Daily Archives: March 19, 2008
Social networking sites have become increasingly popular in the past five years changing how we interact with each other online. Leaders in the tech industry are shuffling to adjust to the popularity of these sites, creating numerous spin-offs and imitators. MySpace has been leading the social networking pack for years, but a new kid on the block, Facebook, has served up fierce competition recently. Comparisons between the two sites are inevitable, but exactly how similar are they? Will one or the other eventually come out on top, or is there room in cyberspace for both?
Overall, I have to say that I was impressed with the use of new media in the six sites I reviewed (Daily Herald (IL), Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, The State (SC) and The Tennessean). Read the rest of this entry
So far I’ve reviewed the Daily Herald (IL), Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer. Three of the sites have a dedicated multimedia page, while Dallas Morning News has a photos/videos drop down menu in the main navigation. Read the rest of this entry
I just completed my Google Docs forms for both the Daily Herald and Dallas News sites. The Daily Herald site, which caters to the suburbs of Chicago, was pretty straightforward and contained relevant community based information. They were lacking in the social networking area, but I would expect people in this region who want these features to read the Chicago Tribune. Read the rest of this entry
Out of the six sites I looked at (the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Denver Post, the Omaha World Herald, the Providence Journal, the Oklahoman and USA Today), USA Today and the Denver Post stick out as being the best at using new media technology and the best overall, in my opinion. These two sites used space much better than the other sites and they incorporated multimedia, podcasts and other new media the best in their overall layouts. I was also much more comfortable moving through their sites than I was with the other sites- I feel they were laid out logically and I found things easily. The multimedia options enhanced the sites rather than took away from them. Overall, they seemed more professional and more “well-done.”
One of the things that these sites could do differently, in the case of the Omaha World Herald and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, would be to run their own sites that contain information just for their specific newspaper. Not only was it harder to find these two sites, it was much more difficult to navigate through them than the others. I realize that using a different site to run your newspaper might be much cheaper for these smaller, more local papers, but I feel the investment would be worth it if there were enough online viewers.
As far as what these sites are doing well, I would have to say the “social” aspect of these sites, for the most part, is very good. All the sites I looked at had some sort of “social” aspect to them where people could comment on stories, email stories to friends, “Digg” or rate stories, etc…They should all keep this up. Letting readers get involved can only help these papers, in my opinion.
In my opinion, USA Today was the overall “best site” because it was laid out the best, it was easiest to navigate through, it utilized multimedia and new media the best, it had an overall “professional” look and out of all the sites, I would go back to this site on my own at a later time. I might have felt more connected to this site because it was more national rather than local news, but surfing this site still stands out as the most enjoyable out of the six.