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Thread: Update on issue #9

  1. #21
    Tosai
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    Some dealers that would like to advertise with us simply can't afford to do so (even though I think that we're more reasonable with regards to advertising costs than most others) as they're locked into or strongarmed into supporting " the local" magazine.
    What most of the general public don't realize is that most of the koi and pond supply dealers are small business people. I would love to advertise in Koi Bito and some day maybe I will be able to. I have subscribed to it from the beginning and frankly, if my subscription were due now, I wouldn't even be able to pay for that! I'm rather glad that the issues have been delayed. Maybe I can afford to renew when the time comes.

    I don't mind waiting for such quality.

    Thanks for the hard work, Brian. I do understand.

  2. #22
    Tategoi
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    Brian:

    Keep up the good work... Don't worry about deadlines, I'd rather get x number of copies for x number of dollars than 6 copies a year of advertisements...

    To my fellow subscribers: Brian often mentions the high cost of doing business in Japan, but never really states them... Unless you've actually lived and worked there, it's hard to understand what they are... Here's some examples:

    The 4 bedroom home we rented there cost us $10,000/month ... Not because it was in a posh neighborhood, but because that was the average going rate in 1995 when I moved there... Thank God, the company paid the rent...

    Salaries are often paid by years of service and age of worker...crazy huh! A secretary in our office who was 50 yrs old made $75,000 after only 1 yr of service... My secretary who was only 35 got $60,000 after her first year....

    The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for US Expatriates was $96,000/yr. for a family of 2 (This was in addition to the rent payments, plus free car and gas)...

    Even with these high expenses, our company chose to station us in Japan rather than in the neighboring countries of Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and/or Thailand were we also had offices and manufacturing plants, because it was more cost effective to do business from Japan...

    You want to talk production costs: Our two sons are graphic production artists for a service bureau in NY... Their only job is to take the pictures that ad companies send in, do color separations, reconstitute the pictures and lay them out for printing... They get paid in the high 5 figures for this work...

    These are just a few of the high costs items which are passed down to companies and individuals like Brian... I hope this gives you a better idea of what he's up against...

    Aloha! Mike T

  3. #23
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Brian is a hard worker, man even when I first met him at Momotaro he was doin business for the magazine. Without a doubt Brian is probably the only man I know who can make both sides happy. In our wait that is why this forum was created.

  4. #24
    Sansai
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    You see Brian, most of us here are your supporters. So you should keep going strong. Our bond is our love and passion for koi. Everything else comes second!

  5. #25
    Tategoi jacovors's Avatar
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    How about getting more breeders to advertise.

    I am sure you had a hand in making Momotaro koi and the Bakki Shower as popular as it is today.

  6. #26
    Fry
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    Aug 2004
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    Brian,

    While no one doubts your integrity, I think part of the problem is the expectations that you have helped create. You mentioned a while ago in one of the threads that you were looking at getting more staff in to help and things should be more regular. Also, your subscription page states the following:
    "The magazine is published 6 times a year, every other month..."

    Like others, while I don't mind waiting, not hearing anything at all for 6 months is frustrating and annoying, especially when one sees other ventures such as KOIAUCTION.COM happening. While not necessarily the case, it gives the impression that your focus is moving elsewhere (I may be the only one who has this impression!!).

    A post was put on this forum 5 months after the spring issue asking about when the next issue was due and there was no comments for 12 days until I added to it and bumped it up.
    5 Months now since last issue of Koi-Bito

    I think some feedback on progress or delays would help ease the pain!

    I hope you see this as a positive rebuttal, which is its intention!

  7. #27
    Jumbo Bern's Avatar
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    Hi Brian,

    Thank you for putting us in the picture. I think the detail you have provided will go a long way in explaining the issues to all.

    While we have all been taught a lesson in publishing please learn one about customer communication. Next time you are heading for this type of situation be one jump ahead and post a warning on here.

    Glad to hear number 9 is on its way, and glad to hear that Bito has a future.

    Best regards
    BERN

  8. #28
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waynej4
    Like others, while I don't mind waiting, not hearing anything at all for 6 months is frustrating and annoying, especially when one sees other ventures such as KOIAUCTION.COM happening. While not necessarily the case, it gives the impression that your focus is moving elsewhere (I may be the only one who has this impression!!)
    Hi Wayne and thanks for the feedback.

    As I've mentioned before, while the advent of the internet has been a positive thing, it's hurt advertising revenues for magazines...especially koi magazines. Where print was the only medium for promotion before, now professionals can utilize boards such as this one (whether they are conscious of it or own up to it is another issue) to perform the work that only a print ad used to perform.

    To provide added value to those that graciously advertise with me, I came up with the concept of thekoiauction.com over two years ago. Most of the development work was done at that time, but the design only recently. If you notice, only those that advertise with Koi-Bito are eligible to auction koi off. Since most of the work was done a long time back, it's taken a minimal amount of time to get it up and running...only the design work was left.

    The new auction site allows me to offer my advertisers new value, which helps me, and ultimately helps you as subscribers by keeping operations in the black. Since it's inception, around $6,000 US worth of koi have been sold. I hope this explanation balances out the negative perception that it seems you may have had concerning it. I've not dropped my focus from Koi-Bito to the auction site. Definitely not because it's more lucrative, because it's not...please don't let your mind wander down that path. The new site is intertwined with the magazine as far as advertisers go, and it's one of the things I'm doing to provide more value to advertisers.

    Best regards,
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  9. #29
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Roger,

    Again thanks for the insights. I'll post some responses to your other points as it's late, and you make them sound a little simpler than they really are.

    I'm not sure if you are the same Roger, but are you sure that you didn't mail me with an offer to perform layout services (for a fee) and then take an opportunity to blast me here:

    http://www.koi.com.my/cgi-bin/koifor...cgi?post=27304

    when no business came your way?

