Monday, March 10, 2008

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Rita Konig gets FAN MAIL.. Second reader comment is, well... just read it.

I love gentrification. I am just going to say it. That doesn't mean that being for a little upgrade in the 'hood means that all tenants should be foreced out. Smart developers will keep interesting people, artists, shops around otherwise it will just become mall-ified city neighborhoods. Nevertheless, Pearl District in Portland is a good example. Some auto-body shops were forced to move due to high rents. Honestly, so what. They probably moved to the eastside, which is fine. Homes weren't razed. But then there are douchebaggy versions of gentrification like Pike/Pine in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Cool bars and dive-y hipster institutions like the Cha Cha lounge are gone and being replaced by ugly condos. They very "coolness" these developers sold the buyers on are the things those streets are starting to lose. Lame.

Georgetown in Seattle... that is where MY money is.

Anyhoo... gentrification...


Thanks you-know-who for sending the link to me.


Anonymous said...

Before we move on to gentrification, may I just say:

Does ANYONE edit the Domino blogs? Because an editor should have immediately caught and nixed the nastiness and childishness of Rita's post. And that's not even mentioning all ther comma splices, not-quite-sentences, and miscellaneous grammatical botches that routinely muck up her posts. Honestly, I like her all right, but she has the writing skills of an 11-year-old.

If they can edit the writing in the print magazine, why can't they do the same for the blogs? Sometimes I think Rita just wakes up hungover, opens one eye, then reaches for her laptop and pecks out something about doorknobs or alarm clocks or dirty underwear or whatever her bloodshot eye happens to land on.

And calling Domino a "lifestyle" magazine does not mean you can work out your personal grudges in public, under the guise of "lifestyle" commentary. You had one--ONE--unhappy haircut, Rita, and you slander the guy as "bad" and all his customers as victims. That's a fucking lousy way to represent a national magazine.

Domino Editors: Please edit! Especially Rita!

Anonymous said...

When sales clerks like "Ginny" come up to me in stores, I flee.

coco+kelley said...

um. YEAH. i can't believe someone let her post that. seriously? these people scare me.

that said... is the cha cha lounge really gone??? holy crap. what is the world coming to? i miss my seattle.. i'll be there on thursday though and i'm making it my goal to get all my eastide friends to get out of their cookie cutter boxes and out to the real city. perhaps georgetown will be on the list!

Decorno said...

Oh, Eastsiders under 30...What are we to do with them, C+K? They are lucky you are coming to pull them out of their domesticated shells.

You should take them to Georgetown. Eat pizza at Stellar Pizza and then play shuffleboard (yeah, I said it) at the 9 lb Hammer, maybe one of the finest bars ever.

Decorno said...

I should note... even though I probably would have edited Rita (if my paycheck came from Conde Nast, that is) truth is, I kinda like that she went all batshit crazy and wrote that. And I just died when I saw the response. DIED. And I am SUPERdying that no one has taken it down. I mean... I am really proud of those kids at the big D (or little d, sorry Joni) for leaving it all up. It adds a little punch to blogs that can otherwise read like advertorials (lookie here! it's my crocheted toilet seat cover from Etsy! Or... look! my new garden hand shears!... wait, that was me...)

Anon... when you write:

"Sometimes I think Rita just wakes up hungover, opens one eye, then reaches for her laptop and pecks out something about doorknobs or alarm clocks or dirty underwear or whatever her bloodshot eye happens to land on. "

... are you saying this is a bad thing? :)

(How the hell do you think I write 2 plus posts a DAY? Do you people think I do this for fun? I pay myself in liquor, kids.)

Anonymous said...

Just remember, when Domino (via Rita) claims it is now a "lifestyle" magazine, what that translates to is:

More hair-and-makeup crap, more recipes, more "Muse Marian" dinner-party hints--in general more typical bad chick-mag filler.

Anonymous said...

Agreed; Whoever wrote that first response to Rita's post should get a Nobel Prize in Dissology.

Dec. baby-- of course we agree that alcohol only intensifies your genius. I think we need to start feeding you unrefined opium resin, just as a scientific experiment, to see if we can take your prose to even more dizzzying heights of excellence.

my little apartment said...

oh, can you EVER take her posts seriously? did anyone see the post she did in December, plugging some $150 tube of mascara, calling the post her "Christmas gift to you all". WTF?

i only read Daily Dose for the occasional gem that Nick posts (and even his stuff is kinda going downhill, IMO).

and Decorno, i'm with you on gentrification. when it's done right, its fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Oh, was that when she recommended Revital-Lash, "developed by a doctor and guaranteed to grow eyelashes"? I loved that!!!

paola said...

Hmmmmm, re. gentrification.

Before coming to Seattle, I lived in Notting Hill for 12 years and watched it upping and coming massively.

