First up, I’ll admit that most online magazines annoy the crap out me. It seems that all a person has to do to gain a little link-popularity these days is create a few lists derived from other people’s content, slap it together on a WordPress blog and tada… watch the talentless monkeys come rolling in expecting to gleam some sort of inspiration and skill.
That said, Fuze Magazine has started off reasonably well. Instead of doing the regurgitated list-format BS à la Smashing Magazine, we seem to have a format that more easily identifies with the likes of A List Apart. 4 out of the 5 core intro articles are reasonable in overall size, are non-list based, and the layout is easy enough to navigate/text easy enough to read.
Pleasantries and compliments aside, I do think there are some minor things that I personally would address (if I were hypothetically running an online magazine).
The intro at the top states “
We rely on contributors like you.” It therefore strikes me as a little odd that the only place to contribute as a visitor is via a tiny comment link at the bottom of the home page. Although accepting comments brings a whole new level to the tedium that is managing a website, I find that most of my best content (thoughts, feedback and intelligent reasoning) comes from the very people I write to.
There are a few inconsistencies in overall style. The author “by …” text on the homepage is coloured the same as the links but are unclickable, but the names are linked on individual article pages. There’s a note about the author on the articles provided by Becky and Jenny but none on TWD’s or the Creative Spotlight by Sarai.
The first articles are a great taster for what comes ahead, although I didn’t find any of them particularly “on the edge of my seat” exciting. I’m sure this is more likely because I’ve heard it all before rather than because of any lack of talent from the contributors.
Spelling, grammar and basic sentence structure is above average for the most part, despite sentences like “
You need to find a balance between the new and experienced user and quite frankly I don’t think that FanUpdate does a very good job of this“. I find it simply reads as redundant word-bloat… no emphasis is needed on the fact that this is lacking after pointing out a balance is needed in the first place. Likewise “
The next, and biggest change, in my opinion, was the Awesome Bar” reminds me of “new and improved”, something I ranted about last month. Enzo lets the side down a little with “
they’re design” (should be their) and “..
could mix in with your design without it stealing the show of the design” (ugly repetition of the word design); while his first language is not English these mistakes should have been caught by a proof-reader before the page was published.
Technical accuracy is not really an issue as none of the articles provide any code, although Becky’s suggestion to keep Cutenews over FanUpdate makes the security fanatic in me scream (especially as the entire review is based upon the assumption that FanUpdate is anything more than a basic blogging script designed for fanlisting owners — definitely not worthy of being compared to major CMS/blog engines — although that’s another topic altogether!)
All in all, I think Fuse has started off positively. It’s certainly not every day I compare a website to the mega-brilliance that is A List Apart. I think with each edition, providing that quality is maintained to a suitably high standard, Fuse has the potential to be one of those websites that appears in everyone’s link list. Like jemjabella. :P