“ Webactive, the latest member of our Computeractive family, will concentrate solely on all the online aspects of computing and we are confident that our new magazine will do for the internet surfer what Computeractive has done for the PC home user. „
As a recent change from my regular Internet Magazine reading (Web User), I purchased Web Active, a spin-off from the highly acclaimed computer publication, Computer Active. The increase in price form 99p to £1.20, a rather steep 21% rise, made me rather dissatisfied resulting in my decision to purchase the competition, the magazine positioned beside Web User, Web Active. The price of £1.20 also applies to Web Active but issues are released monthly, not fortnightly and so in my opinion that saved me £1.20 for that particular month. The selling techniques of both publications are rather clever. Both use the same frontpage layout in advertising features on a banner positioned to the left, both highlight quite clearly the number of websites linked and both claim to be ?Best-Selling?. Yes BOTH claim this. How can they BOTH be best-selling?. Well further examination revealed the claims are correct. Web User averages sales of 56,688 copies per issue this compared to 36,509 copies per month of Web Active. Web User claims to be ?the UKs Best-Selling Magazine? and granted they are. Web Active claim to be ?the UKs Best-Selling Internet Monthly? and so granted they are, as Web User (although having almost double the readership per issue) is released fortnightly not monthly. Well, that?s that cleared up. I have been a regular reader of Web User for almost half a year and was considering purchasing an annual subscription until Computer Active caught my attention. So what is it that makes Web Active so great? -RELEVANCE- The Internet is a rapidly changing environment and therefore regular issues of such accompanying magazines are called for. This is where Web User has the advantage. It is more up-to-date, having the very latest news, but not necessarily reporting more news. This is where Web Active fights back. In a typical issue of Web User there are 10 news stories, 4 of which are ?In Brief? this compared to 20, 3 of which are ?News Bytes? i
n Web Active. -REGULARS and FEATURES- Both magazines have a variety of different regulars and features and so it would be more beneficial to cover each publication separately. WEB USER: -INBOX: All the latest news on the web over the past fortnight. A variety of news is given from sport (such as The Grand National), downloads, E-mail, viruses and prevention development. Each news story has a subject heading. Almost every news story has a related website enabling the user to get more information or use the service described. Inbox also features ?PressRed? which is a rather interesting guide to interactive television available on Digital channels such as Sky One and BBC Three. Each issue also delivers a comment about one particular subject delivered by a member of the publication team. The latest issue?s comment was written by the Editor on the subject of Online Shopping. Web User also prints some ?Net Bargains? such as a ?Cannon digital camera down to £229.99 from Amazon?. ?My Bookmarks? gives the reader the opportunity to view a Web User writer?s favourite Internet places. NEWS SPECIAL: Each fortnight brings a new report on a news story. Issue 80 News Feature was on computer viruses and included a fascinating report into the workings of ?Virus Busters?, Symantec, whose base is in a former nuclear bunker with the most intense security. Although interesting News Specials, like much of the magazine, is not in-depth. This is unfortunate. LETTERS: Like most magazines the letters page features a variety of issues surrounding the subject (of Internet). The star letter receives unlimited Internet access for 6 months with Onetel, which is nice. On occasions letters will be printed accompanied with replies from the editor or relevant team member. BROADBAND USER: This feature has expanded over recent months. It used to be only half a page but now offers the reader a valuable whole page of material. The page fe
