A two week overview of The Cut

I don’t know how large New York magazine’s staff is, but after this week I’m thinking BIG. I kept tabs on one of their blogs, The Cut, this week and last and I am amazed at how much content they have. I knew they really made an effort to keep their website current, but I hadn’t noticed exactly how far they took this mission.

The concensus: I’m pretty sure this one blog has more updates in a day than my facebook news feed. On Monday, October 1st I looked at the blog later at night and counted around 45 posts FOR JUST THAT DAY! And this just accounts for one of their many blogs and regular articles for online and print.

Needless to say, I didn’t have time to read all 300 or so posts from the last week, but I did read the ones that seemed either interesting to me or were showcased on the homepage as being popular/interesting. Here is a list of stories I feel really showcase what New York magazine’s blogging strategy is all about:

Wednesday, September 26:

Jackets for Fall- This piece shows a typical slideshow for NY magazine. They have a lot of these slideshows on The Cut. Although I don’t love the format and how much effort it takes to view each image, I appreciate that they include multimedia on so many of their blog posts. This shows that they don’t just have 45 posts a day that took 5 minutes to put together. Rather many stories take awhile and therefore are more likely worth the read.

Screen shot from New York magazine

Lady Gaga’s Underwear- This blog does like to focus on sex and celebrities and I think this story is just that. It’s honestly a bit weird for my taste, but I can’t deny that it’s interesting. And I think this general interest is shown in the comments. There are 12 comments, which doesn’t seem like a ton when you consider the amount of effort New York magazine puts into their online stagey, but when I think of how many comments Vox has, I get excited if my blog has one comment. Therefore, I think a lot of people read blogs but I don’t think there is a natural commenting culture. So I think 12 comments is a success.

After seeing such a weird topic I decided to see if the magazine covers these same sorts of things in print/on their regular website. I found another story about Lady Gaga on their website, but alas, no naked photos (Although I will admit the photos in the slideshow get close when they start showing some of her stage costumes). This story, however, did not focus on Gaga’s nudity/body type. Instead it talked about her life growing up and how she became a pop star. Thus, I’ve gathered that New York magazine covers the same kinds of material but in a SLIGHTLY more conservative way in print and online than they do on their blog. But I do want to emphasize the SLIGHTLY part. While I think the magazine uses the blog to be a bit more free, I’d say in general they aren’t afraid to make a statement and show or say something that may offend my grandma. 

Emmys Hustle- I appreciate that much of the blog content is timely, like this story which ran right after the Emmys.

Kanye’s Sex tapes- Again, more celebrities and sex. Also, this post was actually written on the 25th but was still on the front page on the 26th. I found that interesting. I also liked how it was packaged with other NY mag content (like a look book of Kanye).

I Identify with my identity theft- This blog often has posts, such as this one, that are in a personal essay style. They are about things that happened to individuals on the magazine’s staff and are easy for the general public to relate to. I find these particularly interesting and I think it helps give the blog a human voice.

Monday, October 1:

Screen shot from New York magazine

Lindsey Lohan- This was the lead story on the blog page on this day, and on Tuesday it was still featured on the page, though much smaller and lower on the page. Celebrity gossip/conflict as usual. I found it interesting how long it is. While some of NY magazine’s blog posts are quite short, others are not afraid to be long.

What porn means to us- Although I think the topic is something weird to blog (and now reblog) about, I appreciate the reporting behind it and I think it also gives a human voice to the blog.

On the regular New York magazine website there is also a story about porn. But this story does not focus on the readers’ uses for porn. Rather, it follows the dating experience of a porn star. Like the story with Lady Gaga, the same content is covered but with a less personal angle. It doesn’t make the reader feel quite as uncomfortable in print or on the regular online content. And I’m not sure why, but I feel like that makes sense. To me a blog is a more anonymous environment for a reader than print and even the regular internet. 

