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Undercurrent is Temporarily Suspending Publication

Discussion in 'Dive Industry News' started by KathyV, May 13, 2020.

  1. Cert1967

    Cert1967 Let's Go Skiing ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Vail, Colorado
    Me, not a subscriber. A diver, just as you are - from junior year in high school, 1967, Lake Michigan was my first open-water dive.

    Wife, yep she pays UC - doesn't seem to read it much.

    You have formed your opinion of UC's subscriber's satisfaction with the publication from SB? OK, neither of us would seem to have access to UC's numbers or user satisfaction.

    My guess is that their numbers have trended down over the years. Why? Hard to compete with free internet reviews. Their reviewers - often without sufficient demographic and dive history information that would give context to their reviews could be better. Sometimes, I think they are well of the mark with their reviews. Others may not.

    When I look at UC. Bantin's writing is the most interesting to me. He's old-school, but he has done lots of big diving.

    The UC model is under attack from the web - SB being a prime example. Free vs. Paid - who wins? Paid goes bust - we know this when we look for the newspapers that used to land on our driveway. Hey, when's the last time you read Time or Newsweek? UC's articles often seem to be lifted from SB. When published, they are just like day-old fish. And there is no follow-on, like on SB.

    SB or UC, who has better reviews from divers? Certainly subjective, but SB seems to have more and better reviews. With the poster's history, you get a better 'background' on SB for the review. And the SB reviewer is most often going to spots that are on the board's radar.
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  2. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    Well, I have to give you credit, you sure seem to have thought this through.
  3. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Just out of curiosity, how much does a subscription to Undercurrent cost?

    Yeah, I know it's the principle of the thing and all, but is it enough to matter to anyone other than the publisher hoping to keep enough working capital on hand to resume his operation before much longer?
  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA

    There isn't really a magazine - it's just a website and email list.

    You can't create a new subscription right now.
    ibj40 and chillyinCanada like this.
  5. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Thanks, Kelemvor.

    [sarc]I knew there had to be huge sums of money involved to cause so much dissatisfaction. [end sarc]
    shoredivr, tridacna, StefinSB and 2 others like this.
  6. John Bantin

    John Bantin Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: London
    The subscription is for the monthly newsletter (now temporarily in abeyance). You can see previous examples of this newsletter (some call it a magazine) by going to the web site (.org) Subscribers continue to get an extended email twice a month no charge and continue to have access to previous newsletters from over many years. They also get access to Undercurrent's specialist diving feedback from other subscribers and can post their own reports on dive trips/resorts/liveaboards. Non-subscribers (who sign up for it) get an abbreviated version of the emails. Enjoy!
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Different strokes for different folks. Some people are addicted to what the hoy paloy write. Others want to read a bit more structured matter. It's a big web and there's room for all of us here. I can't remember how many people have suggested that we make ScubaBoard a paywall site, and that would simply kill us. Even as they suggest it, my eyes go wide and my head shakes violently side to side. Might as well suggest I cut off my nose. It ain't happening.
    Ben Davison likes this.
  8. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    I subscribe and find it worthwhile. On the subject of how UC compares to reviews on Scuba Board and others, it's different and thus supplemental. Which is 'better' depends on what you want.

    A Scuba Board trip report can be a few photos or a video, or a brief text report, on up to an extended 'destination guide' or anything in between. They're scattered across the forum but you can dig with either the forum search function or use Google.

    Undercurrent trip reports follow a tightly defined format plus section for free-form narrative input, and are quite organized so if you want to find reviews on the Galapagos Aggressor III from the past 4 years with star ratings listed, and see listings of competitors and their star ratings while you're at it, that's quick and intuitive to dig down and get.

    Scuba Board trip reporter experience varied very widely; we see reports by newbies, intermediates like me still hoping to crack the 500 dive mark, and some well over 1,000 dives. UC trip reporters tend to list higher dive counts on average in my subjective opinion, and often well-traveled prior dive histories.

    When I'm researching a destination, I want both.

    As for an earlier point about the pressure on paid media vs. free media, that is real. A number of paid offerings still exist (I have a digital subscription to a newspaper in this state, and Apple's News + service), but I wonder if UC is going to have to come down on that price at some point.
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I'm with @drrich2 UC and SB offer complimentary information and both are very helpful. I have subscribed to UC for about 20 years. I have been a member of SB for 16 years and was a lurker for a year or 2 before that. When I am planning a trip to a new area, I search both for trip reports.

    On UC, you have access to all reviews since about 2002. Some of the reviews are ancient and outdated, many are quite contemporary. Many well known operators today have continuous reviews since 2002. Some popular destinations have many reviews; Bonaire 498, Cayman Islands 926, Cozumel and Yucatan 950. You are able to email the author of a review directly from the post if you have questions

    The reviews on SB are less structured and a bit more difficult to search for, generally being found under a country or region. It is extremely useful being able to PM the poster with questions or to post your questions in the thread or forum. SB members have tremendous experience.

    I have used these 2 sources, along with my own focused research, for many years, and have not had a bad trip. I have 31 reports on UC and many on SB, in an attempt to return the favor.

    For those of you who do not already know, @drrich2 is the king of the reviewers. Look for any of his reviews or research notes to accurately help you make your plans. I was lucky enough to meet Richard in person last fall on Bonaire. I hope our paths cross again after conditions improve :)
    gbf, drrich2, Ben Davison and 4 others like this.
  10. Ben Davison

    Ben Davison Registered

    So far, three people have asked for refunds for the remainder of their subscriptions and we sent it. We received more than 100 emails supporting our policy.
    shoredivr, wnissen, tridacna and 3 others like this.

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