Bad site, bad site

Dateline: Thu 03 Feb 2011

If you look at as of this writing -- (6:35 p.m. Thursday) you'll see a lead story:

"IPS schools to close on Friday, 4th consecutive day"

Never mind the redundancy. Scroll down, and you see, on the same page, another headline: "IPS expects to resume classes Friday."

Yikes. Sleepytime editor, or another example of how totally trashed this "backwater content" web site is? I am repeating here what Hendy said, because he said a mouthful:

"The website suffers from four problems. First, no one obviously gives a rat's patooty if it's running correctly or not, and this is the most onerous problem.

"Secondly, the CMS, or Content Management Systems is right out of the dark ages. Go to other magazine, webzine, or newspaper sites and compare them to the rinkydink software used by the Star. Unforgivably awful.

"Thirdly, finding no reasonable revenue plan, the site isn't well tended for user-community activity. Gravity is a strong draw, and gravity for readers means participation in the social networking sense. Ever seen a Facebook logo there? This is because of reason #2. So, no community, no stickyness, no heavy pageviews, no gravitas.

"Finally, you're looking at backwater content on a good day, and struggles by a handful of writers and journalists to do a good job under gruesome conditions-- from many angles. Editorial leadership is bad, handicapped further by lack of budget, and the sense that the whole thing is run strictly by the sales department."

But it gets worse. Hendy made these observations in comments on another post. His comments were followed by Seneca, who noted: "Take a look at the Gannett-owned Louisville Courier-Journal, Indiana edition:

As Seneca noted, "Ugh :("

Geez, there's a site that looks worse than





Tell The Truth [Member] said:

They could screw up a wet dream.

2011-02-03 21:54:52

Jason [unverified] said:

I suppose that's what you get when they do piecemeal 'real-time' updates. That kind of sloppiness should drive the webmaster nuts.

I noticed Fox59's website ran an article about Chick-fil-A being banned from IUSB. Sure enough, in the comments section was a link that the South Bend Tribune had issued a retraction to their original story. Still haven't seen one from Fox or anybody else yet, though.

2011-02-04 04:40:18

hendy [Member] said: can't even get THAT right. Their RSS feeds are a shamble. They don't know how to do them. You can't view the site with a mobile phone worth a damn. And at the root of this is what I've cited before as you mention, Ruth-- nobody gives a crap, and their CMS is so far behind that it's beyond laughable and embarrassing-- it's shameful.

Go to, the, wsj,com, even and look at what a real CMS looks like. Forget the content for a moment-- look at the layout and the options for RSS feeds, mobile devices, and so on.

Gannett doesn't want to invest any money in this-- they're all about looking like they've 'recovered' to Wall Street. It's about not investing in CMS, talent, and people, rather squeezing the cash-cow 'brands' they've acquired and looking good to the Street.

They make Indianapolis look backwater, stoopid, state of the art 1980. It's gruesome. They don't test, they don't care, their sense of quality is obviously bewildered by their management's attitude, lack of investment, and cronyism of the sales department. It's plainly awful.

What's worse-- they don't get it, and act as though everything's bright and rosy. They step on all of the hands that feed them, eschew community building, and then wonder why each year, their demographics and vital signs are more and more gruesome.

There are/were some really talented people there, and on their backs, the organization chugs along, like an old steam engine with too many cars, rotten track, and no grease. On their backs, those that try and do the job newspapers *USED* to do, The Star survives. Not because of leadership, wisdom, community building, astute online delivery technology, or the first calorie of warmth.

And now, I return to my normal pancreatic reactions.

2011-02-04 10:21:06

Seneca [Member] said:

As a paid subscription paper and as the state's newspaper of record, the Star gets to run tons of legal notices. Wonder how much money the recent 30-page report on the state's school systems brought in from the taxpayers?

2011-02-04 17:04:53

Pete Boggs [unverified] said:

The Star "does news" in much the same way that IPS "does education."

2011-02-10 20:04:39

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