It's a long running joke about one of the oldest nudie magazines in America: "Oh, this Playboy? I only read it for the articles." And man, what articles! Since 1953, Playboy has published truly extraordinary writers -- like fiction by Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabokov, P. G. Wodehouse, and Margaret Atwood. The Playboy interview featured everyone from Jimmy Carter, to Malcolm X (interviewed by Alex Haley!). Just the other day, one of my esteemed colleagues brought up an interview with Cornel West conducted in the magazine, and of course, this brought on waves of teasing.
Well, Playboy itself has caught on to the problem -- sometimes you want your journalism without a slice of er... thigh on the side. They've created a separate website with all of their "safe for work" content, called, The Smoking Jacket. (You can click it! It's SFW!) Playboy spoke to CBS about the new site.
"A lot of our audience logs on (to Playboy.com) after work and we saw that we were missing a golden opportunity to reach guys when they're online the most: when they're sitting at their desk, not working, sending e-mails to their friends,'' said Jimmy Jellinek, Playboy's editorial director.
One thing that's interesting is that Playboy isn't using it as an opportunity to really reach out to women (note Jellinek's use of "guys"), which I think is a mistake. I mean -- this is a magazine which published Margaret Atwood! Chicks probably will dig it. I'm just sayin'.
Note: This blog post necessitated several NSFW Google searches. Sorry, NPR.