Is "me-zine" the new 'blog?
July 9, 2001 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Is "me-zine" the new 'blog? Or is it just when traditional journalists do it? And is this whole thing now "legit"? [via medianews]
posted by owillis (22 comments total)
Which ties into the whole Kottke-advertising thing in some way, I think.
posted by owillis at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2001

just for the record, i first heard "me-zine" from Dori at Saranwarp on a webzine list a year or two ago. I knew she should have trademarked it...
posted by th3ph17 at 11:31 AM on July 9, 2001

congratulations owillis, your thread is one in a thousand. #8888.
posted by moz at 11:35 AM on July 9, 2001

The Virginia Postrel one made me want to puke a coupla days back. She's writing about the controversy du jour, the Houston child-drowning mom, and she starts to quote Andrew Sullivan at length. Yikes, that was incestuous. (People were once stoned for engaging in incest, weren't they?) For heaven's sake. Like Andrew Sullivan is some world authority on morality, in the first place, or anything other than someone the media happens to call a lot because . . . well, no one remembers, particularly. Egads. Of all these, Kaus is the most entertaining, because he makes fun of himself from time to time (and he practically nailed the Supreme Court election ruling -- a 3-3-3 prediction, and it was 3-2-4), while the rest take themselves too seriously. But enough with the logrolling and name-dropping already.
posted by raysmj at 11:36 AM on July 9, 2001

Sounds to me like just another buzzword to throw on the pile. Not a new concept, just a new phrase.
posted by vandoren at 11:43 AM on July 9, 2001

congratulations owillis, your thread is one in a thousand. #8888.

Actually, that's one in ten thousand. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 11:45 AM on July 9, 2001

Uh, isn't each thread "one in ten thousand"?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:03 PM on July 9, 2001

Actually, it's one in one thousand one hundred eleven... :-)
posted by Tin Man at 12:03 PM on July 9, 2001

As the counter ticks, I become less and less important...
posted by owillis at 12:05 PM on July 9, 2001

jpoulos: both, actually.
posted by moz at 12:13 PM on July 9, 2001

Other than the ridiculous title (I hate those made up words; I still shudder every time I read or hear "blog," no matter how much I may enjoy reading one or two of them), what do these "me-zines" provide that your plain ol' "homepage" of yesteryear doesn't? Other than a media-recognizable name, nothing, or at least that's the way it appears. There's nothing unique or interesting about any of the sites mentioned in the article, unless you happen to think one of those authors is worth listening to. It's just the Op-Ed pages online, without the benefit of editors or publishing standards (why not "op-zine," where each morsel of extra chewy good content is an "opnionoid"?). At least Drudge can be used as a basic link list of media outlets...
posted by m.polo at 1:46 PM on July 9, 2001

Coinage? I don't think so. Slate's been running a round-up of these called mezine central since ... well, at least since April. (They don't seem to be archiving it, or something.) In fact, all the examples cited in the Times piece have been featured in the Slate column.

Plus, we've looked at it before ... well, fred posted something, but nobody bit.

Oh, and this turned up from somewhere: Free to Be MeZines.
posted by dhartung at 3:57 PM on July 9, 2001

8888 is a very lucky number, owillis.

In Chinese numerology it can only mean one thing:
prosper, prosper, prosper, prosper!

That means good luck for your new business.
posted by lagado at 4:23 PM on July 9, 2001

(off-topic--not that it matters at this point on this thread) owillis: that is a huge ad. the fact that it did not have a close button and hid my operating system and basically took over my computer was bad. if i see these, i will alt-f4.
posted by benjh at 4:39 PM on July 9, 2001

lagado: I can only hope.

benjh: I'm working on it. :)
posted by owillis at 4:47 PM on July 9, 2001

actually, back in late 1996 when i started what became saranwarp, i was calling it a me-zine...

then someone bought and asked me if i'd actually trademarked the name (i hadn't)... so they sort of did something with it although it didn't seem to ever really make a splash on the web.

regardless, the new york times has pissed me off more than once this week - last week they wrote an article about my oh-so-hip neighborhood (Williamsburg, Brooklyn), and the writer grabbed a quote right off my website - thankfully, without mentioning my name, but without even shooting off an email or anything... and it was kinda out of context how he used it, too... so it goes... The New York Times is NEVER on time - it's just all the news print to fit.
posted by cadence at 5:16 PM on July 9, 2001

Owillis, that thing is annoying as fuck. I cltr-atl-deleted almost instantly.
posted by dong_resin at 6:28 PM on July 9, 2001

Agree with dong_resin.