Tuesday, October 2:

Skirts over pants- I love how this is formatted. I like that it shows a conversation between two of the reporters. It makes it seem more like real life and less like formatted journalism. I also think that setting up like this is a great way to encourage comments. I like that they ask for comments at the top instead of the bottom (they got 6 comments so far). And they paired it with Emma Watson’s look book. Well done in my opinion.

Fat girl quotes- More celebrities. But what stood out to me on this one is the headline. On the actual story page it names Christina Aguilera as “Christina.” But on the homepage the headline to click on to get to the story names her “Xtina.” New York magazine always tries to have witty titles in print and on their blog. I see this as an attempt to be more interesting. But I wonder why they changed it for the real story. Regardless, the story has done well and stayed in the list of top stories for several days.

The Plastic Surgery Dealer- This piece is really long, but I think it is interesting because it is a topic that is not often discussed in such a manner. New York magazine is not afraid to talk about taboo topics, which makes it novel. I think the magazine is conscious in how it made this post, however. Although they use tags on all their blogs, there are a lot of them on this story (23).  I think this tells a reader that although the story is long, it’s about a lot of things. It also acts as a way to bring more readers in who are searching for different tags.

Screen shot from New York magazine

J.Lo’s daughter- Obviously by inserting some celebrity into this blog about a fashion show it became more interesting to readers because it’s been on the top 5 most read week since it was posted (on the 2nd) through Friday October, 5th. There is always a section on The Cut about fashion shows, but I think the human interest piece of J. Lo’s daughter drew a lot of people to the story. I also like that the slideshow shows the backstage aspects of the fashion show. This angle gives the whole story something unique that other fashion show slide shows don’t have.

Wednesday, October 3:

The maternity leave arms race- This story talks about women who are attempting to take short maternity leaves and then resume their work. The article debates whether paternal leave should be allowed and if it is a good thing that these woman are trying to recover from giving birth so quickly. I think this story is something interesting and anybody who is a mom, dad, or knows someone who recently had a kid can relate to it. I would say the story has been successful with 18 comments: the most I’ve seen so far.

Screen shot from New York magazine

Throwing away lunches my mom packed- This piece talks about how a writer used to throw away her apple her mom packed her every day because she wanted to fit in with the cool kids who had food such as lunchables, but her mom always made her eat healthy. I really like the human voice, again, and I also think this piece is easy to relate to for anyone who has ever experienced peer pressure. 14 comments. I also like the piece at the top of this story that says “Lies we’ve told,” suggesting it may be a recurring section. If it is, I think this logo is a good distinguishing mark.

Thursday, October 4:

Screen shot from New York magazine

Hilary and Xtina’s boobs- Again with the “Xtina.” But I find it interesting how many blog posts from this day included politics in some way right after the debate. It was almost like it didn’t matter how politics was involved. Rather, if you could include it, brownie points for you.

Michelle and Ann’s awkward hug- Making politics interesting? I do like the moving image on this. It makes it interesting and Reddit like. It’s also a rather short piece, which again shows NY magazine’s variety.

Did he say anything about me?- This blog post talks about a writer’s disappointment in the Presidential debate Wednesday because they did not discuss women’s issues, which has been made a big deal in the campaigns thus far. Again, I liked the personal angle. I think these types of stories are my favorite. I honestly don’t do a good job keeping up with politics, but this is the kind of political coverage I enjoy.

Gaga on Twitter - This short post of the goings on of Twitter has done interestingly well. The problem for me is that I came into the issue between Slimane and New York Times writer Cathy Horyn, and thus, I didn’t really understand this story. Maybe New York magazine had the story somewhere else but I had trouble finding it. I found other stories but they were all vague and missing the background info. I had to go to another source to find out what really happened. The Cut also had a video showcasing one of the fashion designers from the fashion show where all this drama went down. The video has nothing to do with the drama, but by inserting the drama into the headline, I’m sure they got more readers. The headline on the front page said “Raf Simons Shares Many Thoughts on Jackets” but the headline once you click on the video adds “None on Heidi Slimane.” I find this humorous and it’s the kind of thing I’d share with someone through social media if I were following the issue and I knew they were too.

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