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Re: DinSoc Dinosaur Encycloped

At 11:47 PM 12/28/96 GMT, steve.cole@genie.com wrote:

>DON'T USE CLADOGRAMS. You missed the "focus" part. Non-professionals
>generally don't understand them, and they produce end products
>rather than categories. Since each dino-genera in DSDE is on
>its own page, it would be kind of pointless to put a cladogram
>on each page. Too much repetition. Better to put the cladograms
>(if you insist on them) in a separate section.

   Perhaps the genera could be arranged in cladogram order?  As I sit and
think about it, it would seem a rather unweildy and counterintuitive thing
to do (as opposed to, say, alphabetical order).  But don't use Linnean ranks
either.  As evidenced by some of the heated discussions here, rankings can
get confusing and seem to be even more subjective and inconsistent than some

>Oh, sure, the Pterosauria is "available elsewhere". The key word
>is "elswhere". I don't want "elsewhere". I want it all in ONE PLACE.
>In this office, all of the dino books are in the bosses office
>(we can't afford four sets of them) and if I need to check something
>I go get one book (DSDE) as it gives me what I need in one book.
>I just want that book to be complete.

   Perhaps that's an idea for Tiger Publishing?  You tell me, would the
typical publisher want to bring together work that is already available
elsewhere?  What could be added to it to make it unique enough for people to
buy yet another copy of the same stuff ... or is putting it all together
unique enough in and of itself?

>And it wouldn't kill them to do the research. Someone with a
>copy of a good Pterosaur book or two could do it in one afternoon.
>Or they could just download it from that whacky web page someone
>runs which has all those genera lists on them.
>Same applies to the other non-dino categories.

   True enough.  The concern, though, is that it *is* available elsewhere.
Is bringing it all together, probably in a very large and expensive volume,
going to sell enough to offset expense and make a profit?  There'd also have
to be some care taken.  Can't copy it directly from said books or pages.

>What do you update? This is the least of the problems. You decide
>that a given update is going to be, say, 64 pages, which is
>32 sheets. At one sheet per dino, that's 32 dinos. You do an
>update once a year. Figure 10-15 new dinos per year, that
>leaves you space to include replacement pages for the 15 or
>so dinosaurs that have had the most new information.
>It may come down, in a given year, to whether this one or that
>one deserves to be the last of the updated dinos this year, but
>that's not really a crisis since the two choices are the 16th and 17th
>most deserving and you did all the better ones. Heck, you could
>even put updated pages on the web.
>(On a pay-per-view site of course.)

   There's also the issue of obsolete pages.  WHere do you put the new
pages, at the end or the middle.  Are obsolete pages replaced, or do you
just keep going until you have 1,000,006 pages?  Let's not forget the yearly
index that will have to be printed and sold.

   Pay-per-view web?  According to the industry rags, the only pay-per-view
websites doing anything are pornography sites.  That may change in the
future, but for *now* it isn't a viable alternative.  That may change,
though.  I wouldn't be too surprised if I end up being part of the effort to
do just that since that's where my education and experience lies.

>How do you convince people to buy the updates? You make it
>available, and they will come.

   Enough to make it economically viable?  I dunno about that.  See below.

>What would you pay today if you could get 30 new and 30 replacement
>pages for THE DINOSAURIA?

   How much would I pay today?  This much:  $0.00.  I had the OSU library's
copy of _The Dinosauria_ for three and a half YEARS before they forced me to
return it and I had to buy my own.  It will be a long time before I shell
out any more $$$ for books, and I'm an enthusiast.  Who is in the majority,
those free with their money or the skinflints like me?  I think price point
would be important for both groups.  We need some marketing gurus to chime in.

   I don't necessarily think any of this is a bad idea, or even unworkable,
I just need something to debate, I was starting to go through withdrawal.
Although, I'm sure after some people see Monday what I have to say about the
Dinosaur Society's efforts to "save" Sue, I'll be debating aplenty....

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