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Everything Recurs: Sameness and the 'Magazining' of Web Content

gawker beta and NYT opinion pages
Choire Sicha at The Awl is NOT pleased with what he calls "the magazining" of the Web. He points to Anthony De Rosa's observation that the redesigned New York Times opinion page looks remarkably similar to Gawker's beta homepage. (We feel compelled to point out that 'The Opinion Pages,' as they're called, look more like an evolution of the already magazine-y New York Times Magazine page.) "Is this what people want their Web to be? It strikes me as an anti-Craigslist, an anti-Google," Sicha writes. "It's attractive! But it's also a whole lot less."

The problem, though, is not just that Web content is being "magazined" to look like the corpse of its print analogue; it's that, in this transition, all such sites look exactly the same. Take a look at New York Magazine's recently relaunched Vulture page, or even at The Daily Beast's staid layout. (Big left-aligned promo spot with typophile-oriented sidebars. SNORE.) So, fine! We've obviously moved far beyond the Web 1.0 land of Craigslist and Olia Lialina's "Prof. Dr. Style" -- but isn't the point of brand recognition to make your business look... original?

Tags: blog, ChoireSicha, design, gawker, journalism, magazine, NewYorkMagazine, NewYorkTimes, TheAwl, TheDailyBeast, TheOpinionPages, vulture, web, web design, WebDesign