Friday, August 15, 2008

Writing the Issue Yourself

The latest issue of my alma mater, Business Week -- a double issue, no less -- was written in collaboration with readers, as noted by Talking Biz News, linking to BW.

The title is "Trouble at the Office," so I went over to BW's website and examined the only piece really relevant to a home-worker like myself: "Home-Office Romance" by the satirist Andy Borowitz.

Deprived of the usual opportunities for employee-on-employee passion, the home-based worker may start looking for love in all the wrong places. And therein lies the ugly truth: When you're your own boss, you have no one to sexually harass but yourself.
I am a fan of Borowitz, but to be frank I just didn't think it was very funny.

The other articles were written by readers, and they read like abbreviated versions of the fare you can get in any self-help book.

In my day (said Weiss, sounding like an old fart), an idea like this would have been ridiculed, and rightly so. But I guess something has to be done to raise lagging ad revenues.

Sorry, but I don't think that patronizing attempts to curry favor with readers is the way to go if BW is to retrieve its fallen ad revenue, much less regain its former prominence. Readers look to BW for insight, news and analysis, and stuff they can't read anywhere else. This kind of thing can be had by surfing the net. where you can find "reader participation" all over the place, most of it dreck.

I hate to be so harsh, and I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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