June 6, cruised into theSummer '95, tryin' to figure out how I felt about HotWired, I came across
they fixed these specific problems a few weeks after I wrote about them.
Locked out of information on electronic privacy for want of registration?
Here is Wired casting grave aspersions on government thugs taking our privacy away - but you have to give of yourself to Wired in order to check out their info.
Because we've given up privacy and free wandering to advertisers, instead of the government, that's better?
Where's the beef?
My beef with HotWired stems from the fact that I dig much of their content.
My beef with HotWired stems from the fact that I dig much of their content. They do cool stuff! Each of the sections has come up with something engaging, intruiging, what would be a fascinating part of net culture.But they're not. HotWired should be linked to from across the web - here's a great article, a neat netsurf, some wild art. Part of the fabric - part of the web.
Instead, HotWired is a gated community. One level of enlightenment from a commercial online service. HotWired can pick and choose of the net, but it has been deliberately designed to preclude in-linking to their content.
Nothing on HotWired stays for more than a few weeks, and then its gone, there are no archives, because people at the top want to be able to sell CD-Roms of HotWired content - more viable if its not available online. So my friends at HotWired plug away, designing cool stuff, but they can't build any sort of reputation or body of work, because there is no HotPast.
there are no archives, because people at the top want to be able to sell CD-Roms of HotWired content
Besides, who wants to link to an article when anyone trying to read it has to have a password? That is not the way of the web.
Unless, of course, you assume that every net wanderer has a HotWired account. That sounds like top-down media, not free flow of information.
HotNicheHotWired definitely has its niche. There are hundreds of thousands of clicks made daily on their professionally produced content. Advertisers clamor to pay tens of thousands of dollars a month to advertise there.
In short: subscriber base, bottom line, successful magazine.
I went to work at HotWired with a cast of characters who seemed to largely share a vision of funkified online space. A web site like no other - taking the beauty of the web, and improving it - showing how the net could be even better when the right people were brought together over cool tools.
After playing for a while, building some grand schemes and dreams, the chilly hand of product clenched our pleasant process. We had to batten down the progressive mizzenmasts to be sure that everything blared HotWired, and everything had a sponsor.
HotWired could have been an open-ended techno-savvy webwide collaboration, instead it is an exclusive broadcast channel of mid-size media and marketing.
We were not developing a web site as much as we were perpetuating a brand name and cutting edge reputation. HotWired could have been an open-ended techno-savvy webwide collaboration, instead it is an exclusive broadcast channel of mid-size media and marketing.
They are linked to because of reputation, not content. This is Wired magazine's web site. Not, Hey wow, check out that rad shit on HotWired!
The sad thing is that there is cool shit on HotWired, but you have to play silly games to get at it - on their schedule, on their channel, as a member of their club.
Broadcast media, not the way of the web.