Building on the success of AmplifySD radio, SignOnSanDiego.com launched a new online radio station during the wild fires.
Here’s what Ron James, content manager, told me about it:
SignOn radio has proven to be a powerful new channel to reach a group in a way that newspaper sites couldn’t do. During the first week we had over 60,000 streams from around the world and callers from as far away as Australia, Guam, Sweden, Germany and England. We found callers helping other callers, some who were in other states who had friends and information we couldn’t have gathered as a news organization. The radio also provided a very human and personal way to reach a new audience.
During the biggest regional story in a decade or more, SOSD also launched a home page redesign that follows many of the best practices being established by many other newspaper sites. It’s nothing ground breaking, but a big improvement over the previous page, which I found cluttered, and they’re definitely doing many things right.
SOSD’s fire coverage has been outstanding.Â The new design has helped there, a lot.Â If you click through to other sections, however, you’ll see the rest of the site hasn’t been changed. Ron says they started the redesign three weeks before the fire with no plans to launch it so quickly.Â The rest of the site probably won’t change until a new CMS is in place.
You call this a redesign? You call this good? Let’s raise our standards, PLEASE! Following the “best practices” of current newspaper web sites is a little like jumping off the cliff with the other lemmings. When will newspapers learn that they are the ugly ducklings of the web and that their home pages are awful. Want a good model for your home page, try a few of these: http://www.apple.com or http://www.southwest.com or even http://www.google.com.