    Perhaps it may be somebody else entirely, but to offer someone business services and then criticize them publicly after your business has been declined goes beyond dubious...it's completely unethical, not to mention unprofessional. My apologies if you are indeed not that person, but I have a rather good memory for actions that I find unfair and this one sticks out in my mind pretty well even to this day. Slagging off a prospect that rejects your first offer isn't a good way to do business in my book.

    Again, if I have you confused with someone else, then accept my sincerest apologies.

    rgds,
    Last edited by Brian; 07-20-2005 at 12:25 PM.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  10. #30
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerMoo

    Brian, who is Brian Muffin in the 1st place? He is just another person who shared your first name, that's all. He is not a publisher, he don't publish any koi magazine or books on koi, but just another ordinary serious koi hobbyist in USA. He contributed to our local web pages and usually we locals will replied in jest and that's why I posted - the other Brian! Anyway no offend was meant in that posting, Brian - so please don't take it so seriously. That's not a criticizm! It was written out of jest, like all the other postings in that thread!
    Roger - I've no idea who BranMuffin is, but that's a bit besides the point. He didn't bring my name up, but you did. I can't see any reason why you would pull my name out of thin air to make a comparison to his design talents.

    Well, well, Brian, sorry if you took offend for what is written out of jest, but then again that was my personal opinion on some magazines layout as a professional who runs a successful business in my country since I am 23. Today I am 49. Anyway my apologies, if that 1 lined sentence offended you.
    Roger, I don't take issue with the jest you made. I will be the first to agree with you that issue #1 was indeed poorly laid out, but then again it was a first effort and has improved. What I DO take issue with is that you made this statement, unprompted, no less than two weeks after propositioning me to do the layout work for a fee. If you were simply a hobbyist with no business interest to be had, then the comment would have been accepted as you say "graciously and in good faith". I'm always open to criticism as long as it seems genuine. Many of the subscribers have made valid criticisms in this thread, and I do accept them gratiously. Given the fact that you propositioned me for some business shortly before posting the criticism you made on the Malaysian forum to me seems loaded no matter how I look at it. I would think that an impartial observer would at least think it suspect.

    But then again, it is just a one lined sentence, but if I am that bad with ill thoughts & intentions, the criticisms would have gone into extended pages, criticizing how bad your magazine is, how lousy its contents are, etc; but I didn't do that - I just said the graphic layout is bad, that's all, out of jest to another Brian. Just compare your initial issue with other launched magazines/your current issues and you could see the difference. The pages are just not layed out properly for easy reading. Didn't I commented that the contents are of qaulity & superb, etc in this current posting?
    Roger, again...it sure seems like sour grapes to me. I don't see what I had to do with the jest since none of the other posters to that thread had mentioned me or KB to begin with.

    Let's not being so petty, let's not be narrow-minded and let's not form conclusion that I am not successful in my business. Don't I take offend on that? After my business has been declined and went beyond dubious...? Sorry, I did not receive any replies from you declining my offers, or is it you are now seriously thinking about it and that's why you posted your whims and fancies for the delayed dued magazines. My, my.
    Roger, I never came to any conclusion with regards to your success. And I don't feel I'm being petty either. Taking a pot-shot over a lost business opportunity doesn't register as petty in your opinion though? I hope that you are indeed successful and have the best intentions toward you. I did indeed reply and say that I didn't require the services at the time, but would keep you in mind when I did. One thing that I don't understand though is that you first posted here that you had no idea of whom I might be referring to, and that it most certainly wasn't you...why has the story changed now? Whims and fancies...I like that! I hope you don't mind if I use that sometime.

    Even if I did make an offer to you, it's out of good intention, simply becos I wanted to see a good quality magazine improve much further. If you would have kept that email I send you, please read it through again. All the compliments I laid across to you or probably you are used to seeing only compliments like what was posted here and refused to accept some critics to a point. If someone wrote and commented on more good points than bad, I think you should accept it graciously and in good faith and try to improve on it. Comeon, Brian, let's not be so childish as to take that 1 lined sentence as me criticizing you in the public, but I do noticed from your postings in Koi-Bito that you are a rather sentitive guy. Btw, do you understand local Asian cultures well enough or is it the usual way an American behaves.


    Roger, again it just seems odd to me that the proposition and criticism occurred in such proximity to one another. No matter how you try to slice it, commenting on the poor quality of a potential client's work is not good business etiquette. Your public comment precluded any possibility of doing business together, and while you're free to make comments as a disinterested 3rd party, making them as a party that has/had something to gain is indeed dubious. I'm actually rather thankful to you for providing me with the opportunity to provide the background on that particular post. I do accept your compliments graciously, but can't help but see the criticisms you made on the other forum as anything but loaded. Let's not get into the cultural thing here...last time I checked, I was living in Asia. Anyone who knows me (including many "local" Asians) will tell you that I'm not culturally ignorant. Do you understand how to do business in Japan? Public criticisms of your business prospects is pretty unacceptable in any of the cultures that I'm familiar with. The other "Americans" on this forum can answer your other question for you, but I've spent most of my adult life here in Japan. BTW, just to make sure that I wasn't being "culturally insensitive" here, I asked a Singaporean Chinese colleauge here for his take on the matter. His view on the matter was markedly different from yours, so I don't see what culture/race/national origin have to do with the issue at hand?

    Perhaps I may be a bit sensitive, but I'll let 3rd-party perspective make whatever conclusions on this matter that it may.

    Anyway Brian, I offer my sincerest apologies to you if I have offended you in one way or another.
    Thanks for the apology Roger. I hope that you are also open to the genuine criticism that I had to offer with regards to business prospects. My apologies if I've offended you in any way.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

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