More on Web Design Publications | September 24, 2005
A couple of weeks ago I bemoaned the lack of a good publication in the UK aimed at people in the interactive sector. While there are a lot of hobbyist magazines packed full of software reviews and “how to build a website for under £100” articles, there is very little aimed at the professional sector.
I guess Digit is probably the best Industry magazine around at the moment. While it does have its share of software reviews, you are more likely to see reviews of pro packages such as Softimage than hobbyist applications such as Freeway. It has a good good mix of news, articles and showcases, focused more towards the professional user. My main complaint is that the magazine has a big 3D bias, so you don’t often get that much web based info. However its worth a read on a Sunday morning if you happen to be in the coffee shop in Borders.
The other Industry magazine I occasionally read is Computer Arts. While it has its fare share of beginner tutorials, it does sometimes have interesting articles, interviews and portfolio pieces. However like Digit with its 3D bias, Computer Arts has a very strong Illustration and Photoshop Bias.
The magazine I most read is Mac User. Despite being a Mac magazine, it actually gives me a better overview of what is going on in the digital world than either of the previous magazines. The same is true of the Guardians excellent and recently re-branded technology supplement.
And it struck me, I don’t want a web design magazine at all, what I want is a good digital lifestyle and technology magazine. Magazines based on professions are always too niche and never really get the balance right. Sure web designers want to know about the latest software or techniques, but that’s not all they want to read about.
I want to read about the latest gadgets like the release of the iPod nano, about new technologies such as WiMax and about how industry is using blogging in new and interesting ways. I want to read interviews with people from flickr and google and articles about top web design and development teams. I want to read about the latest computer games, virtual currency and how some have a higher GDP than Singapore. I want to read reviews of the conferences and hear peoples thoughts on web 2.0. I’d like to see reviews of new sites, weblogs and podcasts as well as books and software.
Basically what I want is a professional and well written version of a blog, preferably in paper format. A periodical that covers all the week or months top digital lifestyle and tech stories in an intelligent and well written fashion.
Why not just read blogs? Well to be honest I do, but with around 1000 unread posts in my RSS reader, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find the time. What I’d like is a group of professional writers with the time that only a commercial enterprise can give, to filter all this information and provide me with only the information I really need to know. Being a commercial operation they would have more time than the average blogger so could report from conferences, visit design firms and interview interesting people. More time could be spent on crafting and researching articles, taking to the people that matter, rather than shooting off a quick blog post in 10 minutes of dead space. Also sometimes its just nicer to sit down with a cup of tea, away from your computer and read a nicely designed piece of print.
Traditional media probably aren’t going to do this, so maybe it is time for a group of talented bloggers to move from personal publishing to professional publishing. A few bloggers like Ben Hammersley have made the jump and the world of tech journalism is much better for it.
Posted at September 24, 2005 10:00 AM