atures essential news, views and reviews from the world of broadband delivering some important, interactive sites. BEST NEW WEBSITES: 3 pages of websites new and updated. Typically 12 websites are reviewed including one Blog site. Each site reviewed is given a rating out of 5, with a Gold, Silver and Bronze award given too the best three sites respectively. Websites that feature Broadband material are indicated. Screenshots of every reviewed site is presented to support the review text. DOWNLOADED: Here, Web User directs the reader to the very best in new music, games, televisions and film downloads. Accompanied information includes prices, available from dates and the all important website address. This section is best read by broadband users as downloads are much more effective on such access. TOP TEN SITES: A different subject is applied to each issue. April 1 issue featured top Ten Gardening websites (www.rhs.org.uk was number one). Descriptions and site URLs are given for all ten and screenshots presented for the top 5. CAHSPOINTS: A page about cash- the making, spending and saving of it. The regular page includes a shopping challenge of a subject item (such as a television) of which the best price is obtained from visiting a variety of sites. ?Bright Spark? details an online business explaining how it was set up, who owns it and where the business is heading. ?Money News? gives the essentials of the online financial world, offering some vital websites. MOST WANTED: The most desirable of the latest hot technology. A description, picture and all important price is given of each item, of which could be a video jukebox, a wireless headset, digital camera, personal stereo? Unfortunately Web User does not give a star rating which would be useful in making buying decisions. PRACTICAL WEBUSER: Each issue offers a different Internet workshop (such as effective e-mail use), ?DIY Pages?, where hints and tips are
given to web developers including a feature on a reader?s website, ?Problem Solver? where experts answer questions concerning the Internet and e-mail and ?Reader helps Reader? where questions are asked by a reader and answered by a reader commonly through using Web User?s online forums. A ?Hints and Tips? page offers reader?s the chance to become a more confident user by applying the hints and tips given by other fellow readers. CLASSIFIED: A selection of online websites offering products and services. A large number of classified advertisements are for domain names and web space. OUTBOX: A rather fitting end, when considering ?Inbox? as a beginning. Featured here is the fortnightly ?googlewhack? challenge, a fantastic online challenge (more details available at www.googlewhacking.com), ?Beat WebUser? where the reader is invited to beat the score achieved by Webuser at a particular game, ?Around the World in 80 WebCams? delivering 1 of 80 proposed webcams (Issue 80 was the Falkland Islands). This page also outlines the features of next issues publication. This is subject to change, of which is sometimes the case. - WEB USER FEATURES- Scattered amongst the regulars are features. These range from site reviews to product reviews and subject reviews. Issue 80 contained features on WAP technology, Online DVD Rentals, Internet Securtity and an A-Z of moving house. Features are set out in a variety of ways but typically contain the relevant information, although not so in depth than would be preferred and expected of computer magazines, such as Computer Shopper. WebUser always has a competition running. Issue 80 gave the reader the opportunity to win Free BT Broadband for a year. Entry is typically via post, phone or e-mail. WEB ACTIVE: E-GREETINGS: Its actually rather surprisingly that Web User does not feature a foreword from the Editor- most magazines, despite their subject area, do. Web Active?
s Editor, Johnathan Parkyn offers a brief introduction to the magazine contents for the particular issue. NEWS FILE: Much like ?Inbox? of Web-user, this section is dedicated to providing the latest news and Internet development. In parallel with Web-User, Web Active prints main news stories and ?News Bytes?, each with a subject heading and relevant website address, where more information can be obtained. A rather useful inclusion within, and which sets Web Active apart from its rival is the ?Jargon Buster?. This actually features throughout the magazine explaining highlighted words within the text. COMPETITON: No magazine would be complete without a relevant competition. Rather surprisingly the latest competition within Web Active is NOT relevant, but does accompany the Gardening websites review adeptly. Issue 37 gave readers the chance to win ?A massive makeover for your garden worth £1000?. Much like Web-User entry is via post or e-mail/website. TOP 10: In parallel with Web-users ?Top Ten Sites?, sites are recommended on a particular subject. Politicians was this month?s subject. A boring subject but rather interesting related sites for politicians past and present, such as Margaret Thatcher and Robin Cook. Unlike Web-User, Web Active provides screenshots for all 10 websites, but the accompanying review text is (unusually) not as detailed. CYBER CELEB: In issue 37 Web Active decided, very wisely, to give the brilliant, dedicated sites to the glorious Sarah Michelle Gellar. Seven sites were reviewed, with screenshots accompanying each. The official site was also given. Websites specialising in different aspects of the Buffy star were featured, such as career and personal information, merchandisers, Buffy and Gellar games, forums and Chat sites. ONLINE GAMING: This is a sad exclusion from Web-User, but a worthy inclusion within Web-Active. The best of online games (including networked games) are reviewed, as well as ne
