Issue 8 Contents


Commercial Mags Suck On Web

We here at Whatever earn few ducats for our efforts. (Perhaps if we put more effort into sales this would not be the case.) Regardless, we post our little pages and hope you enjoy reading them. The rewards lie mostly in the glory of a completed task and an occasional provocative letter from a reader. Nevertheless, the opportunity for exposure to the masses is significant, and we let that butter our bread.

Magazines make their money from advertisers. The income generated by magazine sales wouldn't cover most travel budgets. Publishers take the subscriber list and triple it when providing circulation rates to potential advertisers. Your payment of the cover price guarantees the magazine can tell the advertiser they reach you plus two. Why is it then, that this same concept isn't applied to the web, where word of mouth is stronger than passing paper to the power of three, and advertisers salivate for the kind of specific audience targeting enabled by giving users electronic access to the publisher without the burden of paying to snailmail a letter?

Knowing all this, it really pisses me off that when I'm trying to slack on the web I can't find any major cheese magazines to read. The news magazines do not fit in this cheese category. They have to lure people in with actual content because they know it takes a lot less time to type then it does to type

When I tried, the only article that was even linked connected me to a page reading, "We're sorry, the page you've attempted to reach has moved to People Online on AOL. But there are still a variety of options open to you." These obtions include subscribing to aol or subscribing to the print edition of People. Thanks. (whose goal is probably the same as Whatever's except that pleasing record companies is not something from which we profit) only deigns to provide partial cover stories...dare we suggest this kind of cheap, narrow attitiude is the same that has prevented our talented photographer/writer from securing full-time employment at this auspicious organization?

Next I tried US magazine. Another Wenner media company, the US magazine website offers 20 celebrity photos, some photographer's portfolio (not Mike's), a Sean Penn quote about money, and some health products for sale in addition to the requisite location to which to send your subscription check.

I'm not into most things chick, but I had to have a look at Vogue. The front end has links to a nutrition and fitness section that actually contains more than one article. This must be because it has several sponsors, including but not limited to, Other than that, you're dead in the water unless you want to subscribe, provide them with marketing information (Participate in our poll!), or contact the editors. I did submit a message asking why more articles aren't posted. I'll let you know if they ever reply. I'm not holding my breath.

Vogue's bastard sister Details, follows the CondeNet standard for soliciting money and providing little -- unless an ad for and a weak story about "What Girls Want" can be interpreted as content.

I was about to give up - but WOW!'s actually got horoscopes! And you can enter a contest, read an advice column, address solicitations for confessions and take the thought-provoking "Are you a do-it-on-your-own adult or stuck in run-to-mommy mode?" quiz! We are truly blesssed.

Interview doesn't evern have a website! Just a cheesy subscription solicitation on the website.

In light of the above, the movement to the web of mainstream entertainment magazines seems most inauspicious.