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Thread: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

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    News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    After a 30-year run the US magazine will now only span web and digital formats.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I subscribed to Custom PC and PC Format for the trial periods but cancelled when it was up. Still get the odd Micromart to go in the bathroom to read while I dump, I guess I should move on an buy a tablet for the crapper?

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I've still got a couple of UK "PC World" magazines in my loft including the last two issues - really wish they'd bring that back as it was a darn fine mix of business and home related articles and the writing was good. Still take a couple of magazines, but recently I "rationalised" so that I get Linux Format in paper form and Linux Magazine/Professional (UK/US names respectively) in PDF.

    Anyone remember Byte? I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zimano View Post
    I subscribed to Custom PC and PC Format for the trial periods but cancelled when it was up. Still get the odd Micromart to go in the bathroom to read while I dump, I guess I should move on an buy a tablet for the crapper?
    too ... much ... information !!!!

    Career status: still enjoying my new career in DevOps, but it's keeping me busy...

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I won't ever understand people who read on the toilet. I would assume there was something wrong with their bodies, but there seems to be many self-proclaimed bathroom readers, so maybe it isn't that uncommon. I never spend more than three or four minutes on the toilet. But anyhow...

    Print is dead. Even digital print is dying. I'm guilty of browsing hardware/software reviews on the web, and then scratching my head in confusion when no video is presented with the article. Still images aren't enough anymore, especially when it's a case review. Video says a lot.

    Perhaps PC World will survive if they move to streaming.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I never did get on with the telephone directory-sized magazines where you struggled to find the factual articles amongst the unwanted adverts for gear that you were never going to buy.

    I did have a subscription to PC Pro for a while, but the frequently repetitive material just cost too much. Now they offer an online version, that's almost as expensive and equally unattractive.

    It makes much more sense in this age of interactive content for the consumer to be able to search and select the desired content rather than being fed information that is completely irrelevant.

    I, for one will not mourn the loss of PC World.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Missing PC World UK Mag alot, it helped me & fellow it geeks out many times, with well writtern pages, great reviews. I still have some around the house from 1997. I guess all good things come to an end.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    I won't ever understand people who read on the toilet. I would assume there was something wrong with their bodies, but there seems to be many self-proclaimed bathroom readers, so maybe it isn't that uncommon. I never spend more than three or four minutes on the toilet. But anyhow...
    I read whilst on the throne, and even use my Kindle in the bath. I fail to see the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    Print is dead. Even digital print is dying. I'm guilty of browsing hardware/software reviews on the web, and then scratching my head in confusion when no video is presented with the article. Still images aren't enough anymore, especially when it's a case review. Video says a lot.

    Perhaps PC World will survive if they move to streaming.
    I disagree. The death of printed reviews is just a symptom of the dumbing down trend in everything. I have no problems with video reviews, I can even put up with TTL, but there are some horrific examples out there that seem to be gaining some traction; and that is the real tragedy. Video reviews are very much a passive experience and, whilst they have the capability to show you more than a few pics in a written review, few make any real effort to put in the time - as if the mere fact that it's a video review is enough. Take Lauren from Tasty PC - she knows her hardware, but most of her video reviews are very static - just her stood by a case/pc/item and talking at you, with the occasional cut away to show another static shot of the item. If you condense the whole thing down to how much information is actually imparted, you could fit it on a post-it note.

    While I find TTL a little annoying, his video reviews are almost always in-depth and well thought out - an example of how to do it well.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
    I read whilst on the throne, and even use my Kindle in the bath. I fail to see the problem.

    I disagree. The death of printed reviews is just a symptom of the dumbing down trend in everything. I have no problems with video reviews, I can even put up with TTL, but there are some horrific examples out there that seem to be gaining some traction; and that is the real tragedy. Video reviews are very much a passive experience and, whilst they have the capability to show you more than a few pics in a written review, few make any real effort to put in the time - as if the mere fact that it's a video review is enough.

    ....
    And therein lies the real problem, IMHO.

    Reviews have always been about separating the wheat from the chaff, and even in the days of no internet, and print-only reviews, God knows there was still chaff. BUT .... if the signal to noise ratio of a printed mag was too low, you lost readers, and that not onky meant liwer subscription revenues, but far more damaging, audited circulation figures meant it clobbered ad rates too. And given that pre-production costs, production, printing and distribution costs were significant, if you lost subscriptions and especially ad revenues, you were likely toast.

    And THAT gave publishers a very good incentive to at least try to keep the signal to noise ratio up.

    Now, of course, any idiot can put together a review site from his bedroom, for next to nothing. Some will be done well, by knowlegdeable, well-informed people, and thrive. I might be a tad biased, but I'd put HEXUS in that category. But by 'eck, is there some crap out there, or wot!

    The signal to noise ratio is a lot lower these days, by virtue of there being a heck of a lot more noise.


