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So What Is The Best Business Magazine?

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Last night we found ourselves at a birthday party being thrown for a young lady-architect at a very new bar called Nurse Betty on the lower east side. We discovered a couple of things. First, that there are still good bars on the lower east side, despite what we told the New York Observer's Chris Shott. Second, that when you are more-or-less crippled and confined by your crutches to a bar stool, it is very hard to get out of awkward conversations at parties. There is no graceful conversational exits when you have to hobble off.
And that's how we found ourselves trapped in conversation with someone who had a few bones to pick with DealBreaker. We ended up defending DealBreaker from the charge that we hate all existing business magazines. Because we don't. In fact, we kind of love them. If they all folded tomorrow, it would make our job of making fun of them much, much harder. But sometimes we wish they did a better job of what they did.
Today Jon Friedman at MarketWatch explains why he thinks the best business magazine, well, you'll see. Hint: it's published by Conde Nast. Hint: It's not Portfolio. Hint: There's a big picture of it on the left side of this item.

Call it the height of irony in publishing.
Conde Nast is spending big bucks to create the ballyhooed Portfolio, the "it" magazine launch of 2007 (if not the whole history of the world). The fabled publisher will have shelled out tens of millions of dollars by Portfolio's April debut.
Like any proud parent-to-be, Conde Nast fully expects an adoring public will hail its baby as the smartest and best-looking kid on the block. The irony is that Conde Nast already publishes the smartest and best-looking business magazine around. It's called Wired.

So what makes Wired so good? Well, we read Friedman's column and we're not sure. He likes the covers, especially the recent one featuring John Hodgman. We like that too. But that's because we like Hodgman. And we're not sure that putting him on the cover makes Wired a brilliant business magazine.
Oh, and he likes the fact that they avoid boring company profiles. And that when they do profile companies, these tend to be a bit edgier than the standard business mag stuff. There's also something about "challenging readers" but this part got a bit nerdy for us so we skimmed it.
What else?

What Wired does well on a consistent basis is force the readers to think. It seems to refrain from the kind of survey story that Time Inc. might publish (beware, Fortune) -- the 10 biggest this, and the 25 worst that sort of fare.

Except for that whole "Wired 40" thing
We guessWired is pretty good. But if you wanted to know why it might be the "best business magazine," you're on your own. Friedman doesn't exactly get around to that part. Maybe that's what he means by challenging his readers.

Why Wired is (already) the best biz magazine