Dear Mr. Outside Editor,
Here’s a concept: Don’t put some teaser on the front of your magazine and then Oops! forget to put a table of contents into your magazine so the person reading the front of the magazine can’t find the article. Even going page by page, which was annoying and made me not want to read your magazine because it was so controlling, I still could not find the article teased on the front cover. Since the issue in question was an “Encyclopedia” I thought perhaps that I missed the point and that I was supposed to go to the “Encyclopedia” to find the article (this in spite of the fact that the article in question could not really have been about gear). Nope. Not there. The teaser in question was “Why Aren’t Millenials Buying Trail Mix.” Trail mix is not in the index to the encyclopedia. Millenials? Nope. (I suppose Millenials really aren’t gear, now are they? (Although I am pretty sure I could make the case that they are or that some of them could be.)) in any case, I still haven’t found it. Still annoyed.
As a reader, it is annoying to:
1. Read a magazine where the table of contents is 30 pages into the magazine, thereby requiring we page through 30 pages of ads and nonsense to get to the content;
2. Read a magazine that hides page numbers when they do bother to publish tables of contents so that again, we have to page through stupid ads to get to the content in the table of contents;
3. Read a teaser on the front of the magazine that is either a) not really there (which appears to be the case in this issue), or b) isn’t really what the teaser led us to believe it was (really annoying).
Since I am ranting about this and rather on a roll, I thought I would include all of these annoyances for you to consider when being a big shot editor. When these annoyances occur, I throw the magazine away (well, recycle it). I am not wasting my time paging through ads that thwart my effort to get to the content for which I bought the magazine. I will not let the advertisers win in this manner. You might have gotten me to purchase the magazine, but since the primary driver of budgets at magazines is ad content, and since advertisers choose magazines because those ads cause the readers to go buy their stuff, it follows that if I don’t read the ads and I don’t buy the stuff that eventually it will all trickle down and you won’t get any ad revenue when I throw my magazine away. SO…may I kindly suggest you make your magazine palatable to readers who actually like to READ your magazine (I happen to be one of those people who reads nearly every single article in a magazine when I am not so irritated by getting to the article that I can’t access it) and stop making your magazine mostly palatable to advertisers? Hmm? Do you think you can do this?
I’m going to give this issue one more chance. I’ll thumb through it one more time in search of the elusive article on why Millenials do not eat trail mix, and if I am not able to find it on this perusal I shall dump this issue in the trash (recycling). Too bad for me, I won’t get to find out what gear you got paid the most to say is the greatest…er, what gear you think I should go buy.
Post Script: After sending this letter to Outside Magazine, I received a response back from the editors asking if they could use a line or two from my letter in their online letters. (I gave them permission, but I have no control over whether they will make me look like an ass in their choice of words from my letter.)
In any case, I asked where in the magazine I could find why Millenials don’t buy trail mix, because I had not been able to find it. The editor responded that it was in the encyclopedia under “Y – Youth: The Young and the Tentless” (Outside Magazine, Aug 2015, p. 92). As a commenter to this blog post noted, “the entry explains that very few people under 35 are participating in outdoor sports, beyond a day hike or pitching a tent in the backyard. There is, however, no mention of trail mix whatsoever, nor is there mention of food of any type in the entry.”
Yep. The teaser on the front of the magazine is just that, a teaser, and it is therefore even more annoying.
Here’s an idea — before buying a magazine, see if you can find the cover article that caught your attention. If not, put it back on the shelf. Then write a letter to the editor and explain why you refuse to buy their piece of shit magazine. Why pay for glossy birdcage liners even if you have a pet bird? Junk mail advertisements are free and work just as well.
Now, this IS an idea. Except I didn’t buy the magazine off the rack. I got it for free in my mailbox as part of a “Mags for Miles” subscription. What is this? Mags for Miles is where you trade unused airline mileage for magazines instead of flying. Since I rarely fly anymore, I figured, what the hell, I’ll take some free magazines. So I didn’t really pay for it, which rather undermines my tossing it in the trash argument, but who cares?
Correct my typos before I am compelled to write WordPress and tell them their program is only surpassed by Microsoft Word for being the stupidest application on the face of the dying earth.
Thank you. When I leave a typo…it’s like going to the bathroom and not wiping. It makes my skin crawl. Literally (and virtually).
You’re killing me.
I like it that it makes people get approval before the comment shows. I have that box checked. What is annoying is that you have commented before so you should not have to go through the approval process. I think maybe you must have used another email address or something…
I use ellipses too much…
I found your article after a colleague and I searched through the same issue of Outside Magazine for the same trail mix teaser on the cover. I looked in their encyclopedia under F for Food, M for Millennials (as you suggested), and T for Trail Mix. After striking out, I read the magazine cover to cover and found the entry I think the teaser is alluding to: Y – Youth: The Young and the Tentless (Outside Magazine, Aug 2015, p 92). The entry explains that very few people under 35 are participating in outdoor sports, beyond a day hike or pitching a tent in the backyard. There is, however, no mention of trail mix whatsoever, nor is there mention of food of any type in the entry.
It was that article. You’re right! I actually got a few emails from Outside Magazine because they’re putting a snippet of my letter in their letters section. It will probably make me look like an ass, but oh well. They told me that was the article it was referring to, but you’re right. No reference whatsoever to trail mix. I guess we were supposed to make an analogy or something. Add this one to the “really annoying” category.