After years stuffing as many ads and partial article as possible and numerous dead links on their web site, it seems that Erie Times-News finally understands how to create a usable web site and the importance of good design. Not only this but they are also embracing new media with blogs, discussion boards, podcasts, and web cams. While this new face is a giant step forward for the times, it is quickly evident that they are still afraid of the internet and its effects on their subscription base. Try to even read highlighted articles and the reader swept off to the very unfriendly registration page. This is a huge annoyance when you just want a quick glance at the days news and don’t have time for a full reading but want more than the one line heading. The biggest gaff of all though is the complete lack of RSS Feeds. It is not like this is a complicated technology to conquer and the number of readers this technology can draw in is huge. If you want evidence of this just take a trip to alexa.com and compare goerie.com to erieblogs.com you’ll notice in past few months erieblogs has caught and twice over took goeerie in number of hits. That is quite impressive and definitely says something about the state of our local news and the power of new media.
P.S. After spouting off above I went back to GoErie and if a RSS smart browser is being used the GoErie RSS is accessible and does supply a few lines more than the heading. Note to Erie Times-News you may want to make this a little more apparent by oh I don’t know using one of the many RSS or feed logos that are out there or at least adding RSS feed in text at bottom of the page with your other subscription links