News sites that don't suck
May 20, 2006
I sure wish there were news sites in my city that didn't suck. How happy I would be if I could have sites such as the Django-powered 49abcnews or LJWorld to give my attention to each evening. Instead, I'm stuck with crappy news site after crappy news site after crappy news site. Popups, popovers, registrations, and URLs that make you cringe...
To be fair, Statesman.com (and its Austin360.com entertainment site) is now much more pleasing on the eye due to a major redesign last December. The redesign seems to have paid off, with the Statesman's web site duo recently receiving the top ranking by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) for the greatest local reach among large newspaper sites. With a monthly readership of 31 percent of Austinites, it edged out The Washington Post (27 percent) and the San Diego Union-Tribune (23 percent).
In my mind though, Statesman.com fails to deliver the news. All those headlines on the home page are just a tease to get me to register. I just want to be able to read the news and find Rolexes in supermarkets without getting hassled. Is that so much to ask?
LJWorld gets it. There's plenty of content here just begging to be Django-ed. With Austin being the state's capital, land of the silicon hills, a smart place to live, home to one of the largest universities in the U.S. (with plenty of college girls making out (04:43)), and then there's always the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin news sites don't get it.