I’ve been a subscriber to Yoga Journal since I started my practice, about 10 years ago. I’ve read all their issues, cover to cover, except for the past year when things have gotten a bit hectic. But I’ve kept stacking the issues on my desk for future reading. The back issues fill up a bookcase shelf in my study.
More importantly, I’ve cited the magazine hundreds of times, to their pose listing, features, cover stories and other articles. I’ve even defended the magazine’s reliance on advertising to survive in a competitive marketplace. I saw it as a necessary barometer of yoga’s influence in American mainstream culture.
Today, the new editors of Joga Yournal released their “beta” edition of their website, designed to be more graphically optimized and ad-friendly. I found this message after trying to load a JY link:
File Not Found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.
Please try the following:
- Check your spelling
- Return to the home page
- Click the Back button
Talk about playing dumb. They know why I got a 404 error.
In the switch-over, they broke 50-some links, minimum. I’m sure that there are even more broken links because my link checker has not had a chance to go through my whole site, close to a thousand posts and another 50 pages. I will have to check each broken YJ link and to find the new URL, if it exists. This hiccup engenders hours of work, time that I’d rather spend holding my life together, practicing yoga or writing on my blog.
Dumb and dumber
This kind of incompetence does not have to happen. Websites go through redesigns and technology transitions all the time, and the gold standard is “Don’t alienate your loyal readers who are linking to your site.” They are flushing 10 years of goodwill down the drain. It’s easy to plan for automated redirects to valid pages under the new design. Perhaps, it’s not the editors who goofed, but the hired technical staff or web design team.
I’ve been pushed into making a decision. I am not renewing my print subscription of Joga Yournal, which will run out this month. I will switch over to a Amazon Kindle subscription, which allows me to pay on a pre-issue basis. I may not get the dirt-cheap price that you can sometimes obtain, but I will be monitoring the editorial team’s performance and quality assurance and drop them completely if this shit continues.
Yoga is a different market than it was 10 years ago when there were a handful of magazines and websites that focuses on the practice. Yoga Journal was a touchstone. Now, there are hundreds of quality websites from all over the world. There are thousands of blogs written by first-class master teachers, instructors, practitioners and intellectuals. I have more than a dozen select sites that I regret I can’t read regularly.
I’ve already spent too much time fuming about this incident by writing this blog entry.