Wednesday, January 26, 2011


USA TODAY is a great example of a site that is well-organized, visually appealing and flows easily.

The designer made sure to draw the eye across the page with horizontal photos and repeated the process in a way that organized the information and created a pattern.

This site recognizes the different needs of its readers. There are entertainment, weather and hard news sections. It doesn't underestimate the intelligence of its audience, making world news and money two of its main topics. Reader polls address serious topics. There are various ways of ingesting the information, including videos and print. There is an option to become a member to the site.

Advertisements are strategically placed at the top and right sides of the page, making them the first and last things you see. There are similar ads from the same company, going with the idea of repitition in hopes of making an imprint on readers' memories. Thankfully, there weren't any popups.

I personally like the site. It shows a mature conglomerate of news and understands that the audience does not like to read garbage that they can get from their local gossip circle. It addresses real issues. The photography and design are well-done. It should be used as a model to other news organizations that are lacking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Site Reviews:

I am currently taking a class in which I have to review sites and post them on a blog. I will be using this blog to do the site reviews. My first site review is .

To begin with, it is pretty organized. Every category is listed horizontally  across the top of the main page, including a way to share your favorite stories on facebook.  I do not really like the color selection. There aren't very many stories on the main page either. It just seems cluttered to me, like a bunch of stuff has basically been thrown up onto the page.

The content of the site is okay sometimes. Usually the only time I use this site is when I am helping someone job hunt in the tri-city area. Also, I have found much of the information is a conglomerate of different news information from other news sources.  I keep track of the Saginaw News and the Flint Journal via facebook and usually it's just regurgitated stories posted back and forth linking to a few sentences on mlive. Plus, it takes forever to load because of all of the junk links on the front page and never goes directly to the story. Not to mention it reads like a college newspaper when there are stories. Seriously, who doesn't know that gas prices are rising? Why can't you get the big wigs that run these operations to sit down and answer some real questions? Lets just keep telling people how the gas is fluctuating and maybe you can get your readers down so much that you can only publish a paper version two days a week.

There are a few gospel ads and the usual newspaper classifieds. There is also a section for interactivity. I couldn't get that link to work though. Not unusual. This wasn't even on my cell phone. Site maintenance is limited from what I can tell.

My opinion? Mlive sucks. Try harder guys.