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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

Computing: Internet
Web User
Computing: Mac
Mac Format
Mac User
Computing: Miscellaneous
3D World
Computer Arts
Computer Arts Projects
Computer Music
Linux Format
What Laptop
Computing: Multi Format Console
Games Master
Games TM
Computing: Multi Media
Imagine FX
Computing: Nintendo
Official Nintendo Magazine
Computing: PC Business
Computer Buyer
Computer Shopper
Micro Mart
Mobile Computer 
PC Plus 
PC Pro
Personal Computer World
Computing: PC Games
PC Gamer
PC Zone
Computing: PC Leisure
Custom PC
Microsoft Windows XP The Official Magazines
PC Answers 
PC Format 
PC Live
Windows Vista – The Official Magazine
Computing: Sony
Official Playstation 2
Playstation World 
Computing: Xbox
360 Gamer
Official Xbox 360 Magazine
Xbox World  360

Computing: Internet
            The .net magazine has a creative style in the design element of the magazine and this has been brought forward onto the website. The website has a very simple design using a slightly off white colour for the background with rounded edges and contrasting colours for text. This makes the website a little more interesting then your standard newspaper design website.
            There are eleven pages on this website, they include: home, develop, discover, design, magazine, competition, pod cast, subscribe, RSS, forum and marketplace. In some of these pages they have different categories in which you can find information, they are: interviews, tutorials, how we built, culture, CSS, big mouth, big question, flash, PHP and access all areas. Each of these areas are articles, tutorials or how something (a website) was made. 
            This website contains many ways in which the users can interact, whether it is through the blog or the forum. The forum had discussions that you would generally find for the magazine such as, software, hardware, design, development, getting started etc. However, there was something different I found on this forum. There is a whole section on food. This was unusual to find as the magazine or the website has nothing to do with food. This could be a demand from the users or a way in which to attract a different audience to the product. 

