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January 20, 2007
Dear Wired: Please, No More Daily Show Covers
Just a quick weekend rant. I really like Wired Magazine, but I don't know about you but what feels tired to me is putting folks from the Comedy Central's The Daily Show on the cover. This month, we get John Hodgman, a Daily Show correspondant and, of course, the I'm A PC guy from the Apple ads. That's the third appearance by someone from the show within the last 15 months or so. We had Jon Stewart himself in Sept. 2005 and then Stephen Colbert last summer.
I know that those guys represent a way of looking at things through an alternate lens and that that fits how Wired uses them in lists of new innovative products or the world's mysteries. But it's funny, because if you keep using them to represent the alternate view, after a while, that feels conventional or expected.
Mulling it over on the bus last night, (I have a quick ride, so I promise I didn't mull it too long!) it made me think how if you cite something too often to represent a theme or concept, that imagery quickly loses its ability to really express the power of the concept you're trying to get across. The most obvious example I can think of is how in profiles of business people all too often you're treated to the tidbit about how the person ran a lemonade stand or a lawn mowing service when they were little, to represent how entrenerial they were. I think if you wrote that in one or two articles and actually tied it to their work ethic, that has impact. But otherwise, when I read it over and over again, it feels tired.
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bromide ?BROH-myd?, noun:
1. A compound of bromine and another element or a positive organic radical.
2. A dose of potassium bromide taken as a sedative.
3. A dull person with conventional thoughts.
4. A commonplace or conventional saying.
My new favorite word, so it came to mind when I read the above.
Posted by: David Markland at January 21, 2007 05:18 AM
the one that gets me is the CEO who's been hypercompetitive ever since playing on his high school team as an undersized linebacker who made up for his scrawniness with a take-no-prisoners approach...
Posted by: steve baker at January 21, 2007 12:55 PM
TV is full of "oh no, not that again" type of reactions. But so are books, magazines, websites, etc. For some people these are a bore and lose their appeal. For others this is the familiar and comfortable. I prefer the fresh and new.. but for others they like seeing and doing the same things over and over.
Posted by: Mike Haberman at January 22, 2007 11:14 AM