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IT'S BACK: Sword Buyers Digest - August 2014
August 01, 2014
Well, it was not intentional - but I am pleased to say that after a one year hiatus, the Sword Buyers Digest is back!
And I must say, I have missed writing it - and can't thank those of you who asked about the digest during its downtime or who encouraged me to get back in the saddle and write it again..
So enough pre-ambling, let's get straight into it!
1. From the Desk of Paul Southren
2. SBG Store News
3. Video of the Month
4. Best Forum Posts
From The Desk of Paul SouthrenThere is so match to tell you, so much catching up that needs to be done that to be honest, I have no idea where to begin!
Ok, how about we keep it simple and start at the beginning: you see, there actually WAS supposed to be a September issue of the Digest..
But Phase II of the site expansion and revival ended up being just a tad more complicated (and exciting!) than first anticipated, and right towards the end of the month I came to the shocking realization that there was 48 hours worth of work due in 12 hours time...
SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE..
And I guess that the rest of the story is pretty much self evident.
It was the digest that had to be skipped - and having broken a tradition of more or less continous publication since 2006 or 7 (something like that, the back issues are all listed at the bottom of every newsletter mailout if you want to check, I dare not as it is easy to get bogged down in there! Lol)..
Well, I found that I was getting far better results by operating SBG during this phase more or less under the radar, and quietly we worked away, making SBG and the store mobile friendly, integrating it all with more social media, blah, blah, blah - all the necessary stuff that everyone was doing back in 2013 and earlier this year..
But also a lot of stuff that we are only now (literally) able to reveal that is I guess uniquely SBG...
Like the way we have ended up in a kind of love/hate relationship with Facebook..
Love it or hate it, we pretty much had to join up. But when we started to get serious with Facebook and we realized how, by advertising to specific niche interests within the general sword enthusiast community, we could bring together fans of even the most obscure, previously unappreciated sword type, and help to bring some real color and variety to a sword scene that was becoming all too much either "Katana or Longsword. Khopesh? Isn't that a dagger?"..
Sadly, our first attempt to do so was met by a rather unfriendly email saying our ad was disapproved because swords are, to Facebook, lumped in the same category as pennystocks, pornography, explosives, hate speech, counterfiet goods and tobacco (and then, rubbing salt into an open wound - as we had already been down a simiar road with proboards years ago - they sent us an email saying "why not advertise with facebook?"
"I AM TRYING TO FB! GRR"
Anyway, long story short - we had to pause and re-evaluate pretty much everything we were planning to do with Facebook.
And hopefully, if we can get enough people on board showing they support our view - that swords are no more suitable as a weapon in the age of firearms than a steel chair and that sword collectors are some of the most noble, self controlled, intelligent, responsible and NON-VIOLENT people you could ever hope to meet..
If we can get enough "likes" maybe, just maybe, we can make Facebook see that swords are symbols of chivalry, be it Eastern or Western, ideals all but gone now but so sorely in need of a revival if ever there was a time..
Facebook users, let's expand the discussion (nicely of course!) on the SBGfacebookpage here. We aren't trying to start a revolution, but I really think that if SBG was permitted to freely advertise using facebook, we could do some pretty interesting things to help bring together projects, ideas and groups that otherwise would struggle to ever even find each other.
SBG Sword Store NewsTo say there have been a lot of updates and changes at the SBG Sword Store since the previous issue of the digest is a serious understatement.
From a new responsive design, larger images, credit card processing, gift certificates, facebook sign in, shopper reviews, blah, blah, blah - its a lot more like a modern webstore is supposed to be.
But the most exciting developments I think are the new product lines being selected and added, and the new consolidated wordpress blog where we try to keep a public record of it all!
While the wordpress blog is still really in its infancy, it has already taken into itself the previous store blogs (including all the custom katana blog posts), and promises to explore new directions in a way that I guess is uniquely SBG.
In the meantime, there is one new product that I just have to mention here, as even on the blog its launch coincided with a few other products, when really it deserves a little more attention, as in a way it was a return to our roots..
I am talking about of course the latest addition to the SBG family of swords, the custom katana LITE! (pictured below)
Extensive tests by our North American Sales Manager, Marco Sainte, were conducted well before this product was ever listed - and it has proven to be an extremely fast and lightweight blade that has surprising resiliance (though naturally, not to anywhere near the same level as the T10 classic model).
There are only a few more days left to get in on this, the first batch, and to be honest, it isn't THAT new..
We know the people who make the blades, the forge, the fittings (they are the old fittings from the early custom katana!) and the blades, well, Marco and his friend Nick took some raw video footage, so see for yourself!
Custom Katana Lite Prototype Testing
Video of the MonthWith the last of our own Giant Swords, the Krom Killers down to the last 10pcs and on closeout, this man's words echo true "it's too hard for production companies to make Giant Swords"..
But to me, this video has a deeper meaning. It is perhaps, where I would be today if I had not moved to Japan and encouraged others to pick up the torch.
Best Forum Posts
SBG Forum: Most Embarassing Thing You Stuck a Sword In
The OP starts of with a tale of woe, and the results of a brief encounter of a Jin Shi Jian with a whirling dervish of a ceiling fan...
SBG Forum: Loose Leather Scabbard?
Shim it! (even without a wooden core).. It's easier than you might first think..
SBG Forum: Training with GIANT Swords!
All this talk of Giant swords makes one wonder just how one might actually wield one without tearing your shoulder cuff clear off..
SBG Forum: Members Cutting Party Pics
I can't think of a better use for pool noodles this summer. Get some ideas (and drool at the yummy party food!) for YOUR Next (or first) cutting Party..
Well, that's it for our "comeback" issue.
To be honest, originally I had intended it to be a tad longer, with a little more in-depth exploration of the changes taken place to date, and the changes to take place from a new foundation..
Lesson learned - backup frequently and never move your left hand, as the thing has a life of its own and somehow found a way to push a mysterious button (or combination, to my dying day I will never know exactly what I pressed) and delete 8 hours of work in a split second..!
Guess we will have to save it all up again for next issue, planned for Sept 14, not 15 - but let's see how we go.
Thanks for reading and for the pleasure of your company. HAPPY SWORDENING and chat again SOON!
Your Friend in Swords,
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