When reading a magazine I often see an advert for a product that I want to buy (or recommend that a client buy). This is of course expected as the advertisers put a lot of effort into targeting their adverts to the people who read such magazines. However I often decide that I want to buy the product some weeks after reading the magazine.
Linux Journal  usually has adverts for good server hardware that supports Linux. Their web site is quite nice in many ways, it allows subscribers to read articles online and has an index to all back-issues. But it has no link that I could find for reading the adverts! I would like to see an index of all advertising that has ever been published so that I can read the adverts online. The ancient adverts are good for historical reference and the new ones are good for purchasing decisions.
Right now I would like to be suggesting that a client consider buying a number of servers from a company that advertises in Linux Journal, but I’m not because they don’t publish their adverts online!
To make matters worse the Linux Journal web site doesn’t include a suitable contact address for issues unrelated to subscriptions. I believe that a magazine needs to publish an email address for copyright infringement reports (I often notify magazines when someone rips off their content so that they can issue a DMCA take-down notice), an email address for technical problems (I often notice rendering errors and broken links in web pages and like to report them), and an email address for random stuff. I’m even happy to use a web-based form to submit my suggestions if that’s what makes them happy, but having no published way of notifying them is simply a mistake.
NB I do have some email addresses of LJ employees in my addressbook somewhere, I will send them email if no-one responds to this blog post. But I’m publishing this because it’s probably a mistake that other magazines make, and because any response from them is going to be too late for the report on hardware prices that I’m writing.
Update: Linux Journal does allow you to download a sample copy, that is a PDF of one complete issue that includes adverts. So I can see adverts from August 2008.