Friday, January 27, 2006

The best among us

Today is a good day to be in B2B journalism.
The finalists for ABM's Neal Awards have been announced, and that gives us the opportunity to see just how good we can be. Take a look at the list. Pat yourself on the back if any product you work on is a finalist.
I'm thrilled to see that some of my favorite B2B publications are in the finals -- Fleet Owner, National Jeweler and IDG/CXO Media's CSO, CIO and CFO.
As you glance through the list, you'll note bittersweetly that CMO made the cut in several categories, including best single issue. It's old news now that CMO is no more....but I'm hoping the magazine can pick up a few posthumous honors.

But I have to admit that I'm perplexed by one of the finalists.
Porkmag.com is on the list for best Web site with fewer than 25,000 unique visitors a month. (Full Disclosure: I was once a senior writer at Porkmag's parent company, Vance Publishing.) But Porkmag has few of the things that make for a compelling Web site. Although there are occasional audio files from Vance's new radio property, the site is largely a collection of black text on white background. It looks like a newspaper on a computer screen. Actually, it looks worse, because a newspaper would have photos. And there is no interactivity -- no links, no feedback functions. The news section is just a news feed. The magazine material isn't repurposed and there's nothing original that I see.
I know that the journalists of Vance can do better than this. That company is full of talented people. And I expect the product will improve. But for now, I don't see why the site should be on the finalist list.
If you're willing to put up with a registration process, take a look and see if you agree.
Then compare it with some of the other finalists at E&P and CIO.

For Matt McAlister's take on one of the finalists, look here.
For David Shaw's take on the finalists, look here. (And a special thanks to David for pointing out something I missed in my first look through the list -- Hammock Publishing, owned by Rex of Rexblog, is one of the finalists.)

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Paul. I jokingly told David I'm beginning to feel like Susan Lucci when it comes to the Neal in this category. We have a great department feature in the magazine and it's been nominated three times in the category of "best department." I hope we don't have to wait like Lucci, until the 19th nomination, to finally win. However, I'm very, very honest in saying, it is extremely nice to be nominated considering the hundreds of magazines competiting.

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  2. Hi Rex,
    Here's hoping that this is your year!

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