One of today's sessions was led by an editor from Playboy, and surprisingly, I learned quite a bit. In addition to ideas on how to keep my content fresh (without using pictures of naked women), I learned that Playboy actually does have good articles. One of the perks of the session was FREE PORN! I got a copy of the November issue just for sticking around and not being embarrassed by naked boobies. In it, there is an excellent interview with Quentin Tarantino and an extensive article on Wal-Mart's evil empire. It was nice to see a magazine give serious page count to articles -- the Tarantino piece was maybe 7,000 words. Nobody gets 7,000 words anymore! My longest piece was 3,000 and it was generally considered to be too long. We spent a lot of time at the conference talking about how to chop things up, make articles more easily digestible for readers in our busybusybusy lives. There has to be a balance, especially for magazines that don't have money to pay for extra copy from a built-in subscription base for naked chicks.
On a side note, I've never bought Playboy, and not because I have a problem with porn. (My sister tends to get upset with her boyfriend for reading/watching it and I've yet to understand why. I mean, really, who cares? As long as your mate doesn't prefer porn over you, everything is fine.) Generally, I don't buy Playboy because it's "entertainment for men." Reading over my free copy, however, I've found lots of articles that I enjoy. And this month's issue has an in-depth interview with John Cusack, AKA the love of my life. So, how is writing for men different from writing for women? Is it? Should it be? And, um, could somebody buy this issue for me?