Discussion in 'Roundel Magazine' started by CRKrieger, Jan 16, 2013.
If you really meant it I'd be eating fudge out of Tuppeware right now!
Hey, I still have the makings for one more batch!
That marshmallow cream must be getting kind of old by now!
No, it's fresh enough. I bought enough for three batches, but only had time for two. One went to the national office, and the other---well, hey, it was Christmas!
I contacted my regional vice president regarding what the goals were for the new Roundel look. His succinct reply:
"There weren't really any "problems", it was just decided to give the Roundel a facelift."
I'm curious. Cars change styles all the time.
This is not the first time Roundel has changed.
That's not the point. Roundel has changed before and while retaining the same staff and same art director. This change seemed to be driven by cost-saving cutting columnists and contributors who actually cost money and replacing a talented and willing art director with a friend of the executive director who quite possibly is being paid more. Am I wrong?
Did Suzin not always ask Satch to consider updating the look of the magazine? Did she ever not offer new styling when tasked to do so? Is the "new" Roundel an improvement?
It seems odd for there not to have been a request for proposal for a new Roundel art director or a listing for same in the magazine and, if there was such, it seems even odder that in this world of talented and artistic BMW freaks there wasn't anyone with more talent than a friend of the executive director (who shall forever be known as Lincoln Boy).
If you're looking for a new direction from Roundel it would make sense to ask BMW CCA members for input or even direct a hiring call or request for proposals to the BMW community. Was this ever done? And if not, why not? The last executive director who awarded a lucrative contract to a friend without a request for proposal or a competitive bidding process is no longer running the Club because it incensed the board and violated our conflict of interest policy. The board is obviously no longer running the Club, or doesn't care. Throw the bums out.
Obviously I don't make such decisions.
I've read from a few who dislike the new format.
I have also spoken to some who like it.
And others who haven't decided yet.
Some like rap, too. Doesn't make them experts on music.
Have wondered that also, about the website re-design, etc.
I think that the redesign isn't bringing this vitriol as much as the general shift of the Club away from enthusiasts towards temporary members of the BMW family. Instead of focusing on those with grease-stained clothes the Club is more attentive towards people brought in by attractive lease deals- people who will float over to Audis or Mercedes-Benzes as their leases expire because all that counts is having a German car. We need to bring people into the BMW enthusiast community instead of into the BMW Financial Services community. Otherwise, we risk losing relevance to an even larger part of the membership.
I've been a club member for somewhere north of a decade now, and have owned 7 BMWs spanning the generations from an e3 to an e39 with a smattering of e30s, 36s, and 28s in between. I may not be as active in the club as I should be given my level of interest in the marque itself, but there is something special about belonging to a car club that understands and revels in the history of the brand.
I can certainly understand the need of the club to change along with its demographic, which - by definition - changes with the demographics of the buyers. It's not quite fair to pin the "temporary" tag only on new BMW buyers, though - it seems to me that the car industry as a whole is moving toward the "disposable electronics" model instead of the "fine watch" model. But that's a discussion for another thread on another day. Just the same, this old/new dichotomy strikes me as nothing new - remember, the classic e30s of today were the lame yuppie-mobiles of two decades ago.
What I've always found unique about BMW is how consistently damn great their cars have been, year in and year out, decade in and decade out. I think keeping this history on the front burner with regular columnists, how-to articles, owner features, and event coverage not only serves us "classic" owners, but can help newer owners transition from transient badge-buyers into members of the community. Because of this, I believe the dismissal of the core group of columnists was a grave mistake. In doing so the club risks becoming a parody of what many outside folks already think BMW owners are. We need to remember our history to truly appreciate the present.
And, as a final aside, the regular outpouring of affection for Mike Miller in the Letters section leads me to believe there's still a strong interest in the techical side of our cars among club members. This makes it extra baffling why they would let Jenny Morgan go and cut Rob Siegel's appearances in half. Those and Tech Talk are the first things I read every month!