At first it was fun - lots of great bars and coffee shops and restaurants moved in and the crack dealers and hookers moved out and house prices went up nicely, but then the gas station was razed to the ground and they built a 'Joseph' over the top, and my favourite artists' hangout restaurant was turned into Paul Smith's flagship store and the the really cool newsagent selling every imaginable magazine from all over the world closed down and my hairdresser, who was really rather good, had to close, and the fabulous deli run by Terence Conran's son was struggling. Oh and the people living in my apartment block stopped being artists and graphic designers and architects and turned into investment bankers and vacuous women in PR.

And then the big name designers moved in hot on Joseph's and Paul Smith's heels and suddenly Westbourne Grove had turned into Bond Street and it was all just fine if I happened to have run out of Diptyque candles or Mulberry handbags, but not so fine if I just wanted a copy of LivingEtc. Or to put petrol in my car.

Though admittedly it was mostly not fine because I could no longer afford to shop in my neighbourhood shops, so I suspect gentrification is OK as long as you can afford it.

Am I ranting?

BTW Rita Konig is up there with Victoria Beckham on the list of 'People I Wish Had Never Followed Me From the UK'.

Anonymous said...

I am having a blast looking up Rita's greatest hits. In her comment defending her Marc Jacobs post, she writes:

"Domino is a lifestyle magazine for the young and aesthetic..."

I get what she means, but honey, that ain't the way to use "aesthetic."

I feel your pain, Paola.

Habitually Chic said...

Wow! Those comments are nasty but I love them!

What's funny is that I just noticed that Domino has a video tour of the Governor's Mansion of New York given by the First Lady which is interesting timing given that Governor Spitzer has just been caught in a prostiturion ring. Gotta love New York.

Melissa H said...

I agree. I think Rita's comments are nasty and not in keeping with Domino's hip, "non-gentrified" audience. Another slide in the wrong direction, Domino!

By the way, Decorno, did the editor ever really contact you, or was that just crap talk to pacify us all?

Decorno said...

Hi Melissa,

Yes, she contacted me. I am going to ask her what she is comfortable with me posting, since, as a rule, I wont post private correspondence without someone knowing. So stay tuned.


Melissa H said...

Great news Decorno. Thanks so much for keeping us updated and being our voice. You make my days happier.

Richie Designs said...

ughhh I feel for Rita, having written for a large home blog sometimes [ok, a lot at the very end] I was grasping at straws for content. Somedays there is just NOTHING to talk about but the editors do want their 2+ posts a day.

Though the content wasn't superb, I'm going to give some love to Rita because like her, I've been thrown under the bus like this and it stings BAD.

Better luck next time girl.

The wicked comment about the MJ perks was quite hilarious though.

Richie Designs said...

written? wrote? see this is why I don't write for them anymore. I cheated my way through English people.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to see the vaporous concept "lifestyle" used as an excuse for the magazine and its website to cover everything from "I want to dis someone for giving me a bad haircut!" to "Check out my [laughably overpriced] mascara!"

A personal blog, sure; that stuff is appropriate. A magazine blog should attempt more professional standards.

And Rita, if you can't tell the difference between a comma and a semi-colon, hand your copy to one of the editors before posting it. That's what they're there for.

crabby SF said...

Speaking of reader comments, has anyone read the ridiculousness about the soap saver, over on Apartment Therapy? Readers posted some spot-on feedback about that inane rubber ring, and today AT more or less reprimands readers for their "nasty" comments.

Too often, I find AT infuriating. The quality of the posts is wildly inconsistent; the editors can be downright uppity (as in the case of the soap saver comments); some of the features are utterly baffling (what the hell is their Spring Cure, anyway?); and the overall design of the site is busy and confusing and--let's face it--just plain ugly.

Am I alone here?

Anonymous said...

Apartment Therapy sucks. It's like Weekly Reader, or Highlights for [Adult] Chidren.

Anonymous said...

Apartment Therapy is like a massive, nasty turd left in your front yard by your neighbor's rottweiler: rancid, ugly and a mess to navigate around. Seriously how the hell does anyone get around this site? They really think they're the shit though with their "cure" advice. (Therapy, cure, get it? Omg, that is SOOOOOOOO clever.) Actually, their "cure" is worse than the disease.

There is absolutely nothing useful in my city's AT. It's run by New Yorker's who don't have a clue. For example, they'll refer to local landmarks inappropriately, the way an out-of-towner would.
When one of the posters dissed our city's most famous plant, he got a total ass whuppin' in the comments section. Just murdered, to the point where one of the founders had to do a special post about our displeasure.

I refuse to give these people hits so they can increase their ad rates. Screw 'em.

About domino. Don't expect any improvements in the site. The site exists to get you to subscribe to the magazine. Period. It's a LURE. It is not there to provide original content. (Otherwise they would make it easier for you to find the content you want. Instead they bury it.) This is how all magazine sites work, regardless of topic. Don't waste your time there.

