Thanks so much for your magazine; it is hope! I have a question about the distribution of the magazine. It seems like a gap exists: you are selling network marketing as a concept through a magazine that is not marketed through a network marketing system. I've puzzled this for about half a year: how could sales of Networking Times be done through network marketing? The only thing I've come up with is to have a multilevel system parallel and in addition to the system of distribution you now use. Why don't you ask your readership how this could be done? I think it would jump subscriptions, since we all believe in this marketing process.

In the present system, I have recommended enthusiastically the magazine--but if it were a multilevel, I would have sold many people by now!

--Jerald Nelson


John David Mann responds:

Not many people know this, but when John Fogg, Randolph Byrd and I first launched Upline magazine, way back in January 1990 (it was then called MLM Success), we sold subscriptions to the magazine through a multilevel compensation plan. We paid out commissions on a fairly simple unilevel pay plan for the first five months. By May of that year, we had made a new friend (Richard Brooke) who convinced us we were nuts (which we were) and that if we dropped the plan, things would take off (which we did--and they did).

People voted with their subscriptions: they wanted the journal--but they didn't want it packaged with a competing compensation plan.

However, in a very real sense, we do market our magazine "through network marketing": not through an independent, competitive network, but through your network! More than any other marketing channels by far, we rely on your enthusiastic recommendation to grow our ranks of subscribers. And if the prospect of compensation would motivate you to turn recommendations into sales, know this: you ARE compensated? How? By creating an organization of better educated and more committed networkers!


Afraid of a Little Spam, Eh?

Funny, I've been networking for over 30 years, and yet it was only this week that I discovered there was a magazine called Networking Times. It was there, for the first time: a lonely copy on a lost-in-the-suburbs newsstand shelf...far from High Times or the L.A. Times. Just goes to show....

I have a question for you: why don't you have the courage to list email addresses for your contributors and staff? Afraid of a little email, are you? Afraid of a little spam? Interesting that such advocates of the Net as being such an awesome tool of communications would, in effect, shy away from putting themselves out there in person. Feels a bit like velvet ropes at VIP clubs, don't you agree?

I have a policy: any website that doesn't list a public email address and a snail-mail address, so you can get a geographic fix on its location without having to jump through hoops, is either a dishonest, fly-by-night outfit up to no good, or has a really, really bad webmaster. Online fill-out forms don't count. Those are just a cop-out!

This said, you have an interesting publication, so I'll make an effort to try and find a public library somewhere that holds some of your back issues. But folks, networking works both ways...doesn't it?

--Remy Chevalier,

Environmental Library Fund


Glad you found us; Networking Times has been around for just a year and a half now; it's on the stands at Barnes and Noble throughout the country, probably our principle exposure beyond our web site. Our smaller-than-usual trim size has the happy effect of it being invariably placed at the front of the racks, business/news section.

About emails: on the contrary, not only are we not "afraid of getting a little email," we love it; wish we got more, in fact. Point taken: though we do display the address prominently, we'll put it in our masthead as well. Correspondence to this address goes to all our editors.

As far as individual contributors go, well, that's an individual thing. A quick review of major business magazines on the newsstand, from Inc. to Forbes to Harvard Business Review to Entrepreneur, will reveal that there is nothing remotely resembling a standard practice these days. Some list no email addresses at all (none that we know of do so in their mastheads); fewer than half list contributors' email addresses, and those who do, do so inconsistently.

There actually is an internal logic to how and who we list, but since it is probably not self-evident, here's a chance to explain it. In keeping with our no-opportunity-ads policy (we mention no networking companies by name, to avoid the implication that any articles are thinly veiled opportunity ads), we list contact information (URL or email, usually the former) only for those authors who represent a bona fide generic (non-affiliated) industry service. For those authors or feature subjects whose principle affiliation is with a specific networking opportunity, we don't list contact information. Readers wishing to connect with such a contributor write directly to us, and we pass their information on to the subject. -- Ed.



Zap! Pow!

You know, I have a real is with the word "AWESOME." This seems to be a number one word with network marketers--and it really is such a put-off, when you have been around the network marketing business for a while. I suggest other superlatives should be used, perhaps to better effect...or even no superlatives at all, if possible! I, for one, might be more inclined to bite the bait then.

--Ana Davidson


Couldn't agree with you more. (Although, we did in fact use the word "awesome" several times in a single email promotion recently--the precipitating event which drew reader Davidson's ire. Oops.) Overuse of superlatives is, in our view, only a slightly lesser offense to common sense than the overuse of exclamation points!!! or writing in all capital letters.

However, we would point out one redeeming feature: at least "awesome" means what we mean it to mean: something that commands awe. Far worse are the overused "unbelievable" and "incredible," which, taken literally, mean, "Not to be believed--highly doubtful, probably not true." Is that what we really want people to think about our awesome opportunity? -- Ed.