Wired UK, a coffee table magazine for men?

So I've finally read through most of Wired UK's launch issue and as you can see its sitting on my coffee table along with some other bits and pieces. Rather that going into a detailed review about the magazine I thought I'd pull up a couple of other blogs which sum up my thoughts.

Maz Hardey of the girlygeekdom blog makes a really good point that Wired UK is made for men. What is up with that? The adverts are all very much like you'd see in GQ magazine and there's little to no input from woman writers.

Skip to the front of Wired (P.15) and the 05.09 Contributors Page, of the six main contributors, one, Susan Greeenfield (Baroness no less), is the pioneer of content contributed by women. I am not suggesting that Wired is all male-to-male content. Far from it. UK Wired is, in my opinion, far better than its US counterpart in the publication of balanced, interesting and satisfyingly technology divulgent coverage. But then I flick back again through the magazine and the if the masculine led written word doesn't hit you, the masculine emphasis of marketing and advertisement will. TagHeur watch here, Sony Bravia with football coverage there, Jaguar where 'the thrill lasts much longer' and Tom Ford 'for men' set the tone for the First Edition.

A lot of wired UK is republished american articles with some bits and pieces from its UK editors. And you can tell, for example the review of folding backs without the most popular folding bike in the UK? Whoops!? Simon Waldman's lid lifting is points out mistakes like this one is generally a very interesting and worthy read, even if its slightly bias being from the guardian and all that. Simons's point about iplayer is well…. interesting. Obviously it would be foolish for me to comment.

The front cover carries the strapline “How the iPlayer saved the BBC”. Sounds interesting. The headline to what is flagged a “Wired investigation” is “The man who saved the BBC” (that's a big difference) with a picture of Anthony Rose “the renegade South African licensed to upgrade the BBC”. Now, I happen to know that Rose is the BBC's head of digital media technology (because I looked it up on Google), but I've read the piece three times now, and asked someone sitting next to me to read it, and I'm 99% certain they don't actually mention his job title in the piece.

I realise details such as job titles can probably be filed under “Tired” – but it matters, if you are telling a story about how something happened in a business. It's one thing if the chief executive makes it happen, another if it's the marketing director and another if it's the security guard.

And anyway, at least half of the piece is about Ashley Highfield. Why not chuck in Erik Huggers and call it the men who saved the BBC. And while we're at it – please could you specify exactly how it has saved the BBC? Like, it would have had to shut down without it?

So with all my moaning about the magazine, will I be buying the next one? Well yes, its a neat coffee table magazine. Full of super styled graphics, overblown photos and enough substance to pick up and read for 5mins.or so. Everyone whos come over so far has picked it up off the coffee table and had a flick through it. So between buying some gadget mag like T3/Stuff, a men's fashion mag like GQ or a lads mag like Nuts, Zoo or whatever else. I do pick Wired UK. But there is a question of do I really need to buy a magazine at all?

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.