Date: Tue, 08 Aug 1995 02:25:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Doctor Bob" Rankin 
Subject: The Electronic Newsstand

                       TOURBUS - 08 Aug 1995

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     \___/ \___/  "Why Surf When U Can Ride The Bus?"  \___/

                Today's Stop: The Electronic Newsstand

If your idea of fun is spending a Saturday afternoon hanging around the
magazine racks at Barnes & Nobles, then the Electronic Newsstand will
probably chew up a good portion of your Sunday as well.

Just like it's real-world counterpart, The Electronic Newsstand is a place
where you can freely browse through many publications, but there are two
really cool things about this place:

1) The lady with the cat glasses and green smock will not be coming by
   every so often to give you the "Aren't you going to BUY one?" glare.

2) You don't have to stand.

According to the introductory information at the site, The Electronic
Newsstand first opened in July 1993 "to provide the Internet community
with easy access to a wide range of interesting information furnished by
the world's leading publishers."

After starting with just eight magazines, the 'Stand now has more than 275
titles from publishers such McGraw-Hill, Times Mirror, Time Inc. Ventures
and Mecklermedia.

"So Now I Can Read Newsweek Online For Free?"

Not quite.  Each publisher provides the table of contents and one or more
articles from each current issue.  The keyword here is "salivation". By
placing a free sample in cyberspace and offering attractive deals on the
"dead-tree" edition, the publishers hope to attract new subscribers.

That's not meant to be a slam - in fact I quite agree that the proper
model for Internet commerce is to offer a free high-quality resource to
gain the attention and credibility of the audience before launching into a
sales pitch.

And the Newsstand has had some measure of success.  They've sold magazine
subscriptions in every state in the U.S and in more than 45 countries,
including Australia, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan,
Norway, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland.

It's also not hard to see how the online tables of contents and feature
articles could serve as a handy research tool.  As it happens, the entire
text of the Newsstand (currrent and past issues) is searchable by keyword.
So if you're trying to remember where you saw that article about the
piano-playing poodle you just might find it here.

There *must* be some good stuff there...  The Newsstand racks up almost
200,000 accesses per day!

Getting There

You can access The Electronic Newsstand at their WWW site, via gopher or
even telnet.  Here are the addresses for each mode of access:

   Telnet: (login as "enews")

The help file also says you can write to or call Lisa
Losito at 202-466-8688 for more detailed access information.

My surfboard of choice these days is usually gopher or lynx (from the Unix
command line) even though I have a SLIP/PPP account.  Fast access to the
information I need is more important to me than the myriad of GIF images
and plaid backgrounds that grace so many web sites.  Let's try the gopher
route and see what we find.

                Home Gopher server:

      1.  Visit our WWW site:
      2.  Introduction to The Electronic Newsstand/
      3.  Notice of Copyright and General Disclaimer -- Please Read
  --> 4.  Magazines, Periodicals, and Journals (all titles)/
      5.  Electronic Bookstore/
      6.  Electronic Car Showroom(tm) (Toyota U.S.A. and more!)/
      7.  Business and Finance Center/
      8.  Computer and Technology Resources/
      9.  Entertainment Area/
      10. Health and Medical Center/
      11. The Renaissance Room/
      12. Sports, Recreation and Leisure Center/
      13. Travel Resources/
      14. News Services/
      15. Search All Electronic Newsstand Articles by Keyword /

Option 4 seemed like the logical starting point for me, since I always
skip over anything that says "Please Read" and resort to the help screens
only when I'm utterly and completely lost.  ;-)

I picked "Titles Arranged By Subject" on the next screen and wound up
looking at this list:

             Titles Arranged By Subject

      1.  Business/
      2.  Technology/
      3.  Entertainment/
      4.  Health and Medicine/
  --> 5.  Sports and Recreation/
      6.  Travel/
      7.  Art, Music, Performing Arts/
      8.  Literature, Books, Reviews/
      9.  Religion, Philosophy, Spirituality/
      10. Politics, News, Media/
      11. International/
      12. Education, University/

Selecting "Sports and Recreation" eventually brought me to a list that
included the title "Slap Magazine".  If you thought this one might contain
a few pointers on dealing with rude sales clerks, you and I were both
wrong.  A few more keyboard contortions revealed that

>SLAP is the latest, hippest, freshest, coolest, most talked about magazine
>for the new school crew into skateboarding, streetstyle fashion and the
>latest sounds.  SLAP combines a crisp attitude with hot photos of the best
>skateboarders on the planet...

Fresh, cool, and crisp - they could probably add a produce section to this
mag.  Just goes to show you that if there are more than six people in the
world with a common interest, a magazine will sproing up to cover the

Other Stuff You Should Not Miss

A little more hunting and pecking verified my theory.  Make sure you check
out these gems before we leave this stop on the tour.

  - AlaskaMen USA
  - American Demographics
  - Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentristry
  - Mining Business Digest
  - Monk, The Mobile Magazine

And of course, you can sneak a peek at some of these popular titles:

  - Business Week
  - Computer Shopper
  - Field & Stream
  - Internet World
  - MacUser
  - New Yorker
  - PC World
  - Spin Magazine
  - Sporting News
  - Worth Magazine

Look into the personal news services under Option 14 if you really want
to go digital, and try out the Search function.  There really is a
piano-playing poodle in there somewhere!

  Web Site   :
               (stop in for back issues and the logo contest)
  Advertising: E-mail w/ Subject: SEND TBRATES

TOURBUS - (c) Copyright 1995, Patrick Crispen and Bob Rankin
All rights reserved.  Redistribution is allowed only with permission.

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