December 06, 2004
Posted by Gordon Smith

One of my favorite magazines of the dot-com era was The Red Herring. Founder Tony Perkins is a creative guy, but his latest venture looks like a loser to me. Perkins wants to create a "Blogozine" from material that has already appeared on the blogs at Always On. Did someone forget to tell Perkins that most of the allure of blogs is their spontaneity?

Actually, stale blog entries will comprise only about half of the new magazine. Here is the rest of the idea:

The rest of the magazine will feature longer articles about technology's future and interviews with the likes of Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Carly Fiorina. Perkins, 46, hopes to make money through a combination of advertising and an annual $49 subscription that delivers copies of the blogozine and special privileges at the AlwaysOn Web site. Even before the blogozine hits the newsstand, Perkins is aggressively promoting it as a breakthrough development in "open-source media." "It makes my heart go pitter patter when I think about it," Perkins said during a recent interview. "I really think this is where the media is going to go in the future."

"Open-source media"? Cute. But no, it's not working. Jason Pontin, The Red Herring's former editor, has it just right: "If you believe there are enough people interested in reading a magazine devoted to bunch of insiders writing with great jubilation about the importance of their own community, then Tony's approach could be quite effective."

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