Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yet Again....

Ok, I'm starting to think I have really bad breath or something. I'm reading all about the new MTH Toyfair catalog. I go out to check the MTH website....


Go to check out the Club Website/Area.


Would you not sweep the front of your building? Do you not blow snow off your sidewalk and driveway? Do you not pay your bills (even after the second shut off notice)?

Ok, if all those things happen, then why the hell can't companies maintain their websites? It has to be the cheapest form of marketing communications that reaches the vastest numbers of people instantly.

As you can tell, this is a pet peeve of mine. If you look at an organization like the TCA, disregard all the comraderie and meets and rules that it brings, it has done one thing right; publish an incredible document called the TCA Quarterly that has great news, interesting articles and usually something for everyone. Been published now for over 50 years.

So how come MTH can't maintain their website? And I don't want to just pick on MTH, Lionel's leaves much to be desired as well. It changes only slightly more often and they've tried to do a few ground breaking things like having Jerry Calabrese do a live chat. Imagine that, live chat! Why, I've never used a computer to chat with anyone before!

Ever try to download a DCS upgrade from the MTH site? It's a friggin hassle!

Why am I picking on these guys? Well, because trains are my hobby, I really enjoy them and the amount of information out on the web that's current just sucks. So I go to these websites to see what's new in these companies and I find out nothing consistently. I like both of their products, I hear from their staff at shows that exciting new products are coming. Yet those products are typically not represented to anyone's benefit on their website.

I end up going out to eBay to look at trains and get irritated by people mis-representing items they know diddly about.

Let me make a suggestion: not everything needs to be a huge bang. Sometimes, a little bit of information is just as good as a new catalog. Pictures from your factories? How about an interview with your chief materials planner? How about an interview with the guys that do your sound? Believe it or not, we're all interested in seeing how the boiler on a 392E or an O gauge Premier engine is made.

I'd love to know how you decide what to make and when? There are a ton of interesting things you guys do. BE CURRENT!!! The tools are all out there to do this well and cheaply.

Be original and show us the voodoo that you do so well!


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