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A thumbs-up to the Revolution

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 11th November 2008

I must say, I’m impressed.

Whilst I still appreciate that it is slightly ironic to have a magazine dedicated to digital media, the revamped Revolution really seems to tick all the right boxes.

Revolution lost it’s way somewhat when it changed from a weekly to a monthly title and was unable to properly differentiate itself from rival title NMA.

This has now all changed.

The new magazine perfectly positions itself. It’s not a simple news delivery vehicle; this is never going to work for a monthly, with so many websites doing a better, more immediate job (and with NMA doing its best to pick up the rest). Nor it’s it going to be able to compete with blogs and industry opinions formers; it is not immediate enough to be able to respond. What it can do however, is take a step back. Properly analyse, predict and report on longer term issues, strategies and trends.

And this is demonstrated in the launch issue. The first 14 or so pages are dotted with short, sharp news items (not the same predictable pieces you have read throughout the month), including the innovative ‘world-wide web’ double-page looking at digital stories throughout the world.

A few pages of good quality opinion pieces gives way to a number of feature-like pieces, centering on a longer section looking at Google’s 10th birthday and ‘search’ in general. The content isn’t trying to be blog-like, but neither is it page after page of arduous text – effective design and fresh page layout plays a key role here.

The magazine ends with a section entitled “The Work” – a series of case studies and examples of real digital work and innovation in practice: a great addition (if still predictably dominated by the usual big brands and big agencies – when some of the real innovation often occurs lower down the food chain).

Both NMA and Revolution plan to redevelop their websites [long overdue in my humble opinion] and it may be that this is where their future really lies [although they better get a move on as they will soon be eclipsed IMHO].

But Revolution deserves credit for bringing in a new team and working hard to create a publication that stands out from the crowd and fills a niche and a need, that readers (and no doubt advertisers) will welcome.

Danny Whatmough