For Heaven's Sakes, Brent, et al.! No more whining about needing subscriptions and donations! No more whining that M.O. is the only source timely motorcycle information, on the web or in print! This story is FOUR MONTHS OLD!!!. The race weekend was November 16-18, 2000. Where the heck did the March 7, 2001 byline come from? Roadracing World covered this in their January 2001 issue (which was available in mid-December via regular mail subscription and a few days earlier on newsstands!).
So? Where have YOU been? And M.O. is trying to pass this off as news?
As far as your question, the only person you really talk about is Mike Barnes. Mike is a great 250 GP class rider here in the U.S. and has done well in some other classes. Other than that, you didn't really talk about anyone else in the article. You gave a whopping two sentences to the race "itsself" [sic, as spelled in the article--maybe you can take some of the donated money and buy some software with a spell checking function? Just a friendly suggestion...], not even mentioning the race winner, Michael Rutter of England, or that another American, Mark Miller, finished third. Overall, I give the story a D-.
Re: Macau GP: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Slight Retraction...
Well, you did mention GPtech Team co-owner Geoff Maloney. Kudos to Geoff for running a two-stroke roadracing team in the U.S. and for increasing the U.S. presence at the Macau G.P. Other than that, I still give the article a D-.
There is nothing here that implies we are "trying to pass this off as news." The fact that the reader feedback link resides in the news forum is the only link with this story to news.
We, too, had results from the Macau race right after its completion. However, we have lately had a number of requests for stories other than the "usual" bike tests and such. So, this Macau story addresses this void, as does the article on the London bike show.
This story was done to illustrate a side of racing not usually brought to the surface. And with the start of a new racing season right before us, now is as good a time as any to do a story such as this that helps to remind people that racers are more than just people who show up, get on a bike and go fast. Michael Barnes was featured partly because he was the first American on a 500 GP bike to race over there since Kevin Schwantz quite a few years back.
If you don't like the story, that's fine. We cannot please everybody all of the time, after all. But there are surely some people who will find the Macau story of interest.
If I don't like the story that's fine with you because you can't please all of the people all of the time? That is not the problem. No, I don't like it because it is a poor piece of writing. I wasn't complaining that it focused on one rider. I happen to enjoy first- and third-person P.O.V. articles. However, it did fail to give any other results. In fact, it didn't even include comments from Michael about what it was like to actually race against this international field on a far-less than safe track, or whether he enjoyed racing the Honda NSR 500V. Or, does Mr. Maloney think he would field a team at the race in the future? Or, is the dangerous nature of an Armco-lined track too risky to assume responsibility for the well-being of team's racer beyond the inherent risks of motorcycle roadracing?
And, when you put a dated by-line on an article and the body of the text does not otherwise mention that the events described took place four months ago, that implies that it is news. Sorry (Wait--why am I apologizing?), poor journalism all the way around. Rather than your defending it, how about promising to do better in the future?
It's a shame I have to justify a legitimate criticism, Sean. I'm glad they provided some coverage, but they did a poor job of what they did, neither providing race coverage nor good quality human interest coverage. For the unknowledgeable, they pretty much finish reading the story knowing as much about Mike Barnes as they did when they started. Enough said.
Nice TT bike. I can't believe how much air you got in that one photo!
I have to agree with the criticism here. I've defended you guys asking for money a few times and even made some suggestions as to how to bring in some income via other avenues to Mr. Plummer himself. However, it seems that the site seems to be taking a steady decline the further we go into the money issue. The first half of the Supersport shootout was delayed by snow... a valid thing. Where's the second half? The news has been slower than usual... it's never been the first thing as you guys like to say. Then, today I get an email about a chat for the money thing. I show up at the appointed time and no MO reps are there. I email Mr. Plummer and now(6 hrs. later), I have yet to get a reply or hear of this chat taking place. I intended to go into this chat earlier today to get a few questions answered before donating and now this old news combined with a few other concerns has me rethinking.
To Mr. PLummer himself, you once told me you had so many people visit the site per year. I personally can account for about 400 to 500 visits to this site a year at this time. I have a feeling many others in your readership also log on to this site multiple times a day, inflating your numbers a bit. You also said you only needed 10% of the people who stop by a year to pay to stay in business. I can say from my own experiences reading posts and talking to other readers, that you are fast approaching that point. You and your staff have been nothing short of , arrogant, and have done a bit of embellishing to make your site look like it's worth the fee. All this comes with delayed stories, old "news," and continuous news items about needing more cash. Please, don't keep trying to make it sound like you're living out of a dumpster doing a terrible job. Everyone who visits this site would take your job in a second and never look back. As for revenue, you seemed to have pretty nifty MO shirts in one of your videos... are we to pay so you guys can have coats or leathers with the MO logo on them? In the past couple weeks, while we've been left to bask in the glory of your half-shootout, another online publication has reviewed the 2000 vs. 2001 Ducati 996 with none other than Carl Fogarty as a guest tester. For free. You also took a bit of a shot in a published magazine, when they announced the less than supportive results of your subscription poll. An article that seemed to me to be written in a bit of a mocking tone. In short(finally, right?), the quality of this site has gone noticibly down since asking for money. Good sense would seem to say that you would want to display some of these great new things for us instead of performing below par when asking us to go the extra mile for you. Show us something and I'd be willing to give financial support another thought... but these divx movies that play out worse than the MPEG movies(yes, I have a new computer with all the bells and whistles necessary to play the files correctly), and narrated films of things we've already seen seem to be just getting a lot of mileage out of a steadily declining content base. Sorry to bash but that's the way I see it.
Amen! While I was reading this article, I couldn't help but notice it was nearing the end without any mention of the actual race events. Somehow it felt "unfinished".
And about the money thing. I've been a faithful MO reader pretty much since its inception and was ready to give you guys a bunch of cash yesterday. Today at work I read your email about the chat that had apparently been sent less than 2 days prior to the event. What's up with that? If I'd known about it before, I probably would have made sure to catch it. And now, reading other people's comments, it seems it didn't happen anyway. Come on people, get your act together. If you can't, maybe this site really shouldn't be up.
I agree...16 paragraphs of buildup and one paragraph of letdown. Finish the article.
It's true that many of us hit this site several times a day and are inflating the numbers. This is especially true when you have these kinds of forums which encourage people to keep reconnecting to check responses to their posts. I've been visiting this site now for more than a year and have recommended it to several other people. I would be happy to contribute if the services and quantity/quality of articles were enhanced. I check this site frequently (especially during the winter) only to find that there's nothing new for weeks at a time. $50 dollars will buy me a subscription to a good European sportbike magazine which has current reviews, product information, articles of interest and (semi)naked women. You may have to give us a little more if you want more from us.
Interesting that you note the bamboo scaffolding ... one of the first things that struck me when I moved to Hong Kong. But builders here claim the Western style steel-legos are less safe because they don't bend with the wind (this is absolutely true). More important, bamboo goes up in minutes vs. days (you have to see this ... the workers clime up to the end of a 20 foot pole, held only to the lower scaffolding garbage ties, and swinging around, attach the cross-members with more ties. gutsy.
I'm not sure I'd like to race at Macau either, given the nature of the track (let alone the bettors ... gambling is roughly 50% of Macaus economy). But ... you should go up to ZhuHai right across the border ... the track looks fine until you hit the bathrooms (squat toilets ... primative ...ugh!)
Unfortunately, ZhuHai is closed now ... while the Chinese customs officials figure out how to extort more money from the racers. Seems that everytime there is a 'mistake' found in a manifest on one of those big boxes you spoke of, the offending asset had to be confiscated. The customs guys in ZhuHai have the best racing gear around.