Reader Backlash At USAToday.com?

4 03 2007

Last Friday, USA Today updated their website to capitalize on the web 2.0 and social networking trends and already are seeing some backlash from the community. In an open letter to their readers, USA Today announced the changes to their approach while trying to minimize the design aspect of it.

Changes include:

  • A larger focus on the biggest stories of the day
  • Tabbed interface including “Top Stories” and “Most Popular”
  • A “Only on USA Today” section containing exclusive stories grouped together
  • Ability to comment on news articles
  • Recommend button (ala Digg This)
  • Personal profile pages and avatar
  • Photo submissions
  • Story tags
  • And an overhauled search feature

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Regular visitors to the site have expressed their distaste for the new layout in comments on the “To our readers” letter. Here is just a sampling of their issues:

 

This format is horrible. Difficult to find anything. Front page way to long. Score and Stock links taken way from front page….bad. Readers opinions/blogs most prevelent thing on the front page….also bad – who cares.

Back to the drawing board ladies and gentlemen!

Count me among the many who registered only to complain. But note that this will be the last time anyone at USAToday.com hears from me. Because my boycott starts right now. It’s clear from this reaction that USA 2.0 is a tragic misfire that didn’t take into account the wants or needs of the original site’s loyal core audience. However, complaining about the new site is a waste of all our time. The only logical action is to leave it now and leave it completely. Change your homepage setting today and avoid the tempation to visit the site for the next month or two. They’ll get the message only if and when traffic numbers decrease and advertising revenues slide. Registering for the site, staying here and complaining gives false traffic numbers and with it false justification for the move.

For all of you who enjoyed the original site as much as I did for all those years, I invite you to join me in boycotting USAToday.com until it’s management realizes it’s error. Switch now. Stay away. Hope for the best.

See you all at CNN.

I’m curious if the site will listen and respond but history as shown us that it doesn’t happen that often.

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Web 2.Obama

2 03 2007

Ever since former President Bill Clinton blew his sax on The Arsenio Hall Show and talked about his boxers on MTV, presidential hopefuls have attempted to reach out to their young constituents with mixed results. With more than 600 days until the election, the race is heating up not only in your town but in your MySpace. That is where TechPresident.com comes in.

TechPresident.com has gathered all the information on how technology will play a role in this upcomming election. In what might be seen as the first running tally of how many babies a candidate has kissed, TechPresident.com promises to cover the following topics:

A daily digest of fresh news clips, blog posts and campaign initiatives
Live from-the-campaign-trail photo feeds created by voters
Campaign website reviews
Links to campaign ads and websites (official and unofficial)
Charts showing who’s winning the most friends on MySpace and Facebook
Detailed tracking of incoming blog links showing who’s hot and why [to come]
Up-down voting on each candidate [to come]

A searchable repository of emails from each campaign [to come]

It remains to be seen if this is just another gauge of general popularity and not a snapshot of how a candidate turns new media into something concrete. Would an online faux pas affect a candidate in the real world? Just how many MySpace friends does it take to win an election? I guess we’ll see in ’08 or is it 2.0





A “Blog” for the ADD Crowd

2 03 2007

I resisted it for a while but now I’m a Twitter. If you don’t know what it is, this is what the website says about it:

Twitter is for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you’re doing. For some friends you might want instant mobile updates—for others, you can just check the web. Invite your friends to Twitter and decide how connected you want you to be.

Ok so that doesn’t explain much but just look at my Twitter feed to get an idea. http://twitter.com/DudeGuru

It could be used as a “mini-blog”, an away message, or a personal feed of what you are doing. You can export it as an rss feed or intigrate it into a instant messanger or your blog. Not very useful unless you actually have people who want to know what you are doing all day but its kinda fun to play around with. I heard about it from Leo Laporte.

On another note, if anyone know how I can get my Twitter feed to work in the WordPress sidebar, let me know please.