Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Wasn't Going To Say Anything - Yet - About The LAT's Envelope Web Section --

... since, first, God knows I already have enough negative things to daily say about the LA Times and there are, after all, only so many hours in a day. Plus the Envelope is also an excellently produced, designed, edited and written site. But for the life of me, I can not figure out who the Envelope is being written for.

Is it supposed to be for Industry people? Well, I have been and am about to rejoin the Industry - but I can not imagine ever visiting this site - more than once. So I have no clue as to what the hell this site is supposed to be about or who it is supposed to be for; thus I was content to watch and wait and see what developed - or did not develop.

However, now that Kevin at LAOBSERVED has declared open season on it... dog pile time!

When the Times chose to stake its biggest website initiative on the dicey notion that Hollywood awards are a year-round obsession of its readers, my main fear was that the paper's urge to hype The Envelope would skew news judgment.

Well, the paper has managed to run a lot of items that fit the niche, and promotion on the main page has been ceaseless. Today the sizable promo box near the top right of the page - super prime news real estate - achieves a new low...

Well, that gives a pretty fair view of... his view.

My biggest problem, though, is that of all the things the LAT can attempt to attempt to futilely retain its few remaining, rapidly fleeing, readers, why this? It seems to me there are a multitude of things that can make the Tribune Company a lot more money than this site ever will. After all - who do you know who will check in several times a day to a site devoted to once a year awarded ... awards?

The only diabolic reasoning my devious little mind can deduce is that the Envelope is actually a nefarious stalking horse for a People Magazine/Us type site designed to suck in the demonstrably desirable demographic (if down market) ad dollars of those magazine's audiences; ergo, the LAT's fiendishly clever branding of the Envelope as an 'awards site' is really just a soon to be shockingly transparent journalistic cod piece for what will shortly become a 24/7 gossip site.

But could anyone at the LA Times actually be wonderfully Machiavellian enough to concoct anything so brilliantly clever?

Of course not!

So it must be something else.

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