    I don't think print is dead, but it's certainly seriously ill, and very likely terminal. And I don't think that that is a good thing. Personally, I've never (with one exception, more later) considered paying for a PDF subscription to a magazine, and given any choice, I don't plan on starting. I do still regularly buy magazines, be it computers, photography, genealogy, woodworking, motorbikes, current affairs, science, or whatever. And yes, I buy in all those categories, and sometimes others.

    I also have a fairly substantial PDF archive of magazine articles, but that's one I've built myself, mainly because, first, storsge was getting to be a problem, and a fire risk, and second, so was finding what I needed.

    So now, I have :-

    1) A library of magazines (and books, for that matter)
    2) An archive of magazine articles, in plastic wallets in ring-binders. They're databased.
    3) Items in category 2) migrate, slowly, to a home-built PDF library, which is also databased, in that it's part of a document-management system.

    At each stage, I'm sorting wheat from chaff, thinning down and refining. And yes, it's a bit extreme for a home office, but then, I work from home and that library is important for research and reference.


    For me, print isn't dead, but it does present challenges, and a workload. But I'd still rather read articles in print than PDF by a VERY large margin.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I remember when the magazines used to be just as big but contain around 50%+ less adverts - it seems nowadays that most of the pages are just adverts!

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
    I disagree. The death of printed reviews is just a symptom of the dumbing down trend in everything.
    Dumbing down trend? Adding video with your review adds a whole new element of expression.

    A rough breakdown of a review's appeal is this:
    40%- Desire. Do I need/care about the item being reviewed? If not, I won't bother reading a review about it, will I?
    20%- The written word. This is the static aspect. Statistics, opinions. Dry. When seeing just the written word and a few pictures, my mind is allowed to ponder. I wonder what the agenda of the reviewer is. I weigh the review against advertising. Most consumers have been exposed to so much hype over the years that they go in expecting a shill, and looking for it. Print magazines are EXTREMELY bad for this. They're charging the reader either a subscription or retail unit price. But that's a pittance compared to the revenue they gain from print advertisers. Who are they going to appease; the reader or the advertiser? That's an ethical tug-of-war, and reader beware.
    40%- Video. If there's a video, I may just forget that I don't need or care about the item being reviewed. The non-committal allure of multitasking wins out. "Hey, I have five minutes, let's click Play and see what this is about. I can divide my attention." When a video is done well, it creates desire that may not have existed. When a video is done poorly, you tend to associate that failure more with the reviewer, than with the item being reviewed. Reviewers are personalities.

    Now let's talk about some video reviewers.
    TTL - I'm a watercooler. TTL is a watercooler. I expect a watercooler's perspective when watching his case reviews, and he delivers that. However, one of his videos actually put me off of BitFenix, when he removed a piece of moulding and (unintentionally) showed just how cheaply made the case was. The crappy tooling, the way the steel sagged under just the weight of his thumb... *shudders* Also, TTL will criticize heartily where it's due. Unlike,

    3DCluelessMan - Classic case of a telemarketer taking to the web. How this guy gained popularity I can't fathom. Maybe it's his target demographic with the gaudy plastic Aerocool cases and the Corsair AIO coolers. He skips over so much, like he's enthusiastically reading over a bullet-list, trying to sell you snakeoil.

    Lauren you mentioned? Heart is in the right place. But, it's more like someone noticed she had nerd-cred, gave her a camera and told her to do reviews. They didn't supply her with the tools though. I admit I've only seen two of her reviews, but neither had any depth. A year from now she may have built up the arsenal to do full-fledge reviews, but right now it's just her, the item, and a manufacturer's blurb of statistics.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    I struggle with video reviews of technical items. Yes I enjoy watch Pistonhead videos with cars skidding round tracks, but for graphics card I want a few charts (which I can skip quickly through or pop back to for reference) and some description. Static pictures work great for static items!

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Completely agree with that sentiment, Jimbo. A motherboard does not need a video review. An SSD does not. Ram... why would anyone do a video review of ram though, seriously? lol

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    Dumbing down trend? Adding video with your review adds a whole new element of expression.
    Just adding video content doesn't automagically make something better. Adding a well done video adds a worthwhile element of expression.

    As Saracen so aptly put it, it's about sorting the wheat from the chaff; and with everyone and their grandmother fancying themselves as hardware reviewers (All you need is a youtube account and a camera phone), finding the wheat is becoming increasingly difficult.

    Producing a written review is generally more work, and people tend towards the easier option; often resulting in lazy reviews.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about 3DGameman, he is a joke to any PC enthusiast - although, he clearly fills a requirement for some people or he would've packed up years ago. As for Lauren: I'm not a fan of her but, as I said, she does know her hardware; it's just a shame her reviews lack meaningful content and quality delivery. Not to belittle her efforts and reduce this to sexism, but some fat bloke producing the same tat would've been shot down on day one. Draw any conclusions you like from that.
    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    Completely agree with that sentiment, Jimbo. A motherboard does not need a video review. An SSD does not. Ram... why would anyone do a video review of ram though, seriously? lol
    The only items I search for video reviews of are cases - just to get that slightly different angle, to see if I really could shorehorn a radiator in there.
    Last edited by Spreadie; 18-07-2013 at 04:15 PM.

