Thursday, October 22, 2009

"It looks like an amateur URL squatter's page"... early reviews of Charlotte.com not positive

Jeff Taylor wonders what's the deal with the Charlotte Observer's new interactive venture site.

So what exactly is McClatchy trying to do with this new “Observer interactive” venture which seeks to “partner” with some outside content? I honestly cannot tell. User complaints about the beta are primarily generating reminders that the newspaper site is now charlotteobserver.com, which exactly misses the point. As several users have pointed out in cogent comments, the beta looks like an amateur URL squatter’s page, not the work of multi-million dollar media corp...

And get this comment at Meck Deck:

The new Charlotte.com looks like crap. I took a look at it yesterday and it seemed then like many of the posts were from realtors talking about how the average price of units in The Trust is now $2M (that would be from The McDevitt Agency) or how the average cost per square foot in 5th and Poplar is now $285.

Read the whole thing here.

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5 comments:

Clay said...

"The new Charlotte.com looks like crap. I took a look at it yesterday and it seemed then like many of the posts were from realtors talking about how the average price of units in The Trust is now $2M (that would be from The McDevitt Agency) or how the average cost per square foot in 5th and Poplar is now $285."

I wrote this comment at Meck Deck. Let me add: After noodling around the new Charlotte.com for a few minutes, I can say with confidence that I will never use it. It's like some weird amalgam of Twitter and Craigslist -- it's got a very simple, yet hard-to-navigate-if-you're-not-familiar-with-it, interface and the site reminds me of a crowded room in which people just stand around and randomly shout at each other. I've switched my bookmarks over and won't be going back to Charlotte.com... which is a shame because it's a good URL.

I wonder if this new direction is in any way related to Jason Silverstein's recent departure from McClatchy Interactive? He was VP over there and from my several e-mail exchanges with him, he seemed like a decent guy and a good techie.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was involved in alot of the preliminary work leading up to the new revolutionary charlotte.com. Of course that was several years ago, and the powers that be are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. Social networking is a huge buzzwword at 600 S Tryon St, but they forget there is already facebook, twitter etc. How they think they'll make any money on this crap is beyond me. Hey everybody at TCO, the Emperor is naked. Please somebody tell him.

Anonymous said...

Looks easily automated so there doesn't have to be a lot of staff running it. Wave of future?

Anonymous said...

What makes a website work is quality content. The idea behind Charlotte.com is to have a 2nd Observer website generating hits. But you cannot just stuff garbage on the website and expect it to work. Charlotteobserver.com content is already suffering from staff reductions. This is yet another example of a good idea, gone wrong because it lacks the resources to pull it off.

Clay said...

The idea behind Charlotte.com is to have a 2nd Observer website generating hits.

This strategy is not going to work, because people who come to Charlotte.com expecting the newspaper web site are very quickly going to change their bookmarks to point to CharlotteObserver.com and will never visit Charlotte.com again.