w released/forthcoming computer (PC/MAC) games, such as the long-awaited Championship Manager 5. Again, relevant screenshots and web addresses are provided, with ratings applied where applicable. Game details are also given, such as price, platform, age restrictions and possible alternatives. WEB TOYS: In a much similar format to Web User?s ?Most Wanted?. Both magazines are evenly matched here I would say, with Web Active having the slight upper hand with the inclusion of ?Jargon Buster?, making the reviews more relevant to less-knowledgeable readers. SITE-SEEING: The alternative to Web User?s ?New Sites?. Web Active has decided to categorise the new sites, into: music, DIY, Adventure, Cars, Wildlife, Days Out, Language, Retro and theatre. These categories are not static and can differ from month-to-month. Reviews are written in far more depth than Web User- each category takes up one page, each featuring 3-4 site reviews, this opposed to Web User?s three pages for all 12, uncategorised reviews. Ratings are given (1-5), with ?Web Active Click It!? awards given to the very best sites. Relevant screenshots and web addresses are given. WORKSHOPS: Much like Web User?s ?Practical Webuser? the reader is given step-by-step instructions to complete web and e-mail tasks. Both magazines are perfectly matched in this field, providing clear, concise instructions to complete some very relevant tasks, such as creating automated e-mail replies. POSTBAG: Here, readers are invited to send letters, via post or e-mail, on any Internet-related issue. The star letter receives a CD/DVD Labelling kit. Responses from the Editorial team are given on every letter printed. Q&A: As the title suggests, Answers are given to Reader?s queries and Internet problems. Very concise answers are given, enabling reader?s with a similar diagnosis to apply the same cure. The ?Jargon Buster? supports the answers, and indeed questions. NEXT MONTH: App
ropriately printed on the last page, giving the reader an anticipation as to what to expect in the next issue, subject to change of course. -FEATURES- I found the features within Web Active much more interesting and enjoyable to read than those in Web User. Issue 37 featured a Holiday websites review, History of the Web and a month-by-month gardening review. The cover story was a very bizarre ?World Weird Web? review, detailing a mass of weird websites- a rather interesting review, although I haven?t yet visited the featured websites. Features are in much more detail than Web User chooses to apply. For instance the ?World Weird Web? review covered 6 full pages, opposed to two pages of Web User?s ?Virus Busters? feature. -ADVERTISEMENTS- Web User is heavy with advertisements when compared to Web Active. This is a bit of a cheek considering its price and frequency of release. Web User (Issue 80) features 2 double-page adverts, 11 full page and 19 advertisements within the classified section. Web Active (Issue 37) features 8 Full page advertisements, 4 half page advertisements and 8 banner advertisements. Web User contains 59 pages, 19 of which are advertising pages. Web Active contains 82 pages, 12 of which are advertising. Overall 32% of Web User is advertisements, opposed to only 15% of Web Active. I rest my case -THE VERDICT- Web User or Web Active? Personally, I favour Web Active. Both acquire the same price (£1.20), both have relevant website and Internet subject reviews, but based upon attention to detail and regulars and features content I would choose Web Active. Also, as discussed above Web User features over double the amount of adverts than Web Active. If you like adverts then choose Web User, but I feel an Internet Magazines intended use is to provide Internet reviews and news, of which Web Active applies much more effectively. For me, Web User is to brief, contains too many
adverts and is released too often. Monthly is sufficient enough and maybe if Web User were to be released this way (and cut down on adverts) then detail would be greater. -MORE INFORMATION- Web User, released fortnightly is published by IPC Country and Leisure Media and is priced at £1.20. Subscriptions are available (£6 every 3 months). www.web-user.co.uk www.ipcmedia.com Web Active, released monthly, is published by VNU Business Publications and is priced at £1.20. Subscriptions are available at £12 per year. www.webactivemagazine.co.uk
