It’s been a while since I had a paper magazine in my hands – my last subscription ended two years ago, and occasional train station purchases tend to go to the shelves unread -; but maybe I was just unprepared for an American publication, where advertisement might be more prevalent than in Europe (in TV, at least, it is).
Today I pulled out a paper copy of Wired at my college library. The cover promised an interesting article, so I turned to the inside to look for the table of contents; it’s on page 13 (before that, only advertising). However, my article was listed on the second part of the table, page 16 (more advertising in between). Wired doesn’t give page numbers for small pieces, so I had to find it in its section (40 pages, at least half of which are adverts). In the end, I spent more time looking for the article – a small 10-liner – than actually reading it.
Imagine a website which treats its readers like this: The start page announces an article, but a link first leads you to a page with the table of contents. However, you have to scroll down over several big adverts to find the link to your article, which turns out to link to another long page, where you have to scroll down some more times to finally read a few sentences.
Who, really, would do that?