Business Week Changes Its Blog Article

A Business Week cover story in May 2005 argued that “blogs will change your business.” This week, authors Stephen Baker and Heather Green took the interesting step of annotating the article with updates.

For example, the 2005 article remarked that: “Six Apart, a four-year-old San Francisco company, leads in blog software.” A 2008 annotation adds that: “We also should have mentioned WordPress, a highly influential open-source blog platform.”

The article has a new title: Social Media Will Change Your Business. The last three years have seen the rise of Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It’s interesting to see Business Week using the web to update a much-downloaded and frequently-linked article from a few years ago. Good for BW, and for Stephen and Heather, for having the nerve to admit the ways in which the original article has dated. To say that it’s dated isn’t to look down on it. In 2005, I didn’t see Twitter coming (although I would have mentioned WordPress).

Business Week: Show Me the Books

Business Week just published its Best Business Books of the Year list. I clicked on the link (the one I’ve just provided for you), expecting to be taken to a text-based page I could scan quickly.

Instead, I was taken to a slide show, and had to click through the books a page at a time. There were thumbnails at the foot of the slideshow pages, but most titles weren’t legible.

This seems like a mistmatch between content and presentation. The people most interested in business books can probably cope with text, and don’t need a slide show to tell them about books. More generally, BW Online seems over-fond of slide shows when more conventional web pages would be better.

I guess there’s always dead trees. But the print edition seems to be trying to ape the online edition, and not in a good way.

Back to the slide show: I really like the illustration for the 2007 best books list. I looked for the name of the illustrator, but did so in vain.

Business Week Redesign

bwlogo.gifI bought a magazine on Saturday, for the first time in many a month. The magazine in question was Business Week. I used to subscribe to the dead trees edition, and have sometimes regretted letting my subscription lapse. Although I can read BW Online, longer articles read better on paper, at least in my ancient eyes.

My purchase was prompted by two main things: I was about to go on a longish flight, and I saw Bruce Nussbaum’s post on the redesign of BW.

I’ve been part of a secret process of reinventing the magazine medium that will be unveiled on Friday when a new kind of Business Week hits the stands… We wanted to go beyond a redesign and do a rethink of how people get information and analysis today, given the web and the way we live and work.

The result, as I look on the wall and see it take life, is a new kind of print medium that I think will be the model for magazines to copy in the years ahead.

I find that post rather more impressive than the reinvented magazine it persauded me to buy. My main comment is that BW is trying too hard to “brief” its readers in the print edition. But I read paper because it is a good medium for articles, books, and other longer stuff. If I want brief, I’d rather read it on the screen, probably via the web.

As I typed in the above on the plane for later posting, I was sure that I wouldn’t be alone in this reaction. Sure enough, Joe Wickert’s remarks are similar to mine, although more extensively and vigorously expressed.