Annoying: Popups
Really Annoying: Popunders
REALLY REALLY ANNOYING: onUnload popups with onUnload popups

But I think this is a really good thing overall. Really annoying ads means desperation. It means acceptance that ads, as currently implemented, don't work. It's all evolution. Luckily, the popup/under is the fish with legs. Everyone can see it except for the marketing people.

Eventually they'll all get fired and replaced by other marketing people who are slightly more savvy.
posted by fooljay at 7:43 PM on July 9, 2001

Ok, fine. Understood. But could you folks offer me an ad unit you think would work? Everyone slams one thing but offers nothing in exchange...
posted by owillis at 7:56 PM on July 9, 2001

I respond to humor. I will watch a funny ad, at least the first time around.
Advertising in general, but particularly on-line ads, try too hard to be intrusive with a message that is really nothing but a worthless non-sequitur to the user.
Give me a quick, fast little idea, and I will pay attention, and feel less imposed upon.

I don't know what that fucking monkey I'm supposed to punch is trying to sell me, but I'm certainly never going to buy one.
posted by dong_resin at 9:26 PM on July 9, 2001

Oliver, don't take offense. It's not you. It's the medium.

Advertising on the web is not too dissimilar to advertising on the freeway. When you're going 80MPH, you don't have much time to look at roadside advertisement. You've got somewhere to go and can't afford to divert your attention. When you're sitting in traffic (which I will compare to mindless websurfing), you're more likely to look at them. If it was easy, you might even pick up your cell phone and call the number posted on the roadsign (if that's how they all worked...this is analogous to clicking, although a better example might be having to exit temporarily to go to McD's or something).

Popups are like someone dragging the roadsign up in front of your car while you're driving on the freeway.

Popunders are like someone attaching one to your back bumper...

The idea of net advertising is a very very powerful one. The advertisers gets immediate feedback on a campaign, gets demographics almost immediately, has the freedom to tweak the campaign in real-time, and has the possibility of inducing an immediate transaction. There is no other medium in the world which allows for those things—not print, radio, TV, or movies. All of those mediums are more akin to pushing a rock off of a cliff and hoping it hits it's target.

A big problem with net advertsing is that it's a compete diversion from the already content-rich web. There are enough hyperlinks and places to go on most web pages (especially the portals) to take up a lifetime of surfing. If your web surfing is objective-driven, it takes extra effort to avoid diverting from your path.

Furthermore, ads typically aren't compelling. As dong_resin mentioned, most are simply visual tricks to make you click. Punch the monkey, ads that looks like forms, so on and so on. They don't give enough incentive to draw my attention. Now that they're ubiquitous, it's simply noise.

What it all boils down to is that advertisers drool at the promise of immediacy of web advertsiements, but there's no way to measure that besides clickthroughs. The ad industry has been deluded into thinking that just because a user can immediately click through means that they will. This has taken away from the value of an impression and that's a damn shame.

Advertising is and always has been effective in doing one thing well: introducing or reinforcing brand. When I see an ad 100 times, I may be more likely to buy that company's product, when looking for products of that type, because I've seen the name. It's a trick, but it has always worked. Unfortunately, they are blinded to their own success by the promise of the Web. That drives them to use more desperate tactics, such as popups, to get someone to respond.

I see some promise in the future for inline rich media ads, but they are also fraught with peril (bandwidth, unsolicted sounds, etc).

The web isn't linear like TV. You can't be successful trying to make a user take a "commercial break".

So again, what you may be doing might be an improvement upon a failure, and for that, I say bravo for trying, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
posted by fooljay at 4:21 AM on July 11, 2001 [1 favorite]

BTW, Owillis, My annoyance with your ad was not meant to be taken as an attack on you or your abilities, only of the individual ad itself.
In all fairness, my patience with ads in general is running pretty thin.
Except maybe for those college girls caught on tape ones.
That's quality viewing.
posted by dong_resin at 5:35 AM on July 11, 2001

« Older CBS changes their mind!!!   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments