Sunday, July 31, 2011
When it comes to the internet, in Touch Weekly looks pretty out of touch.
The gossip sheet’s web site was rated dead last among 87 major-magazine web sites in a study released a few days ago by L2, a “think tank for digital innovation”, and New York University’s business school. in Touch’s site scored a “Digital IQ” of 32, suggesting its intelligence is somewhere in the range of “Deliverance” characters or maybe the NBC executives who canceled “Star Trek".
I’m no web designer (in case you hadn’t noticed), but the in Touch site does have a late 1990s “Guess what? We’re now on the Internet!” look to it.
It’s hard to tell the ads from the articles, except the ads are even tackier. There’s no search option or even any sections to click on. Navigation? Try the little “Next Page” link at the bottom.
The message seems to be “Now that you’ve wasted a few minutes on this site, go out and buy the real magazine. And we mean the printed magazine; we don’t need no stinkin’ apps or ebook versions.”
News reports about the L2 study focused on Time – whose business model has been devastated by the web – being the only magazine rated “genius” (Digital IQ = 140). But for a snarky blogger, focusing on the bottom of the list is more fun, and perhaps more revealing.
Here are the seven sites that L2 rated Feeble (“Investment does not match opportunity”), along with their Digital IQ, L2’s description, the title’s owner, its Alexa.com rank for U.S. web traffic, and Dead Tree Edition's commentary:
1) in Touch Weekly: 32; “A lot of opportunity to improve”; Bauer. Alexa rank: 10,559. Come on, how about a link for "Stars in rehab" and another for "Stars out of rehab"?
2) Town & Country: 43; “Is anyone home?”; Hearst. Alexa rank: 202,907. That low rank means it gets less traffic than the Web sites of much smaller-circulation magazines, such as those of Folio: and Publishing Executive. Why? Because there's basically no content, just ads and promotions.
3) Men’s Journal: 52; “No daily blog and spotty incorporation of video content”. Alexa rank: 12,901.Very clean design that's inviting to readers but apparently not to advertisers. And who needs blogs anyway?
4) Star: 55; “The last to know”; American Media. Alexa rank:12,601. Actually not a bad site if you enjoy looking at pictures instead of, like, reading actual sentences.
5) Elle Décor: 59; “Designer Registry mentions drive Facebook wall conversation away from core readership” (Editor’s note: English translation not provided.); Hachette (now part of Hearst). Alexa rank: 7,137. Nice design, good content, easy to follow. What's the problem?
6) Muscle & Fitness: 64; “Ninety-pound weakling”; American Media. Alexa rank: 31,451. "Oh look, gaudy photos of barely legal 'nutritional supplements' and the people who abuse them!"
7) Traditional Home: 69; “Uploaded ad images are not traditional, just outdated”; Meredith. Alexa rank: 20,019. For people who like traditional designs in their homes but not on web sites.