Informational Independence

In the November issue of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine, editors and art directors have done a good job of creating multiple entry points for the magazine’s stories. For example, in one two-page front of the book story I counted four entry points, including sidebars, a pull quote and a charticle. That sort of material, chopped up and made visually interesting, is ideal for transfer onto the Internet.

That being said, it is mistaken to think that Portfolio’s Web site, Portfolio.com, is just those pieces of information on the Internet. Portfolio.com is much more than that. By clicking on “In This Issue of Conde Nast Portfolio,” you will find the November issue of the print edition, with a few minor adjustments to be made more readable and visually pleasing. But that is about it for similarities between print and online versions.

The home page of Portfolio.com is fresh news, reported on and uploaded daily. “Portfolio Top 5” news immediately drew my eyes to the left-hand side of the screen. Each story is short, only about 200-300 words, making them quick and easy reads. When I clicked on one story, the remaining four popped up as a sidebar, making it easy to navigate from one story to the next. Also, from the same window I could look at any other Portfolio story, or news story from the past month, related to the topic of the “Top 5” story.

A graphic box in the center of Portfolio.com ticks through “Media,” “Stocks,” and “Startup” news displaying a picture and a story blurb for each. Directly below are business blogs and columns. There are three featured bloggers with illustrations of their faces, rather than photographs, above their name and beat. I had the luxury of choosing from 12 different blogs and four columns that are updated daily during the business week. Not to mention they covered topics from art and politics to fashion and sports.

My eyes finally fell on the right column of Portfolio.com, which is a multimedia paradise. In one box there are links to video, mixed-media components, and “channels” that house numerous video clips. Portfolio’s channel currently has 76 different viewable clips. The Associated Press, Fifty Lessons, Plum TV, and Reuters also have links to their own channels on Portfolio.com, totaling 548 available video clips.

Finally, Portfolio.com has a list of daily headlines, which are linked to the full stories, and feature articles – all of which have accompanying pictures. The headlines are updated daily, and after further inspection, only one feature article that appears on Portfolio.com’s home page also appears in the print Portfolio.

Not only does Portfolio do a good job of drawing readers into a story from multiple angles, but Portfolio.com takes that information and builds on it, creating a magazine Web site that operates somewhat like that of a newspaper. Portfolio.com has current and up to date information, and does not rely heavily on the print version for its material.

–Christine Birmingham


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