Jonathan – Group Project Part 2
This week’s news sites were considerably better than last… I first visited the Palm Beach Post, which is a well-organized, clearly designed, and easy to use news site. Unlike both of the sites I visited last week, it is simpler and cleaner in its method. It uses large bold photos and text, organized in a logical fashion, rather than a jumble of photo thumbnails and small text links. Categories are clearly laid out and separated, and in a skill that seems to be vanishing in web publishing, they don’t try to do too much. The site has clearly embraced Web 2.0 and features RSS and mobile links right at the top of the page. Although it’s not perfect, and could benefit from even further simplification (some sub-pages get confusing), all in all it does the job.
The Philadelphia Daily News, while also a fairly well-designed and easy to use site, is most certainly not trying to be a serious news site. It has little to do with national and world news (although you can easily link to the Philadelphia Inquirer if that’s what you’re looking for); instead, it’s focused on local entertainment, lifestyle, and gossip. And it does this very well—there is not a whole lot of pretense here, so it makes for an easy and enjoyable read. I also do like the way in which this sort of site is linked to other city-related sites. It doesn’t fully embrace social Web 2.0 norms but does feature considerable local-generated audio, video, and blogs.
Much like my post from last week, there is a domain divide with these sites as well. The Palm Beach Post, while including much local and community content, still features national and international news in its prime virtual real estate. This paper probably has a long-established history in the city and is used to being the local provider of information. The Philadelphia Daily News, on the other hand, existing in the same market as the larger Inquirer, has chosen to put its effort into all things local and community-oriented, and any national news is handled in a more tongue-in-cheek fashion…