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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Men,

I've posted my opinion on this before. In fact, I've posted this very message in automag. Here's a provocative new title to my posting:

--Automag is whistling past the graveyard--

It would be great to have someone take Napca into the 21st century--namely, real internetting. Would be nice to have a small and personable Napca trading site and forum where members could exchange info. and buy and sell pistols on a personal one-on-one basis. As it is now, the members go to outside websites that hate them and use and abuse them, like Schlomo at Gunsamerica--not a pleasant experience. It has been made clear to me that Napca will not have a trading or auction site because some members do not have computers, and it would be unfair to them.

I have met a bunch of fellow Napca members in person, and have communicated with more, and I have yet to run across a member that does not have a computer. It must be an exceedingly small minority of Napca members that do not have a computer. I imagine that Napca should be able to accommodate them, and still be able to develop an internet site. This does not seem like a difficult task, unless, of course, there is some political aspect that I fail to understand. Who knows? There might be some powerful member that hates/fears/dislikes the newer members and/or computers. I hope not. This would really be silly, and this entire posting would be a pointless waste of time--mine and yours.

It seems that "Automag" can exist in a printed form and an electronic form. Members who would download it or read it on the website would be saving Napca the cost of printing and postage. If one wants it delivered in the mail, then that should continue for those members. Member who want to trade or sell collectible pieces could post them on the website, and in automag. All website trades could have at least a 5 day bidding (selling) time frame, so that those collectors who rely on the printed version of automag would have a reasonable length of time in which to contact the seller, giving buyer parity to the print and to the electronic buyer.

The printed collector info and articles in Automag are very valuable, but, I see only a few items for sale in Automag. I would bet that more collector pieces would be available on a Napca website than in "Automag". Seems that Napca could even charge a 1% commission and make a little dough in the process. How could this be anything but a benefit to the Napca membership?

That my dos centavos.

Pancho

PS. Kindly direct all death threats, blasphemies, and/or expletives, to me at [email protected]
PPS. To those delivering such death threats, blasphemies, and/or expletives, I will NOT remember you in my will.

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I think you are preaching to the choir here. The cut and paste looking format of Auto Mag is difficult to follow and looks unprofessional to me. If someone mails in a question or comment about a particular type of pistol, it could be weeks before he gets a response unless someone calls him on the phone or sends him a letter.
 

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I look forward to recieving my issue of Automag every month. I don't think the internet forums are better or worse than getting Automag delivered monthly, its just a different form of information. I think it boils down to what you want and how fast you want it. I ask questions and post information based on how fast it needs to get there and back. For quick answers I go to this forum or call some one. For slower exchanges of info, I post something in Automag and let it ride! I like to post stuff in Automag and let people ponder it. A lot of people need time to pull notes and look at old research data. You get some great stuff "a few weeks" later. If its not a "I needed it yesterday situation", then don't be in too much of a hurry. You don't have to choose Internet or Automag....do both! Dean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Greg,
No choir, not at all.
Collectors, like everyone else, will move into new technology, ie. this forum. Clearly, the internet forums are far superior to AutoMag. There is no contest. The detailed info and photos posted on this forum; the rapport among forum members; the exchange of data and opinions -- Automag is left standing at the gate. It's a pity. Automag is a worthy publicaton that should join the net before it's too late, and it might already be too late.
 

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While what is being said could be true in one fashion or another, I don't ever recall a HACKER shutting down the NAPCA magazine. Just some food for thought here fellows.

kk
 

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<<While what is being said could be true in one fashion or another, I don't ever recall a HACKER shutting down the NAPCA magazine. Just some food for thought here fellows.>>

This is a very interesting point, but, not in the way you intended.
 

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Pancho,
Apparently you are right about the choir thing. I do think a NAPCA or Auto Mag sponsored discussion board and classified ads section would be as welcome to a lot of us as Jan Still's site has been. From what I have read, Jan Still, who is one of the pillars that Auto Mag has been built on, is himself interested in seeing Auto Mag brought to the internet. Am I wrong? Also, that's an interesting angle you brought up about keeping the senior members in the dark regarding the current values of their collections. Dealers who buy estate items for resale certainly would want to get them as cheaply as possible. I guess they wouldn't be likely to encourage the seniors to get a computer and surf the classified sites and see what their collectible items are bringing these days.

