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Old 29.11.2005, 16:29
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Cream Magazine

Did anyone else subscribe to Cream magazine for 2 years like us and recently get the curt letter that they were closing down no more issues... because of lack of support from the market.

Now I know Paulita works hard organising zhic events etc, but I think it was a bit low offerring no compensation at all...

Does anyone know the real story?.. reading between the lines it looked like the initial editor left, the expansion plans were overambitious and the succession didnt quite work out... quality dropped dramatically in the last editions...

Daniel
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Old 29.11.2005, 16:57
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Re: Cream Magazine

That's interesting. I've heard from a few people that their last edition was the best.
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Old 29.11.2005, 17:08
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Re: Cream Magazine

Hi Daniel,

I feel your pain. My personal opinion is that the matter wasn't handled very well, and I made my feelings (and suggestions) known to the relevant person both before and after. So you got a letter? Well that's something, I didn't think a letter went out, I'll have to check my post box.

My feelings were that people would be a lot less angry if they got a very genuine letter of apology *before* the rumours started circulating and people got angry. I understand the fact that they wanted to delay the announcement as long as possible because the people who owed them money would simply default on their obligations if they knew the magazine wouldn't be around to fight them for it.

You are right about the quality. My personal beef was the almost constant grammatical and punctuation errors (even in the very first issue). To be fair to Paulita how can she argue with native English speakers who claim to be professional editors/journalists about what is correct and incorrect? If I were her I would have told some of them to go back to school and learn to punctuate properly, but how can you when English isn't her mother tongue? In further defense of Paulita her English is much better than the average native speaker anyway. She did employ proof readers (even though you'd never guess!!)

I just checked their website, and there still isn't any mention of this or an apology.

I think Paulita did a very brave thing, and stuck her neck out and put her own money on the table to give the (usually ungrateful) ex-pat community something they didn't have. She wasn't the only person who got burned, many people gave their time, energy and love to the project and I'm sure they aren't happy about what happened.

From what I understand Cream was running at a loss right from the beginning. We all know that starting and maintaining a business in this country is incredibly difficult. Costs are high and there is considerable red tape everywhere you look. It's no wonder than the economy has been stuck in the mud for years and innovations seen elsewhere aren't present in our local marketplace. We've all said from time to time "Why don't we have X or Y here - someone should do this". Either everyone is too risk averse, or it just plain wouldn't work here due to the factors previously mentioned.

I think it's a great shame, since I know Paulita I'm both proud of what she's done, and disappointed that the matter wasn't handled in a more mature manner. She's had the chance to comment and respond in other places but has chosen not to do so, at least not with her real name.

Hopefully we can all find it within our hearts to forgive her (and the others) and continue to support other innovators within our rather slack and ungrateful ex-pat community :-)

P.S. She did tell me that from a business point of view it would have worked in another country, but due to very high printing costs (amongst other costs) the number of subscribers required to break even was far higher than she could ever attain. In another country that number of required subscribers would have been far lower.

Last edited by mark; 18.05.2006 at 11:58.
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Old 29.11.2005, 17:12
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Re: Cream Magazine

Sorry - forgot to add one point. Compensation - I guess it would be very hard to do. Since it made a loss and there was about a large number of subscribers there just wouldn't be a way to do this. Of course the number of subscribers isn't published, but let's take a hypothetical number of say, 5,000. If we assume that on average each person would have 50% of their subscription remaining that would mean a refund of 50 francs per peson, or 250,000 francs. That's money that they just don't have. But a heartfelt, timely apology and a good explanation costs nothing...

Mark
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Old 29.11.2005, 17:24
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Re: Cream Magazine

Im not trying to bash Paulita for being entrepreneurial and trying.

You hit the nail on the head.. the communication has been badly handled, and I would have had much more understanding with some of the background you gave above.

Daniel
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Old 29.11.2005, 18:30
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Re: Cream Magazine

As a tip to budding entrepreuneur media moguls, you can actually get printing done very cheap in CH itself, or Austria and Italy and import it, but I guess that is a moot point now.

