FLASH Newspaper Website Publishes News

Most people would sooner stick their tongue in an electrical outlet than pay for news online. That’s why it’s so damn exciting that the Daily Gazette has dropped its paywall.

According to All Over Albany, it’s only temporary. Editor Judy Patrick told AOA that the Gazette is upgrading their paywall technology; no word on whether this upgrade will fix the “Free Gazette” trick long used by those in the know to access stories.

Anyway, I’ve noticed something odd while reading the Gazette online: it’s full of news. I keep scrolling down the page expecting to find fluffy, inconsequential content and all I see are freakin’ news stories.

Hey, Gazette! Where are the endless snapshot galleries from local events? Why no silly wire service stories about dogs? What’s this with burying the entertainment news?

The page is so full of news that it looks suspiciously like it was organized by an editor. WTF?

So, Gazette, I rarely give advice, but here’s some for you: have a look at the Times Union and learn a thing or two about what a newspaper website should look like. Then you might have something I’d pay for. Or not.

14 Responses to FLASH Newspaper Website Publishes News

  1. Reformed Journalist

    Somebody’s having an Albany Eye moment. And that’s a good thing.

  2. Rob, are you suggesting you don’t enjoy the TU’s boobs ‘n’ beers Seen galleries? Don’t you know that Jackie O invented those?

    http://blog.timesunion.com/michaelhuber/seen-galleries-a-short-history/2524/

  3. Reformed: Yes, I even wrote it like in the old days, in the half hour between my pathetic morning run and a shower!

    Chester: I enjoy a good Seen gallery as much as the next guy, but I reject that Jacqueline Bouvier nonsense. Here’s why: when she took pictures for the Washington Times-Herald, that was journalism. What the TU does falls into the category of snapshots. Maybe if they took the time to ID the subjects it would be different, but essentially it’s an online photobooth. That’s OK, but comparing it to what Jacqueline Bouvier did, going out and asking questions and taking photos? That’s ridiculous.

  4. Have it your way, Madeo. Personally, I appreciate Michael Huber’s choice of boobage for the front page. Hey now!

    http://www.timesunion.com/seen-events/slideshow/SEEN-Red-Cross-Fire-Ice-Gala-82519/photo-6063359.php

  5. Suze, really: boobage? That’s a made up word.

  6. It’s interesting to me that they’ve restored the “Best of the Blogs” bit to the print edition . . . since I think that means that blog traffic must be dwindling, and they’re desperate enough (again) to think that they can drum up web traffic among their print readers . . .

    • Everything happens for a reason. Why promote something that’s chugging along nicely on its own — especially when it takes up space and resources to do so. It may seem insignificant at first glance, but somebody has to edit the thing.

      I hate to speculate (ha, not really; I LOVE to speculate) but I’d guess the blog readership is down. On top of that, I’d wager that popular blogs like OTE may have an active fanbase, but individually do not represent much money. For one thing, look how their allowing it to go fallow in Gustafson’s absence. Also — and this is more important — if OTE were a valuable property, why the lack of direct sponsorship? Wouldn’t an advertiser be willing to pay a premium for a piece of that? I’ll tell you why: the numbers don’t add up.

  7. And I am glad that Suze made that remark so I don’t have to be the first to do so: that feature has definitely turned into “Were your BOOBS seen at . . . ” in terms of the front page preview shots.

    And I’m going to bet a nickel that they then bury said preview photos deep in the stream of images, so visitors have to generate a lot of clicks to see the full sized boobage teased on the front page . . .

  8. Just spent the last 30 minutes looking for an update on Scarborough (sp?) on the vaunted TU site.

    Nothing doing. Must be a busy day at the animal shelter.

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