Why Web Newspapers Stink #2

Why Web Newspapers Stink #2

Newspapers are losing readers of paper products faster than they gain readers on the Web, since publishers do not understand that the written Web is held together by hypertext. Papers will break page one items on their websites to ensure that the paper gets credit for a scoop, but most editors cannot see the use of online presence beyond that.

Publishers can comprehend stand-alone features like inter-active crossword puzzles or sidebars like photo slide shows, so when they add blogs, most online papers treat those as stand-alone features, chatty little columns unconnected with anything but their own archives. The self-organizing capabilities of Web 2.0 are completely ignored.

Leading papers now have dozens of blogs, and almost all have one thing in common: blog posts are not indexed with articles, columns and editorials in the online newspaper “main search” function. It is hard to believe that publishers pay people to write blogs, then refuse to utilize material they have already paid for, content they already own, but there you have it.

Try searching within each newspaper blog and you normally find “Archive July 2008, Archive June 2008,” and so on. It is the rare online paper that has keyword search for each blog; rarer still is an  “all blog” search. And how does one do “all-online-for-this-newspaper” keyword search? Easy: leave the paper’s website and use Google, Lexis/Nexis or a specialized news search engine, where you may find an even better source for your query on another newspaper’s site.

Why do editors think it is in a publication’s best interest that readers must leave a newspaper’s own website to find out what is actually on that website? Search me.

Image by Mike Licht.

One Response to “Why Web Newspapers Stink #2”

  1. Why Web Newspapers Stink #3 « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] that newspapers have loosely aggregated their own blogs, the number of anonymous, lunatic letters has increased. Newspapers do […]

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