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Posted on Sep 28, 2006 in Armchair Reading

Iwo Issue Feedback

By Rob Lake

Dear ACG,

I’m a new subscriber and in my second issue a fellow named George Fox wrote you and asked for info on finding articles on medieval battles.  Could you please send me his email address or writing address – OR send mine [address removed for privacy]?  This would be because I CAN answer his question.  I found your ‘response’, well, unfortunate.

You at ACG might take a hint from the old Classic movie ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ on how that little Santa made Macy’s Xmas Reputation!  That was by giving the Best info to customers not just the info about Themselves (macy’s) or you, ACG.

Also I would like to know about your (what?) ‘command it yourself’ articles, where subscribers write in with their solution ‘choice’, and how this works on Your end.  Am I correct in that you want the actual factual historical solution?  Or are you Looking for something Better than actual?  As an Historian, I Know what was done – or how to easily find out.  It just seems pathetic that people would write in with what the historical fact WAS just get a mention in your mag as a reward for reading.  If that is how it is – i guess I can skip those in future- even tho I responded to one in my specialty and it was hard to explain, justify, give precedents, and a ‘why no eveidence of such’ part in just 200 words.  So that was fun to
‘wordcrunch’- but wasn’t the commonly accepted ‘version’.

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Two last things: no matter how ‘cool’ having huge red swastika’s or a ‘rising sun’ may look on a page – and frankly the swastika Looked great- it was nigh impossible to read thru. OK?

And then: It seems that your website is greared to those that have enough money to WASTE on superfast speeds and always buy the ‘new’ computer.  Today I tried opening your ‘letters to Editor’ section and even with a 1.8gh (new) CPU it took 2:35 minutes to open with dial up service.  Those of us ‘poor buggers’ would also appreciate some respect by toning down the numbers of pics and especially the moving crap so we can actually load the dam_ page at all.  Or maybe it was the popup (that was blocked) that took all the time!  Either way, little respect.

Rob Lake

***

Hello Rob,

Thanks for taking the time to write.

We appreciate your offer to help our readers find more medieval websites and information, and we invite you to join our forums where our readers can discuss just this sort of thing.  Mr. Fox was specifically asking about articles in ACG magazine, so I don’t think it was an unreasonable response given the space limitations of the print magazine.  The "Letters to the Editor" is typically questions and answers about the magazine itself.

However, we also have additional links for each issue on our website, as well as a special feature called WebOps which delves deeper into various topics and historical news items, providing links and other information that simply couldn’t fit in the magazine.  Between this and our forums, we go well out of our way to give our readers much more than links to our own articles.

On You Command…sometimes the historical outcome is the best and sometimes it isn’t…we have done both types. Our readers should submit whatever they think is best…and it isn’t so simple to just write in what actually happened…we get over 1000 entries to each YC… 3 "Win" and 30 or so get "Honorable Mentions" so the people who are identified were able to express themselves in a way that broke through the rest (no easy task when the original operation was perfect). Getting selected means you did much more than just parrot back what happened. We are looking for someone to explain "WHY" they are making the choices they are making (in 200 words or less!).

You also have to remember that not every reader is an expert in military history, and even if someone has heard of Eben Emael as a great German victory, they might not know the tactical details of how it was carried out. If they look it up and learn more about the event, then we are being a catalyst for entertainment AND education which is win-win for everyone. :)

Finally, on design and the website, we respect that not everyone will enjoy each decision we make in the print magazine or with our website.  On the web we design mainly for the 90% of our users who have broadband, although we try not to overload it with movies and such that you see on some sites.  I can assure you though we have no pop ups anywhere on our main site or forums. As for the speed issue, maybe you just caught us on a bad day.

Thanks again for the feedback.  We appreciate constructive criticism as well as the kudos.

Brian King
Website Editor
ArmchairGeneral.com
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