Jan 27, 2010

Cypress Gardens Pt. 3 - Missed Opportunity

(ed note: this is the first ever collaborative thing ever written for this site by both dig dug and ODBF, amazing)

In our world of waterskiing, there really isn't a "reliable" source for current news. Think about it, if something happens within the waterski world or you are curious about something or looking for updated info on anything, where do you go?? Sure, we can get some info from usawaterski.com, or various blog outlets, but, there is no real "go to" source for news about our sport.

Hopefully no one swings by this site for "news", as 1) we are a blog that pokes fun at things, 2) we have regular jobs and don't get money or have the time to 'research' and 3) were drunk and/or skiing most of the time.

So, where does that leave us?

Well, unfortunately we are in no mans land. We have a variety of fun outlets for waterski stuff, like ours :), ball of spray, alliance wakeboard, skifly dot com, showskiers dot com, tales from the foot, shreds and dreads, and the like.

But, no one is going out and beating the streets and getting us news. Un-biased, up to date, no agenda, news.

Look, we can argue all day long about cable news channels, newspapers and magazines in our real life and how they are all biased, Fox news = right wing, msncb = left wing, but, at least they have people out there trying to find out whats going on and presenting it to us.

Enter Waterski Magazine.

Here is a simple equation, that should happen. Waterski Magazine + Cypress Gardens = NEWS.
But, it didn't happen, or hasn't happened.


Cypress is basically right in your back yard, you are supposed to be the main source for all things waterski in our world. Right?? How have you not covered this??

Sure, there was a post about the "history" of Cypress along with some tale of how Dick Pope Jr and Zane were chatty. But, you didn't tell us anything, I repeat, ANYTHING, that us, the waterski public want to know...or care about.

The best reporting on this issue, honestly, is from a lawyer in Orlando, Kemp Brinson who has tweeted some articles concerning the issue (link) and ODBF who actually went through a shit ton of articles and tried to encapsulate the issue.

This is a very MAJOR issue within our world, MAJOR MAJOR. Large. Important. Thesaurus! (I'm shouting if you can't tell).

This is important. This is a fight, or issue, that we NEED to know about. Waterskiing in all forms needs to be addressed as best you can and everything within your power needs to be done to get to the heart of what is going on, organize it and get it to us.

That is your job!!

Look, the CRB has done a total 180 on waterski magazine in the last few years. We used to attack you (in fun but without mercy) about the seeming single minded dedication to slalom. But, you have baby stepped out, or maybe its our perception, either way, it seems to encompass more of the world. Which brings us back to the issue of:

Cypress Gardens.

Cypress Gardens is one of the roots of our sport as a whole.

If Waterskiing was a tree (strap in, we are stretching metaphors here) then Cypress Gardens is one of those big ass roots that sort of sticks out of the ground. You know, the ones where you put your blanket on, sort of bundled up like a pillow, when you go out and have a picnic, you lie down in the park with your head on said root, look up at the sky, watch a passing plane, listen to river and nap on your lunch break. True Story!

Its a foundation of the show ski world, along with historical greats like Tommy Bartletts and the Min-Aqua Bats. (Read up on your history and you will understand how these three are intertwined.)
Historical and currently relevant organizations that promote like a mother fucker our sport and you, waterski magazine, owe it to your readers and to your own journalism to cover this issue with the same verve that you use for you slaloming, your videos and your boat tests.

The possibility exists that we are overstating the importance of Cypress Gardens, as it is a place that has been in somewhat of a free fall for a number of years.

That, however, does not discount the fact that this is an issue that this issue should be covered somehow, in some way, and presented out for the world to see, read, digest, discuss and consumed.
The publishing world, in all forms, from magazines to newspapers are having big issues with either the inability to adapt to an online world, to a resistance to adapt to outright idiocy. Newspapers were foolish to give away their content for free in a rush to seem "hip" with the times. Everyone who pays attention knows that in doing so, they have given away one of their most precious resources, access and depth, to online sources who skim for punch.

Further, newspapers were done in by craigslist. Classified ads are a huge source of revenue for the publishing industry (not magazines, necessarily) and that was eaten away. It may sound foolish, but, for example, where do you go when you are looking for a job, or a used television, a used car or a random hook up? Not the newspaper, but, you hop online and go to craigslist, careerbuilder or your moms house.

Failure to adapt is a huge problem and its not coming back, so adapt or die.

One of the nifty new things that has come about in terms of technology in reference to the written word are devices like the Kindle. Which is Amazons book reader thing, which is sweet. The CRB does not own one, we have a cheaper knock off. Its just a digital picture frame with scraps of paper stapled to it. Thanks CRB tech staff. In fact, in terms of tablets, Apple came out with their tablet thing today, the ipad. Awful name. Which caused all sorts of geek gasms, but, its a unique product and one that can be used for a new and interesting way to get your magazine into the hands of people in a digital realm while maintaining a decent cost structure. For example, Time Inc (Sports Illustrated) and some place called the wonder factory, have a really cool little reader which works seamlessly with the magazine, combining a seemingly digital averse format (the magazine) with the tech side of things. Check it out.

Waterski magazine seem to have a pretty good thing going with their magazine, it looks good, is laid out well, has nice articles and pretty pictures.

Maybe the actual print magazine is not the place for in-depth reporting, and that is probably true. But, the foundation is there for a sweet, one stop shop, web presence. There is no reason to NOT have a blog, or an archives of information, or a breaking news feed, or some place on your site to drive eyeballs to your website during the periods between publications.

Websites can be used as a sort of appetizer for the actual magazine. You can have a blog presence where you cover issues like this, CRB for hire*, where we/you cover the various things that go on in the world that maybe aren't print worthy, or more topical, something that isn't an Evergreen article.

*not kidding we will sell our soul for the almighty $$$$

Cypress Gardens is the jump point, this is the crux of our argument. This is important and as the epicenter of this world you should, maybe the obligation, at least try and provide us with something in-depth or at the very least a current accounting for the unfolding of a very interesting and unique situation that shouldn't require to much work.

There is so much going on within the sport of waterskiing that we just don't know about, a million different angles on issues, people doing unique things and so many different disciplines that all have their unique and interesting things that happen.

Its such a fertile ground for exploring and utilizing the various technological and web based communication mediums would be the perfect avenue for both expanding coverage, reaching new people, hopefully increasing revenue (more eyeballs, advertising revenue) and becoming the singular location for all things waterski!

Its science!


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  2. Anonymous7:53 AM

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