Friday, October 13, 2006

Old News

I get a lot of random magazines for free - not free trials, I just continually get them without ever getting asked to pay for them. I signed up for a free magazine once and now I get emails for even more magazines. Most of them are useless, some are interesting. The latest one I got is MacWorld.

The magazine itself is fine and a good flip. Except for the fact that it's all old news. I just looked through the October issue and ever bit of news on there seems like it tired stuff back in August.

There is quite a bit of space devote to the Mac Pro, which is the high-end desktop Apple produces. This was a desktop announced during the Mac Worldwide Developers Conference during the week of August 7th.

And I'm reading about it in the Octover issue of MacWorld. Their website has obviously moved onto other things, but the print publication just seems out of it.

Now I totally understand the nature of publishing and deadlines. I used to manage a small monthly news magazine and we had to plan way ahead for anything that was date oriented (thus we usually just stayed away from time-sensitive stuff).

I also understand that I, along with tons of other web-savvy people, get the latest news from various blogs, news sites, and friends. For the people who care, details about the Mac Pro (or any tech item) become old news so quickly.

So why is MacWorld bothering to devote so much space to this a full two months after the product is announced? They already know most of their audience must be web-savvy and on the news. And they know their publishing cycle. If they're going to miss a hot topic like a big product announcement, they should deal with it by focusing on something more useful (which is what the latter part of the mag is devoted to) and not seem totally out of it by talking about something like it was just released the day before.

It's a new world and magazine production staffs should come to grips with this. It's no wonder that these types of publications are having trouble staying afloat. The lastest breaking news is rarely news to someone when they're reading it in a magazine. Even daily newspapers sometimes feel old depending on when an event occured. But a monthly mag? Stay away from "introducing products" to your readers. And gravitate to how the product is going to impact your readers.

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