E-zine Clichés

A couple times in Queer Zine Explosion, I made lists of zine clichés -- things I saw repeatedly in zines. Some were design flaws, others were content ideas that may have once been fresh but had turned stale.

Now that so many people are doing e-zines -- web sites and such -- I'm seeing a new batch of cliches. Not that people aren't immune to the old cliches -- familiar sights like the heterosexual questionaire can be found on web sites if you look for them.

  • Taking down your website while "working" on a new design scheme. Ok, you had content, and now it's all inaccessible while you procrastinate about doing a new page. Hey, it may have been ugly, but at least it was something -- why not leave it up until the new one's ready?
  • Counters -- they take too long to load, they're innacurate, they're broken half the time, they're ugly, and the numbers are embarassingly low.
  • Rainbow patterns, as I've pointed out on my Generic queer home page.
  • The gallery of stolen naked pictures. Come on, you have a camera, you have tricks - how about some trick photography? And what's with calling is a "gallery"? Does that make it art?
  • Ad banners -- is making a few pennies really worth adding to the ugliness of your web page?
  • Your personal statistics page -- no paper zine was ever crass enough that the publisher would include height, weight, penis size, etc. Remember, you're trying to impress people with your mind, not your body.
  • Obvious links pages. I think we all know how to get to Yahoo.
  • Content totally recycled from the zine you did four years ago -- haven't you written anything since then? Oh, I'm sorry, I guess you've been busy doing charitable good works.
  • Web page not updated since it was first put up -- glad to see you're still a big fan of the one-hit wonder of 1995 (e.g. Urge Overkill.)
  • The obsessively updated web page -- do you remember what the sun looks like? How about what your friends look like?
  • The Geocities website -- don't you think you could afford $100 a year to not have those annoying popup windows?
  • The guestbook -- with a simple script, you allow all your readers the opportunity to sign up for getting spammed by email address harvesters.
  • Web pages that start with the words "Hi, my name is..." Oops, I'm guilty.

    larrybob@gmail.com 9/9/98

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