KK,
Good point about hackers never shutting down the Auto Mag magazine. Maybe if you hid their scotch tape they could't put the magazine together. OK, that was mean. I belong to NAPCA and continue to look forward to the monthly magazine. I would like to see it made better though.
 

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Well, I think that both types have their purpose, I am an Internet based guy, but like my newspapers, and love to read a good magazine or newsletter at night.

Ed
 

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I do not think the seniors are kept in the dark regarding the current values of their collections by keeping them away from the internet. If the senior has a larger collection, he will have some idea of the value. Low perhaps, but not a steal. If the senior only has one or two pieces, he is probably not reading the AutoMag or going on the interenet.

Again, Dealers who buy estate items for resale certainly would want to get them as cheaply as possible. Everyone likes this including all collectors.

I do not think that surfing the classified sites will tell them what their collectible items are bringing these days. Lets use an example. How long will you have to surf the internet to get a price on a 1904 navy?

I have some unusual pistols. I have never seen them on the internet, much less priced on the internet. On occassion (but not often), I have seen a few in the AutoMag.

The real danger lies with the widow or children who inherit the collection. They don't get the AutoMag, so they would not have this benefit. Even if they surf the internet for the price on the 1904 navy they are not going to find it. How often are the more unusual pistols found on the internet or the prices for them?

The odds are that they are going to find the prices for the more common look alike pieces. Then they will sell the rare piece for the common piece price.

So trying to keep the seniors in the dark is not a valid reason for suggesting that this reason is why the AutoMag has not moved to the internet.


Charlie
 

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Charlie,
It's true that it can be very difficult if not impossible to find comparable items on classified sites to compare against a rare or unusual item. I have been there myself. In that situation, a person could post a request for help on this board or the Lugerforum or Gunboards or the Curio & Relics forum, etc.. I have seen people make requests for information such as this on these boards and it seems like they are treated pretty fairly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Simply, with levity, but with no disrespect intended, the internet forums and auction sites represent an immeasurably (like the universe compared to a tea cup) larger marketplace for common, and for rare items, than does automag.
 

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I first saw the power of a message board 18 months ago. Incredible speed, color photographs, ease of use, and World wide input. I am not a computer person and knew nothing about how to set a site up. At that time, I strongly advocated to the leadership of AUTO MAG to join in setting up a site. I wanted these boards to be a part of AUTO MAG. There was no interest. The attitude was anti-message board.

I bumbled around and finally with the help of Gunboards (Tuco), some members of AUTO MAG and some members of the old Luger Forum we set up the present site. This site is becoming the conduit for the World wide exchange of historically accurate pistol information. It gives collectors a chance to show their collections, exchange information, and answer questions from newer collectors. Some number of AUTO MAG members have joined. In my opinion it is highly successful.

More recently I have offered the use of the site for AUTO MAG to select posts to place in AUTO MAG. As of yet, there have been no takers. I continue to be an advocate for these boards to become a part of AUTO MAG.
Jan

As to hackers, the new board has numerous firewalls and is frequently backed up. Also, it is possible for individuals to copy the board on a CD (Note: Ed Tinker saved some portions of the prehacked board on a CD.)


Jan C Still
Site Owner - Operator
 

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If you would expand the scope of the forum to include all collectible automatics, I believe AutoMag would quickly become irrelevant. Giving collectors a scholarly online venue to discuss their Webley autos, H&R autos, Spanish autos, and every other type of auto pistol would eliminate the last reason for AutoMag's existence. At present, this forum is top heavy in Lugers, and anyone who is not a Luger collector will not find the forum a sufficient substitute for AutoMag.

I respectfully suggest that changing the forum name to something such as the "Collectible Automatic Pistols" forum and adding the requisite categories would make worrying about the future of NAPCA obsolete. In such circumstances, NAPCA would either be displaced entirely or finally forced to deal with reality. Restricting this forum to just the scope of your admittedly excellent books will always be a limiting factor in its appeal, and will allow AutoMag to keep limping along indefinitely.
 