Well said, but . . .
Are we whistling past the graveyard, or pissing in the wind?
Thanks, and I don't know. Like I said, I'm active in enjoying and working on my cars, but I've been more of a lurker when it comes to the Club - I've only been to one O-fest (way back in '97!), haven't found much of interest with the local chapter, and never gotten to a track event. Maybe that makes me part of the problem.
Oktoberfest will draw between 500 and 1,000 members. Chapter track events may host perhaps 2,000 unique individuals over the space of one year. Roundel is mailed to something closer to 70,000 members, arguably many of whom receive it because they joined the Club for a discount, to attend chapter events, etc. And there are probably another couple-of-dozen-or-so of us who actually participate in this forum. If the competition is newsstand magazines, Roundel probably holds its own among BMW-centered books, though arguably through a captive audience. If the benchmark of success is free Internet forums, we're way behind.
Oktoberfest doesn't draw what Bimmerfest does. But our event is much more than a Bimmerfest in that it draws different people, and extends beyond the voyeurism of many events because our cars get driven and are often in competition events. We can't be everything to everyone but our mission should be to provide a unique experience for our members. If you read our Mission Statement in Roundel (can't find it on the Club website) you'll see why we'll never offer what an Internet group can offer. The question should be: is a club an outdated concept, our is our mission outdated? Then we must ask if our Club's management is operating under our own mission statement and in the best interest of our Club. Are we acting to benefit the members we have or posturing and spending to appeal to members we hope to have? Are we spending our member equity for the benefit of our members, or for the benefit of our executive director, the board, and members we don't now and may never have?
If the current membership said they didn't read Rob, or Bill, or Marc Jon, or Mike, or Joe, or Jenny, then the actions taken in changing Roundel would be easily justified by presenting survey results. I doubt any reader survey would support a re-balance of more Satch at Villa d'Este and less Rob at the beach with the Suburban. We'd probably find we have enough European Delivery articles and enough pictures of odometers and kids on their potties reading Roundel. Most likely the results would skew to too much Club Racing, too many pages devoted to Satch, too many new writers who don't know enough to properly identify a vintage BMW model or to ask Larry Koch any questions worth an interesting answer. But then maybe those who would care have stopped reading long ago.
This thread is about Roundel but the questions can't be answered without examining the Club and those who are currently charged with making decisions about how it is run. The most disturbing to me is that the board isn't open with its process, its debate, or its decisions, and that no one seems to care. We've run elections that were directly in opposition to our by-law requirements and subsequently swept it under a rug. We're doing the same thing now with the one thing all Club members share equally—our magazine.
Well said Phil, I agree that openness is a problem.
It makes one curious as to how openness is a problem for an organization with a print magazine, electronic/print chapter newsletters, a website, and almost every member's e-mail address.
Phil's comment that I quoted I interpret to be primarily about the elected board, which is charged, as I understand it, with the general task of running the club organization, which it does in part via the executive director and the national office staff, the Roundel staff, etc. The Roundel, newsletters, and website are simply a means by which information may be conveyed - I believe Phil, in part, is referring to the nature, type, and accessibility of some of the information related to the running and management of the club. An example Phil pointed out in a prior post is the delay in board minutes going back to something like the middle of last year not being available on the club website until months later. If the by-laws require board-meeting minutes be accessible to the club membership in a timely fashion and they are not, that is a problem, as is the reason why.
Just to be clear i understand if the purported economics challenges mean a change requiring fewer pages - i really dont like some of the columnist trade-offs but if fewer pages are required hey ok... I guess thats reality - but i hate the graphic look and layout. Looks cheap and amateurish, non-professional, and non-journalistic. Looks like the badly cheaply done advertorials you find in an in-flight magazine. Except its the whole magazine. Just cheap and ugly and harder to read.
Also i swear some criticism of it seems to have been "disappeared" here... I certainly hope there isnt some propaganda ministry editing of forum posts going on. That would be real bad.
Just my dos centimes.
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