media and technology

the lowdown

Games . Web Sites . CD-ROMs

John Henderson goes goggle-eyed over this issue’s Web sites and CD- ROMS.

Gay Daze Web ‘Soap’

Web soaps have become quite an institution on the Net and Gay Daze is one of the best loved of their frothy number. Billing itself as a gay/lesbian drama set in LA. it delivers a daily update on its characters in diary form. The script leaves a little to be desired, and graphics wise you just get the odd mugshot. but then Gay Daze is not

made by a global media conglomerate.

What it does show is the potential that the Web has for providing what the mainstream media ignores. It will be a while before Auntie Beeb schedules something like this.

http://gaydaze. ms. wwa. com/

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Treasure Island Web Site

Although R. L. Stevenson just might have been able to guess what the combination of Disney and Muppets could do to his classic adventure, it's doubtful whether he could have envisaged this on-line manifestation of the project. With all the graphical bells and musical whistles that Disney are so good at, the Treasure Islam! Web site gives you the inside info on The Muppets' latest adventure and has been voted by The Li's-r‘s film editor as the best film site in many a long year. Dive in and download songs. watch film clips. join the Treasure Island map adventure and print out the special colouring book. All that and small furry creatures too. http://www.(It's-trey.eonz/I‘vlrmpetsTreasu re/html

Dog: (PC/Mac CD-ROM £14.99) if you‘re feeling all alone at your keyboard, it's high time you got a virtual pet. Dog: gives you the chance to let a canine companion loose on your desktop. Once you've chosen the type of dog you want. it‘s up to you to give it a name and keep it amused. If it misbehaves.just spray it with the watering can or put it back in its pen. Set it to guard your machine, and it will bark at intruders. Too cute.

Undercover Scotland

A glossy lifestyle mag? In Scotland? Surely not. Eddie Gibb is surprised to find not one. but two publications lined up to be the Scottish answer to Ideal Homes.

aye Adams.

television debate show Scottish

Women. conducts her ablutions in a bathroom with terracotta walls and royal blue wood panelling; after emerging front the old-fashioned cast- iron bath she applies Oil of Ulay night cream and Simple roll-on deodorant. How come I have such intimate knowledge of Ms Adams personal habits? Why. because she invited me along with a few thousand readers of the The Home Show magazine ~ into her lovely Glasgow flat.

Expect a lot more of this kind of thing. Whereas in the past interior decor magazines have mainlined on the rag-rolling activities of the Hampstead set or (iood I.i_'/‘e types who converted dreamy little fishermen's cottages on the Sussex coast. Scottish news-stands now boast two high-gloss quarterly titles dedicated to ("aledonian creativity at home.

Alongside The Home Show. a spin- off from the cheery Scottish Television programme of the same name. is the newly launched Homes (Q Interiors Sent/(1nd. However. the appearance of two similar titles within a matter of months of each other is not entirely a coincidence; Glasgow-based contract publisher International Magazines originally produced The [Io/ire Show on behalf of Scottish. but after issue two they fell out. Scottish has now taken publication of its rrragazine iii-house. but finds itself up against a competitor which effectively it helped create.

The Home Show was launched on the back of market research which suggested that there was an appetite for an interior decor magazine among Scottish readers who were put off by the Sloane Square feel of existing titles published in southern England. The magazine has not been around long enough to test that theory. but the television programme. presented by news-reading couple Viv Lumsden and Alan Douglas. is currently on its third

presenter of

series. The prospects are good. but the question remains whether the Scottish market can support two similar titles.

Iain McEwan. production editor at International Magazines. believes there is. while Scottish Television‘s commercial director Donald Emslie reckons probably not. Urrsurprisingly. both feel that if only one survives it will be theirs.

The clout of a proven brand name and substantial corporate backing mtrst tip the odds in favour of The Home Show.

Scottish readers were put off by the Sloane Square feel of existing titles.

but McEwan argues that as a small company International will be able to move faster. ‘They are a TV company. not a publishing company whereas we have the ability to put together a magazine.‘ he said.

Iimslie points to Scottish Television‘s


A week

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relationship with advertisers through its existing on-screen sales team as a major benefit to the magazine title, added to the reinforcement from the TV show. as evidence of better long-term prospects. It will be promoting its title with television advertising. though under lTV franchise regulations the magazine division must pay full rate. The Media Shop. an independent media planner. conducted some of the original research which backed the launch of The Home Show magazine. It represents clients who would be interested in advertising in a Scottish interiors magazine. but is waiting to see

solid readership figures before committing significant parts of a

client's budget. Media Shop director Valerie McGavin is not convinced the market will support both magazines. though she hopes it can because it would give her clients more choice. ‘lt's difficult to justify two titles at the same time. but if advertisers are sold on the idea then maybe.‘ she said.

Emslie of Scottish agrees: ‘Ultimatcly consumers and advertisers will decide.‘

The Home Show (Seoul's/I Television (/05); Homes A" Interiors Scotland (In/ernulr'onul Illu‘eazmes £2.25).


Homes & lnterlors Scotland (left) and STV's spin-off The Home Show magazine

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