Pet peeve time: Print web links that don’t work

By Steve Outing

Outside Magazine, January 2009 print edition. (Ah, yes, in the age of instant digital news, we still get our print magazines dated weeks in the future!) On page 25 is a nice photo and brief story about professional climber Katie Brown. (Katie was editor of my defunct company’s YourClimbing.com site that we published from 2006 to 2007.)

Lower right box on the page: “For more photos of Katie Brown, go to outsideonline.com/katiebrown”. But the link doesn’t work.

I know Katie has a blog (link above). But Outside’s page doesn’t note that either.

OK, go to Outside’s website and perhaps I’ll spot a link to the photos of Katie and catch up with her life. Nope, nothing. Even using the search box doesn’t turn up the alleged “more photos.” Sheesh.

I only have to turn back to page 22 to see how Outside remains clueless on the opportunity to link print and digital. There’s a cool photo, graphic and short story about a flying car with a paraglider wing and a propeller in back. But I can’t learn more (no URL for company’s website); there’s no URL to go view a video or animation of more photos of the prototype car.

Oh, I get it. Outside expects me to go to Google and get that. Parajet info here and here. Thanks, Google. Thanks for nothing, Outside.

Just as with newspapers, the future of magazines will depend on a strong and useful integration of print and digital. The printed magazine won’t be enough for tomorrow’s readers. If magazine publishers can’t even get the few website refers they publish in print right, I have my doubts that they’ll figure out how to serve, entertain, and attract the younger generation of digital natives.

Just more of the same from print publishers: blindness to the opportunities to establish relationships and conversations with their print readers via online and mobile innovations.

As an old-media guy myself (working for newspapers and magazines for the first decade and a half of my career before moving it online in 1994), I find this so discouraging. Aaargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

2 Responses to "Pet peeve time: Print web links that don’t work"

  1. Daniel
    Daniel 8 years ago .Reply

    Short links FTW!

    In all honestly, though, I would personally save my breath. If they haven’t figured it out yet, it’s going to take a lot more than a blog post for them to (unless they catch wind and hire you as a consultant for $250/hour).

  2. robert ivan
    robert ivan 8 years ago .Reply

    This too drives me nuts. What’s just as bad is when they put some long ass url in there like http://www.nj.com/living/index.ssf?/base/living-0/122923296789300.xml&coll=1

    WTF? It may as well say, “there’s more stuff on our website, but good luck finding it.

    Newspapers should just say, type the article title into google to read more… seriously!

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