Tuesday, December 14, 2004

More Magazine Suggestions

I felt good ranting about how asinine it was to put the wrong date on the cover of your magazine. Like calling the April newsstand issue "The May Issue". So here are some more problems.

Why must every magazine and newpaper article without exception stop halfway and redirect me to a new page? Why?


Wouldn't it be nice if they didn't do that? I can understand if A) you want to cram a lot of headlines on the first page of a newspaper, and therefore each front page article needs to be continued elsewhere, or B) you're having trouble fitting everything neatly so one or two articles need to be cut up and finished elsewhere. Those things I can understand. But EVERY article in the magazine?

And how about the table of contents. Why is it on page 6? Wouldn't this be satisisfying, just once - you open your magazine - BAM! Table of Contents!

Subscription cards.... in my subscription copy?

Hey editor in chief, isn't it enough that you're the editor in chief? Do you really deserve a whenever-you-feel-like-it column on the FIRST PAGE, wherein you never say anything more substantial than "2004 was a great year to be a wine enthusiast"?

The local news section of the paper? Boooooooorrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnng.

The 3 dense pages of stock quotes in tiny font? Let me be the first person in a G8 nation to point this out: These Pages Are No Longer Necessary. Any real person who still actually relies on the newspaper for his stock quotes is not someone you want to trust with your money. I'd sooner trust my money to a guy with one of those bubble domed telegraph-powered stock quote machines from the 40s with the little white tape that sputters out.

If you're going to direct me to a new page, NUMBER THE PAGES. I know you don't like to put page numbers on, say, an ad; but if your magazine is all ads, like Vogue, then how the hell am I supposed to find the new page? Not that I would, a-hem, read Vogue. Heh heh.

Now USA Today. I admit it, there's a guilty pleasure. It's just so well formatted. And it's so nice and predictable. It's like the McDonalds hamburger of newspapers. It's warm, spongy... well no. But it's concise, no big words, a big 'ol friendly weathermap. A little McNugget of news from each state. (Dayton Ohio is hosting the nerf oylmpics! Get outta town!) And sure, they'll give you an actual article or two about, say Colon Powell giving testimony to some committee. But it won't be a long article. They keep it nice and digestable. Like McDonalds, the nutritional value is negligable - in fact at the end of some USA Todays I actually feel like I know less - but the sense of satisfaction is unmistakable.

Oh, and just about every arts/TV section in USA Today has a guy with a cowboy hat on the first page. Howdy partner!

No comments: