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Book Review

Book Review

This month's book review is not of a book but a weekly magazine, The Industry Standard, subtitled "THE NEWSMAGAZINE OF THE INTERNET ECONOMY". Though we're drowning in a sea "new" technical information, much of it is corporate oriented and meant for those who do technology purchasing. The Standard stands out from its competitors in several ways.

First, its focus is on gossip and happenings of the Internet community. For instance, the June 15 edition sports an article about US Interactive merging with Eric Pulier's Digital Evolution, creating a new 20 to 25 million company. The same issue also features a story entitled "New York gets a new boys network" which describes a new modern day "Good Ol' Boys" network now being created by the new found wealth of Internet super-star start-ups. If you're looking to see who's who, the Standard also includes a "People Index", listing all the people mentioned in the current issue.

If I had to liken the Standard to a broad-based consumer magazine, I would pick Newsweek or Time magazine. The similarities are striking. The Standard is about the same size, though a little thinner (the June 15 issue has 56 pages). The feature articles are 2 to 3 pages in length, but most of the articles are relatively short (less than a page). The issue opens with short clippings from the articles. Regular departments, including several Reviews round out the magazine.

The Standard is organized into 7 divisions (I've listed a sampling of some of the articles along with each department):

  • Posts – "Japan falls in love online" or "Deals of the Week".
  • The Week – "Must-see Web TV from NBC?" or "Universities push back against digital education"
  • Features – "Paul Matteucci's new game plan" and "New York gets a new boys network".
  • Metrics – "The Internet Economy Index" or "Behind the Numbers on the FTC privacy report".
  • Reviews – "Palm Pilot fans can get everything from browsers to games" or "Bored waiting for a page to download?"
  • New Gig - "There's an online dollar in compensation surveys" and "Internet movers".
  • Columns – "Jeff Jarvis: The real definition of community surveys" or "Michael Wolff: Meet the new boss".
I found the Metrics department quite interesting. It contains about 4 pages mostly of charts that provide summary information such Top/Bottoms stock performers, the Monster Board of Job Listings and an Industry Spotlight on Venture Capital.

Those of you that have suffered through a new start-up company can relate to Michael Wolff's weekly colum. Michael is the author of Burn Rate, a semi-biographical book on the pitfalls of working for Internet start-ups. Each week Michael reveals about the life after burn out.

In my opinion, the Standard is a useful tool for keeping in touch with the rest of the Internet community. It is a quick read and current. If your interests lie purely in technical information, don’t waste your money, but if you want the latest Internet community news, the Standard is a good place to start.

Pros: A quick read, quite different from other Internet trade magazines. Information is timely.

Cons: For some people it may be too quick a read. And at $141.60 a year, a bit pricey. However, after a Charter Discount the one year subscription is currently $58.97.

The Industry Standard published weekly (bi-weekly during the summer) by IDG. More information can be found at their website: http://www.thestandard.net

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