food for the mind The High-Tech Reader
food for the mind


by Mathew


One of the most consistently interesting quasi-literary magazine sites out there has to be Salon, which offers everything from first-person travel pieces to some great sex columns by Courtney Weaver.

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Bill Gates managed to lure Michael Kinsley away from The New Republic to edit his online magazine Slate, which has some interesting commentary.

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It seems like ages since a couple of staffers at Wired magazine started Suck, and it has been through many incarnations -- but it is still worth the read.

This is a constantly evolving collection of the Web links I've found that have to do with media -- anything resembling a newspaper, magazine, e-zine, or other repository for printed thoughts. My interest stems in part from the fact that I am a journalist with The Globe and Mail, although obviously I don't speak for them, just as they don't speak for me. If you have any suggestions, comments or additions to make, please e-mail me.

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The Internet has gotten a lot of attention because it's supposedly just a lot of useless eye candy, like television except worse -- just streaming video and animated GIFs and massive bitmaps everywhere. But this overlooks the fact that there's a lot of reading going on on the Web too, everywhere from sites put up by existing magazines to online-only media. And the latter is one of the great things about the Internet -- you can find plenty of Web sites whipped up as the online companion to dead-tree publications like Time magazine or USA Today, but you can also find hundreds -- if not thousands -- of totally idiosyncratic mini-magazines, designed and "published" in some cases by a single (occasionally demented) individual. Why photocopy and staple together a bunch of scribbled ramblings to mail to your weird friends when you can just write some HTML and let people from around the world poke around your bizarre little universe?

That's not to say that there aren't some good Web sites set up by dead-tree media. Time-Warner got into the game early with its Pathfinder site, which provides access to Time, People, Fortune and Money magazines, as well as CNN. One magazine that has been through a particularly ironic transformation is Wired, which started as a printed publication about an electronic world, then started an ambitious online venture called Hotwired. Then the Wired empire started to get into financial trouble, and the printed part was sold not long ago to Conde Nast, while the electronic part went its own way. What does the future hold for Wired? Another online pioneer has been through its own transformation: WORD, a cutting-edge site that got into some trouble as well, and went under -- only to be bought and resurrected by a fish-oil manufacturing company (I'm not making this up) called Zapata. So it goes.



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