Mar 012009

I apologize for sounding so negative in yesterday’s blog. But to a longtime newspaper man like myself, missing a deadline is a mortal sin. I think we’ve finally got this issue of the paper whipped, and hopefully next time around will be easier. I appreciate everybody’s comments and your e-mails of support. I’ll try not to let things get me down so much, and if they do, I’ll try not to be such a party pooper.

After reading yesterday’s blog, several readers suggested that we forgo the print edition of the Gypsy Journal in favor of an all electronic version. That just won’t happen,

We have toyed with electronic delivery, but the file size is much too large, due to the high resolution photos and type we have to use for the print version. To make it work, I would basically have to redo and re-size all of the pictures, which in our layout program, is a very time consuming job. As technology changes and more user friendly electronic newspaper layout tools become available, hopefully we can someday do a supplemental electronic edition.

But even if that happens, we will still continue with the printed version as our main product. There are a huge number of our readers who never touch a computer and want a printed newspaper. You can’t take your computer into the bathroom with you, and if you swat your puppy on the nose with a computer for piddling on the floor, someone will call the ASPCA on you!

In the past (as late as August 2008), when we have polled our readers about an electronic version, many were interested, but very, very few have been willing to pay for it. Not nearly enough to make it worth the time involved.

Most of those who said they are interested in it want it for free, they do not want to continue to pay the regular subscription fee. The common response is “But there’s so much free stuff on the internet, why should I pay for it?” As a business, that just does not work.

I’m about the laziest human being you’ll ever meet. If you don’t believe me, just ask my mother-in-law. Trust me, if there was a way to go all electronic, and still keep all of our readers, I’d have done it years ago and spared myself the labor and expense of the layout, printing, and mailing processes.

I wrote a while back that Terry and I are thinking that it’s about time we replaced our faithful bus. Since then, quite a few people have contacted me to tell me about some great deals on diesel rigs they have seen for sale. I appreciate that, but unfortunately, I’m a poor boy and some of the rigs they have referred me to are highline coaches costing well over $100,000. It would be nice to be able to afford some of them, but we’re realists. We need something not nearly that expensive.

Like a lot of folks, we are faced with having to sell our bus before we can get into something else, or trading it on a different rig. And these days the trade in value on any RV is just below nothing.

Ideally we’d love to find someone who wants out of their RV and needs someone to take over payments, with a good down payment on our part. That way we could sell our bus to a private party once we’re into the new (to us) rig.  

Thought For The Day – It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Why We Won’t Go Electronic”

  1. I was recently at Flywheeler Park (, there were many bus conversions at the event. I talked to several about their powerplants. Several had swapped out their engine for V92’s … one had even a Mack and automatic transmission. If you are happy with your bus chassis, you may want to consider an engine swap.

    With the downturn in the economy, heavy equipment dealers(such as Caterpillar) have had to lay off field mechanics. These guys & gals are really good at swapping out heavy , major components such as engines, transmission, etc. They do it all the time in the field with boom trucks.

    I am a little reluctant to write this … assumed you already know all of this … but you know what Ass u me spells 🙂

  2. Hey Nick

    I say keep the printed paper coming. Unfortunately some people want everything for nothing. These are obviously people that have always worked for “the man” and never owned a business themselves. Going to electronic media will eliminate your ability to leave papers at campgrounds. This not only limits your ability to expose your great products to campers who are not aware of the Gypsy Journal, but also would deprive these people of the joy of reading your paper.

    Keep on keeping on.

  3. ““But there’s so much free stuff on the internet, why should I pay for it?” As a business, that just does not work.”

    Same issue facing all newspapers. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune has proposed “bundling” on the cable TV model – readers would subscribe to one service that provides access to a myriad of on-line content from multiple sources. Sounds like a workable answer to me.

  4. Nick,

    Don’t go to an electronic version. There’s something about both waiting for the GJ and then holding and reading it, end-to-end and yes, perhaps while in the throne room.

    You might think that me, an ex-computer geek would be the first to say otherwise. I have a Kindle, GPS, digital camera, two computers, and am an amateur radio operator who works only the “digital” (non-voice) modes. But, keep the paper coming.

    I have enough gadgets and use them enough that the break to read the GJ, or a ‘real’ book or magazine is a pleasure. Reading the GJ is on the top of the list.


  5. I’m in the market for a good used RV for full-time living.
    Have you though about a price you might want for your bus? Let me know if you have.. I’m sure it’s over my limit but you know unless you ask, do you??

  6. Nick – Resist the Dark side and don’t go all electronic. I just signed up for another year of GJ and look forward to each issue.


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