Aardvark Daily
Right of Reply
Copyright © 1998 to Bruce Simpson
Click here to suffer from exposure

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998
From: Russell Brown
For : Right Of Reply (for publication)
Subj: The Listener Website,

Bruce, I want an apology. In fact, I'd like several. For a start, I object to the description of my feature on the Listener Website as "advertorial". It is not. I was asked by Finlay MacDonald to write 1500 words on occasion of the site launch, and I interviewed two of the protagonists on what they'd done and what their aims for the site were, and put them in the context of the Listener's history and online publishing in general.

I did *not* review the site, because when I wrote the story two weeks beforehand, it wasn't fully operational. (Although I did offer my personal opinion to Paul Little.) In particular, the discussion groups weren't up - so I could hardly have judged how well they worked. I called them "newsgroups" because because the Listener people did. I also warned against the perils of "reinventing the wheel that is Usenet".

If it's a review you're after, there's one in next week's Computerworld. In that, I make particular note of the ugly, clunky use of frames on the site, and the fact that it only works properly on 800 x 600 - but hold out some hope for the Listener editor's content ideas. I also quite like the way the 70s theme has been carried off.

And good or bad, at least I've paid enough attention to address the right people. The site was conceived and designed by WALKERS INTERACTIVE, a division of Walkers Advertising. It says so very clearly in the Listener feature you claim to have read. Glazier Systems are just doing the hosting. Perhaps you could call them and apologise too.

Russell Brown

Aardvark's Note: The Listener site has been awarded "Site of the Week" status by IDG.

Please visit the Aardvark Forums to see my comments on Russell's demands for an apology. I do not make those comments here because I feel this is a vexatious issue that will benefit from the input of others. However, I think you'll certainly want to read what I've written!

Does Russell deserve the apologies he seeks?

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