How worthless may a website be? See Cleveland.Com for ultimate low

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 09:18.

 Viral Cleveland.Com pop-up advertisement

 I didn't get my copy of the Plain Dealer, this morning... probably stolen off my porch. So, I thought, I don't like paying for a dirty old paper anyways, and only read some of the content, so why not just read it on-line at their union-busting Cleveland-dot-com website. Unfortunately, that is not a realistic option... every time I load the home page or any main section on the site, a viral pop-up advertisement for some Health Club attacks my computer.

Now, everyone who has ever had to go to Cleveland.com knows the technology and design of the site are so poor that it is largely worthless... if you know exactly what you are looking for you may find it, but otherwise navigating the site is a nightmare. But when you add to this travesty of IT intelligence the technological customer-abuse of such over-used pop-up advertising, the site becomes entirely unacceptable. I hopw the publishers of the Plain Dealer are paid huge sums of money for these ads, as the cost to them is a loss of the trust and traffic of all their customers... what foolishness.

Pity me -- I rejected the PD delivery years ago

Now you know what it's like for people like me who voted with our dollars long ago and whose news is got via cleveland.com but more likely through BFD, Coolcleveland and realneo.

I don't allow the pop-ups, but the talking ads are unbearable. It is decidedly un-navigable, and one does have to search high and low for just about anything. The search doesn't work and the content layout is designed to drive one to buy the paper. I refuse. Thank god for those who can find the news and who pick through the paper copy and then locate the links on Cleveland.com to post it. Otherwise the scant evidence of life in our region that is published there would be lost on me. Thank you Martha and you who are in the blogosphere for keeping me informed.

Interesting challenge - creating new interface for NEO news

Most days I find a half-dozen things worth reading in the PD - other people may find 5-6 other things of nterest there. Perhaps we as a community should start focusing on pulling to the surface what is important and free to access online in the PD, Scene, Free Times, Sun, Crains, etc., and linking that to an easy to navigate site like realneo, where we can have valid identities, comment and build trust without being attacked with misguided commercialism. I only have time to surface and set straight a few articles from other local media sources a week, but if 50 of us did that we would create a rich alternative to the mainstream media, which does so poorly with technology but does have some important content.... edit the editors, so to speak

The PD article I still need to edit and comment on is the poor but better than nothing Saturday piece on the GCLAC Annual Meeting on lead poisoning and education... to post tonight.

We can explore developing this super news navigator as we move forward creating the ultimate regional events calendar!

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A List Of My "Non-PD" Information Sources

This is how I obtain the news and information that I am interested in reading and learning from......

 

1 - The Wall Street Journal - Print- Subscription - (Ultra conservative slant/bias, but even "they" are starting to print some things about businesses going "green")

2 - The Drudge Report - http://www.drudgereport.com/ (balances the WSJ)

3 - The BBC - Science & Technology - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/default.stm

4 - Treehugger.com - A green eco-blog, 'kinda in a in news magazine format - http://www.treehugger.com/ (more balance for the WSJ)

5 - Various Alternative Energy Websites

 

My Local News comes from:

RealNeo, Brewed Fresh Daily, Jack Zen,

Can't stand WSJ - Love NYT

I think the Wall Street Journal is a core root of all evil in America and so the world, but, since it went on-line the NYTimes has been my #1 source of news in the world... well designed and useful site with excellent content. I use many other newspaper websites around the world and can't think of any as wretched as cleveland.com... anyone know of a worse newspaper site?

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NYTimes comes to my inbox

Though I am not a Times Select subscriber, I appreciate the NYTimes in my inbox everyday. I failed to mention GCBL for Marc's filtering and reporting on local and global green news. I appreciated especially yesterday while reading the Tom Friedman article online at NYTimes that they offer a single page option.

I also get plenty of news from NPR. Though I am rarely in a car which is where I hear the radio, if I do catch something on NPR, I can return to it online and listen again or to the entire show. I can even go back to old archived shows for ideas and news I remember.

Search at NYTimes is the best around. The PD has much to learn about being at the center of civic dialogue, but clearly that is not their idea of being a good newspaper. They are drowning, and if they don't get with the program soon, the community will be looking to someone else for their news. So much for the big (not green) building on Superior and the big printing facility on 480. The world is moving past them at lightning speed and they seem anchored to the past, both in terms of opinions and technology. Oh well, it does seem to reflect what our leaders have going on. Cleveland, aside from the vehicles mentioned here is woefully behind the technology curve.

Unfair PD criticism

I don't think you should all judge the Plain Dealer and their writers by their web portal (which for the record stinks).  I feel for the writers who try to put out good content on a daily basis.  I glean a lot of good information everyday from the PD.  Do we have print alternatives?  Yes.  The Sun papers (owned by PD) get lost in the shuffle as do the Plain Press, Free Times and Scene.  Pick up a Sun paper and you will get an idea of how far removed Cleveland and the burbs are from national and international events.

I agree there is good news in Cleveland

I know and respect many writers at the PD, Free Times, Scene, Sun and other NEO publications - we have some very good journalists in town, and I read all the publications I can get (helps if they are free and well presented on-line) - the PD is the only media source I pay for, because I feel a need to read their local coverage, for good and bad. I find troubling the generally poor use of technology and cost of many area publications. But far more troubling is what I would call the politics of the media, e.g. the article in the Free Times this week about Chris Carmody, by James Renner, about which James writes of receiving a threatening phone call... he quotes: "I'm a friend of a friend. They asked me to warn you that Carmody is coming after you. He's going to try to get you fired. He knows about your felony."

While I don't know about Carmondy, the huge media issue I'm tuned into is coverage of lead poisoning, about which the mainstream have done a very poor job representing the interests of the public.

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