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Oh, no, not again!

I can't help but think of Douglas Adams' bowl of petunias when I see that The Guardian is reporting that there are moves afoot to launch a UK version of Wired yet again...

Did we not learn from the last time? Will this mean a rebirth for NTK in a year or so as another group of bitter hacks regroup?

I reserve the right to change my mind if they ever commission me for some work!



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)
What is the point of Wired now (you may not wish to answer this for professional reasons :-))?
I have read and posted a link to Danny's document, which is an interesting historical document (I think I even emailed him a couple of questions and got replies).
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 1st, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I thought I was the only technical person who thought that.

It's a bongo mag for marketing tossers.
Jul. 1st, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Don't insult marketing tossers like that. I always saw it as a Starlog for IT dweebs: no matter how pathetic your devotion to the idea that the Apple IIE was the epitome of technology (and I had one such Cat Piss Man and regular Wired reader get in my face about how unfair it was that CompuServe stopped offering support for the IIE in 1994), Wired could make your obsession a little more acceptable. The reason why the original iteration of Wired, before Conde Nast bought it, failed so miserably was because it really was written by and for Cat Piss Men...and it's almost impossible to pry money out of their fingers unless it's for a life-sized Boba Fett figure with fully functional orifices.

If anything, Wired, like many of its contemporary and competing technoweenie wank magazines, was something that marketing types didn't get. Could you really say that any marketing wonk would give a fart in a high wind about anything Bruce Sterling ever wrote?
Jul. 1st, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Heh. Actually your description sounds more like Byte just after the point where all the good writers (Ciarcia, Webster, Shapiro) left and it became Jerry C*nting "Love me, I'm stupid, I failed to install all this free kit/software I was given" Pournelle.

I must admit to having read barely more than a handful of technowank magazines since the late 80s. I do this shit for a living, I don't enjoy it.
Jul. 1st, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
There are many kinds of Cat Piss Man, but I think that the average computer stylee CPM wouldn't have been seen dead reading Wired, thinking it too light-weight technically. I would have said it was more for people who thought they were changing the world when really they were working 80 hours a week on accounting systems.
Jul. 1st, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
"Working 80-hour weeks for a startup weekly newspaper" is closer to the situation. I sold my copies of the first four years of Wired to the editor of a now-long-defunct Dallas weekly, and he was so enamored of the bullshit in Wired that he decided we needed a "Cyber" section. (Admittedly, his real technological interest was in porn, and we went for nearly a solid year without an issue with at least some mention of Webporn in it at his insistence, but he devoured Wired solely so it didn't seem as if all he did was jack off in his office. That, also, was true, but he at least tried.)
Jul. 1st, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
It was brilliant in the pre-web era, until around '97
Jul. 1st, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Snort. I was buying it from the beginning, mostly because of the number of my writer friends who were asked to write for Wired, and it was about as brilliant as Science Fiction Eye, bOINGbOING, and Mondo 2000 were. Namely, you remember vaguely that it was brilliant only because nobody else was doing anything quite that way, but a reread fifteen years later just brings the question "What the fuck was wrong with me back then? Was I completely blind, or just stupid?"
Jul. 1st, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
I am always surprised that the mythology of Wired doesn't metion the elephant in the room point that it was basically a slightly toned down Mondo 2000.
Jul. 1st, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Of course they won't, because Wired was intended to be nothing but a Mondo 2000 ripoff in the first place. Mondo, in turn, never would have happened if Science Fiction Eye had never come along. The difference between Wired and the other two wasn't even that Wired had corporate underwriting and a better distribution deal: it at least had editors and publishers who were willing to buckle down and get their work done, instead of fucking off on other projects, parading around in public expecting the accolades that they'd obviously earned, or lying to their contributors as to why the latest issue is now nearly two years late. (I worked for Science Fiction Eye between 1990 and 1996, and while I wasn't the guy who started referring to it as "The Last Dangerous Magazine", I was the guy who brought that name to its current high level of popularity.
Jul. 1st, 2008 11:22 am (UTC)
I can only assume that they're being intentionally post-ironic in planning the launch of a monthly technology-magazine in dead-tree format.
Jul. 1st, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
Have we got waterproof e-book readers yet? One needs something to read in the bath.
Jul. 1st, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Sadly, Conde Nast won't learn. Right now, its current crop of editors were all in college or high school when Wired first came out, and they're just like the Hollywood execs who remember skipping school to smoke weed and watch Transformers and suddenly decide that the world needs a $200 million live-action movie. The difference is that the dead tree magazine market is imploding, and unless Conde Nast wants to turn it into another Tatler and put a few tits on the front cover, it's going to sell about as well as last time.

The bright side? Even if Sid Neumeier decides to blow $10 million US on this dog, it's still cheaper than rehiring Tina Brown.
Jul. 1st, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
Ironically, I subscribed to the original UK Wired a few months before it got canned - my sub got duly switched to the US version. I have to say, it was an improvement, at the time. :)

I did pick up a copy of Wired last year when I was in New York - meh, still the ad-heavy, content-light mess that I remember it having turned into by the time I unsubscribed years ago. (On the other hand, I really like the US PC Magazine, and now have a rolling subbie)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )