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Attitude On-Line Opinion Poll
by DJ Gruby/Arsenic/Excess/Protovision

Are you reading this text while browsing the mag on the C-64/VICE or have you maybe encountered it on-line on the Attitude website while browsing the Internet? This issue's opinion poll concentrates on an interesting question of a direct access to an entire archive of all Attitude articles available on-line. And the question is if it does in any way affect your reading experience...

Some time ago I have asked a few casual sceners the following question:

Does the fact that we publish all Attitude articles on-line at http://www.attitude.c64.org make it less likely for you to check the original magazine on the C-64/VICE since it is more convenient to read texts which are anyway available on the web?

My question caused a little bit of confusion initially, as the entire idea was immediately questioned be Soci/Singular:

Do you mean that the new outfit will be abandoned soon in favour of the on-line version? That would be sad. I can't give a good answer as I've just realized that there's an on-line archive too. I usually read disk magazines by running them, as the reader is part of the experience. ;)

I would like to stress the fact that Attitude as a C64 disk magazine will always remain a priority over an on-line version. They are not products of an equal weight. A disk magazine engine is always more important and this is what we aim to deliver.

An on-line version of Attitude is just this: an add-on serving as an archive of all articles ever published in Attitude , easily available via search engines (Google index, etc.), helping you to find an interesting content from the past, and preserving it from an oblivion. You might or might not have noticed that there is no predefined schedule for the on-line publishing. A recent issue is always put on-line some time later after a C64 release. It has never happened too early though, it might be two weeks as well as half a year later. There has been no rule established on that. Usually it is only a matter of availability of spare time for me.

Amongst many opinions on this subject, the one which I find the closest to my personal views was expressed by Junkie/Extend/Doom Patrol :

I prefer to enjoy C64 releases in VICE. But big thumbs up for the possibility to read Attitude at work, where VICE is not available. :)

This opinion pretty much summarises the idea behind this project. Attitude is a C64 disk magazine and as such is designed to be executed in a dedicated environment (a C64 or a VICE emulator). All the articles available on-line? Well, that is surely a nice thing to have...

I obviously do not want to take this whole idea into the extremes, as feared by Almighty God/Level 64/Onslaught. If our main goal was to convince you that reading the mag on-line is good enough, we would have never put that much effort into designing and coding this modern outfit, lay-outing each article individually and hunting for graphics and music for every new release on which we work.

Without a doubt having all articles on-line makes me sometimes load a new Attitude to check just the intro and outfit, but not to read it. So that makes a bit pointless to create a disk magazine, from my point of view, if I can read it on-line. I like a lot disk magazines with original articles that I can only find if I load the mag and read it on my C64, doing it that way puts me more in the atmosphere of "64 scene" always with the feeling of reading something unique, created in this great underworld that all of us like that much. It's the same as watching demos on YouTube videos, this removes all the spirit of the scene, even if it's totally true that having demos on YouTube and articles on the Internet makes them better known and reach more people. Well, at least for me do not worry, I'll continue loading and reading the magazine in front of my 1084S. ;)

Despite expressing serious concerns, the closing statement sounds optimistic. People will continue reading Attitude the way it was meant to be read, and use the website simply as an easily reachable data archive to browse whenever necessary.

Almighty God was not the only person expressing his concerns about providing Attitude content on the web. Macx/Onslaught/Offence mentioned that public availability of scene related texts somehow violates his idea of "old school":

I am afraid it does. The concept of a disk magazines is in my opinion off-line. It comes with a set of graphics, musical pieces and decent articles, and it is all included in (and everything else excluded from) the package, similarly to the paper-magazines I subscribe to via snailmail. This does not mean that I cannot see the many benefits of having the articles made available via a web browser. It is readily available, also e.g. at work if I would have five or ten minutes off. It is searchable. I can opt for silence, radio or any tune I want to - and I guess journalism is about presenting the articles, not how it is presented. I also understand that everything today is easily made available and I guess I have to live with it. It might be a good idea though, to have the on-line publishing delayed by a few weeks or so, in order to preserve the diskmag presentation - otherwise it might as well be changed into a web mag.

I may be conservative and old school, and I fancy the idea of the scene being an internal phenomenon, where only those interested become sceners, and thus will understand the meaning of the text. This does not mean that we should not have a public voice in order to attract new or returning nerds, but if one appreciates Commodore 64 productions I guess easy availability is not one's top priority.

Thank you for your voice. It is very important to keep in mind that a demo scene is a very specific phenomenon and it is clear that not everyone interested in computers becomes a scener.

Here is what Hedning/Genesis Project has got to say on this topic:

I do think it's bad to publish it on-line too fast as we need to support the scene, thus "force" lazy people to read the real diskmag first. Putting it on-line on a web page keeps people away from the C64, and they will also miss the music and gfx, and the feeling. I always read the original magazines, often on the real thing and not emulated, and I guess it's because it was meant to be read on screen to get the full experience. A diskmag is so much more than the text. The main reason for publishing it on-line, in my opinion, is that all diskmags should end up searchable on-line because they are a fantastic source for info about the scene of yesterday and today. My view is: publish Attitude on disk only for a year, then put it on-line.

