8.20.2009


it's hard not to show more




more denise



do you like reading
on the internet?


I'm just starting to
get used to it.


and it's not because
i'm a print snob or skeptical
of technology, but it's that i believe
in the importance of using the
internet as a tool.

and using the tool well.
with as much precision
and thought as it takes
to design a book
or magazine.


so it's a bit
disappointing when I
see my favorite magazines
and companies fail so terribly
when they move online, or blog.
It's like they forgot their aesthetic
and forgot how to layout content.
where are the editors that edit?

have you experienced this?


some sites "get it"
but a lot don't.


so we need to brainstorm
because online is the
future of media.


and imagine, someone
could potentially configure
a social networking site that
could direct people and $ to
social and humanitarian
issues on a mass scale.


what a tool it could be!


so what 3 ingredients
make a website successful?


[visually compelling
not too many pages
clean composition
more or less ads
not too wordy
community
cohesion]


or, simply point us
to a well executed site
that gets-it.


for all I know,
I may have lost you already

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you but would add something: I am disappointed and pulled from the world of the site when words are misspelled or misused - all the rigor goes out of the unity of images, text, and ideas when sentences are poorly constructed. I admire the look of this blog, its commitment to posing interesting questions, and the particularity of its vision, but am jarred by grammatical errors on more than infrequent occasion. I hope that as we learn to communicate experience more visually we do not weaken the power of words by using them carelessly, as if they don't matter. They do. That said, thank you for an engaging start to the day.

joy said...

I agree but it depends on the format that the magazine chooses. There is the heavy java based e-magazines like I love Fake and a few others and then their are those that go the route of a more new york times, gawker type where the content is spread out over tabs and links, etc. I've seen both be done well and poorly.

ps. How have you been? I haven't been blogging as much because I have been looking for a job.

Lee Nicholson said...

I could not agree more. So many magazine websites are cluttered and poorly designed. Too many pop ups which are most annoying.
LOVE your blog.

fitz said...

very well put.

to begin with: I hate reading on the internet. How there exists a device where you can download your favorite books to a palm-sized device is mind baffilng. I'm ok with that making me a print snob; after all, books are meant to be READ, and MARKED, and DOG-EARED. Now, I do feel print magazines should have an online presence, but that shouldn't replace or minimize their existing publications. Webzines are the next step, that's for sure- but since they're relatively easy, it requires that much more work to make it worthwile. I'm constantly disappointed in the web, but I also acknowledge its supreme significance.

I have given up on abondoning the internet solely based on the misuse thereof; but it is quite easy to get lost in the clutter, which I find depressing.

I don't know if I can identify the 3 successful ingredients. I do know that any site which is flash-heavy, difficult to navigate and poorly organized is unattractive. As hard as it is to say that I crave some kind of human touch on the internet, it's true. If there were some mechanism to track how people's brain waves would respond to certain online visual stimuli, I think you would find that (as always) less is more.

cerre said...

good point fitz.

maybe it's the amount of information clutter online that bothers me the most.

Ps:

I've noticed a rise in journal publication, quarterly and bi-annuals, as a result of this online migration. I'm hoping that journals will begin to replace magazines. It would make print more special and would provide for better content. I also enjoy "waiting" for it to come out.

I think it would also help distinguish print from online….magazines are now like an uncomfortable "in between". Neither here nor there. You know what I mean? I think it's because they can't compete with the immediacy of media on the internet.

would you be sad if there were fewer magazines? and more journals.

lee

tony said...

You raise an interesting point & there really is no excuse for poor presentation when it comes to professional media concerns. There are only a few sites I visit on a regular basis - yours being one of them, and what I appreciate is that you give the image breathing space & the text is succint. (Qualities which are shared with another of my drop-in sites - 'YOU HAVE BEEN HERE SOME TIME'.)