Anonymous said...

"The site exists to get you to subscribe to the magazine. Period.... This is how all magazine sites work, regardless of topic."

Wrong. I work on two magazines, and we have sales people whose entire job it is to sell advertising for our magazines' Web sites. That means the Web site's editorial content has to be good enough to not only generate a high number of hits ("clicks") but to also keep readers on the site for as long as possible. Ad sales forces need to promise potential advertisers: "Hey, we get 150,000 unique visitors a month, and they spend an average of 3.5 minutes per visit." THOSE are the statistics that sell advertising on the Web.

If you provide only rehashes from the print version and no original content, your readers won't click and they won't stay. Advertisors would definitely not look well on that.

I am today spending most of my day coming up with original content for my magazine website.

If you want to confirm this, see how many magazines (e.g., Vanity Fair) now devote an entire page of each issue touting all the "additional" (i.e. "original"") content on their websites. Usually, these house ads will say things like "For even more exclusive material from our interiew with George Clooney, go to www.etc.etc."

Anonymous said...

PS: Most (not all, but most) magazines make the majority of their money through advertising sales, not subscriptions.

librelife said...

I am on vacation far, far from home and just polished off lunch and a couple of mid-day cocktails. Let this be my disclaimer for anything unkind I might say. In short, Rita's post is terribly bitchy and there is no defending it. Wah. Poor girl and her struggle to come up with unqiue content daily. Playa please.
This is the stuff that makes me feel quite filthy for loving decor and all it's trappings as much as I do.

Anonymous said...

I did subscribe to Domino through the website, I got 20 issues for $10.

Anonymous said...

Sure, all mags. let you subscribe, renew, get gift subscriptions, cancel, change address, buy back issues, etc., etc. Just basic services that most retailers, magazine and otherwise, now offer on their web sites.

But magazines (and their websites) make most of their money by selling ads, not subscriptions.
As for Rita and her great blogging burden, she posts only once or twice a week, so I can't feel too sorry for her.

Anonymous said...

Re: Most (not all, but most) magazines make the majority of their money through advertising sales, not subscriptions.

Oh brother. Subs are what drives up circ. Circ. drives up ad rates. (This is why our friend above got 20 issues for a pittance.) If the domino site doesn't exist to lure you to subscribe then why does every damn thing you click on end with an subscription offer?

In the end, the only reason why magazines exist is deliver an audience to an advertiser. Period. They don't exist to communicate a message to the reader.

I never said that greedy magazines don't try to also grab ad dollars off their websites and wouldn't have dedicated sales people to do that (sales people who get paid on commission, so really, it's no big deal to hire yourself some). But please, do name a magazine's website that's a wonderful stand-alone entity. I'm sure we'd all love to see it.

And as for spending all day "coming up" with original content for your magazine's site, I can't imagine an editor at a national print edition magazine saying the same thing about their work day, "gee, I spent all day coming up with something." You plan, assign and edit new stuff for each issue, you don't repackage or rummage through the web for content for a print edition. That's how it works in print. Magazine websites suck. They have to. If they were great there would be no reason for the print edition.

Anonymous said...

"But magazines (and their websites) make most of their money by selling ads, not subscriptions."

You can't sell ads for a magazine that nobody subscribes to. Subscriptions drive up circulation. Circulation drives up advertising rates.

Subscriptions actually COST a magazine money ($10 for 20 issues doesn't even cover postage much less printing costs), but it's worth it because it drives up ad rates.

Actually magazines make a shitload of money off newsstand sales. This is where they have their largest profit margins. This is why a magazine's cover is so important. (Notice how magazines use garish colors and more desperate coverlines to try to get your attention.) Editors can lose their jobs over falling newsstand sales.

Bottom line. Do not expect domino's site to improve. Expect to see more beauty and fashion coverage in the print edition. That aint' going away. It's what attracts advertisers and pays the bills. (You don't see Miles Redd advertising in domino, somebody's got to, and guess what, it's the big makeup companies.) Know that plenty of the products featured in the magazines are linked to favors owed, advertiser special requests, etc.

Decorno, I think it was brilliant how the editor of domino wrote you, made you feel special and honored and essentially silenced you. Quite clever actually.

Decorno said...

Why do you think she silenced me?

Decorno said...

I don't think receiving an email from someone makes me feel "special" or "honored" but can choose to infer what you will.

I am just not in the business of sharing her email correspondence with the world without her knowing. I don't do that with anyone who emails me.

Comments are the open forum; I tend to be more guarded with email because that's the respect and confidence I would ask for.

Anonymous said...

"Subs are what drives up circ."

Sometimes they are, but sometimes they aren't. Tabloids like the National Enquirer, for example, are driven by newsstand sales, not by subscriptions.

"Circ. drives up ad rates."