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    ....

    20%- The written word. This is the static aspect. Statistics, opinions. Dry. When seeing just the written word and a few pictures, my mind is allowed to ponder. I wonder what the agenda of the reviewer is. I weigh the review against advertising. Most consumers have been exposed to so much hype over the years that they go in expecting a shill, and looking for it. Print magazines are EXTREMELY bad for this. They're charging the reader either a subscription or retail unit price. But that's a pittance compared to the revenue they gain from print advertisers. Who are they going to appease; the reader or the advertiser? That's an ethical tug-of-war, and reader beware.
    Okay, I'll bite on that.

    First, I understand the suspicion. I can add some perspective to that though, certainly in relation to the computer press.

    So, first point. In relation to who they are going to appease, what on earth makes you think the pressures are any different online to in print, or with a video review compared to static.

    Either those pressures exist, or they don't, and video or static, print or online, makes no difference.

    Second, I've worked for a large proportion of the UK computer press, for more than 20 years, and for some foreign press too, though much less so. That includes thousands of articles, reviews, opinions, interviews and so on. And, all as a freelancer.

    Not once in all that time has ANY pressure been put on me by anybody to bias a review. I've never had a single conversation, on anything, in any publication, with anyone on the advertising side. Not even once, in 20+ years.

    Nor has any editor ever suggested I bias a review, or even so much as hinted at whether they expected a good or bad review. Again, not even once.

    Nor has any editor or sub-editor ever changed the tone or conclusion of a review. And I can tell you that for something going out with my name on it, they'd bleeping well better not change the tone or conclusion, or I'd scream bloody murder over it. Editing for length? Well, if I don't submit to the word'count, yeah okay, but I always do (within a small and pre-agreed margin). Editing for typos, grammar, style and standards consistency, etc, again, okay. But changing my opinion, when I've tested the product and my name is on the article? Not okay, not in a million years.

    My ability to get ongoing work depends entirely on my reputation, and that reason alone means I'll never bias a review, and I'll get noisy as hell if an editor ever does it, because it's not just their reputation on the line, but my livelihood if my name is on the article.

    So, whose interest do they have at heart, reader or advertiser? IMHO, that's easy. Neither. It's their own best interest, and no way is that served by printed biased reviews, because you're putting short-term reward up against , ong-term reputational damage if you do that, and, in my experience, no major computer publisher is stupid enough to do it. Because if you do, it won't be long before you get caught, and at that point, your reputation is wrecked.

    And for that reason, and that major publishers have too much to lose, you can be FAR more confident of lack of bias from a major print organisation than you can from a one-man-in-his-bedroom online reviewer.

    The same logic applies to contact between manufacturers and reviewers. If, as a freelancer, I were ever to compromise independence and objectivity for a "bribe", it wouldn't be long before editors noticed. They aren't stupid, you know. And at that point, I'm an ex-freelancer, because word would spread faster than a bush fire. And I'm looking for a new occupation.

    Even assuming I were predisposed to accepting a bung, I can't think of what could possibly justify any manufacturer to offer a bung large enough that it was conceivably worth the risk. Maybe some people are venal enough, or stupid enough, to not think it through, but again, in over 20 years of writing for the computer press, NOBODY has ever offered me anything remotely resembling a bribe, and nor have I ever come accross a case of it happening (though, of course, it could have).

    Finally, just in case anyone's wondering, my involvement with HEXUS is only as a volunteer on forum, and I've never been paid a penny, either in work or bribe. In the interests of full disclosure, one of the directors did once buy me a pint and pub lunch, net value about £6, when he wanted to pick my brains about a possible project.

    I hope that gives you a little insight, based on the personal experiences of one insider.
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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by NecronomicoN View Post
    I won't ever understand people who read on the toilet. I would assume there was something wrong with their bodies, but there seems to be many self-proclaimed bathroom readers, so maybe it isn't that uncommon. I never spend more than three or four minutes on the toilet. But anyhow...
    I used to say the same back in the day, but now I have a daughter I know why the toilet becomes a sanctuary for peace

    anyway, there's still a place for printed editions - in the garden in the sun. Using a tablet or phone is bad with this weather we are having!

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    Re: News - PC World Magazine's last-ever printed issue is on sale now

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee @ SCAN View Post
    there's still a place for printed editions - in the garden in the sun. Using a tablet or phone is bad with this weather we are having!
    *cough* ebook reader *cough*

    I love my kindle and perfectly viewable in the sun without pages sticking to sweaty arms

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