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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Me too! Me too! — Burlington Free Press launches welcome home soldier forum

Lookit this. The Burlington Free Press has set up their own online welcome home soldier page, following in the footsteps of the Rutland Herald/Times Argus. That's great.

Looks like the Freep just set up their page — it doesn't have any messages yet. That might be because it's new, and might also be because the RH/TA has a much simpler user interface. The software Gannett gave the Freep is, in my opinion, pretty clunky. On the Freep's site, you have to email your comment to Allison Lazarz, their online editor, rather than just using a form to post yourself, like you do at the RH/TA site. Consequently, the RH/TA's site feels community owned, whereas the Freep's does not.

Gannett and the Freep don't seem to want to open the gates to public opinion as much as the locally owned RH/TA. I'm curious to see how this dynamic plays out. It'll be interesting to see how Gannett decides to operate in the future.

Incidentally, we at Seven Days won't be putting up a welcome home soldier site, but we'll keep linking to everybody else's. And if someone wants to start their own site, I'll link to that, too. fyi.

December 8, 2005 at 11:04 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink

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Comments

I don't know about you, but I actually find the Free Press' website, and 7Days a bit, difficult to navigate. The Free Press just has too much going on, and 7Days is always slow... Layout is better than Free Press, but howcome no search tool?

Posted by: Tony | Dec 8, 2005 2:26:00 PM

Yeah, I've got my issues with the 7D site. Our search tool is completely useless. We're hoping to update it soon. I think in January, but I can't promise anything. None of us in the office use it to find things. I just use Google. It's really annoying. The calendar listings are also hard to navigate. And I noticed recently that there's no way to click on the home page once you've moved around in the site. Ugh. It's so much harder to fix all this than you'd think, but we *are* working on it.

I generally like the new Free Press website, though it feels a little stiff and formal to me. I also hate that huge banner ad they have. I like the way they've been experimenting with forums, though.

Posted by: cresmer | Dec 8, 2005 4:43:25 PM

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