Web-active is the sister magazine of the highly popular Computer-active. It is published monthly and costs the sum of 99 pence. Both magazines are published are published by the VNU group. Web-active alone sells an average of just over 40,000 copies a month. The latest issue of Web-active is 84 pages long (counting covers) of which around 12 pages are fully adverted, while at least two cover the contents of the magazine, another is the editorial, and another tells you what’s in the next issue. So all in all around 16 pages of the magazine are ‘wasted’ bringing the useful content down to 68 pages. However that said considering the magazine is just 99 pence it works out to around 1.45p per useful page. The magazine is a take on the hugely popular Web User (monthly sales over 70,000) published by IPC magazines. Up until recently I couldn’t quite get to grips with Web-active, and preferred Web user. Now a few months on, my opinion has changed. Don’t get me wrong Web user is still my favourite of the two, but Web-active seems to have come along up to a close level of excellence. Each issues contains the obligatory (and sometimes informative and entertaining) letters page, along with pages of web sites to visit and view. There is also a page with all the breaking news on each month, and of course they review some new products this month a new trust spy-cam for example. Along with all this each issue covers web pages for the reader to visit, this months included: Film and TV: Science: Tea breaks and the unexplained, along with a top ten really useful sites they often offer really useful web site which will appeal to most people in some way or other. If a month contains a special occasion (such as the queens jubilee, world cup, or Olympics etc) they will offer links to sites covering these events. Each issue usually contains an in depth view on some item, this month was ‘gambling’ an
d internet radio and schools out (how to keep kids safe on the net) amongst others. ~~Overall~~ As mentioned before I have only just grown to approve of the magazine. Despite reading some decent reviews on the magazine: Initially I think I was put off reading the magazine, because of the invasion on Web users toes. I wasn’t solely convinced of its worthiness in the market place. And most of the entire magazine just didn’t appeal, the set out, the content and the writing was just a no-no for me. However I now hang my head low, and admit that Web-active has a rightly due place at the top of the internet magazine charts. It offers advice and reviews in plain English, something it’s sister magazine (computer-active) has a plain English crystal for. Web-active wouldn’t be suitable for the more advanced knowledgeable internet user, although they may still find some of it useful. ~~Other information: ~~ Editor – Jonathon Parkyn Web active Magazine VNU Business Publications 32-34 Broadwick Street London W1A 2HG 020 73169618 http://www.webactivemagazine.co.uk/ Visit the web site for some downloads (some free) and a free newsletter subscription. They also offer a-help line which at £1.50 per minute is expensive to say the least. It offers technical help. It is guaranteed, so if your problem isn’t fixed fax them and they’ll refund you. Also if it’s a complex problem they will ring you back (though you will still probably be charged for this in someway). My ratings: Magazine design – 7/10 Magazine content – 7/10 Magazine value –10/10 Overall – 8/10 Thanks for reading – Dave Some useful links from this month’s magazine: www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en (the cave of Lascaux) www.howstuffworks.com (
how does that work) http://www.britishorigami.org.uk/ (origami society)
They have done it again. VNU Publishing have done a grand job with their new Web Active magazine. The cover is colourful and appealing and the content is second to none. I have been a subscriber to VNU's Computer Active for about a year now, so I know just how good their magazines are. It is split into various sections ranging from Workshops, Regulars, Features and help on building your own website. The cost of the magazine is just 75p, YES 75p, which is unbelievable in this day and age. I honestly think that for an Interest only focused magazine you can't buy any better and at 75p you won't find anything cheaper. The only downside is the availability. Asda don't stock it and my local newsagent has only just started to sell it so it might take a good look around the town before you can find a newsagent that has it but trust me, it will be worth search.
