Issue 9 Contents


What is Talk Magazine?

What is Talk Magazine? It's an effort by Miramax to circumvent the nasty chore of paying writers from magazines for material developed into films. Why pay someone at the New Yorker half a mill for a story when you can pay some cheesy writer a cheap wage and own the material yourself? You can see the esteemed editor Tina Brown tawking about Tawk at the beginning of the Shakespeare in Love video. Tina may be a seasoned editor, but I know a few seasoned whores who appear more discerning.

So I went to the Talk magazine website and it's full of crappy marketing efforts and empty on content. "Welcome to the Talk Marketing Website," it has the audacity to proclaim. Then you are encouraged to "join Talk's interactive marketing panel."

interactive (ntr-ktv)

1. Acting or capable of acting on each other.
2. Computer Science. Of or relating to a two-way electronic or communications system in which response is direct and continual.
3. Of, relating to, or being a form of television entertainment in which the signal activates electronic apparatus in the viewer's home or the viewer uses the apparatus to affect events on the screen, or both.

Unfortunately, there's nothing interactive about the Talk Board. It a form for submitting your opinion. You cannot recall your posting, read the postings of others, or get a response to your posting except the following:

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 20:17:23 -0500
Subject: A note from Talk: Can we send you a free t-shirt?

Dear Talkboard member,

Recently, you responded to a talk reader survey and were automatically
entered to win a Miramax video library (5 winners in all). We thank you
your interest and for taking the time to answer our questions.

I didn't respond to a survey. I submitted that I thought their website was feeble.

However, we've recently experienced technical difficulties with our Online
survey and are asking you, as a valued reader, to come back and fill out
survey again. It'll take you two seconds and hey, who doesn't love a good

I am not a valued reader.

Here's the address:

For your time and effort, we will automatically double your entry in the
Miramax video library contest, and we'll increase the number of winners to
20-boosting your chances of winning. Because we need your responses ASAP,
as a bonus, we'll send the first 750 respondents a sleek talk T-shirt
by the way, is considered a great conversation starter.

Simply visit, fill out your
responses, and you're done!

Oh-don't forget to include your name and address in the space provided so
that we can send you a talk T-shirt.

Thanks for your time,

Talk Marketing Department

p.s.  If you don't choose to respond again, you will still remain entered
in the contest.

Below you can read my responses.

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 12:53:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: A note from Talk: Can we send you a free t-shirt?

Still waiting for you to respond to my complaint
I must not be such a "valued customer"
I never signed up for this list and I plan to post on my website
that not only does TALK ignore comments/complaints, but it signs you up
for a mailing list so it can steal marketing information instead of
service its readership.

That's a "no" to filling out your survey and a "no" to  your cheesy
t-shirt offer

 You should be ashamed

Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 10:35:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: A note from Talk: Can we send you a free t-shirt?

still waiting for an apology for your rude behavior and refusal to
respectfully respond to complaints

Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 15:39:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: A note from Talk: Can we send you a free t-shirt?

Gee, this is the 4th time I've received bullshit email from you people
after reporting several complaints.  Apparently, you don't respond to
complaints unless it's to solicit marketing data.  Why don't you take a
look around for my previous emails address my complaints before you offer
cheesy promotions to a hostile target.

The only reply I ever receive is a repeated attempt to get me to fill out the survey. I refuse to even look at it. You do the same.

The last line on the main Talk page reads, "Look for our complete editorial website in 2000." Do you know what year it is? It leaves me thinking we'll explore the meanings of "complete" and "editorial" in our next issue.