It's worth contrasting that with a similar exercise done by Time Inc, using Sports Illustrated. There are clearly loads of differences, one being the more considered designerly approach versus the brasher, more salesy one. But the most telling difference is that the BERG/Bonnier example seems focused on improving the experience and the Time one seems focused on preserving revenue. Now, preserving revenue is a noble aim, but the best way to get there is to think hard about users and their experience, not by trying to dazzle advertisers into thinking magazines are just like TV.
As you get older your head fills up with superfluous names - names you can't get rid of, but that won't be any use to you any more. People you worked with for a couple of weeks, 15 years ago on a different continent, people who ran the newsagents where your Mum and Dad used to live and all sorts of people from the media. Old newsreaders, French foreign ministers, Dutch swimmers. Mostly this is fine, these names are just the dusty gatherings in the back of your mind, but occasionally this bag of unregarded names gets jumbled up and unfortunate confusions ensues.
I, for instance, always confuse Peter Baynham (top comedy-writer but most resonantly in my head the very sad Welsh man from Fist of Fun) with Peter Fincham (TV executive occasionally talked about on media programmes). Not in a permanent way, I sort it out quite quickly, but still, always, when I'm reading about or listening to Peter Fincham I'm thinking about a lonely man in Balham in a filthy t-shirt. Presumably, given the limited amount of names in the world, this effect will only get worse and more and more people will get slightly confused in my head.
So apologies if I look at you vacantly at some point in the future.
...probably including me.
Number Ten: "Words With Friends Chat is the new Twitter"
Huge thanks for the helpful comments and emails on this post. Lots of useful stuff to look at there. The most practical model to me seems to be the full legal-speak version with additional human-readable notes - as per Vimeo and Hunch. It has the additional benefit that we can stick the lawyer-generated version up ASAP, which we need to do to get going and add the plain-English version later, when we have a moment to do it properly.
I've just finished reading through the first draft of the Terms and Conditions and Contract for Newspaper Club. Our lawyer sent them over this afternoon. To me, with no legal training or experience whatsoever, It all seems comprehensive, sensible and necessary, but it's in no way friendly or welcoming to read. I can't help wanting to rewrite it, but I assume any deviation from standard legal talk will cost us loads extra with the lawyer. (Who seems great, by the way, I'm not complaining about that at all.)
So, does anyone know of any Terms & Conditions or the like that have been written in a particularly clear or approachable way - or with explanatory notes? If we can find some, maybe it'll be useful precedent. We might even be able to create some less opaque boilerplate our fellow 4IPers can use.
Comments are now closed. Huge thanks for all the thoughts.
A while ago it felt like people were getting interested in blogging again. I think that's happening. Some of the interest in weeknotes seems to be about getting the blogging habit restarted.
I bet podcasts are next for rediscovery. Roo and Leila are doing Shift Run Stop which is excellent (though it might be brought to a shuddering halt by my own dog-faced appearance) and James has just invented micropodcasting - helped by the advent of AudioBoo. Have a look at Mattins, it's a brilliant idea.
We're thinking of combining these two revivals and doing our weeknotes as a podcast. That way we can take the mick out of BERG and they'll never notice (you can't imagine them wasting time with podcasts can you?) This will probably include pointing out that the fancy new studio they keep banging on about is actually slightly more than half ours. I'm really looking forward to having our own space, and to sharing it with them. Next year's going to be ace.