Having mistakenly took the magazine called “WebUser” as by the publishers of “Computer Active”, who are VNU Business publications, I have now come across the REAL Internet related magazine from this company, the magazine is called “Web Active”. So now I’ve cleared that bit of useless information up, I’ll get on to reviewing the magazine. Having heard of this magazine, but never seen it on the shelves of any shops (there are actually one or two people writing into the letters page complaining of its unavailability), I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. Whilst out shopping the other day, I came across it, so I bought it, after all, at 75 pence, its not going to burst anyone’s bank, is it? So what’s the magazine like? Well, it’s like a thing, with lots of pieces of paper and writing on, <snigger>. No seriously, if you have, in the past, read Computer Active, you’ll know what to expect, yes, a no-nonsense magazine, that doesn’t give you a load of bull and is a very easy read, you don’t get the usual disks full of old and out-dated software, to which you do on most other Computer magazines, just a simple magazine, well not actually simple, but you know what I mean, I will run you through the main parts of the magazine. News-file: Yes, this is your norm for Computer magazines, its just basically a few pages telling you about all the latest news and information regarding various things like, the latest innovations on Internet use, they also mention one or two, non-Internet topics, but as you can expect, a very easy read, and no useless dribble and hard to understand jargon. Top 10 sites: This is a regular feature, and what it includes is, they choose a subject, i.e. Comedy, Sports, etc, they then give you a rundown of their choice of their top 10 web sites, under these categories, as well as the address for the web site and
a very quick description. Surfs up: This is just a simple “send us your favourite web sites, and we’ll publish you in the magazine” section, yes, you guessed, what you do is, send them your name and address, and a bit of information on your favourite web sites and why you like them, if you are chosen, you get your ugly mush in the magazine and you chance of 5 minutes of fame. Security: This has got to be the most important aspect of the Internet and its usage, security, as there are that many hackers, viruses and general nasty things/people out there nowadays, that you must make sure your computer is well-guarded, in this section, there is a complete run-down of all the needs and useful information needed, to help you secure your Internet usage. One thing I read in this section, that I never knew was, you know when you are making a transaction over the Internet? Well, if you want to make sure the link is secure, take a look at the web address, it should start off with the letters https rather than the normal http, very interesting and something I never knew. Site-Seeing: In this section, it’s just a case of different web pages to visit, for different topics, i.e. Hobbies, Downloads, Motoring, etc, you are given a pretty in depth write-up regarding the various sites, as well as giving you a rating for each one. Cyber Celeb: Each month, a certain celebrity is chosen, and they go on to review various resources and web sites, that can be found regarding this certain person, this months celebrity is, Steven Spielberg. Workshops: This is something you’d expect from the publishers of Computer Active, as their workshops are the mainstay of their magazines, what they include is, a very useful section, where they aid any newcomer or even the odd seasoned Internet/Computer user on certain subjects, things like “How to play games online” and “How to attach files to your Emails
”, I think you catch my drift. Search Engine: Similar to several of the before-mentioned sections, this is just a review of certain sites, about a certain topic, they reckon each month, they just type in a certain word, i.e. Gardening (this months topic) and hit the return key, they then go on to review any sites that are returned, giving them a rating and write-up. Online Gaming: This is basically a section where they review and try to aid you on all aspects of online gaming, in its various forms. Readers Home pages: This is where you send in your web page address’s and hope you are chosen to get your web page reviewed, wow, imagine all that free publicity, it would be the equivalent of being the top rated site in the major Search Engines, and at no cost whatsoever. Letters Page: err, well, a load of letters from readers on a page, well, what more can I say about a bloody letters page? Apart from, err, they can’t reply to your letters personally, but will help you out, should your letter get printed. Q&A: Questions and Answers, yes, a section where they answer yours and other reader’s questions, and give you some sound advice on various problems you may or may have encountered regarding Internet usage. Summary: Oh well, as you can probably make out from my review, “Web Active” is a very useful addition to anyone’s magazine rack, and at a measly 75 pence, is not too dear, the only thing I have to gripe about is, there are quite a few different web based magazines out there, and there is only so much you can write about Internet usage, so you find each magazine is virtually the same as the other, although, up to now, I’d say Web Active is the better of the three I have read, hence my recommendation.
In looks this is very similar to Computeractive and Web User. The difference though is that it is monthly not fortnightly and it only costs 75p a copy. There are a lot of similarities and they even have advertisements in this magazine. So what is different? This magazine has the best of the web list but it is in categores. You will find a lot of different sites in this list to the ones usually listed. This months is very much for the beginner with a "getting started on the Net" which if you are reading this, you already know and so is totally useless to you. It then goes on to telling you how to play online games, attching files and how to email. All this though your isp guide would have shown you through. One very interesting feature is Net Result which tells you the History of the Internet. This is 5 pages of good reading. For example did you know it was way back in the 1820s that Charles Babbage drew up the plans for a calculator machine - the first computer. It was never built during his lifetime though. Gosh what would he think of the ones we are all using! If you want to build your own website there is a whole lot of dos and donts in a feature which is good. For 75p it is value for money but with 3 magazines pretty similar I dont think, if I could only buy one of them,. that this would be my first choice.