Another feature of the website that I found useful is the pod cast, which you can download as an mp3 or subscribe to via itunes. The user can also subscribe to the RSS feeds which the website has split into different areas to apply to the users needs e.g. there is a design RSS feed which will give you all the design related articles.
Computing: Mac
            The Mac Format website compare to the .net website has a much more tightly structured website where it focuses on giving the user the information. The design of the website uses a block (table) structure; the way it has been displayed makes it easy for the reader to find everything needed from the website.
            There are many different pages on the website and some are not common to computing websites such as humour page where the users can send in Mac related humour. An example of user contribution to the website page is when a user that sent in some pictures of a windows error. 
The website also has the usual user interactivity pages such as a forum, competition page, RSS feeds, newsletter and pod casts.
Computing: Miscellaneous
            Computer Music’s website design is extremely similar to the way in which the Mac Format website is set out. There is a clear similarity in the layout of the two websites. This website uses lighter colours in comparison to the Mac Format website which gives this website a less structured look. Whereas, the Mac Format has the backgrounds of the side bars in a dark colour which splits up the whole page and brings focus to the main article.
A feature of the website that the others haven’t got is a magazine sampler. This allows the users to try before they buy. The sample gives the reader about eight pages to read to get an idea of what the magazine is about and what they would get from it. The sampler is a great idea as it show the reader exactly what they will recieve if they buy the magazine. The pages have the same layout, desaign and content as they would if you would to buy a copy. The sampler also gives the users the same capabilities as they would if they were actually holding the magazine e.g. they may flick through the pages.
Other features of the website that users can use are newsletters, tutorials, forum, subscription and RSS feeds. These areas all seem to be standard with each website and there are not many differences between them.
            On What Laptop’s magazine website there is a ongoing pattern of design. It has the same design format as Computer Music and Mac Format. However, this website uses much more bright colours such as red and yellow. The website is a branch off the e-commerce website http://www.whatlaptop.co.uk/. When compared to the e-commerce website we can see the difference in the layout of each website for the purpose that they serve.
This website has less of a variety for user interactivity and distribution. However, it does have the essentials such as RSS feeds, subscription and an online forum.  The online forum links to the forum of the e-commerce site. They have a shared forum therefore there isn’t a section on the magazine which is I thought there would have been for a shared forum.
Computing: Multi Format Console
Games TM is a gaming magazine, the website is different from the previous websites I have looked at as it is a flash website. The website is very simple and gives the user the essential information. The areas of interactivity and distribution that I found on the website were online subscription, forums and a magazine sample. This magazine sample is different from the Computer Music’s magazine sample. The Games TM magazine sample is more realistic as it allows the user turn the pages by grabbing the corner and with the mouse turning the page. This sample however only gives the user seven pages to sample and there is no way in which the user can zoom in to read the articles properly which the Computer Music’s sample allows you to do.
Computing: Multi Media
            Imagine FX is a fantasy and sci-fi digital art magazine. Although the magazine has a similar layout to the other magazine websites, the look of the magazine is different because of the magazine subject and the colour and imagery used. User interactivity plays a big part in this website. There is a lot of user contribution to the blogs, forum and galleries. The website also makes good use of RSS, allowing users to receive article through e-mail, Google reader etc.
Computing: Nintendo
            The Official Nintendo magazine has a completely different look from the others. This website stays away from the columns of text (news). The website has ways of distributing the magazine such as subscription, newsletter and digital sampler. The digital sampler is the best that i have seen as it is realist like the Games TM sampler and also encorporates the capabilites of the Computer Music's magazine sampler. The website also has a view of the forum on the home page. There are not really any other pages to look at however there are external pages such as video vault and forum.
Computing: PC Business
            Here we are again back to the classic view of the computing magazine website. Micro Mart’s magazine website is no different to the others that I have previously looked at with a column type structure. There is not much interactivity on this website. There is a forum where users can post about most computing topics. Also there are also distribution areas such as subscription and shows and events. This is where they give the users the addresses and contact information to where the events would be held.
Computing: PC Games
            The PC Zone website has much more happening on its home page compared to the others. It seems more congested in comparison to the other computing websites. It seems to have a lot of mini previews to what is going on in the rest of the website. There is a good use of online distribution and user interactivity on this website using pod casts, blogs, competitions, subscription, RSS feeds and forums.
Computing: PC Leisure
            The PC Format magazine has a use of contrasting colours to draw the user in. It has a main area where all the information that is of importance kept. This website also has the common distribution and user interactivity areas such as online subscription, forum, downloads and competitions.
Computing: Sony
            The PSM 3 website is the exact replicate of the PC Zone website. It uses the same format with just different content. It is strange how the websites of the same are (in this case gaming) have the exact same layout.
Computing: Xbox
            The 360 Gamer magazine website has a similar look to the other gaming websites however this one is slightly different. This one is still tightly packed with information but in a more horizontal way. It uses the full range of the page. This website however has not as much distribution areas as the other. There is a newsletter you can subscribe to and accress to an online forum. However, it is a recently new website so there may be some changes to come in online distribution.
Comparison of Websites
            After looking at each of these websites I can see that there is a trend in what the website will guarantee to have on the website as a use of distribution and interactivity using new media. The online web forum is essential. Every website that I have looked at has one, this is because the online forum encourages users to interact and talk about the magazine. If the users feel comfortable using the forum then they will continuously come back to it. This means that they will also return to the website for news updates etc. Also another way in which most websites distribute their magazine online is through online subscription. This is a great way in which to get your users to buy the magazine and for those magazines that are not so widely available in shops this is a way of users to get hold of the magazine and it come straight to their door.
            When looking at each website there are some aspects of new media that only one or two have. Imagine FX has an online gallery which users can upload their imagery/art that they have created. Users can comment of the photo’s which again is another form of interactivity. It is similar to the way in which flickr works, like a blog for imagery.
            RSS feeds are another use of new media and web 2.0 that many websites were using but not all. I found this to be quite surprising as there has been a rise in the use of RSS. RSS seems to be the new way in which the magazines can distribute their content and it is surprising that not all computing magazines are using it or using it in a more practical way.  Blogging is another new media that is being used and this is also a great way in which they can get their users to generate some of the news/information themselves. It makes the users feel like they are apart of the process. However, many users are starting to find out news before the magazines themselves. The users should be aware to copyright or add a creative commons license to their work so people acknowledge that they are the source if used by others.
            Sampling of the magazine is something that I feel is very useful to the readers, especially new ones. However, I only came across it in three of the websites that I looked at. This can be a new way in which they can attract a larger audience as some may not know what the magazine is about. Here you have an actual example in front of you that looks exactly like you would buy in the shops. Many users may prefer to have the magazine in paper form and this gives them a sense of that physical form.
How they make their money?
Most websites depend on advertising to generate revenue. This benefits both the advertiser and the user as the advertiser gets users viewing their product and the website generates profit from giving advertisers space on their web page. On the majority of websites that I looked at only had a couple of adverts on their pages. This doesn’t over crowd the pages with flashing adverts as too many adverts may distract and may make the users not want to use the website.
Most of the adverts on the websites are fitting with the content of the website e.g. gaming magazine website has adverts for PC games. Advertising commonly works on a pay-per-click basis. This is where advertisers only pay when users click on the advert. Prices per click are normally around 50cents as the average amount ‘seems to hover between two and five clicks per 1,000 impressions of the ad’ (Brian, 2007).  The popular internet pay-per-click advertisers include Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.
            In conclusion I have found that most websites use the same new media to attract audiences and encourage user interactivity. There is now a growing number of blogs and internet users are creating their own news. There is an ever growing amount of blogs, most containing some kind of news and information. As a result of RSS users are creating their own online magazines/newspapers. So is it the end of the physical paper magazine form? As of yet we don’t know but newspaper and magazine sales are decreasing.
Marshall Brain, How web advertising works. Accessed 31st October 2007, http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-advertising2.htm

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