Monday, December 21, 2009

Allure



Does anyone check to see if the links you print in your magazine actually land your reader anywhere? Just wondering. Page 6 of the January issue is a disaster.

The Allure website is a mess. (I know this is probably not your world to manage, but it should be.) Let me know if you want some help over there. I love NYC and I will work for Juvederm.

In more general terms, why can't Cande Nast figure anything out? THE INTERNET IS NOT NEW ANYMORE. And why do the websites of otherwise nicely-designed magazines look like a web version of Better Homes and Gardens?

In related news, in her recent letter, Margaret Russell promises us a new an improved Elle Decor website. (You can read the letter HERE.) I really like Elle Decor (though it's always the same formula... a Carlos Mota-ified clean-lined leggy room, with white walls, Serious Art, Important Furniture and some fucshia flowers strategically placed, but hey, I go for that..) so I am hoping the website will evolve as promised. A magazine-specific name might be a good start. (Point Click What??) But let's hope it gets better soon. It's not very inspiring today.

28 comments:

KEEHNAN said...

TALK ABOUT IT

Anonymous said...

The House Beautiful website is horrible. I guess it's trying hard to be service-y, but it never seems to acknowledge the actual print issue of the magazine, and the actual stories within. Everytime I call it up, I just get big pictures of Ina Garten.

Anonymous said...

What should a magazine's website deliver? Retreads from the print edition or new stuff?

ChrisToronto said...

Name specific URL, Decorno you are soooo right! The "formula" is also particularly apparent in the current issue. Still, I can't deny it's my favorite shelter mag, the style I aspire to most.

gayhooker said...

The Playgirl links never seem to let me down...

Decorno said...

I wouldn't mind seeing outtakes. The photographer takes 90 shots and we see five of them? Elle Decor should really do this for us since instead of 2 big juicy photos they often give us pages of 5 little ones crammed together next to the novel they have written about someone's brave and soulful decision to move to the bucolic country. If they would publish these photos (in a larger size) on the web, that would be great.

Anonymous said...

I've worked for a couple of major shelter magazines in recent years, Decorno, and believe me, almost everything shot is used, for budget reasons. And there are shoot sheets too, with angles and views strictly specified. If there's an outtake it's usually a picture with a slightly different angle. It's not like a photo shoot of a celebrity or anything, with a gazillion outtakes.

Anonymous said...

Everybody bitches about magazine websites. Are there any good ones? Or do we expect too much out of them? I mean we buy the magazine, right?

Mrs. Blandings said...

I haven't hit the Allure site, but agree with Elle Decor and the House Beautiful comment. It seems to make sense that you should be able to easily access the images from the current issue - and, yes, being able to see them larger would be such a bonus.

I've said this ten times and I don't think anyone else agrees, but it is along the same lines as the out takes. I think it would be interesting to focus on an artist or object or flea market or something that plays into the story but that cannot be the focus of the article/interview.

It's not like there isn't a model; Domino had the website thing nailed.

Decorno said...

The first thing magazine websites could do is fix the template. The format is ugly. The design doesn't reflect the look of the magazine. That's an easy(ish) thing to start with.

Beyond that, content improvements could be made, but just fixing the layout and the navigation would be a great first step.

Anonymous said...

"What should a magazine's website deliver? Retreads from the print edition or new stuff?"

Third alternative: Expand on the content of the magazine. Just for example--surely some projects have "before" photographs or video footage we could see, to more fully appreciate how a decorator changed a room?

Or there could be video tours in which either the decorator or homeowner gives more behind-the-scenes details about how the house changed, how specific decisions or compromises were made, etc.?

Or video showing some installation details? How old stuff is removed and new stuff put in? Experimenting with art placement on the walls, etc.?

Video would let the reader get closer to the experience of actually BEING in a room, and actually watching the decorating happen.

In some cases, I'd be interested in watching video of certain decorators just talking, to be honest.

(Agree with Decorno that the prose in Elle Decor (print version) is largely gratuitous.)

boops said...

i've given up on the house beautiful et al websites. that's why i hit the blogs

Anonymous said...