Publishing all articles after a one-year delay is even more extreme idea than was ever considered by us, and I am undecided whether such action would do any good. Lazy people will always be lazy, and if they do not feel like checking the new issue out on the C-64/VICE, we cannot really force them to do so by cutting off their access to the on-line content.

Some opinions lie on the other side of a spectrum. There is no hesitation that a diskmag will always be read using the real thing. This is what Response/Darklite says:

No, I always transfer Attitude (as I do with anything else for the C64) to my 1541-U2 and watch in on the real deal. Nothing beats the feeling of real true hardware. :)

SounDemoN/Dekadence/Onslaught does not leave much space for a discussion either:

No, it does not make it less likely, since this email was a nice reminder to check out the magazine in whatever format available. ;)

On-line availability does not affect Skate/Plush either, who even expressed his main interest in a C64 production itself rather than articles (but only until a point when he cannot understand a language articles are written in):

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nope, on-line version doesn't affect me at all. I sometimes run and check non-English and non-Turkish disk magazines which I'm unable to read/understand. I check them just to see the interface, menu system, graphics, intro, etc. So, a disk magazine is something more than just texts on the web. Maybe some other sceners just care about the content (not likely, but possible), but I believe we will figure this out at Attitude #15 thanks to this survey. :)

His opinion is confirmed among others by Britelite/Dekadence/Phantasy:

Diskmags, in my opinion, are not all about the articles, but the overall experience. Good tunes and nice graphics set a great mood for reading longer articles, or even just browsing through the news and charts. So, even if all articles are published on-line, I still read the diskmag on either the C64 or in VICE.

An interesting idea has been expressed by Oswald/Resource. He suggested that an on-line version could serve as a teaser, which should encourage people to check the magazine on the real thing (or in an emulator).

If it offered something extra to read it on C64, I would probably do it. For example: exclusive SID musics or an attached game preview. You could even pull the audience with a few articles, those are only available in the C64 version but advertised on the web page too...

While exclusive SID soundtrack is a standard for every issue of Attitude, we have not tried with an exclusive game preview yet. But then even this content will be available on CSDb and HVSC (and probably even much faster than we manage to convert all the articles to an HTML format thanks to active cracking scene). I am however opposing an idea of advertising certain articles on the web, because the main goal of the Attitude on-line project is a preservation of the content in a form of a data backup, which is always easily available and searchable.

Linus/Camelot/Crest/Resource/TRSi/Viruz was another person who expressed his full support and appreciation for the effort we put into producing a genuine C64 release:

Publishing Attitude articles on-line does not make it less likely for me to check out the magazine on the real thing/VICE at all. There simply is no way whatsoever to translate the true disk magazine "spirit" to the web. I'd still benefit from all articles being published on-line as I would be able to read some of it at work. I guess having a small delay between the official Attitude release and web-published articles wouldn't hurt though.

Nucleus/Tempest is the first example of a person who favours availability of an on-line content over reading it on the real thing, although he would still appreciate using the latter when having a chance. I would assume that the Attitude on-line archive serves people like him well:

I'm not much active in the way to read any kind of mags, not in the past, and not even now, so I guess I'm not the right person to be asked... But yep, I think on-line articles would be good and faster/easier to read/handle, but cooler would be to read it in emulator/real thing.

The very last commentary comes from Jailbird/Booze Design, who prefers quick skimming through the content on the web:

I favour a readable, usable, searchable format which I could browse through quickly, so I prefer the web version - but, if the C64 binary contains interesting/exclusive stuff in it (whether it's a good article, a fine intro, pretty graphics or nice music), I'll download and check it before the chapters go on-line. The best compromise is what they usually do at commercial publishing houses: unshared content in the print version that goes on-line after a while - so those who are eager to be up to date will get the magazine as soon as it's out, whilst others will wait for it or just borrow the magazine...

Good thing is that, fortunately, nobody needs to borrow new issues of Attitude.

I would like to thank very much everyone who shared their opinion with us. We value your feedback and appreciate the time you spend sharing it with our readers. Your opinions reassure us that our approach to on-line content publishing is a valid one, and even if we cannot satisfy everyone equally, we can assure you that an on-line archive of all our articles will remain a valuable source of the C64 scene related information, even if a little bit delayed compared to our C64 releases.

Closing words

Attitude on-line will continue to exist in the same form as before, mostly serving as an archive of all past editions of a disk magazine. An instant access to all of the articles we ever published is generally appreciated, and it seems like it does not affect reading experience much. Most people will continue to load each issue shortly after a release on their C64/VICE in order to check music, graphics, intro and other stuff on the real thing or in an emulator.

An opinion poll was conducted and commented by...

DJ GRUBY/ARSENIC/DREAM/EXCESS/PROTOVISION

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SCENE GROUPS
 
OPINION POLL
Do you believe we are
able to cope with
releasing "Attitude"
on a regular basis?

yes no

 YES: 277 (70.84%)
NO:114 (29.16%) 

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