Re businesses, isnt ironic that CH is full of little shops open about 4 hours a week and apparently selling nothing of much use to anyone that seem to stay open somehow (except of course for one month off in the summer and 2 at xmas), while really useful shops are few and far between.

Take Wollerau where I live:

Useless (to me at least) but thriving:
- music shop selling triangles (yes the one for the kid who had no musical talent), cybals and recorders
- shop which I think sells organic bees wax for epilation (either that or its a front for a strange wealthy religious sect with good tax planning)
- 3 bakeries (one would suffice)
- 2 pharmacies (ditto)
- driving school (not sure my wife would agree about lack of need here)

Useful but totally absent:
- delicatessen and delivery food
- anything open past 3 on Saturday or god forbid Sunday

Daniel
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Old 29.11.2005, 18:50
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Re: Cream Magazine

Hi Daniel,

Good post, and totally "on the nail". I bet those three bakeries all take their summer holidays at the same time as well!

You are right about these strange shops - the best example of this was when I spent a week in St. Gallen. The shop next to the place I was working seemed to contain nothing but what I could describe as "odd junk". I used to look in through the window and wonder why on earth anyone would buy any of the items. A sign in the door read "unregelmässig Öffnungszeiten" (irregular opening times). Needless to say it was always closed. One day an old man arrived and opened the door, then stood in the street looking into the shop window for about 2 hours. Then he locked up and went home. The businesses can only be run as a tax-loss by total fruitcakes (anyone else got another explanation?)

Sorry back to the printing - I guess I shouldn't comment since I don't know anything about this, and I only "heard" this. I think the key thing to remember is that there is also the logistics - not only does it has to printed, but it has to packaged and posted the consumer. Just a couple of extra francs per issue can destroy the whole thing. If it were to printed out of Switzerland it would incurr higher "international" post charges, and of course have to travel through Swiss customs, and I'm sure this wouldn't be straightforward. I myself have printed things in Germany (but recently found a local Swiss company which gives me a better deal) but doing a magazine is another matter. When I subscribed to the Economist I noticed that it was printed in Winterthur, so I guess they probably went with this solution because of the distribution issues.

Mark
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Old 30.11.2005, 10:36
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Re: Cream Magazine

The website is still running, I think. I do believe that it could live on electronically and take input from the writers whom I think were all volunteers? And also carry some advertising and in theory, cover costs. I'm thinking along the lines of Google Adsense, etc.

Like XpatXchange but less up its own ---- and more for the people by the people.

And I thought Swiss had carried the mag on flights for a period?
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Old 30.11.2005, 10:43
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Re: Cream Magazine

Yes the website still seems to be running, and something else may well pop up there, but my main point is that an announcement seems to be missing. I had assumed that a letter wasn't send out at all, but I'm now hearing from a number of people that they did get an explanation letter, and from others that they didn't. So I guess the process of writing to subscribers may have been botched up?

I think if you are thinking that Cream will evolve into something for the people by the people you'll be disappointed.

I wanted something without commercial conflicts of interest or funny business, which is why I started this forum :-)

Mark
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Old 08.12.2005, 15:08
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Re: Cream Magazine

By the way - this thread started to get off topic so I split the rest of it off to a new thread about shopping in Switzerland here:

Shopping in Switzerland

If you want to bitch about shopping stuff, do it on that thread - otherwise we should keep this thread on topic for Cream related messages.

Mark
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Old 13.12.2005, 19:50
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Re: Cream Magazine

It looks like the website has been updated. The events seem to be jam packed with new events, now in both English and German. The subscription button has disappeared, but still easy to find via the sitemap (i guess if you wanted to subscribe you'd end up going to the site map). Ironically a notice appears at the bottom of the form "online requests are legally binding". Hmmm.

Even though the site has been updated there still seems to be no attempt to communicate that the magazine is no more. In fact the previous issue still appears on the front page, but the links lead to a form to buy the restaurant guide instead of the content advertised by the link...

If the site were in fact changing to something else, then one would think this would be stated, rather than pretending (still!) to be something that it isn't...
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Old 14.12.2005, 13:31
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Re: Cream Magazine

how to make friends and influence people.....whatever business model they're working on now, many won't want anything to do with it.
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