At last, an innovative, original, professional, and beautifully designed web magazine has arrived with the gravitas and best qualities of a traditional print magazine coupled with the nimbleness required by the web . While there are of course many fabulous blogs, and a smaller number of more esoteric webzines, it has taken the touch and verve of Tina Brown coupled with the deep pockets of Barry Diller to make something on a grand scale that looks and feels like the real thing. I am talking about The Daily Beast.
Launched during the presidential campaign (very smart move) the first thing that struck me about Beast was how ground-breaking the design and functionality of the site was. Where The Huffington Post is a steadfast Volvo, delivering its news in boxy and predictable chunks, The Daily Beast is a svelte Maserati – elegant, cool, able to turn on a dime, and waiting to pounce and surprise you.
They have excellent writers – from Brown herself to Chris Buckley, Susan Cheever, and Michael Korda – but keep their pieces at just the right length for reading on the screen. And last but not least, they understand that the web is a visual medium and illustrate everything they can with photographs that catch our attention.