Doug discovers that it's Redmond's readers who really know how to bring on the funny.
We launched version 1.0 of Redmond
magazine in October 2004. Now, we're
working on version 2.0. (If we're anything like Microsoft, we'll get it right
with version 3.0!) Part of creating a good magazine is having a good imagination
and dreaming up new ideas, but our dreams might not always jive with your reality.
The best ideas come from you. We hear from you through our Web site and constantly
ask for ideas and participation. (You have responded to a Your
Turn query, haven’t you?)
We recently finished a survey designed to help us improve the magazine and
craft version 2.0. We learned a lot from the 620 of you who answered all our
questions. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that as a group, you are all far
funnier than me. I guess my kids were right all along, "Dad, you're not
We asked all kinds of questions, sometimes serious and sometimes quirky, like
which tech luminary you most want to have dinner with. Bill Gates won hands
down as your preferred dinner guest, but a couple of jokers voted for me, foolishly
thinking I would pick up the tab. Another picked Ray Ozzie to see "what
the next Bill Gates would look and sound like." One wise guy chose Larry
Ellison, "to see for myself if he really is the pompous ass everyone says
Many of you sought the company of Mr. Gates to tell him "all the things
I don't like about Microsoft," and to sell him ideas. One gent wanted to
have dinner with a virus author "so I could watch my wife strangle him."
Now there's a concept I can get behind.
We also asked you what would make Redmond a better magazine. Besides
dozens of requests for more eye candy (all from men -- apparently the ladies
already get enough eye candy from me and Don Jones?), you told us you want more
hands-on advice and insight into real-world uses of technology.
Then the comedians started in. "Name the magazine after a different tech
city every month," advised one. "Have staff work on a backwards font
that would force the reader to have to use a mirror to read the issue. Call
it 'eussI ytiruceS ehT,'" suggested another.
There's also a real need for stories that explore IT management issues such
as corporate politics and working for and with idiots, numbskulls and those
that are just plain stuck in the past. "Dealing with people who use, 'This
is the way we’ve always done it,' as their mantra," is one reader's challenge.
"'Always' means in 1979, the last time they actually stretched their cranium
Feeling the Love
Not everyone's in love with our magazine, though. A small percent preferred
Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, and some of you are just plain
grumpy. One curmudgeon with a wicked sense of humor left this as an e-mail address
(we don’t harvest these addresses, by the way): firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the survey, you can always let me know what you think. I’m at
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.