Tag Archive for 'magazines'

Packer & Bilton, on Twitter

It’s been fun following the debate between the Times Bits blogger Nick Bilton, and New Yorker staff writer George Packer, on whether Twitter is a godsend, or a harbinger of doom.

Packer opened with a declaration that he’s old school:

I don’t have a BlackBerry, or an iPhone, or a Google phone, and I don’t intend to get an iPad. I’ve been careful not to mention this to sources in Washington, where conversation consists of two people occasionally glancing up from their BlackBerries and saying, ‘I’m listening.’

After pointing out recent news stories that Twitter had a hand in breaking—Iran, Haiti, Obama’s Election—Bilton fires back:

…when trains were a new technology 150 years ago, some journalists and intellectuals worried about the destruction that the railroads would bring to society…

I wonder if, 150 years ago, Mr. Packer would be riding the train at all, or if he would have stayed home, afraid to engage in an evolving society and demanding that the trains be stopped.

Ouch. One gets the sense that there is some kind of generational clash going on here. Packer tries again:

If a Luddite is someone who fears and hates all technological change, a Biltonite is someone who celebrates all technological change: because we can, we must.

George is asking the right questions, but it’s hard to disagree with Bilton’s point—by refusing to participate in social media, he’s missing part of the story… you can’t bury your head in the sand and expect to keep up.

Newsweek’s “Hackers and Spending Sprees”

Newsweek.com has some interesting tidbits about the recently completed presidential election between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin:

  • Palin’s “rogue” shopping spree was greater than the earlier reported $150,000.
  • Obama didn’t choose Hillary Clinton for the VP slot mostly because of her husband.
  • Palin appeared with nothing on save for a towel, when McCain aides and strategists came to her hotel room to brief her at the Republican Convention.
  • Obama thinks some debate questions are stupid.

More will be released on Newsweek.com in the coming days.

New York Magazine Profile of Nate Silver

New York Magazine has an interesting profile on Nate Silver, the man behind the political website FiveThirtyEight.

Silver uses data analysis to track and weight polls, based on their historical track records and methodologies. What’s interesting is that he rightly predicted the outcome of the Democratic primary race, while commentators at the time were talking about a Hillary Clinton comeback.

Time.com Redesign

New Time.com
New design for the homepage of time.com, the website of Time Magazine.

Time Magazine started rolling out a redesign of time.com yesterday – it was designed by my friend and former colleague Sean Villafranca, who left our group at the Times earlier this year to become the Design Director for time.com.

It strikes me as a welcome departure from its previous CNN-esque iteration, and a little more faithful to the print design. I like the use of Arial Black, and the daring use of the TIME wordmark on the white background. (Daring because it would’ve been far more predictable to use the wordmark reversed on a red background.)

They seem to have only rolled-out the home page and the article pages at this point – section fronts still show the legacy design. But on the whole, it’s a very good improvement to a very good news resource – just in time for the general election season.

ALSO – A few birdies tell me to expect some major design changes to wsj.com today or tuesday, coming hot-off-the-heels of their magazine launch this month. Yes, we’ve heard this before, but there are some preview screenshots out there. Stay Tuned!

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1
Lisa’s tattoo confirms that Buffalo is indeed #1.

New York magazine has an interesting feature on New Yorkers moving to Buffalo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and subsequently couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some people will read this as a story of defeat. They will look at Herbeck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good riddance. That’s also a familiar New York narrative, one that’s especially comforting to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bedrooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bargain on an apartment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a story of defeat, but rather an opportunity:

But New York, for all its mythology, is no longer a frontier. Buffalo is a frontier. And when you think of the actual frontier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had really good local theater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more former 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a provoking premise for a city famous for little more than snow and four consecutive failed Superbowl bids.

Business Week Redesign

Business Week redesignI saw that over at Brand New today, that Business Week magazine has done an interesting rebranding and redesign.

Nothing major on the logotype – gone are the serifs. But, between the covers is the real treat:

It’s inside that the magazine feels more relevant with a clean design and consistent typographic treatments that sway you from beginning to end. Simple size shifts from front of the book to feature stories to back of the book are enough indicators that you are changing sections without resorting to extra fancy opening spreads for the feature stories.

It has a very crisp and modern look, reminding me a bit of CNN International’s on-screen design. I wish other American publications and media would take this approach. The worst offenders are sport broadcasters, who use tickers, graphics, and picture-in-picture interviews to do everything but show you the game.

UPDATE: David Sleight takes a look at the typography behind the redesign.