USCA Sidecar Forum

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WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR GIFT CARDS. IF YOU RECEIVE AN EMAIL TO THAT EFFECT, IT DID NOT COME FROM THE USCA. IT IS A PHISHING SCAM. DO NOT REPLY!

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SIDECARIST MAGAZINE CRITIQUE

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Sidecarist Magazine critique:
Presented only as constructive criticism and without intention of being harsh or derogatory. I am posting in this forum because a reply from my past correspondence from the magazine principal was never received. Perhaps my initial correspondence was lost in the mail or misplaced at the receiving end.
Here are my thoughts:
Lately it seems to me that our magazine's contents are narrow minded and limitedly focused. Always predominantly about member's road trips. Although I have no objection to those articles, our magazine, in my opinion, should publish more diversified articles that elicit flavor, attraction, appeal and wider interests.
Suggestions are: In addition to the calendar rig picture, a 1/4 page picture including a brief description of a member's rig; tips from members; technical articles; restoration guidelines; sidecar installation stories; pictures and worded details of custom and unique sidecars and rigs; worded details and pictures of new products related to sidecars and sidecaring; pictures, histories and stories about current or past sidecar shops and businesses; biographies and pictures of current members; biographies and pictures of past sidecarists who have set records and accomplishments; pictures and histories of antique rigs and their owners from long ago, perhaps relatives of current members; want and sale ads; etc. Not all in one publication but spread out over several publications. Perhaps other members have additional ideas and suggestions that would color and enhance our magazine.

I hope that the principles of our magazine have access to this forum and this post.
I apologize if this post has offended anyone.
Thank you for your consideration and for any comments, positive or negative.

They can only print what is sent in.

I am some what guilty here in that for years I have been asked to contribute technical articles (or anything else for that matter) I suspect while I do not know this that often they are lucky to have enough stuff to fill the magazine. Keep in mind that everything with the USCA is 100% voluntary, we do not have the funds to hire any of this out.

So, if you want to see some thing different, WRITE IT, If you want to see changes in the club and how we do things, run for a position on the board, chances are you will run unopposed. (I did)

The club and its magazine are only as good as the membership makes it.

Jay G
DMC sidecars

http://www.dmcsidecars.com

866-638-1793

Thanks Jay!!! You have said much of what I could have added.  As Ex-president I have 1st hand experience in what happens and what goes into the Sidecarist.  I didn't realize when I ran (unopposed) that one of my jobs as president was to edit the Sidecarist. I had written several article previous to becoming president but as president I was responsible for one article each issue.  I like what Dave is doing - having board members write an article each issue.  I wish I had thought of that. Having said all that it comes down to - We publish what is sent in.  I tried to encourage articles when I became aware of a member who had a story.  About 50% of those articles were what was suggested by Jaybee47 but again they are written buy club members.

To add to what Jay wrote - we have two paid employees,  Martin Schwartz who is our editor and Steve Woodward who manages our memberships.  Believe me they can't live on what we pay them so in effect they are volunteers too.  All of our board members plus those names listed in the front of the Sidecarist are volunteers except those two - and they do a wonderful job at what they have volunteered to do for us a club.

Thanks for the critique Jaybee47.  We need to know how our members perceive our efforts. I hope this thread generates more comments.

Will Short

USCA Ex-president

I wholeheartedly agree with Jay and Will. I look forward to every issue with anticipation. And I appreciate the stories submitted and the work Martin does in turning out a fine publication. I've submitted articles a few times but when my bikes sit here at home, there isn't a whole lot to write that anyone would be interested in reading. From my point of view at any rate. My favorite issue was the one in the fall of 2013. Had my photo on the cover and an article I wrote about the Bigfoot Rendezvous that year. Vain, sure, but I was impressed. I've sent a couple more short articles in over the years but not recently. I did submit photos of my pup Petey and my good riding friend's pup Buddy for the annual riding with pals issue. I commend everyone who puts in any effort for the USCA!!

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

My two cents..

I thoroughly enjoy the magazine and sit right down and read it cover to cover as soon as it arrives.

Would I like to see it double in size? Sure.

Am I in a position to contribute? No. I am a terrible story teller. Just ask my wife.

My contribution will continue to be my membership dues and my appreciation to those who are able to contribute.

Thanks for what you do.

As a member for several years, I personally really enjoy the Sidecarist. Knowing how difficult it is to get people to send articles I completely understand the dilemma that faces the writer and editors. My suggestion is that if members want to see different topics and articles that each takes responsibility for writing and submitting them or funds a position to do the research and writing. If not, critiques are nothing more than “wishing and wining. Just my thoughts and opinion.

"Presented only as constructive criticism and without intention of being harsh or derogatory.".....without constructive criticism, progress and improvement are averted.

""critiques are nothing more than “wishing and wining"".....a narrow minded and limitedly focused statement. (the correct spelling is 'whining'.)

"So, if you want to see some thing different, WRITE IT, "......I did submit a sidecar related written article with included  photographs. It was returned to me without an explanation.

So now you’re whining and criticizing the magazine. Maybe you should have sent a note asking WHY?

jaybee47:

I can't let this thing lie.  If you don't mind - send me the article that you sent in and was rejected.  I will critique it for you.  I would do this as a courtesy to you and and the Sidecarist.  I have written many articles for the Sidecarist but before I sent in my first major article I gave it to two English teachers that I worked with at the time.  I told them to mark it up and they did.  I'll bet if I had been graded on that piece it wouldn't have been pretty.  (The ink they used was red and purple. That was pretty). I did corrections and handed it back to them for a re-read. 

Even as a math teacher I could see that the sentence structure was needing some help. I was very grateful for their input.  I would be glad to share what I learned.

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