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.