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Friday, October 31, 2008

Live IT:Leave it gals!

Delhi Press, publisher of 26 diversified magazines in 9 different Indian languages, has launched its ‘kind’ of magazine on information technology- ‘Live IT’. Tag line of the magazine claims- IT magazine for the contemporary women.

Well, I disagree… after going through inch-by-inch of the inaugural issue!

(You must be wondering why I am giving my ‘virdi’ct in so beginning this time. Simply because this magazine belongs to the same genre that also is my core strength, i.e. Technology. Let me tell you friends, I have been IT professor for ten years before I joined media business. And now, it has been nine years since I have been serving for publishing industry in my editorial capacities. A few of you are aware that I have been Editor for various Technology magazines & have worked for other similar projects also. So, I could evaluate this magazine very precisely.)

It seems that ‘Live IT’ is conceptualized by a person or a team who has got at least 15-18 years of experience of technology. Sounds good??... But what if that person is still living in that era of IT only??... Then this is a problem!! The term IT itself sounds old fashioned as it is more or less kept limited up to government sectors only.

Content, especially ‘Features’ are written in the way that those should have been written 15 years ago. They are not greater than a feature published in some Sunday supplement that comes with any news paper now a day. When I browse this magazine, it is giving me a feel as if I am going through any 15-years old magazine again. Just an example, joke in ‘Tech Cartoon’ of this magazine is already published around 18 years ago in so many magazine. And this is the height that the cartoonist hasn’t updated the configuration of the PC that is mentioned in that old joke.

To make the content up-to-date in the magazine, it has sections like ‘Style IT’ & ‘Peek & Pick’ apart from some ‘market’ pages like looking articles in the magazine.

The word ‘Tech Tip’ is certainly misunderstood by the editorial team and that is why this section instead of Tips, is carrying more than a dozen articles of single page each. ‘How to’ section could have been useful but again the selection of article is ancient. Step by Step is so disconnected that text is showing 10 steps and visually it is showing six steps only. Not only this, but within a section, all the articles are presented in different styles. Throughout, there is no consistency in the magazine.

Oh, did I forget to mention that all of these stories are more useful for women than the men? Or these are much focused towards women? No, I didn’t mention because I never felt so while reading any of these article. I don’t understand how come ‘Live IT’ is positioned for contemporary woman only. If any of you my recipients (ladies) find something exclusive which she was missing in all other existing technology magazines, please correct me.

Even worse! Not even a single article is laid out beautifully. As I mentioned inconsistency in content, its worse when it comes to layout & design. Forget about anything else, basic grid is not followed there in the magazine. Some pages are carrying serif fonts and some articles are decorated by using sans serifs! Pictures & text are unnecessarily rotated in lots of articles.

All possible colors are there in single issue that gives a very cheap design to the magazine. It is needless to mention that there are lots of errors which can be taken care if design was simple & consistent. Excess of usage of stock images adds inconsistency in overall presentation… all I can say that it looks like ‘khichdi’.

Cover also is not designed intelligently that is why it is looking very shallow in terms of content. Main cover story is not justifying its tag line. Other stories on the cover are also put just like that. Imaging & concept of the cover image is pathetic. They should have realized that the usage of the symbol ‘@’ is become cliché now! And that too for wrong connotations!!

As I mentioned a lot of images of products & photographs are taken from press images, stock images or even from web. That is where you can’t control over the quality of images. Lots of pages are carrying low resolution images and a few have images of different styles from others.

Lots of pages have registration problem as well as other problems like poor quality of pre press work, poor ink, crooked photographs etc.

Inaugural issue of 116 pages is priced at Rs.50. If you have experienced any of Delhi Press magazines before, you can guess correctly the quality of paper is used in ‘Live IT’, it is not great. Well, this issue is also carrying one free CD & a supplement on Excel.

As I have given my verdict on ‘Live IT’ in the beginning only, I don’t think this is the right kind of tech magazine of today’s woman. Either they have taken wrong sample data to design the content structure for this magazine or they have designed wrong structure for today’s woman. Anyways, ‘Live IT’ can’t be a great magazine until it gets tweaked as per its positioning.
Content ......................: ●●○○○
Design & Layout .........: ●◐○○○
Printing .......................: ●●○○○
Product .......................: ●●○○○
Value for Money ..........: ●●○○○
‘VIRDI’CT .....................: ●●○○○
How to use ‘VIRDI’CT..??
●○○○○ Browse & leave it
●●○○○ Borrow & Read it
●●●○○ Buy it occasionally
●●●●○ Buy regularly
●●●●● Subscribe it now!!!