What Annoys Me … #2 Useless High-Gloss Magazines in my Letterbox

In this series, I write about things that I dislike …

Once in a while, I open the letterbox of InterFace. And it always surprises my how much I find in there.

And then I get particularly annoyed with the many high-gloss magazines stuffed into the box.

The most annoying are those sent by organizations you no longer need at all. They are the ones that produce magazines just for marketing reasons, in order to let their own existance look necessary.

Let us take the unmentionable magazin WIRTSCHAFT of the IHK as an example. I never found a good article in there. It seems that there was a day when the IHK found out that it no longer produces any added value. That was when they started producing high-gloss.

In our letterbox, you will find many magazines sent by lobbyists, interest groups, trade associations, financial associations and many other unnecessary organizations. Mostly, they are nothing but self-portrayals with ZERO nutritional value.
Mind you, our own sector is no better. We have the GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) which, basically, nobody needs. In fact, it does not even see itself as a lobby for computer scientists. Through Springer, the GI edits an extremely expensive magazine, the Informatik-Spektrum. You can also find it on the internet – even including downloads that cost fees! Only if you are a member of the GI or the GChACM, you will get it for a pittance. This is what I call high-gloss environmental pollution – in the web age at that!
The only articles people probably read in the Informatik-Spektrum are those of the column “DUECK-beta-INSIDE” by Gunter Dueck. All the other articles are some kinds of recycled scientific publications. They do not seem to be all that scientific, either. Taken together, it never makes anyone extremely enthusiastic. Consequently, hardly anybody reads it. But you pretend. And if you are a member, it is free, anyway.

Basically, the Informatik-Spektrum provides enough high-gloss for the GI! But, no! Now you also have the regional groups. The Munich regional group used to be excellent. It produced a thin DIN A5 brochure modest in design. Besides a well-structured calender telling you all important events, some other useful information could be found therein.

So what does the Munich regional group do today? It comes up with a high-gloss magazine (IT-SZENE München). Reading it, you can clearly see how much effort it took the editors to fill all those pages. There is not much in there that is worth reading. But even if quite a few interesting articles were to be found in there – we no longer need this kind of magazine! We have the internet!

But what I hate even more are all those magazines advertising hotels, fairs, events, tourism, restaurants, life style, personal cult,… They are all heavy, thick, colourful, with fantastic prices printed on the covers that definitely nobody ever pays. And they regularly land in our letter box, although nobody ever asked for them.

Why do I hate them?

Because every week, quite some kilograms of high-glas paper go directly from the letter box into our rubbish bin. And what is worse: we even finance it. For instance by having to pay compulsory fees to the IHK.

How do I cope with it?

Partly, I stand helpless against the high-gloss bombardement. I do not feel like making a special effort and taking the extra time to tell the sources of this flood that they should stop sending me their material. I try to boycott the initiators. Wherever possible, they do not get money from me. Not even for adverts or public relation.

Why don’t you join me in this boycott?

(Translated by EG)

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