these are links I collected from 1994 to about 1995 or 1996. So if they actually work, well, woah!
This is a new publishing medium. This new medium means that people are freed from the usual constraints of publication and distribution costs. These are the people taking advantage of that - publishing a broader range of materials than otherwise might be available, or publishing a more technologically rich publication, or publishing less commercially viable materials.
This page covers web publishering - magaines and e-zines.
- For a studied survey of online media, from a professional perspective, check out Interactive Publishing Alert's web site. They have rated the top online media offerings, based on design, ease of use, performance, interactivity, and advertising and sales (what HotWired won!). They have done a thorough survey of all the major selections, including those on the commercial online services. While they've selected media tied to online services for top honours, their analysis of future trends astutely predicts a move to the web. They reviewed 50 online publications before arriving at their top selections, but only those top six reviews are available online. The other 44 will cost you $495 (visa/mc/amex accepted). Their reviews are also available in the form of a newsletter as well, $195 for e-mail delivery. The reviews are thorough, if I were an exective in this industry, I would probably have my company buy me a subscription. As a po' student, I am glad to be able to read about the cream of the crop on the web.
- For a view of who was on top back when the web was young, check out the Best of the Web Award Recipients from 1994. Some things have changed (Honourable mention given to Adam Curry's mtv.com), and some haven't. It will be interesting to compare the '95 selections to see what comes out in common - who's kept up. Look for the new picks in the spring.
- Netsurfer communications publishes Netsurfer Digest, a weekly survey of the wide web. They have a straightforward listing of new/cool web sites, with descriptions. What you miss is the listings by subject, what you get is frequently timeliness.
- 3W - billing itself both as the Internet with Attitude and the Internet with a Human Face, this site is primarily promo pages for the print magazine. There is a brief synopsis of each of their issues, along with one article from each. Lots of info about ordering various things is available, however. The schitzophrenia of their Internet mission is reflected by their refusal to replicate their content online. Some people are still desparately clinging to copyright, or something, I guess.
- NetGuide, claiming the role of "Your Online Guide" and sizing up to be the TVGuide of the Internet, now has their own web site. Big deal. It really isn't anything terribly enlightening - some old sites, and old news - pretty much a high cheeze to use ratio makes this site only worth visiting as a barometer of the competition to Hot/Wired - what other wired-esque magazines are doing with the Internet. From the looks of it, they're still struggling for a clue. This site seems to be young though, so maybe they will actually do something engaging with their site. In short - no original content, basically a holding place to save face - an online magazine should have a web site right? So that's what they've thrown up.
Some of these have integrated web culture/technology into their publications, while concerning themselves with matters beyond simply cool sites.
- Warning: I work for these people.
- Aiming towards the high end, HotWired is now blazing through the bandwidth. If you can surf HotWired, you can surf any site on the web. To get the most out of this online multimedia interactive magazine, you need forms support, imagemap support, and support for colour graphics, sound, and movies. The opening screens are imagemaps without a text interface. A fast connection makes it that much more bearable. If you've got all this stuff, HotWired is a web expanding view - an exciting web site, and maybe even new media. It is not repackaged Wired content. Rather, it is the first professional, polished web magazine - taking advantage of multimedia and links with a trained, web-wise staff.
- From my web-wide vision, it is indeed an exciting thing. There's few places on the web with a staff working to bring fresh content out like this. There's none that are doing it like HotWired. Each page is well designed and laid out. I love those icons!
- There is an interactive presence at HotWired too, albiet not as much as one would hope. The Threads area promises to be an exciting prototype of linkable, marked-up discussion - UseNet on steroids.
- HotTip: if you have a slow connection, and are looking to skip HotWired's opening imagemaps, you can use Threads to access most all of the content in HotWired. Or, try the HotWired text index, created by a user, not the magazine itself. If this page itself had a faster connection, it would be the superfly hookup!
- HotTip: if you are having trouble with registration, validation, authorization - if you can't get your HotWired account to work, try the cypherpunk account - password is also cypherpunk.
- HotWired will be a magnet for artists and writers who up till now have not seen the web as a viable vehicle for content. The roster of blue-chip advertisers speaks volumes about HotWired's commercial viability. Other magazines and media providers will try to duplicate HotWired. I don't think they could ever match the calibre of people involved in this enterprise and the energy behind it all. There was enough non-corporate energy to keep this thing cool through launch. They would need a lot of cool people and a lot of good energy and web karma to get them to where HotWired is.
- I don't see how HotWired can fail. In a way, it has already succeeded.
- Read a well-thought-out review of HotWired from the Interactive services alert, mentioned above.
- A few of the magazines and books owned by Time Warner have been coordinated at a web site called Pathfinder. Amazing, it's a web site made to look like a magazine. The front page could be a page in Time, with a huge imagemap graphic with blue words underlined in it. A strange hybrid indeed.
I was initially unimpressed by the site. Considering the resources at their disposal, it's not that slick. And some links still don't work for me (404 errors). Overall, I'm glad to see more information and resources on the web, especially something as newsworthy and up to date as a national news magazine. It is obvious that they are just testing the waters though - recycling old content to see how to manage publishing on the web.
I have heard tell that theirs is purely an experimental service - that as soon as they can easily charge, they will.
- Time Magazine
- This site provides an online version of this weeks edition of Time, a national news magazine somewhere between People and NewsWeek. There are covers and table of contents of back issues (be still my beating heart). Beyond the front page, most of the articles themselves are dry text on a page - no pictures, no charts, no nothing beyond simply the text from the magazine. Interesting what Time becomes without any visual stimulae - when it's straight Time-text on a screen...
- Daily News by Time
- This page features the latest word from the Time offices, updated at the end of the day. Covers world, nationwide, entertainment, net.wide, news. Each little blurb provides a link to the corresponding subject's bulletin board. They were a little late to integrate it into a daily update schedule, but now it has become more usable.
- Vibe Magazine
- These guys have already had a cool web site up for weeks now. I reviewed in September: "That hip magazine of urban music Vibe is online. They have set up a very web-savvy server with sounds, forms, articles, and imagemapped covers from the last couple issues. I'm excited about this site." I'm a little less enthused with it at this address, however, because the front links to Vibe didn't even work!