Guardian Limited

Published on 3 December 2003 in , , ,

The Guardian are doing a beta test for their new ‘digital editions’ If you’ve never heard of them, then the Guardian website describes them as:

"an innovative new service that combines web-based delivery with the look and feel of the printed newspapers."

Which to be quite frank, sounds terrible to me! It seems that yet again, someone out there just hasn’t grasped the concept that the web is not print media.

Print media paradigms simply don’t work on the web. The web works on the web, that is why it is the web. However in print, I don’t want to turn pages, or waste time downloading full page adverts like you get on the abonimation that is F Magazine.

The problem with these things is that they throw away every single part of the rule book – no scrolling, just clicking an arrow. No copying text, no control over font sizes, no chance to view the site if you don’t have the latest Flash plugin.

So I didn’t go into the Guardian Digital site with much optimism.

Unfortunately I didn’t even get the chance to slate it. After signing up to the beta test programme, getting my confirmation email and doing all the stuff, it won’t even let me in – I go to the beta test page where I get invited to ‘click’ a link to use the service. Doing so just takes me back…

It’s not even a browser issue. I can’t get in using Mozilla Firebird, Opera 7 or Internet Explorer 6, all of which should (according to their browser page) work. I’ve tried at home, I’ve tried at work.

Which is all rather annoying as I can’t even find out whether the service actually is any good.

One thing has to be said – as a service, it certainly doesn’t bode well for a product when the beta testers can’t even get into the service to test it in the first place.

Not that I care. I would never buy the Guardian anyway – I’m an Independent man.