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Dan,
Expanding the forums should be the result of interest in particular collectible auto pistols as demontrated by discussions and threads concerning those pistols. The owner of this forum is observant and will not deny an opportunity to encourage his forum to grow.
I have observed that most of the major experts on this board collect many (all?) manufacture of pistols. And they are quite proud of their collections. Jan Still has posted many threads and pics other than Lugers which he owns.
However...providing a forum which receives no posts and appears abandoned is embarrasing and would discourage many new collectors, but to find a unique post concerning an obsure pistol is as finding a diamond in the coal bin.
Regards,
wes
 

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I am not sure I should chime in here as I am not a member of NAPCA (been meaning to join for a LONG time but haven't gotten around to it yet). I totally agree that if it is not online an organization faces serious challenges for its future existence. I have been online since the late 80s (before the WWW) and have been with the "Tuco Group" since 1996. I have seen sites come and sites go. What has killed active sites are two things (baring lack of participation and funding). First is foolshness being permitted to the point that it drove off respectable collectors. Second is a serious lack of editorial control over the content of the forum. I assume that any prospective site by a group like NAPCA will be moderated to prevent fools from wrecking it. That is easy to do. The hard part is to be able to wield some form of editorial control, akin to what can be done on a paper publication, in a forum type format. There is a huge space to occupied by huxters and fakers if people of good knowledge and quick eye do not keep track of the posts as they come in. My compliments to Jan Still and his very capeable moderators for creating a forum where the best and brightest can allow people like myself to linger and gain a free education. On the other hand this also takes a certain amount of time out of a persons life to make certain that the content of each post is not malinforming or mischevious. I think a NAPCA associated site would be fantastic but it would mean that you would have to assemble a team of moderators to act as editors to prevent misinformation (intentional and unintentional) from being posted on the site. With a paper publication you have time to study and check facts. With an internet site you really have to be cautious about what you read. Would the membership of NAPCA be willing to accept a site that has an editorial "caeveat emptor"? In time they may but for now I would suspect not. As to auctions and classified ads I see no reason THIS site could not act as a de-facto clearinghouse for these items at some point down the road. Indeed I would prefer my auction fees be used to fund the operation of this site than line the pockets of a nut case like Schlomo. The membership of gunboards seems to be opposed to Tuco creating an auction on his site (he tried it about two years ago with poor results). I disagree with them on this and can only see good things coming from an in house auction with fees used to continue the good work being done here. Like in the movie Field of Dreams I feel if you build it they will come. The more this site gets known in the collecting community the more you will see it will become a driving force in the trends and directions that collecting is taking. I look at some of the larger sites like CSP and Gunboards and see the future of the gun collecting community. I look at the real decline in paper publications and see a medium in decline. The trick that places like CSP and Gunboards have learned is to put in place people willing to make the effort to basically act as editors to every posting made. We do not "correct" the post but will provide corrective information if we see wrongful stuff getting out the public. If NAPCA membership could agree to that sort of arangement I see no reason it could not have a meaningful prescence online. In essence this site IS the defacto site we are all talking about...just a matter of assuring the rest of the folks it could be the dejurre site as well.


PS: Have I mentioned how much I appreciate the "education" I am getting here?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Michael,
I don't think Napca has enough members to support a full fledge auction site. More likely, just a simple trader forum open only to members. Sort of like going to the Chatanooga meeting to buy pistols. An exchange of simple postings to help the Napca seller and Napca buyer find happiness. If buyer 1 can't meet seller's price, then maybe buyer 2 will. Nothing complex. Just simple transactions among the membership. If the seller can't get his price on the Napca trader board, then he can try the outside auctions. It just seems to me that the members should at least have an opportunity to buy within the organization. Napca can add a $5.00 listing fee , or something like that. Something sort of simple, friendly, and wholesome, among the Napca members. Imagine that, us wholesome Napca members finding collector bliss on the internet.
 

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Some very well reasoned comments have been posted here advocating the desireablity of NAPCA converting to a website. In my mind, the deathkneel to the printed forum is the delay that results in the conveyance of information. Discussion on a point between several members can continue for months. After a while, many of us geezers forget what the point of the discussion was. One of my pet peeves with this delay, is the person that responds some months later to an inquiry without refering to the initial inquiry or refering to the issue in which that inquiry appeared.
 

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You are correct in that the Net allows faster communication of words and ideas and also of pictures in color. With a high resolution, pictures can be enlarged and viewed (which is not possible in the print media).

This is shown in another forum - that of the US Postal Service where first class mail volume has decreased.

In the business world, there is the fax (Also color fax), email, and cell phones (which allow the receipt of telephone calls in places that previously had been out of reach of telephones). Data and information is being transmitted in a manner and speed heretofore unknown.

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