Newsstand

The British e-zine to cause the biggest waves among students of the form has perhaps been Trigge, which went online last year to widespread (including transatlantic) acclaim.

The opening page explains that after the enormous critical success of issues One and Two (published last year), "we Trigger People decided to kick back for a while and let it all wash over us ... Trigger Issue Three will be back here in festive mood."

I took the "festive" to mean that we could expect a third issue in time for Christmas, and since then I've been hanging on, waiting for it to appear, before introducing it here. But I'm now beginning to wonder if a third issue is going to appear - and you might like to taste issues One and Two before their clever creators find another use for the server space.

What's clever is the advertising mechanism that the site employs, which "triggers" the display of different banner ads when your cursor passes over certain screen elements - so you see many more ads during a brief interaction than you would normally expect.

Should we care? Well, yes: Trigger has been successful in attracting many advertisers, and in the long run only zines that attract advertisers can afford to offer good, professional content.

Trigger's content is aimed at 18-35s with "a slight male bias" (ie, the occasional feature on themes related to football or cricket). It has five sections, iconised by five different coloured daisies - pinky purple for music, green for books, red for film, yellow for regular bits and blue for The Rest. Helpful, eh? Interface design at its most childish.

Fortunately, the content aims higher, and is less self-consciously cool. Many of the features have a broad appeal - I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel rather excluded from "popular culture" e-zines because I don't know enough about popular culture to start with.

Examples in the "current" issue include a couple of items about the Edinburgh Festival (I did say the next issue was overdue) and a reaction to the return of sci-fi to the cinema. Even one or two elements of the music section are intelligible to me.

Equally important, the writing is a cut above the norm for pop-culture e-zines: it's mostly clear and accessible, with a confident, relaxed air that makes a refreshing contrast to some e-zine stuff.

If Trigger has a future, I'd say the Regular section needs to be improved (or dropped). "Life in the Louche Lane", the dreary diary of a guy turning 30, is not the sort of thing that will have me looking for issue three.

Trigger

http://www.trigger.co.uk

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