Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
- Bob Netherton on Why I’m rooting for Vance Albitz
- seagazer101 on ‘Lede’ vs. ‘Lead’
- Pamela Lagahid on IFRA launches second vertical search engine for media
- kapiyo on My new Nikon F4
- bradleyplunk on Chris Tolles brings some stats to the anonymous vs. registration debate
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Daily Archives: August 22, 2006
Very nice redesign from the Dayton Daily News. The basic layout reminds me of a site that was redesigned earlier this year.
- Horizontal, tabbed navigation
- Local news emphasis
- Good sized main photo (could be bigger, but that’s hard to do on a content-heavy site)
- The modular structure will make it easier to make changes as managers learn about how people actually use the site
- Good ad sizes (great size for multimedia, which Dayton seems to do a good job of selling)
- Reasonably good emphasis on blogs and multimedia
- Good positioning on text ads
Some tweaks I’d make:
- Advertising belongs on the left side of the page (where people’s eyes flow more naturally’)
- The advertising column should be consistently advertising, not advertising and content (imho)
- I don’t see any place for user-generated content
- Interior nav element duplicates horizontal nav for classifieds and verticals
- Interior pages need breadcrumb navigation
- Story pages could use more “related” links so they properly serve as secondary entry pages
- Latest headlines need time stamps (I didn’t see time stamps on story pages, either)
- The site needs integrated search, but at least you can find obits or weather through the search box (search should also be bigger)
Overall, it’s a winning design, I think. There are some especially nice subtle touches that give the design some extra pizazz. The light blue is an increasingly popular color scheme for online news sites. I think it works, but I’m a big fan of it. I would like to see a little more spot color.
I congratulate Dayton the wide range of staff-written blogs, but where are the community blogs?