Undoubtedly as most RugKazbah.com readers must know there is a new kid on the rug magazine block.
A new magazine devoted to oriental carpet collecting, “Carpet Collector” has emerged.
This happened sometime ago and RK has patiently watched to see what if anything this development means.
Actually now that we have seen 4 issues we’d have to say next to nothing and, while the publishers Tim Steinert and Mike Passmann clearly know the ins and out of the publishing business, they demonstrably do not know anything about the business of collecting antique and historic rugs, flat-weaves and textiles.
This, more than anything, will be their most difficult obstacle in making a success of the venture.
So far “Carpet Collector” magazine does nothing but repeat the obvious, and repeat it with nary anything novel or any new twist.
The magazine’s copy centers on reviews of events in rugDUMB, the vast majority of which have about as much import as reporting a snow storm in Antartica or another hot day in the Sahara. This type of reportage basically fills the magazine’s 80 or so pages.
Then there are twenty or so full-page “ads” showing a single example from well-known dealer’s stocks. We presume these are “ads” that are paid for, or are they freebies and considered copy by the editors?
Hard to tell, well at least for anyone who is not a crystal-ball gazing.
Then, of course, there are some few real ads sprinkled throughout the magazine but hardly enough to pay for the enterprise in our opinion.
Also speaking of paying for the work that goes behind such an effort, the paper, ink, etc the magazine has been given away for free.
And as we have heard it the publishers were even sending it by post for free to anyone who asked.
Now that’s the old dope-pusher technique to make new clients – try it, it’s free, and then making addicts out of those who take up candyman generosity.
But RK doubts the candy Steinert and Passman are giving away will make even one addict out of those who have seen any, or even all, of their first issues.
We must also call attention to the ‘quality’ and expertise of the reviews and articles they have so far cared to publish.
Granted good articles are hard to find in our field (except of course on RugKazbah.com).
And while that rag hali’s reportage is far from Pulitzer prize winning, what Steinert and Passman have so far produced make them, in comparison, appear so.
In their latest issue, 4/2012, the cover article dealing with the parentage of the “Kepse” gol made RK wonder if the lack of proper documentation the author, Siawosh Azadi, advances for his “theory” is due to poor German/English translation or his inability to provide any?
We could go on but feel we are beating a dead horse, and who really wants to do that?
Surely not RK, and we are not being sarcastic.
The carpet-collecting field desperately needs attention and publicity to raise awareness for the masterpieces weavers have produced for centuries, and “Carpet Collector” magazine could be just what the doctor ordered.
However, and this is a big however, the barely, read hardly, acceptable level of editorial expertise Steinert and Passman have chosen to use is surely not the medicine any top-notch MD would prescribe.
No, what is between the glossy covers of “Carpet Collector” and on its almost as glossy pages will never help to accomplish that goal. Not today and not in a million years.
RK has had several email exchanges with Steinert.
In the last one, in which he replied to our asking what success in this venture would mean to him with “If the magazine makes even one reader happy…” we silently questioned whether he was pulling our leg or seriously out of touch with reality.
We have heard Steinert’s family has deep pockets and he has good experience publishing other magazines. These are important resources any would be publisher could possibly have.
But money and experience in doing magazines for other fields surely does not guarantee success in our field, and RK seriously doubts Steinert will be successful in creating both competition for that rag hali and more importantly carving out for “Carpet Collector” a niche that will be lasting.
This short review of “Carpet Collector” magazine is not meant to be a hit piece, to discourage Steinert and Passman, or in general to be a negative smirch on its shiny white cover.
Far from it, it is meant to be a truthful assessment; and really now when has RK ever sugar coated our opinions and words?
Never, and we are not going to start now.
And for those of you who might feel RK should just keep quiet and not point out rugDUMB’s faults or those of people like Steinert and Passman, who are “trying” to do “something".
Let RK open yer peepers and inform you keeping quiet is the main ingredient that put the DUMB in rugDUMB.
Will Steinert and Passman’s “Carpet Collector” magazine be a success?
RK sincerely doubt it and gives it about as much chance as an ice cube on a hot stove.
But if one measures success as Steinert did, ie making even one reader happy, then naturally “Carpet Collector” will be a resounding one.