Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Who does News Web sites well?

This is a little dated, but still interesting, from Print Media Websites: Who’s Getting it Right?:

Best Use of RSS Feeds: The Houston Chronicle does a great job of making its RSS feeds clearly available from its home page. While this may seem obvious to some, a large majority of newspaper sites make users go through several clicks to the RSS feeds. The fact that the Chronicle makes them accessible directly from its homepage is somewhat unique.

Best Blog Network: The Boston Globe has an enormous network of journalist and citizen blogs that cover a wide variety of topics. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you live in the Boston area.

Best Use of Bookmarking: For newspapers, the Washington Post is a great example of a site that gives users a variety of options for external bookmarking. For magazines, Sports Illustrated the only publication that allows both internal and external bookmarking options (users can save articles on their si.com account or their facebook account).

Best Commenting Features: There are a few newspapers that have fantastic mechanisms for user comments on articles. For example, on the Philadelphia Inquirer website, users cannot comment on every article. But the site does enable comments on popular articles about local news or special interest items. On the main section pages, articles with commenting functions are highlighted by a special icon. The Morning Call and the Virginian-Pilot take a different approach, allowing comments on just about every article on the site. Also noteworthy is the commenting functions for The Guardian (UK). This publication has a separate site dedicated to user comments, called Comment is Free.

Best Use of Tags: We found three magazine websites that used tags: US Weekly, Popular Science, and Parenting. All three sites have tag clouds on their homepage, which makes searching for article pretty easy.

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