Paul Syrysko says there is much to admire about the Guardian’s new Net
Hit the button and up comes a graphic proclaiming: ‘The Gua-rdian On-
Line on line.’ Eh? Although I first thought the Guardian’s legendary
typo gremlin had re-emerged as a computer virus, this sorry state of
affairs is clearly a consequence of knicker-twisting over the name. The
result is a Net manifestation called G02, as in go2.guardian.co.uk.
Groan. It must have taken hours of valuable management time to arrive at
this miserable pun of truly Spud-U-Like proportions.
It’s unfortunate, because at the heart of G02 is writing par excellence.
G02 comprises chunks of Thursday’s newspaper supplement - confusingly
called ‘on-line’ - mixed with items of relevance from the main part of
the paper. The result is content that is in perfect tune with a
technically literate Net audience. The bite-sized feature style is
eminently suitable and just about readable onscreen.
Skimming the launch helping, I found that 25 per cent of the top 200 US
brands are promoted online, and that 7 per cent use the new Web
consultancies rather than agencies. Other morsels include an item on
million-year-old mushrooms. Whether this related to another story on
scientists locating the part of the brain associated with
hallucinations, I don’t know.
Certainly, something must have inspired G02’s Woolworth Skool Crayon
graphics. Top marks to G02 for thinking so hard about a classic Net
conundrum - the speed/quality pay-off. But no points for the result,
which was all speed but little pictorial quality.
Nevertheless, G02 seems an agreeable dessert to my menu of online
titles, which range from Ad Age to Hot Wired. Ditch the crayons for
something a little more handsome and I’m sure advertisers will flock to