Mairi Clark discovers that daily updating and a chat room are vital ingredients to make e-zines tempting

Mairi Clark discovers that daily updating and a chat room are vital

ingredients to make e-zines tempting

Which online magazine do you think is the best and what makes it so


I believe online magazines should provide three things: entertainment,

valuable information and an area to discuss a common interest with other

Net users. None of the UK online magazines do all three, but some

partially achieve it. Viz is one of the most entertaining sites because

it’s funny and takes pot-shots at the Internet industry. The New

Scientist provides an interesting digest of valuable information,

presented in a way that’s involving and easy to use. Unfortunately,

though, none of the UK sites really offer true dialogue with the user,

or attempt to lead chat forums. It’s the US sites such as that

really demonstrate what UK magazine owners should be looking to develop.

Neil Miller Managing partner DNA Communications

Mostly I use the Net to read things you don’t often find elsewhere. But,

among mainstream media, my impressions are that Hotwired has

successfully maintained a position as the Web’s ‘journal of record’

while, this side of the pond, the Times, Electronic Telegraph and New

Scientist stand comparison with the best in the US. One question,

though: are Web pages just too unintrusive to be a really effective news

medium? I mean, how can you search for more information on something

that you don’t even know has happened yet? Hence, for the past few

months, my favourite Internet news source has been IBM’s newsticker

software, downloadable from http://www.infomkt. With this, a

choice of Reuters and other news headlines, updated every ten minutes,

are discreetly scrolled across the top of your PC screen. Clicking on a

headline will take your Web browser to a full-length report on the

subject in question. On balance, I find this software less unwieldy than


Rory Sutherland Head of copy O&M Direct

Like many people in this business I talk Web more than I surf it. For an

online mag to interest me, I have to know that it has been updated since

I last looked - they can get away with once a week in my case. Also, the

goods have to come thick and fast. I’m a fan of the tabloid approach to

Web publishing - big pix, tight text, small files. I’m looking forward

to Web versions of the Sun and Hello! but have more admiration for

online publications that have been originated for the medium. Anorak’s

daily review of the UK press is worth a read ( and I’d

recommend Spanq! (www.spanq. com) for a three-minute, daily updated,

audio Web guide.

Neil Morgan Managing director Cityscreen and the Daily Anorak

There isn’t a single online consumer magazine that remotely interests

me. The medium has thwarted every attempt to make them a pleasure to

look at or read. Photography lacks the resolution of print, text is a

retina-burning irritant, and the whole experience is viewed through a

keyhole, slowly. As online magazines aren’t portable, meaning I can’t

read them at leisure wherever I am, there is no overlap with my existing

magazine-reading behaviour, and therefore no likelihood of them ever

succeeding as a genre. I don’t blame publishers for trying, but if they

understand why their paper magazines are successful, they will

understand why their online efforts are doomed to failure.

Andrew McIntosh Media intelligence manager New PHD

Many people complain that by the time most online magazines download,

they could walk to the newsagent, buy the paper equivalent and be well

into the classified ads. Here are a couple of e-zines that have always

rewarded my patience. Word (http://www.word. com) contains a heady mix

of articles and stories. Full of Shockwave, RealAudio and the latest

html extensions, it’s always on the cutting edge of Internet publishing.

Alternatively, when keeping up with Netscape versus Microsoft or the

latest Java developments, my first stop is Interactive Age

(, a great source of new-media news.

Paul Holt CHBi


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