Each time yet another Computer/Internet magazine shows up on the newsagent's shelves, I think 'surely there's no room for any more.' My local newsagent's display of Internet magazines heaves under the weight of all the numerous ones to be found. That's what I thought when I spied WebActive, sister magazine to ComputerActive. Whereas ComputerActive contains great info on both Computer usage and Internet usage, WebActive is solely for Internet users. It's out once a month, unlike ComputerActive which is published twice monthly and at the moment it is only 75p. Not bad, for a such an informative magazine. No doubt the price will go up later, but it will still be much more affordable than those countless Internet magazines with a free CD on the front (which, half the time are probably never used, or contain programs most people have on their Computers, such as Windows Media Player or Adobe Acrobat.) These normally retail at around £4.99 so I never touch them now. Like most Internet magazines, it still has the Workshops section. Sometimes I find these useful, other times I just find they cover self-explanatory things such as how to send attachments in e-mails, something I found out for myself when I first connected to the Internet and started sending e-mails. There are the usual Top Ten sites, Questions & Answers and Readers Letters that you come to expect in magazines of this type. It's very much along the same lines as Web User, another brilliant magazine which I now subscribe to, but I'm sure there is room for them both. I will continue to buy this magazine until such a time when they put their prices up too much or suddenly contain exactly the same information as Web User.
Billed as the friendly guide to the internet, Web Active is another new web magazine. Before this one came along all we had were rude, sociopathic magazines that would spit in your drink when you weren`t looking. It begins with four pages of net news, all in bitesize pieces. There`s a jargon buster, giving definitions of words such as beta and MP3. This is followed by the top ten sites, this month spooky ones, each with a short description but no rating. It includes sites on aliens, myths, the occult and conspiracy theories, X-files stuff rather than just horror. Surf`s up is a regular piece profiling a couple of readers and their favourite bookmarks. It breaks up the usual formula of website reviews, but I don`t think it adds anything much. Perhaps this is what they mean by being friendly, by involving readers and making it more personal. The site-seeing section is large and really comprehensive. There is certainly no lack of website reviews in this mag. Divided into ten parts each with three websites reviewed, the sites are star-rated to indicate how good they are. A few of the domains featured are ones I had already heard of, although most were new to me. I`ve been surfing the web regularly for around six months so maybe I`m not a beginner, and the impression I get is that Web Active is pitched at new users. Most of the the places featured shouldn`t be too hard to find for anyone who knows how to use a search engine. I came across several typos in this section. This may seem like I am nit-picking, but when there are so many URLs I think a magazine should be properly proof-read. "Search Engine" is the name of another regular feature in which they pick a specific topic and review about twenty sites on the subject. Yes, yet more site reviews. In July`s they dealt with DIY, which is fine if that`s your passion. The centre spread is taken up by a feedback survey, and apparently this is also a regular. I can`t
see much mileage in that idea. Bizarrely for a web magazine there is no way of filling in this form online. Instead you have to tear it out of the magazine and post it by snail mail if you want the chance to win some software. It`s a little intrusive as well so if you`re defensive about your personal details you won`t want to fill it in. The cyber celeb section is what really betrays the roots of this little mag. It`s an excuse for plenty of pictures of the star and a few daft sounding sites. If ever there could be such a thing, this is the Hello! or the Bella of internet magazines. I`ve already mentioned the jargon buster, and this crops up next to several of the articles. Words explained are highlighted in red. Unless you`ve been living with a bag over your head in recent years you will know most of these words already, and it repeats itself a lot. I found the articles themselves to be a touch waffly and unafraid to point out the obvious. In a long piece on health care, the advice to always consult your GP is repeated no less than five times. Patronising or what? Most half-decent health sites point this out anyway. This is not to say that the articles are useless, they are informative and relevant to general users. The text is spaced out with large margins and plenty of illustrations, so there`s never too much for our tiny minds to take in at once. The letters page is a shambles, one of the worst I have ever read. It stretches to three pages, most of which concerns readers who have had problems getting hold of Web Active. Some editing is in order. This suggests to me that they have had trouble finding enough copy to fill this issue. Perhaps this will improve if the magazine establishes itself and more people write in. The workshops are very basic indeed: adding favourites, using instant messages, putting pictures in emails, that sort of thing. The "Build your own website" is a little more advanced but no
where near as daunting as it may sound. At 75p this is one of the cheapest mag of this type on the newsstands, and one of the least substantial. It`s about 84 pages, without too many adverts, but due to the layout there is very little actual text. I found it too basic, repetitive and patronising to enjoy reading. A marshmallow could understand it. If you want an internet magazine suitable for beginners, but you don`t fancy being talked down to, try Web User.
