Review: Rive Magazine
Several years ago, I read an article in The Globe and Mail about the benefits of reading publications online instead of in print. The newspaper did its own study and concluded that the resources used to produce one paper copy were equivalent to the resources used by 11 readers accessing the same content online. This same sort of eco-consciousness is behind Rive, a recently launched and free online fashion magazine that claims to be more eco-friendly than traditional paper fashion publications. I received an email from their PR person inviting me to take a look at the magazine.
My thoughts about Rive are mixed. On one hand, I admire the fact that they are a paperless publication. The online delivery format resembles Anthropologie's monthly catalogues. You click on the corners of pages, and it really does feel like you're flipping through a magazine, page by page, except you're doing it onscreen. This medium also allows for more interaction with the content. If you want to know where a certain pair of shoes comes from, click the shoes to find out where you can buy them. However, all this interaction does have a downside. In trying to flip pages, sometimes I found myself accidentally clicking a link that would open a new window. Overall, though, the photo shoots were well-done and the magazine had a fresh, street-wise feel that was very different from the polished chic of established fashion magazines.
So...that concludes the positive portion of my critique. As for the negatives, I have one which I think Rive's writers and editors should address if they want the magazine to flourish: better writing and copy-editing is required. I understand putting together a monthly publication is a huge task. I can also see that a lot of work must have gone into getting the links to work, double-checking prices of items, putting the layout and photo shoots together, etc. However, I don't think it'd kill the writers to at least run the spell checker in their word processors. Words were misspelled or missing from sentences; run-on sentences or sentence fragments were common. Spelling and grammar...it's a simple thing, yes, but it makes the entire magazine come off as amateurish--a shame when everything else is nicely done. Improving the quality of writing would give Rive more credibility as a serious publication.
Posted by Lisa