Tuesday, August 07, 2007

News Web Page Upgrades and Redesigns

Looks like our very own James Faulk is getting a job change at the Times- Standard. He'll be the new Web Editor there. Whether that ends up a promotion or demotion remains to be seen.

James will be involved in redesigning and adding new features to the T- S web site. Whether these supposed upgrades to the site end up in being an improvement remains to be seen as well.

Sorry for the negativity, James. Maybe it's just me, but I can't think of one web page that was "upgraded" that actually ended up being an improvement. It seems like it's often just change for the sake of change.

I will admit, though, I thought it was a good move for the Times- Standard to add the e- version of their hard copy paper to the web page.

I understand the North Coast Journal will also be making some supposed improvements to their web page. I told Hank Sims, on one of the other blogs, DON'T DO IT! Why try and fix something if it ain't broke? I feel the NCJ page is fine as it is.

Hank would have none of that. He seems to think the planned changes will, indeed, be an improvement. Only time will tell whether either paper's changes will actually make for a better page.

The first thing James needs to do with the T- S page is get rid of those damned pop- up ads. I can't imagine why anyone would want pop- up ads on their web page.
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Speaking of changes on the internet, I receive a daily news bulletin via e- mail from the Sacramento Bee. A little while ago they announced they were going to make some improvements to their bulletin. A few days ago I noticed a link added to their mailer where you could go to customize your daily bulletin.

I went ahead and bit on that one. Kinda sorry I did.

I went ahead and chose the areas I wanted news in. Changes were made. Now, not only don't I like the appearance of the bulletin, it seems pretty dull compared to what I was receiving just a couple weeks ago. More progress in the internet world, huh?

To be fair, I can't blame that on the SacBee. I'm the one who made the changes. If it already worked, why did I try and fix it?

20 Comments:

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, it's important for you to recognize you are resistant to change. That's a problem because the only thing you can depend on in life is change.

I think you misread Somerville's article. Sommerville is grammatically ambiguous whether James was "chosen for this job" to perform the redesign and create new features, or if James was "chosen for this job" of Web Editor. It's been said before that the TS has little control over its web site, with those changes made by the parent company. If true, James may be adding new features, and implementing design changes handed to him, but not actually creating a truly new design that is unique in the parent corporation's media empire. In fact, it makes little management sense to allow James to redesign the web site.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Rose said...

And, where's the Bully Pulpit?

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

They need to upgrade the server also. It seems to take forever to load a TS page. Maybe due to the pop-ups. At least the Reporter page is fast, and no additional crap popping up or under.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Carol said...

James is an excellent choice for webmaster. I wish him all the best!

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reporter site is fast? Try loading its news index page (not the front page). I experience delays from 5 to 30 seconds between requesting the page and any data being sent back.

I select the news index from the pull down menu and then go do something else instead of sitting in front of a blank screen. The ER site is infuriating to read.

The TS site loads fast if you have an ad blocker.

 
At 11:46 AM, Anonymous heraldo said...

The ER website has been exceptionally slow for weeks.

Ditto on the ad blocker.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

About a year ago Google changed the format of Google Groups, about the same time they introduced the blogger beta. I liked the old Groups interface much better. It was much easier to use. But I've gotten used to it.

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous James Faulk said...

I'll basically be managing the production of content for the Web — that is, more video, more audio, more Web-centric features. My job is to push everyone within the newsroom to put the Internet at the top of their list. Also, we'll have Web updates posted throughout the day, so you should be able to find fresh headlines every few hours. The Bully Pulpit, for those interested, will become a blog.

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

James,

I'm hoping you will implement RSS feeds so we can get updates as they happen rather than having to randomly check the site throughout the day.

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Eureka Reporter had the right model, web-based news. Then they screwed up and began publishing on paper. Imagine how well developed their news operation would be if they had continued along the path of a 24/7 news vehicle.

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred,

Why do you start every entry with, "Looks like..."?

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger Carol said...

For italics, use The Bully Pulpit, for those interested, will become a blog.

Tres cool! Now we will be able to blog with James!

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Oop! Still getting use to using Heraldo's HTML tips:

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

7:38 asks, "Why do you start every entry with, "Looks like..."?.

By golly. I hadn't noticed I was doing that. Thanks for the heads up.

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about those that don't have high speed internet with the videos and audio?? May not even be able to look at the T-S after those are added.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Fred said...

That's one of the main things that gets me about many of the so- called "upgrades". They add so much stuff to them you need to be right on top of all the latest software and need a fast connection.

If it isn't already like that, I suspect the internet will be unuseable for the dial- up folks within a few years.

Then again, broadband is fairly inexpensive. But, that doesn't account for slower computers with slower hardware.

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've designed many sites. T-S is passable at best, or would be if not for those stupid, annoying, damning, cursed Pop-UpS!

Nobody wants those-!
They make certain configurations crash.

Does t-s operate on such a tiny budget it cannot have a website without &%&%^ Appelbees pop-ups?

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred said...
7:38 asks, "Why do you start every entry with, "Looks like..."?.

By golly. I hadn't noticed I was doing that. Thanks for the heads up.

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Looks like Fred is not as resistant to change as he's been characterized as being.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOL is free now and has a great pop-up blocker.

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Rose said...

The pup-up ads are still there, James.

Actually pop-under is a pretty good term because they appear UNDER the window you're in, every time you click on a story. You only SEE them is you close move your window to see what's behind it - therefore, they are worthless. And annoying.

 

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