Tag Archives: Poynter

Must Be Redesign Week in Social Network World

Four sites I visit regularly have been redesigned, lately.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning and Poynter have all gone throught redesigns of varying degrees.  Poynter’s will launch on August 23rd.  Bill Mitchell, Director of Poynter Online, sent an email to all members yesterday announcing the much anticipated new site.

Mitchell offered a mockup look at the new look. It promises to have enhanced social media aspects. The video below, from January 2008, highlights their desire to create a “journalism social networking experience.” The Alpha version of the site is visible here.

I must say, of all the sites I visit with any regularity, Poynter is easily one of the best Web sites anywhere. Nope, check that. Poynter is the best.

A previous Poynter redesign had its critics. Poynter.org redesign woes. The Online Journalism Review, did a story on that redesign effort. Overall I still liked the site. The new version makes me eager to see it in its full glory on August 23rd.

I’m curious to learn what, if any, impact the Poynter Eyetrack research had on their choices during the redesign process, too.

For budding PR practitioners, you have to understand journalism. You must understand journalists. There is no better place online to gain that knowledge than Poynter Online. Now, with the social networking aspects, it is even more of a must join, must read site for students. Oh, there are other things you can do, to be sure. For instance, you can join the HARO – Help A Reporter list from Peter Shankman. You don’t ever have to respond to anything on that list, if you don’t want to … just read and listen to what journalists look for and how they go about finding it.

The other redesigns have met with mixed reviews.

I like Facebook’s new look. It is cleaner and provides better navigation, as well as a less cluttered look. Downsides, along with the redesigned look, Facebook has changed some of the functionalities. They’ve not given users enough control over what appears in their news feed. Sure, you can get less of someone’s feed items, for example, but it is difficult to block their content totally. Finding pages is more difficult than before, too. Those are my experiences, so far.

LinkedIn has a rather mild redesign. It is cleaner, too. More white space, easier navigation and a bit of improvement in the admin areas highlight their changes. I like it. They’ve made the site better, in what I’ll call a slight, or minimal, redesign.

Ning’s redesign is really in the admin areas. They’ve made the “Manage” section look more like the backend of some open source CMS platforms or even an old version of Plesk, for instance. (That’s server admin software.)

I really love Ning. It is powering six of the sites we have running for class activities right now. In fact, one of the recent student campaigns was to design a site for the Dadeville/Lake Martin Chamber of Commerce. Their board recently voted unanimously to adopt the site and campaign the students designed. I want to work more Ning sites into class activities in the future.

If you’re interested in great resources regarding Web redesigns and the daunting process all of these organizations faced, look no further than Karine Joly’s CollegeWebEditor.com Web site redesign articles and her Web standards articles, too.

Don’t forget this other terrific site, too. eduStyle from Stewart Foss is a wonderful gallery of hundreds of college and other education Web sites. One cool aspect is this Social Sites Foxx describes as a “collection of sites that you may use outside of your official college pages to connect with your school’s prospects, students, alumni, friends, parents or community.”

OK, that’s my look at some recent changes in my favorite sites. Poynter’s launch on August 23rd is still much anticipated. What do you think of all these redesigns?


Two Frightening Stories :: Newspapers Continue to Hemorage

Newspapers. I still love them. That is why these stories make me very sad.

Rick Edmonds - PoynterRick Edmonds, Poynter’s Biz Blog, shares “the latest American Society of Newspapers Editors’ annual census” and it ain’t pretty.

Print is continuing to hemorage at a sad rate. The good news may be, they will learn and adapt. Sad how they didn’t do it beforehand to stem this ugly flow.

Out With The Old … In With The Newbies

Fulltime professional news staffs fell by 2,400 last year, a drop of 4.4% to a total of 52,600.

It was an even larger decrease than the 2,000 drop-off in the recession year of 2001. Since the census is completed as of the end of 2007, the tabulation does not include hundreds more buyouts and layoffs already imposed in 2008.

Poynter Online - perhaps the best journalism Web siteIf there is good news in all of this, some of those being fired are being replaced by younger journos. So, students leaving school actually still have a chance. Why are media companies doing this? Well, one reason is likely to get rid of the high overhead of expensive, mature & seasoned talent. (Well, it is the expensive part they want to dump.) Then, they replace them with inexpensive newbies. Gee, will this make us want to buy more newspapers?

Diversity Suffers…

Thomas Huang - PoynterTo make matters worse, Poynter Online’s Tom Huang reports that Diversity at Work is suffering, too.

…the overall numbers don’t seem too gloomy: In the past year, the percent of minorities working at daily newspapers grew a smidgeon — from 13.43 percent to 13.52 percent.

But it’s the absolute number we should be worried about.

The only reason why the percentage of minorities in newsrooms has essentially remained flat is because both white and minority journalists left our newsrooms at about the same rate (resulting in an overall 4.4 percent decrease in full-time journalists at daily newspapers).

The total number of minority journalists at daily newspapers fell by about 300 people…

You’ll find some very good “RELATED” links in each story. Please check them out. Also, please start some prayer circles for our print industry. No, I’m not kidding. Seriously.