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About 2 years ago, I walked into a Central London newsagents. There amongst the 'techie' magazines, was something called 'Wired'. This rang a bell for me as I remembered fondly a magazine by the same name when I was at University in the mid/late 1990's. I bought it and went off to a local park for a lunchtime read. 45 minutes later, I was hooked on Wired.
For those who don't like technology, this is an interesting entry point to get underneath some of the current areas of technology without being too technical, or too 'dumbed-down' as some other publications can be.
I think that the mixture of cutting edge technology articles in areas such as ideas & innovation / technology / design / business (particularly around marketing & social media) / interviews with major movers and shakers (e.g. CEO of Google Europe recently interviewed) and future developments is a must-read every month.
My favourite article is actually a one-page article where a respected chemist (Dr John Emsley) takes apart an 'everyday article' and deconstructs it into its component parts. This helps you to understand more about the chemicals you use in everyday life and how they could possibly affect you and as an interesting twist, how those chemicals are used elsewhere (e.g. December 2010 edition was about Optrex Eye Drops and how one component Boric Acid is used in Nuclear Reactors as well as your eyes!).
I've always thought that the sign of a great publication is the reticence to throw them away. Wired, for me, fits that category hence why I have >25 editions and I'm still collecting them. I just cant throw them away!
Wired magazine came to the UK in 2009 and certainly proved it's a really good publication (winning an award for best magazine launch of the year). The magazine was previously around in the 90's but didn't last for long, now it's back and it's definitely here to stay. The articles focus on not just technology but all aspects of modern culture and the way that the world is changing; it's tagline is 'The Future As It Happens'.
The magazine itself usually includes product reviews, news, a 'How To' section and there are usually numerous features on broad topics from 'What's Apple's Problem with Adobe' to studies of Brazilian Gangs. There are also quality pieces from a group of columnists, which are usually intelligent and witty.
The magazine has also had it's share of innovative covers and gimmicks, for example, in July 2010's issue, the magazine is a game (played over Twitter) where the prize is an iPad. The previous month it had a scratch panel cover where they challenged the reader not to scratch the panel as part of a 'Trust Experiment', so aswell as being an intelligent magazine, it's also a bit of fun.
On first picking up a copy of the magazine, the articles may look verbose and wordy but they are in fact pretty straightforward and exciting. Most articles focus on one of four catergories; 'Ideas, Technology, Culture, Business' as detailed on the cover.
The magazine costs the same as an average monthly magazine (£3.99) which is good value but there's a very good offer on their website (make sure you find the UK website) where you can subscribe for just £2 an issue.
I love this magazine. I used to regularly read T3 and Stuff magazine, however I found that most of the information in them could be found online through various websites etc. Since then (about 2 years ago) I have not found any magazine which I wanted to buy on a regular basis. However I was travelling on the train a couple of months ago and was reading GQ magazine. Inside was a sample copy of this new wired magazine so I decided to flick through it and see what it is like.
Wired is a magazine which has been produced in America for several years. I have never read a copy of the American version of this magazine so cant tell you how it compares.
At the top of the magazine it describes briefly what the magazine is all about in the titles "Ideas/Technology/Culture/Business". I have now read the first 2 issues and have yet to buy the third issue however I have found both issues I have read to be very entertaining. It has various pieces of news related to the 4 key areas of the magazine but also includes some other interesting things like the odd thing about art etc. Most of these types of articles are however related to technology in some way.
The magazine is written very well and is very easy to read. There are some really interesting articles. One which i found particularly interesting in the first issue was an article about a group of people who try to recover sinking ships and stop them from sinking and losing all their cargo. There are other interesting reads like the power of Google and how they can monitor so much of your activity etc.
Priced at £3.90 an issue it is a little steep, but not that badly priced. A subscription is available for £24 for 12 issues. With a subscription you do not receive anything extra except an entry to win a mountain bike. (worth £1,199) The magazine is roughly 150 pages long and I would say around 10% is adverts, if that. The latest issues usually come out the first Thursday of every month.
Overall I would recommend the magazine if you are interested in technology and the future etc. It is a very easy to read magazine and it certainly kept me entertained for my 5 hour train journey!