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Vice is what playboy should have turned into 10 years ago.

I think what Playboy's CEO said makes a lot of sense: "The difference between us and Vice is that we’re going after the guy with a job."

If we imagine Vice and GQ at two opposite ends of a spectrum -- Vice having the most substantive intellectual content but with a grungy punk aesthetic that wants to challenge and discomfort you, and with GQ having absolutely vapid content solely meant to showcase whatever suits or whiskey a sponsor is pushing but doing so with beautiful photography that's a pleasure to look at -- then it sounds like Playboy is positioning itself in the middle, like a thinking man's GQ or a convivial gentleman's Vice.

But after I saw this announcement, I checked out their revamped website and it just looks like a slightly more grown-up version of Total Frat Move: skeevy clickbait for bros in the back half of their twenties. If they really want to go after the Vice fans with jobs, I hope their content editors ramp up original material (which Vice does extremely well) instead of repackaging viral videos and listicles for referral traffic.

Right, looks like a toned down version of thechive.com - that's probably the opposite of what they want to be doing.

The mags, though, have contained serious articles. Alongside nude pictures of women.

I agree that they should probably move some of their serious content to their website, though. If only for marketing reasons. It would make the notion of reading Playboy for the news far less humorous.

Aiming for the middle may turn out to be a losing strategy, since they're going to be competing/fighting on two fronts, both at the lower and at the upper ends of the market. The other magazines just have to push one way if they need to and have free space on the other.

I get the feeling that the magazine will die along or even before Heff does.

Playboy's articles are a thousand times more thoughtful than anything coming out of Vice.

They certainly are/were good. Vice does a lot more, and focuses on a lot of investigative stuff which nobody else looks at though.

Yeah, that or The Verge.

But a good editor and/or a strong website relaunch could make up for lost time pretty quickly - see Josh Topolsky's work on Bloomberg or the New Yorker's web overhaul 2 years ago.

Granted, I can't quite imagine how they can leverage their brand's err core identity without seeming hopelessly out of date. Cleavagey models would seem just as archaic.

This is all very subjective, but I've never found The Verge to be intellectually stimulating. It's just your run of the mill shallow gadget site, only with better graphics. It doesn't go in depth the way Anandtech does for example, and there's little of Arstechnica's investigative journalism. The Verge spends more time optimizing how their pages are designed than their journalism.

I feel like Ars have been slipping since Hannibal left, and they closed down their open source section.

Perhaps their last great deep dive was the series of articles on the Amiga computer.

The most striking is perhaps how much of a tone change there was for one editor that moved to the site primarily to write about Android. Ever since he changed employer his articles seem to be all about highlighting what is wrong about the OS.

All in all i fear the site has gotten very agenda driven in recent years.

I largely agree, but it's a solid, well rounded lifestyle site, which seems consonant with Playboy's brand - I could see them becoming a slightly refined/nerdy Maxim. Vice would pair more naturally with Suicide Girls if the concept of sexifying journalism/writing is at all worthwhile in the digital age. Now, combining a hard tech site like Anandtech/Ars with attractive models? How generous of you to just leave a billion dollar idea right out in a public forum ;).

They've done some excellent long-form articles, though.

For example: http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/16/3740422/the-life-and-death...

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