Only in part. Higher numbers don't always mean higher rates. A million readers who each make an average of $35,000/year (e.g., "Working Woman") is of much less interest to a high-end advertiser like Lexus than 300,000 readers who make an average of $175,000/year (e.g., "Harpers"). The advertising page rate depends on the characteristics of the average reader (salary, home ownership, neighborhood, educational level, electronics and automobiles owned, managerial/executive career level attained, etc., etc.), NOT simply the sheer tonnage of readers delivered.
Readers drawn in by extreme cut-rate offers (20 issues for $10) are usually lower-income, and less attractive to higher-end advertisers.

"If the domino site doesn't exist to lure you to subscribe then why does every damn thing you click on end with an subscription offer?"

Sure, the website is happy to get subscribers, but that doesn't mean it exists ONLY "to lure subscribers." A magazine website's main function is exposing readers to advertisers, and only secondarily selling subscriptions. It's not an either/or situation.

"please, do name a magazine's website that's a wonderful stand-alone entity."

The New Yorker's.

" I can't imagine an editor at a national print edition magazine saying the same thing about their work day"

That's exactly the flaw throughout your entire argument. You're basing it on your imagination. Not what you've actually seen or experienced, or what other (non-you) people see or experience. Yours is an argument built on narcissism: "I can't picture, therefore it cannot exist."

"Magazine websites suck. They have to."

Some do, some don't. This is like saying "All TV commercials suck" or "all discount store merchandise sucks." It's bitter snobbery, and uninformed by a genuine broad range of experience and open-mindedness.

"If they were great there would be no reason for the print edition."

Nope. A brilliant editor can make both the print magazine and the magazine's website excellent. Just one quick example: I love James Wolcott's blog on Vanity Fair far more than most of the columns by other writers in the print version of the magazine.
The Internet is still relatively new. Give it time. To say "It's impossible to have a first-class magazine website" is like about as informed as ca.-1900 scientists sniffing "This whole 'X-ray' nonsense will just turn out to be a fad tht lets the radiologist bilk more money from the patient!"

No one is served by spending lots of money *deliberately* putting out a shitty product. That's one strategy that hs never had a starring role in any business's success story.

Anonymous said...

"Subscriptions actually COST a magazine money ...but it's worth it because it drives up ad rates."

False. Again: Sheer numbers of subscribers may NOT drive up ad rates.

If you get 100,000 new subscribers through some low-subscription-rate "publisher's clearinghouse" offer, those are not going to be, for the most part, "desireable" subscribers. They will have a much lower renewal rate, they will require a lot more expensive direct-mail attempts to get them to renew, they will be late with their renewal payments, and they will live in "undesireable" zip codes and have "undesireable" income, educational, and career levels. Advertisers who sell top-dollar products (Chivas Regal, Lexus, Tanqueray, Rolex, etc.)--the advertisers who pay the HIGHEST page rates--don't want to advertise in magazines with readers like that. For them, it's throwing out money, AND it lowers their reputation to be seen in, say, Parade magazine or Guns 'n' Ammo.

Anonymous said...

"Actually magazines make a shitload of money off newsstand sales. This is where they have their largest profit margins."

Again, you over-generalize. Magazines like The Economist, The New Republic, The Nation, and The National Review make only SMALL portions of their profits from newsstand sales.

You've got to stop lumping all magazines, all magazine business-plans, and all magazine websites together into single clumps. It's like generalizing how "all books" make money, or "all movies" or "all stores."

Anonymous said...

"If [magazine webistes] were great there would be no reason for the print edition."

False. They're two different media, with two very different ways of responding to what's happening in the world.

On the website, you can get photos and videos (and written reporting) up literally seconds after news breaks. Obviously you can't on a print monthly.

A monthly is a better venue for analysis, reflection, drawing connections, discerning patterns.

Two different media, two different strengths, two different ways to be great.

Anonymous said...

"Decorno, I think it was brilliant how the editor of domino wrote you, made you feel special and honored and essentially silenced you."

If Decorno had been "silenced," she wouldn't have reported Rita's nasty post on the domino website.

Maison Luxe said...

As a small shop owner, this is the kind of thing that makes me so mad. I seriously doubt that Rita would ever wright such a flippant and mean post about a neighborhood shop closing that was owned by anyone she actually knew. This is not just about gentrification, which can be a great thing in moderation, but it's more about taking an attitude that is pervasive in our society on so many levels: "if it doesn't affect me personally, why should i care?" it takes a lot to run a small business, and when we lose our leases because Gap or Marc Jacobs want to move in and can afford astronomical leases that small shops cannot, it ultimately hurts the neighborhood and everyone who claims to love independant shops. For Domino, a magazine that we all love (and sometimes love to hate) to publish such terrible commentary on their blog is a slap in the face to all of us who run the independant shops they claim to love.