About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Comments Aren't Rocket Science | Main | Muttering About Newsday »

May 10, 2008

Comments

Justin Knechtel

Mark, great work on the site. It looks fantastic and hopefully other papers can follow the lead here.

What caught me most was the "Apple appeal" - it works right, it looks great, and it's engaging. Hats off to your designers, I found myself clicking on links just to see what the next page will look like. Come to find out, there were some great stories too!

Another news site I enjoy is theLas Vegas Sun's. The layout changes daily, and the culture of the city is embedded throughout the pages keeping everything local.

Justin

Tom Cheredar

That site is beautiful.

conkyfilms

Three words: tremendous epic fail! Really, God-awfully hideous. Highly amateurish; readability of articles diminished quite a bit; bizarre color scheme; evidently lax QA because of all the bugs everywhere; really, really dumb and unnecessary dumping of the old logo and replacement with something that is not only unremarkable but ugly; white on light blue footer links?; the hand-scrawled section headers AAAUGH ... just look at the comments on the site - practically no one likes this! The only upside to this is maybe it will put the last nail in the coffin of these impotent newspaper dinosaurs in this town and make way for some fresh, competent local news.

Rocky

Mark,

Can you get them to get rid of the stupid pagination of stories? It's totally user unfriendly and hurts SEO/searchability.

It screams "blatant page view grab" and probably isn't all that effective in that at any rate. (Would love to see data on the drop off at each page... bet it's huge.)

Ken Bilderback

I want so badly to like the new site, but my first impression is not good.

It looks and feels like just another newspaper site, and not a particularly interactive one at that.

I gave up trying to follow stories and find all the blogs and other stuff you're so excited about.

I don't hate it by any stretch of the imagination, but it sure doesn't get me excited about reading it, either. Sorry.

Excaliber

What an amusingly self-congratulatory load of b.s. The site is just plain awful, lacking half the content the old version offered. Yes, no sense in detailing or carping because judging by this blog, philly.com folks are mighty darn full of themselves. Oh, and the tip of the hat to his bosses was so cute!
At least pass some of that champagne while I hunt for a newsy site.

amy

I really wish you would highlight those dozens of blogs you brag about. They are very good and represent unique content on the site. But they are impossible to find, and even when you find the blog list, you can't tell when most of them have been updated. Why not promote them on the home page? Or have a prominent BLOG link on the page. Something enticing. They represent unique value to the site and are constantly being updated. But most readers and users have no idea.

A. Reader

Where's the news? It looks like you've trivialized philly.com. Do you get extra pay for kissing your bosses' asses in public?

Cherie

Huh. Well, not so much with the forward thinking. There is some good: good sizing on photos (though the video still images are not uniformly cropped well); a lack of redundancy for the most part (except the promotions module... please, re-do it so it says "Philadelphia" only once); an appearance that the news is fresh.

But ground-breaking? No. The user-generated content, social elements and local connections are critical things the Philly.com team pushed back on vehemently in 2001 (when it really would have been ground-breaking). I checked the staff list to see how many of the 2001 team was still around... quite a lot.

The color scheme looks like something my mother would ask for (blue and chocolate brown? How 2007 Crate and Barrel of Razorfish.) And the background gives the appearance of a dusty screen.

An improvement over the previous iteration, to be sure. But don't praise it for what it clearly isn't.

Brian

With all of the resources that I would think the Inky, DN and Tierney and Co could come up with, that this was your best effort is just sad. Students at most community colleges could have done as well. You have dumbed down a decent, functional site.

Palmer

Eeeewww! I have to echo what conkyfilms said, "God-awfully hideous. Highly amateurish; readability of articles diminished quite a bit; bizarre color scheme; evidently lax QA because of all the bugs everywhere; really, really dumb and unnecessary dumping of the old logo and replacement with something that is not only unremarkable but ugly; white on light blue footer links?; the hand-scrawled section headers AAAUGH".

Absolutely horrible. What was once one of my favorite sites that I often referenced when commenting on what a media site should be has now become a perfect example/study in what a media site SHOULD NOT BE.

Has anyone on the development team heard of cross-browser compatibility? Does not carry over well at all in either safari or firefox. Major font problems and a number of code problems.

Finally, the forced audio on the job clips? Kill it! You have an at-work audience. If they want to hear the audio give them the option. I will be writing a Firefox plug-in to kill the forced play.

The Editorialiste.

I've been a harsh critic of the Philly.com site in the past, and I think people are missing the point.

Yes, this isn't the most beautiful site on the Web. But it represents change, and change is so, so welcome. And it continues to be.

Always,
The Editorialiste.

"Philly.com Overhauled...For The Better? (hint: yes)"
The Editorialiste

http://editorialiste.blogspot.com/2008/05/phillycom-overhauledfor-better-hint-yes.html

conkyfilms

Editorialiste, I'm glad you value change over quality. I'm sure then you won't mind if I replace your Starbucks with Folger's Crystals, your iPod with a 1986 Sony Walkman or the brakes in your car with a pair of Nerf footballs duct-taped together.

Medical Malpractice

Looks great, and I bet even better change is on the horizon. Keep up the good work!

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