Another great magazine to be released onto newsagent's shelf's is the brilliant new Web Active,from the people at Computer active. Released on 31st may '01 and at a very affordable price of 75p you can't go wrong if you want no-nonsense internet advice. The cover is bright,colourful and well presented. Inside the front cover there is a "e-greeting's" from the editor Jonathon parkyn. The next page tells you what is in this issue from REGULARS to STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES. This is a great magazine to buy for the beginners amongst us ,and even for the computer wizard's out there. All the articles are very well explained and the article writers make the instruction's easy to follow. They also give out alot of children's websites in which they have tried and tested which i found to be very useful. I will be looking forward to the next issue out on the 28th of june.
Web Active - the new kid on the block to challenge the might of established computer magazines. Published by VNU Business Publications Ltd. 2001, this upstart has been launched to aid us mortals in understanding the intricacies of the “Web”. Coming from the same stable as Computer Active you would expect a magazine of similar quality and the reader would not be disappointed there. Two centimetres shorter than its older stable mate, it rests its 84 glossy pages on your lap for a mere 75p per month, with the first issue having been released on 31st May 2001. Billed as a monthly magazine the dates on the first issue suggest that in fact it will be a four weekly issue and this is confirmed on the inside back cover that the next issue is due out on Thursday 28th June which is four weeks after the issue of the initial magazine. The masthead, although in a different colour, follows the Active tradition, which identifies it as part of the same family. So what do you get for your hard earned 75p? First of all you get a greeting from Jonathan Parkyn, the editor, which is a nice touch. You get a magazine that is written in an easy to read, plain English style which means that just about anyone should be able to understand what is written. With a good, but not overpowering splattering of advertisements this first issue dives into explaining MP3, Broadband and sets off on the road to explaining how to build your own web site. It has the obligatory “Postbag” where readers can vent their spleen and a Q & A section where readers can pour out their troubles and hopefully get a cure. Now this is the first issue so where did the reader’s letters come from? It must be from big sister’s left-overs. In short you get what you would expect from a magazine dedicated to the Internet, stuff about the “Web”. I won’t bore the reader with listing the contents as the reader can find out for him/herself by investing s
ome loose change in the friendly Internet guide called Web Active. Jargon buster boxes abound which will help turn us Newbies into Geeks or Nerds and soon we will be able to confidently talk about MPEG and Download with a confidence that implies that we know what we are talking about. There is just one small downside and that is after searching the magazine from cover to cover several times there are no details of annual subscriptions. In spite of Rip-off Britain being slashed across the front page this magazine is good value for money and I will have to find room on my groaning bookshelf to accommodate each issue.
