In the Loop

HEADLINE: Online newspaper looks kind of like...a newspaper

Posted at 11:06 AM on November 8, 2007 by Jeff Horwich (2 Comments)

MinnPost has launched. The site looks credible, polished, well-rounded....

Kind of like a newspaper.

One would expect that with a staff of ex-newspaper writers, the product you'd get would have something newspaper-y about it. Indeed. (MPR's Marty Moylan has a story on the launch, and I blogged some initial thoughts a few days ago.)

I'm strong believer that young (and young-at-heart) readers are not turning away from newspapers just because they hate things made out of paper. It's much more complicated than that -- a matter of style, attitude, electricity, and the indefinable difference between "old" and "new." Doesn't look like MinnPost has made any such bold leap right out of the gate.

The other X-factor, of course, is their ability to break stories. If they can do that, then maybe the "feel" won't matter so much. Aside from a piece on the in-debt DFL, nothing much smacks of a scoop just yet.

In the meantime, "newer" (and rougher) feeling competitor The Daily Mole serves up the first installment of something called "The Angry Clown."

OK.... These two are looking less and less like they're members of the same species.

Anyone else been surfing these sites? What do you make of 'em?

Comments (2)

Notices as he writes this that there is an ad for MinnPost under this pages 'sponsors'

I really really love the downloadable print version of MinnPost. The stories are also very well written, and the layout is wonderful.

I read the Daily Mole more often, and probably will continue to do so. MinnPost seems very serious and in my opinion just seems more credible - warm tones, consistent styling, content - just screams "I'm a newspaper, editorialize me!" and I prefer it over even other news sites such as Star Tribune's.

The Daily Mole has a lot of interesting edgier content, more related to a 31 year old artist and IT professional, but it also lacks a lot of polish.

First off, there's a giant banner ad at the very top of the page. Secondly, their logo banner is insanely larger then it should be. Third, the color scheme is brash and painful to the eyes. One of the big no-nos in web design is being broken - you can't really see any content when you look at the site at the most common screen resolution, 1024x768. The Mole also uses a 'tag cloud', which no one really uses except when they are looking at pictures and videos. And there's a few more things.

The writing is excellent, though the content is hit or miss and all over the board.
Comparing the creators of the sites, I'll definitely side with Perry - he seems to be actively following what's happening with the Mole and not only seeks but responds to feedback he's given.

Posted by JDP | November 8, 2007 12:58 PM

Sponsor...interesting. Must be a rotating ad, because I haven't seen it. I'll keep an eye out.

Posted by Jeff Horwich | November 9, 2007 10:59 AM

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