One thing that has struck me about many of the sites is the lack of real input by those who leave comments beyond of course 'love it; wow; heart; inspirational etc' ad infinitum. The image is consumed; the knee-jerk response is noted & one moves on. I appreciate the idea of developing 'community cohesion' but I think we are so conditioned by concepts of disposability & speed that reflection & the construction of a sentence have already fallen victim. For all that I thankyou for the work you put in & the trouble you evidently take with '2 or 3 things'.

fitz said...

cerre-

I would be sad if there were less magazines, but the loss would be more related to print publications as they used to be; a sensation I'm already feeling and have been feeling for quite some time. The inevitable move towards online presence therefore indeed puts them in this awkward i- between where they feel they have to dominate both print and web, ultimately spreading themselves way too thin on either end. It's confusing, they lose their voice. When there's an army of bloggers ostensbily extending the concept of a publication, it just seems scatterbrained.

I think print journals are happy mediums, quite literally speaking, but I don't think they can take the place of magazines. With the ease of self-publishing, such mediums lends itself to naturally more specialized pursuits. Journals can be much more focused than any magazine ever was. I do like the waiting period. I feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia in our generation, and I think many others crave a return to the simple. Journals make sense, and are easy (well, easier) to produce.

While I feel an overall sense of loss, my self-indulgent mourning period is over and I am excited to embrace the possibilites.

-fitz

If Jane said...

love denise's work!! thank you for sharing!!

km said...

This post is so exciting!! like a fresh breath of digital air! i publish an online quarterly with a group of friends, and have been in arguing over the look and feel of the site for some time-- some people just can't get past the layout of trad. print media! You are TOTALLY spot -- with the switch to digital, we need to find new ways of expressing content, especially since its not just about reading- so many different types of content can be featured online-- music, video, interactive art, etc. How do we incorporate these new forms in an organic way?

cerre said...

Km,

I think you just said it better than myself. :)

"with the switch to digital, we need to find new, organic, ways of expressing content"

lee

Anonymous said...

I will just say again that if that new organic way is found, all the effort will be in vain if similar care is not extended to the use of words, in whatever way text is still literally "part of the picture." In the same way that visual sloppiness detracts from the message, so does a haphazard way with spelling, punctuation, etc. Inattention is at the heart of the problem, for a message to come across cleanly and with strength in whatever medium or combination of media, there must be a consistent level of attention paid to every component of the message.

mariarriz said...

In a "global" internet, language may be a problem and images a way to understand a bit of many beautiful things that sensitive people want to share. I relly enjoy your very special blog, unless I don't speak english (sorry for my mistakes).

vbaish said...

i think that what electronic media does best is ephemera. lovely images and few words that are meant to be seen, possibly followed to another place, and then forgotten. if you'll excuse the grand metaphor, like a trail of lightning bugs.

print is for complex ideas.

it seems that the nature of the medium is the nature of its use/effect.

what concerns me is only that many do not seems to recognize that there is a difference in cognitive effort and reward between the two.

that said, your blog is lovely and suited to its medium. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Lose us? No, you are not unique in this sentiment.

Laura. said...

oh, dear. i seem to have come to the conversation a little late. perhaps everyone has moved on already. i agree with anon. about grammar and word use--in general, that is. it seems that with the demise of print (oh, how i love to hold a book or magazine in my hands! oh, how i hate reading things on a screen!), that good content and design often quickly follow down the drain. i think space is a good thing, and your blog provides lots of space for the eye to rest. sometimes i wish i could read more words, to get more of the story behind the images, or more of your thoughts. i agree with the person that said that digital media does well with ephemera, and i also agree with the person who mentioned that mostly comments left are not engagement. i think those two things go hand in hand. and there is so much out there! i am overwhelmed. i want to participate, but if i don't keep up, i fall behind.
no conclusions, i guess. but this is an interesting theme and goes along with thoughts i have about my own blog lately. perhaps i have just filled up your comment space with lots of incoherent thoughts from a stranger.