A note to all web journalists

Warning, incoming rant.

I was reading an article at an online magazine today and noticed a glaring and really embarrassing typo where one of the editors had just (inadvertently) dissed his own product. So being a nice guy, I figured I’d point that out to them. Turns out contacting the editors of this “magazine” isn’t easy.

Here’s how my thought process went:

1) I’ll leave my feedback as a comment

  • I have to register or sign in to comment? Annoying
  • Oh, they support openid, I’ll use that!
  • Wait, they post my openid as my name if I use openid? That’s insane. Skip that.

2) I’ll email the author then. Click on his name.

  • OK here’s a profile, what’s his email address? Not listed. Yes, I know it’ll get you spam but you’re setting yourselves up as journalists. Being contactable is part of that process.
  • OK click on Contacts
  • OK here’s a contact email address. I’ll click that.
  • Oops, it isn’t a link. Highlight and copy it then
  • Nope, they used an image so I can’t cut and paste the email address

So finally I type out the email address and send them an email, but not to tell them about the typo. Rather, to tell them how this process was so frustrating that I’m unsubscribing from their RSS feed and won’t give them my eyeballs again.

We’re talking about a site with advertising on it, so my page views = revenue for them. If you want to put on your journalist suit and collect an income from my visits, then you damned well better treat me, the reader, as a customer. Yes, I understand spam is a huge problem. But its part of the cost of doing business if you’re going to set yourself up as a business, which the ads tell me these people are (that opinion is bolstered by the name and format of the site).

OK, end of rant. I know I shouldn’t get so worked up about such things but, well, I do. And I can’t be the only one!