Thursday, March 12, 2009
GQ.com review for MediaWeek
This is a review of the new GQ.com that I wrote for MediaWeek magazine:
GQ.com attracts 4 million unique visitors a month, with more than 150 million page views.
Data from comScore for the UK in January - for the previous version of the site - shows it had an average of only 1.1 visits per user and the new design is intended to increase this.
New and improved sections include fashion (revamped and combined with GQStyle), taste (restaurant reviews, recipes and so on), entertainment and a special section dedicated to the magazine.
Content is targeted solidly at upmarket men, with clearly laid out sections and straightforward navigation. There is a lot to read and explore, and it creates a great environment for advertisers to showcase their products.
However, I'm not wholly sold on it for two reasons. Firstly, much of the content is still old in internet terms - that is, it wasn't published in the past few days. I'm writing this on a Thursday and many of the sections have no content from this week. Websites really have to update several times a day.
They're missing an opportunity to be current and forward-looking. How about telling us what's happening today at the magazine, who's come in to be interviewed, what launches they're going to - and generally promoting next month's magazine?
Secondly, the makeover is like social media never happened.
I understand GQ probably doesn't want to feature user-generated content, but what little interaction there is (posting comments, e-mailing responses) feels very dry.
Why not encourage readers to talk to each other? And why aren't there any feeds or content that can be embedded elsewhere?
It is a good place for advertisers to reach affluent and upmarket men, but the challenge is to build this into a community where people would return regularly. Update at least daily, tell us what's going on at the mag and get the readers more involved.
What could be better?
More frequent updates
Would I book my clients into this?