Macworld Insider clarification

For some reason there still seems to be some confusion about the status of the Macalope’s work over at Macworld so let’s see if we can clear this up.

The Saturday column still exists and continues, as ever, to be free. The Insider content is all-new, Monday through Friday. Nothing has been taken away. In fact, the two overlap. While you don’t know it if you’re not an Insider, you’re getting some of the Insider content. We now have three weeks of this under our belts and each week it’s unfolded the same way: the Macalope has written five Insider pieces Monday through Friday and then used two of them in the (free) Saturday column as well as writing one new piece for the benefit of non-Insiders. It may not always work exactly that way, but that’s probably going to be how it’ll work most of the time.

Frankly, the Macalope feels that non-Insiders are getting a better deal than they were before. Why? Because they’re getting the pick of the best of the five Insider pieces (plus an original piece). If something new happens that affects a piece the Macalope published on Monday, he tries to edit that into the piece when it goes up on Saturday. Overall, the Saturday pieces are now longer, more thought out and better edited. Plus, now that he’s getting paid more to do this, he’s able to devote more time to keeping up on the issues, rumors and blathering of silly pundits, all of which is the animal lips that help make the delicious hot dog you, strangely, like to eat on Saturday morning.

Some people dislike the fact that Macworld includes a link to the Insider content in the non-Insider view. This is called “marketing”. Sorry. ESPN, which covers baseball among other sports, does the same thing. Baseball is the American pastime. What do you have have against the American pastime? That’s a joke, but marketing is actually another American pastime, so…

The two different Macalope columns are tagged separately. Check out the sidebar to the right here and you’ll see two links, one for Dailies, one for Weeklies. Use the one that best fits your lifestyle.

If you can’t justify the Insider subscription, that’s completely understandable. Just know that Macworld and the Macalope have tried to make an add-on that hopefully people enjoy and are willing to pay for. Nothing has been taken away from anyone and we hope it’s a deal that benefits readers as well as us.

And if you want to vent in the comments, go ahead. The Macalope won’t even mention that some other sites that put ads in their feeds don’t even give you a place to vent. Not even going to bring that up. Nope.

  • Neil:

    I don’t like the snark as much when it’s directed at your fans.

    • If the Macalope ever snarks at me, frankly I’m going to have to take a long, hard look at myself and the mirror and say, “The Macalope has snarked at you. Why? He probably has a good reason. He’s a mythical beast, after all. He doesn’t snark for nothing. I have always laughed in acute agreement whenever he snarks at other people. What are the chances that he has snarked at me in error? Doesn’t seem very likely, really. He seems like quite a precise snarker, based on everything I’ve seen to date.” Etc etc.

      • Neil:

        The Macalope is not snarking at me, he is snarking in my direction. I am not stupid, but I have experienced confusion about what exactly the situation is here. I understand that users dislike being linked to Insider content. I don’t think users need to be informed that it’s called marketing. They dislike it, they’re not mentally disabled. I don’t think anyone’s arguing they’ve lost any functionality, though The Macalope seems to be suggesting that they are. From what I know, the issue was confusion, not accusation, though I could be wrong.

        That’s sort of my original point though, I don’t know which of the accusations in this apply to me. The second paragraph: excellent. I am happy that it was explained. The rest of it feels like I’m being talked down to.

        • The Macalope:

          You are wrong about the accusations. The Macalope got several @s on Twitter and emails (one today, which is what kicked this off) complaining about how Macworld was “cutting its nose off to spite its face”, etc., by putting the Saturday column behind the pay wall. Which hasn’t happened.

          • Neil:

            I’d appreciate this type of information appearing in the article. I was very confused about the defensive tone struck in your writing without knowing why such a tone would exist.

    • Nicholas:

      I don’t mind when the fans have been making pretty stupid complaints.

    • Those “fans” had it coming. The Macalope is responding to whiners who’ve complained about not getting everything for free. That’s about as deserving of what you’re calling “snark” as anything I can think of in this context.

      I’m grateful for any Macalope I can get.

  • Mathieu:


    One thing, why does the Macalope always speak in the 3rd person?

    • The Macalope:

      The Macalope does whatnow?


      The… Macalope…

      Wow. Never noticed that before.

      That is weird

  • I’ve no problem with what you or Macworld are doing. And signing up for Insider has been (and remains) on my list, as soon as some other obligations in my life are met. 🙂

  • KiltBear:


    (oops did I growl that out loud?)

    If you don’t like the Saturday morning column anymore because of the M-F column, then DON’T BY IT.


  • KiltBear:

    @Matheiu: because unbeknownst to most, it’s actually “Macalope Rex”. The last (and therefore the monarch) of a soon (but not too soon, please) extinct breed.

  • Fascinated by this: it’s hard to imagine a more popular column than the Macalope’s … or fans more generally amiable and humour-appreciating … and yet there’s actual griping when MacWorld tries to offer a little more of the same goodness at a price? While the column remains free? REALLY? What is it, exactly, that is WRONG WITH THESE GRIPERS?

  • John Muir:

    Oh, it’s the “strangely” that we come for. Classic snark.

    As for the Macalope’s affinity for the third person, think of it this way: when did you ever hear an animal use the personal pronoun? Picky buggers.

  • All of this is just fine and dandy, but when will Macworld give you a listing in their RSS feeds index? It’s sure would be nice, after all this time.

  • Mike:

    I just think it’s odd that after erecting a paywall, Macworld only puts one author behind it. I think you’re great, Macalope, but I didn’t know there wasn’t anyone else the staff hold in equally high regard.

    I’ve noticed over the last 3 weeks, your Insider articles come at about an average of 19 free posts inbetween (including your free weekly articles). And while I enjoy your writing and see the same advantages you point out at how your weekly article is given that much more polish, the features offered and price don’t match up for me.

    The difference between your content and Gruber’s is that while his does have ads (both on the sidebar and sponsored content posted to the RSS) none of his content is missing from the non-member streams as it once was. But I know that doesn’t jibe with every author’s/publisher’s style.

    I still love reading your stuff, and it’s the only reason I subscribe to the Macworld RSS.

    • The Macalope:

      The Macalope believes that there will be additional content behind the paywall in the future, although he doesn’t know for sure. Also, the subscription already gives you more than just the Macalope Daily. The for-pay site has no ads and gives you access to back issues of the magazine online and some other stuff the Macalope’s forgetting. But it’s completely understandable if that’s not enough for you.

  • Rob:

    I’m a little late to the party, but I just wanted to echo a few sentiments.

    I loathe MacWorld as a website/blog. The writers are waaaay on the other side of the line between journalists and paid hacks. I’m constantly on the verge of being banned whenever I get into a discussion involving one of the mods.

    That said, I love the Macalope weekly. It’s the one and only reason I regularly visit the site. Then I get sidetracked and keep reading useless garbage elsewhere on Macworld. However, because they are the ones receiving my hard earned cash if I were to subscribe to read your dailies, I cannot bring myself to support them, and unfortunately will miss out.

  • Toy Needle:

    “I loathe MacWorld as a website/blog….Then I get sidetracked and keep reading useless garbage elsewhere on Macworld. ”


    I hate that magazine! To make sure I maintain my hate I read it cover to cover!

Leave a Comment