Magazine launches & events 2008 Other years

Magazines by cover date. Alphabetic list on right. Launch page for 2007


Magazines in development and news alert
  • Also see Magforum blog
  • The News of the World is to launch a women's magazine, Fabulous on February 3
  • OK! is suing Heat over an interview wth Britney's sister (Guardian)
  • The influential Joseph Rowntree trust has attacked Haymarket (PG)
  • FHM is to launch a 'handbag' version (Guardian)
  • Condé Nast has won 3 customer magazine deals
  • Mary Evans is to manage Illustrated London News archive (PG)

Colophon logo  

Colophon ticket office opens

26 November. The international magazine symposium Colophon runs in March next year in Luxembourg. The blog has details of the programme of presentations and workshops, covering both the creative and business sides of running a magazine.



 

Magforum censored by Google

26 March. All images at Magforum have been censored by Google. For example, a search for 'Queen a women's glossy magazine from 1967' as a Google web search returns a link to a Magforum page that shows a Queen cover. However, the same search for images returns no results. Both of the equivalent searches on AltaVista return the image.

This appears to have happened in December, judging by visitor statistics. No notification or warning was given.

It seems that Google has decided that Magforum contains ‘explicit images’. The filtering is done through Google’s ‘SafeSearch Filtering’ system: 'Google's SafeSearch screens for sites that contain explicit sexual content and deletes them from your search results.'

To see any Magforum images, users have to alter their Google Preferences from moderate filtering – the default position - to no filtering. Moderate filtering is defined as ‘Filter explicit images only - default [behaviour]’.

Why has the whole site been switched to having an ‘explicit’ label? Possibly because it carries two case studies about the history of men’s magazines. These pages account for a dozen of the site’s 100+ pages. They are illustrated with more than 100 magazine covers (each 110 pixels wide), though this site aims to avoid overtly pornographic images. The case studies have been online since at least 2003 (Wayback Machine) and two of them are among the site’s 10 most popular pages.

The dramatic effect of the censorship is demonstrated by Magforum’s traffic statistics:

  • Nov 2007: 9,477 visits through Google Images;
  • Dec 2007: 1,167 visits;
  • Jan 2008: 642 visits;
  • Feb 2008: 677 visits.

So Magforum lost 93% of its visits from Google Images in the space of two months.

Magforum is regularly contacted by people – ranging from students to museum curators to art editors at Vanity Fair - requesting larger versions of images on the website. It is now less likely that they will be able to find these images in the first place.

Furthermore, like many websites, visits from search engines are vital to maintaining income through advertising. So the loss of traffic is a blow to Magforum.

What can be done to reverse this decision? Is it a result of changes made in December or has Google's filtering changed? I don’t have a clue. Which are the problem images? The March 1999 GQ cover? Pamela Anderson on Ice? Who knows? There is no guidance on the Google website; there is nothing to indicate what triggered the sudden change. I have left 2 message with Google but have yet to receive a reply.

Tony Quinn
Magforum editor and publisher



 

Magicalia to buy Practical Parenting

3 November. IPC is to sell Practical Parenting to Magicalia. Jackie Newcombe, managing director of IPC Southbank, said: ‘Southbank’s strategy is to appeal to women through the fashion, beauty and home interest markets and regrettably, Practical Parenting is no longer a strategic fit.’

Magicalia runs websites, including thinkbaby.co.uk, and bought Junior, Junior Pregnancy & Baby and Pregnancy, Baby & You from Future in July 2007.
Profile of 'geek to geek' publisher Magicalia