Blogger & Podcaster Guide Review

In April 2007 I read on several blogs about a new magazine, the Blogger & Podcaster Guide. I remember going to the website to check it out but I left pretty quickly, somewhat frustrated. The magazine was obviously meant to be read in print form as the online reading interface was slow and full of multimedia effects and unintuitive.

The idea of a print magazine about blogging and podcasting seems a good idea. I can imagine a number of occasions on which I would prefer to read about blogging in print form over reading on my laptop. Not all public transportation is equipped with wireless internet and reading and/or listening to podcasts is a great way to spend time traveling. I’ve read The Weblog Handbook and several essays from Into the Blogosphere on the train. I also started on a collection of articles on blogging as compiled in the We’ve Got Blog book but I soon turned back to my screen again.

When reading about blogging offline you cannot follow links or look things up. I keep a notebook and write down some URLs for further reference. It seems that the Blogger & Podcaster Guide wishes to serve both ends, the offline readers and the online readers. Unfortunately, the magazine cannot be downloaded as a PDF for offline reference. Although I fully understand why this decision has been made, it one of the main reasons I initially did not return to the site. The magazine is not available in the Netherlands, as far as I am aware of, so the only way to read it is online.

And this is what I personally have experienced as problematic.

As soon as the online version of the magazine is loaded it turns into a multimedia show. It is as if every single function and object multimedia has to offer us must be shown. Advertisements automatically pop up as videos that need to be closed before you can flip to the next page. Flipping pages, which can be done by dragging page corners, is accompanied with a “woosh” sound of flipping through a paper magazine. The front page and index are neatly designed and clickable but once again there is accompanying sound.

I really wish to read this magazine as it seems to offer a great amount of content such as ‘7 Steps to a Better Blog’ and ‘To Blog is to Write,’ Scoble on Video Podcasting or the Ask Ninja’s Interview. Unfortunately, the multimedia effects are currently distracting me too much from the content. I am wondering, am I a secret print addict? Should I print the articles for offline reading?

4 thoughts on “Blogger & Podcaster Guide Review

  1. I think you’re right. We want to use flash interactivity and animations to use stories the way we are used from paper or blogs. Somehow a flashy interface gives us a different experience, more like a game. We want to get interactive, click around and see what’s the effect of our actions.

    I think you can use this to tell the same story, only you have to think up a way to do it differently. Cut it up into small parts, mix different media, drop the linear narrative.

    I don’t think a web magazine like this will ever return its investment. It costs time to build and viewers often like the clicking part en flashy effects. The problem often is that they just don’t read the articles in there.

    If you want to show your skills build a magazine, if you want to be heard start a blog.

  2. They try to add interactivity to what is in essence a linear narrative: an article. While I enjoy being able to “browse” through the magazine by using hyperlinks in the index, there are hardly any other links in the magazine.

    It is a nice attempt to bring new media to old media and vice versa but every medium has its distinct characteristics and these are not treated as such in this magazine.

    In this case it seems to revolve around the form instead of the content which is a shame. While both are equally important, the balance seems to be gone here.

  3. Heel herkenbaar… maar dan vanaf de andere kant. Mijn tijdschrift – Encore!Magazine – bestaat namelijk zowel on-line als op cd-rom als geprint. En eigenlijk kán dat natuurlijk helemaal niet, omdat elk medium een andere aanpak vereist. Zou er graag nog eens met je over verder “babbelen”, misschien wil je b.v. een aantal nummers E!M beoordelen op on- vs off-line leesgemak etc.?

    Je log is mooi en inspirerend, ik ga gauw verder “bladeren” ;) Veel succes met alles!

  4. Bedankt voor je berichtje. Elk medium heeft inderdaad zijn eigen kenmerken en specifieke voor- en nadelen. Het ligt er aan wat je insteek en doel is, maar op zich vind ik dat content vrij goed kunt hergebruiken als je het medium waarin het gebruikt wordt in het achterhoofd houdt.

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