VNU Publications must have seen my title for my 'Web User' review (The Computeractive of the Internet) and decided to take me up on it. Either that or they just decided that they would apply their talents to an Internet related magazine that would be useful to all users of the Internet. (I know I waffle a lot, but it was worth a try!) Issue 1 went on sale on May 31st at the very attractive price of 75p! Webactive is to be published on a monthly basis, rather than the 2 weekly basis that it's sister magazine Computeractive is. You can check out the website at: http://www.webactive.vnunet.com After reading issue 1 from cover to cover, I've noticed that VNU Publications have put a lot of hard work into this magazine and it's looking like a good Internet related mag which is both cheap to buy and has plenty of meat in it. Like all other magazines, Webactive will have its regular features each month and they?re looking like: News File ~ ~ Breaking news from the Internet world. Top 10 ~ ~ Webactive's top 10 sites for the month. Naturally these will vary each month. Surf's Up ~ ~ Readers talking about their favourite websites and giving their views on the good and bad of each of them. Online Games ~ ~ News and reviews from the online gaming world. Cyber Celebs ~ ~ An in-depth look at celebrity fan sites and the likes. Web Toys ~ ~ A look at all those lovely toys for the boys (& girls of course!!) that have Internet uses. Next Issue ~ ~ What you can expect to find in the next issue of Webactive. Search Engine ~ ~ Every month the mags researchers will look for sites for one category and list the most interesting of the ones that they find. A new topic covered each month. Interactive ~ ~ This section will be split into: ~ ~ Postbag ~ ~ Readers letters to the mag. Some real mumblings and grumblings to be
read here from time to time! ~ ~ Readers Homepage ~ ~ Each month 1 reader?s website will get the complete once over and given glory by the mag. Why not submit your site?! ~ ~ Q & A ~ ~ All your tech questions and problems answered by the gurus and hopefully solved. Features ~ ~ Each month you'll find a wide variety of topics covered. This month they covered: ~ ~ Online guide to shopping ~ ~ This one will be an ongoing topic, so it may be quite interesting and useful to those who shop online. ~ ~ Broadband ~ ~ Looking at speedy connections to the Internet and how they may help change the Internet. (If we ever get the chance to use it at a reasonable price that is!) ~ ~ MP3 ~ ~ A nice article to teach you about the highs and lows of MP3 music and MP3 devices. ~ ~ Cover Story ~ ~ Every month you'll find a few ages devoted to the to the magazine's cover story. This month is about 'Rip-Off Britain' and is quite a compulsive read for most. Learn how to find that elusive bargain and how to have a safer, more enjoyable shopping experience online. Each month Webactive is going to run a tutorial to teach you how to build a website. This month they've kicked off with a 4-page article which covers things like: ~ ~ Planning your website ~ ~ What do you want a site for & what are you going to put on it. ~ ~ Tools of the trade ~ ~ The tools needed to build your site. ~ ~ URLs explained ~ ~ All about getting your domain name. This is looking like a very useful section for those who want to build their own site but haven't gotten round to it yet or don't fully know what's involved. Next issue will cover building your first webpage. Another regular feature will be the step-by-step guides. These are basically the magazine's workshops (just like Computeractive's workshops). They will be
all Internet related and split into the following: Workshops ~ ~ Each month you'll find a few in-depth but easy to use and understand tutorials that are aimed at helping you get better use of Internet software. This month they covered : ~ ~ Using Google to get better results. Basically they teach you how to use the Google search engine to get the results that you need and want. ~ ~ Getting better use out of Internet Explorer. This was quite a helpful tutorial, which is for those of you who are quite new to IE & the Internet. 5 Minute Workshops ~ ~ These are quick tutorials to help you out on various topics. They're not very in-depth, but are still very useful to keep for reference. This month they covered: ~ ~ Tweaking Windows Media Player's appearance. How to skin WMP and make it the way that you want it. ~ ~ Signing-up for a Hotmail account. How to get your Hotmail account and get Messenger up and running. ~ ~ Using News Tickers. How to get news tickers to bring the news to your desktop and keep you up to date on what's going on. (You have to be connected to the Internet for these to work) ~ ~ Avoiding humungous attachments. This is a good one because we all get fed up when someone sends an e-mail with a great big attachment that takes forever to download! Hints and Tips ~ ~ This section is for everyone and will be a handy monthly feature for all readers. There's plenty to be learnt about the Internet and the software you use to enjoy the Internet. You'll find hints and tips about most things Internet related to make life on the net that little bit easier! That's basically what you can expect to find in a typical issue of Webactive and things are looking good for future issues if they are as high a standard as the first issue was! Conclusion ~ ~ Issue 1 contained 82 glossy pages, 9 of which were advertising. T
he news articles were interesting and short and sweet, but still get their point across. The tutorials were well written and easy to use and understand. Overall I was pleased with what I found in this mag and found it to be an interesting read, which is aimed at all, users of the Internet, regardless of your Internet experience. It's a good mag at a good price and well worth the 75p asking price! Why not have a butchers at the magazine in your local newsagent, bookshop as it's well worth it! Enjoy & thanks for your time .... Tom