Actually, two of the best magazine websites I've seen are/were by Conde-Nast:

1. The New Yorker

2. domino

but the C-N online division has been slashed in the last two years.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I misread it, but I though Margaret Russell sounded downright nervous about bloggers.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone needs to clear away the clutter. Focus on the pictures and give us more of them. Hide all the clutter off to a seperate link so I don't have to look at it. I say send John Saladino in to guide them or maybe Miles.

Anonymous said...

If they hire a B shooter [main assistant generally] to work while the photographer du jour is on, they can get outtakes and detail shots

We've been doing this for a few years in automotive to get more assets. it costs a fraction of the main photog [more than a general assistant rate though], gives a great assistant the chance to shine and everyone is happy.

----
I would be apt to go to the site if I knew there was additional information/images not provided in the magazine but I was enthralled with the story.
----
I love the NY Times Style section and Domino while it was alive.

Anonymous said...

I just called up the Margaret Russell letter. All of a sudden, a giant pop-up ad appeared, covering the top half of her face. It read:

BUFFALO WILD WINGS GRILL & BAR

Get Specially Priced Boneless Wings All Day Long

BONELESS THURSDAYS
***

[Way to keep it classy, Hachette Filipacchi.]

Anonymous said...

Few mags I know will cut loose the money for videos and special effects for their websites, even those that are actually profitable; it's just not cost effective yet. The financials in terms of manpower can be big, especially when you factor in that even a mediocre website needs its own dedicated staff in addition to the folks who put out the magazine behind it. Who's going to load all that stuff? Let alone produce it, approve it, write it, and convert it all to HTML? It's fantasy versus reality. You can dream big but somebody's got to fund it fully and without reservation. I think websites would so much better if they just piled on the ideas. Do you go to mag websites for ideas you can put into play or to see bigger pictures and videos? And so many videos are just plan lame. Anybody remember the ones on the House & Garden website? Chloe Sevigny at home, posing in her garden? Hello????

zimloy said...

I'm curious. We're about to redesign our website at Kansas City Spaces magazine--finally! What should a good magazine template on-line look like?
I don't know about the national magazines, but we locals don't have the budget or the time or the personnel to provide lots of original content online. We use every photo we shoot in the print version, too.

And by the way, I love the writing in Elle Decor. Good writers give us background you can't get from looking at the photos.

Anonymous said...

"I think websites would so much better if they just piled on the ideas."

That sounds about as fun as taking a class in night school.

People go to websites to do more than learn tips. They go to have experiences: to see things.

It's not THAT big a deal to do videos for a magazine website. Interns! Seriously, we're not talking about the need to get seasoned veterans with 20 years of "producing" and "writing" talent here. And converting to HTML isn't splitting the atom.

Cathy Halley did fun little videos for domino's website, as I recall.

If you want to get traffic for your website, you have to go beyond still photographs and conventional magazine- or book-style writing--you need to go beyond what print offers.

The Blasphemous Fiendess said...

Plenty of opinions and all interesting. I am usually disappointed by magazine websites but I assume that they don't make much money and are meant to be teasers to get you to buy the print version.

MoreSkinnyDays said...

Two things. Every lame site requires a freakin' plug-in. Here's an idea, you post pictures and I'll look at them--no plug-ins, usernames and profiles, surveys, or audio diaries. Second thing. All former domino links go to AD. I hate AD. I practically had to go off-grid to cancel that horrible subscription.

Condo Blues said...

Readymade's Web site is pretty bad too. For a magazine that started out so hip and indy, their forums were always down and such a mess that no one posts them any more.

Anonymous said...

Why can't you spell Conde Nast?

Decorno said...

cuz Im dum. And also because this isn't a pro-blog and I don't pay people to make sure I don't have broken links or misspelled words, as publishers should. I crowd-source my copyediting. So thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

you are just hateful. and a hypocrite. talking about buying a name-specific URL, you weren't even smart enough to by decorno.com, leaving your poor readers to type .blogspot.com. do you always have to be so mean spirited? i like your no-BS zone, but words still hurt.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised at how good Interiors web site is:

http://www.interiorsdigital.com/interiors/200912#pg1

Simple enough, easy to find shit. I can even "flip" through the current issue. Haven't seen any magazine web sites this user friendly. (It also works well on the iPhone)

Anonymous said...

I've been looking all over for this!

Thanks.