Author Archives: hapiegal
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.
The four sites that that I’ve looked at so far, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Denver Post, the Omaha World Herald and the Providence Journal, have been similar and different in many ways. As far as multimedia is concerned, the Denver Post made the best use of it, while the other three sites could use more multimedia overall.
In the same way, I enjoyed being on the Denver Post website more than I enjoyed any of the other sites. Both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Omaha World Herald were run by other sites so they came off much less professional or inclusive to me. I felt like clicking off the sites the moment I clicked on them. The Providence Journal wasn’t so great either, in that it seemed very “local” or “amateur” in feel. It focused mainly on local news and sports. Maybe I would like it more if I was from there.
In regards to what they could all do differently, all but the Denver Post should increase their use and visibility of multimedia (but not go overboard with it!). The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Omaha World Herald should run their own sites and make them more exciting. The Providence Journal should make their site more social by adding “Digg” and “share this story” links. Overall, for reasons I have mentioned, the Denver post is the “best” I’ve seen and the Omaha World Herald is the “worst” I’ve seen.
I actually found the two websites I looked at to be completely different in terms of ease of finding information and quality of page layout, etc. The first paper I had, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was much harder to navigate through and seemed to be run by another site entirely (Cleveland.com). Honestly, I did not really like the website. I feel like the information on the page was contained in too small of an area. The site was not using the whole top and right side of the webpage for news stories or information. Overall, it was hard to navigate through and I ranked it as a 5 out of 10 (10= best, 1=worst).
The second site I looked at, the Denver Post, was much easier to navigate through. I found this website to be pretty user friendly. I feel like the space was used appropriately. There was a lot of information available about a plethora of different topics. I had a much easier time finding the information needed to fill out the spreadsheet. Overall, I ranked it as an 8 out of 10 (10= best, 1=worst).
I didn’t really learn anything about how news organizations share information from these two sites, but they did seem to have articles about similar topics (i.e. politics) and articles about completely different topics (i.e. local news). I would much rather read from the Denver Post online than the Cleveland Plain Dealer due to the better design layout and ease of finding information.
The article I found discussing online commerce is entitled Seller Reputation, Information Signals, and Prices for Heterogeneous Coins on eBay and was written by Mikhail I. Melnik and James Alm. This article is a study conducted to determine whether or not sellers’ reputations affect a buyer’s eagerness to purchase goods from them online. They looked specifically at the purchasing of coins on eBay. They also looked at other variables that might effect the purchasing of items, such as “the presence or absence of visual scans of the coin” and “certification of the coin’s quality by a credible third party” (Melnik & Alm 2005).
Melnik, M., Alm J. (2005). Seller reputation, information signals, and prices for heterogeneous coins on eBay. Southern Economic Journal, 72(2), 305. Retrieved February 23, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database.