for the site)

  • Blog (more features and editorial will be introduced)

This change will happen towards the end of the month and will likely be phased in.

Simple things like not having to design covers, update several pages with promos for the Magazine and having things like RSS feeds automated will save a lot of time. It moves away from being a monthly periodical, but you will still get regular updates of large, in-depth features. 

I hope you understand why this is happening. It shouldn't mean any less updates, and the optimist in me says it will allow for more as the site will be more versatile in that respect.

I don't get much out of Coaster Kingdom - most emails I get are telling me that I'm wrong in no uncertain terms because I don't like Valhalla, but while people are still reading the site, and while I still enjoy doing it, Coaster Kingdom will form a part of the internet.

It is just striking a balance between offering high quality content and not going completely mad. 

Marcus | Click here to email me

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