Campaign reporter Jeremy White cops an eyeful of Sleazenation.com.
Magazine websites are nothing new and generally nothing special. With the vast number of them floating in cyberspace at the moment, it's all too easy to get jaded.
What with the obligatory 'babe' gallery (almost acceptable office porn) complete with 'Jug-O-meter'. Or the sports profiles (always scintillating stuff). Or sex tips from some bloke who resembles a dodgy uncle who lingers just that little too long on the shower pages of the Argos catalogue.
Sleazenation.com dares to be different. Thank God.
Right from the moment the page opens, you know you are going to get something new. The simplistic, yet effective, design and innovative use of advanced graphics (stuff moving about to you and me) immediately set the mood for the rest of the site.
The designers have had a field-day on this portal - virtually everything moves or squeaks or does something. But it's not overdone. You don't have to shut your eyes, wait for the room to stop spinning - and then puke.
The movement and animation actually guides you around the pages, inviting you to take a peek at other sections just to see what they will do.
One fantastic element is the built-in jukebox, supplied courtesy of Mute.com.
If the mood should grab you, you can listen to the likes of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Buzzcocks or Moby while you read about the dirty stuff that people get up to in Stepford. The guys at Swinstead Publishing don't miss a trick here either - in the music section, you can flip through to Netbeat.com and start shopping.
Bravely, Sleazenation.com has taken the decision to put virtually all of the offline content in the magazine on to the site. This is refreshing but I wonder if it makes sense commercially?
The recommended links are cleverly sectioned into 'amusement', 'honesty', and 'thought' - bizarre headings that again insist you have a butchers.
All in all, the site is a breath of fresh air in a tired, oversubscribed market. It's easy to navigate, very attractive to the eye (and ear) and, most importantly, has content that is interesting enough to draw in the user and hold them there.
If, like me, you're bored of the generic i-D, FHM, Maxim, Later, GQ and Esquire clones, you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Give it a bash.
Owner Swinstead Publishing
Site positioning Internet platform for the magazine
Launched February 2000