Monday, July 03, 2006

The GRP's new face online

Update: Looking around the site today I notice a couple of things for correction/addition: The RSS feeds right now are only for the blogs [:( ]. But the Press does offer a listing of local blogs. And MLive is asking for students to blog for them.

Wow! I'm impressed.

Last month sometime when I wasn't paying attention, the Press upgraded its online presence. Yeah, it's still part of the mostly miserable MLive collection, and content still isn't much more current than in the printed paper, but it looks a whole lot better and it's easier to use. And it's added new features.

After the new look, (MUCH cleaner -- good job!), most notable among these is the addition of RSS feeds to the site (although I still don't find evidence of RSS on the homepage). I've sent at least two emails to the Press over the last couple of years asking for this and finally they've caught up with the times! Thanks. Now I don't have to go searching every day to see if there's something I want to read.

The other feature they've added is blogs (yay). These are written by Press folks we all know of like Kyla King, John Serba, John Gonzalez. So far the blogs look kinda like their usual reporting, that is, the tone isn't quite personal and the content's not too far outside what's in the paper. But they're openly asking readers for feedback to spark the discussion, so I think they'll get the hang of things.

My question for reporter-bloggers is always, "How much does this add to your regular workload?" I can't help but think it's an added assignment that might not necessarily be appreciated, but who knows? After all, blogs, if they're doing their job, are a foray into the "wisdom of the crowd," reaching out and tapping the collective knowledge and intelligence of the community. Seems like a pretty big job for folks who already work full-time. But maybe the Press will get all the way into this blog thing by reaching out to community bloggers for content, too. Then we can get some really good conversations going!

Anyhow, good job, GR Press!


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