Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


First look at the new

We got our first look at what the new site is looking like today. Here’s a mockup of the homepage that’s just a draft.  We’re going to be looking at it more in the coming days and giving our developer feedback early next week, but we wanted to get input from others as well of the look and feel.

My first thoughts:

  • I like that its clean and simple. It isn’t cluttered, and I  like the fonts a lot (Arial for the navigation and Lucida Bright for the rest).
  • Ultimately, I’d like the option of being able to substitute video or a slideshow in place of the main story.
  • I think there ought to be something to highlight video/slideshows/other multimedia content prominently on the homepage.
  • Right now, the right side column has articles by desk. We’d like the flexibility to put other content in those spaces too (a tag cloud, Twitter udpates, whatever)

Let me know your thoughts. This is just the first draft.


A conversation about tagging

At the suggestion of Paul Jones, I spoke with Thomas Vander Wal, principal and senior consultant of  InfoCloud Solutions, Inc., and a student of Web tagging.

Here’s the audio from our talk. You can listen to it in an embedded player on Andrew’s personal blog here. (Darn won’t allow embedded audio.)

Or you can download the file here. [audio Vander Wal chat]

Basically, we discussed how the DTH’s new site can integrate user tags with the ones our own staff are going to provide. We came to a consensus on that users should definitely be able to suggest tags, though they should be moderated. That will help us know what readers are looking for, but avoid some of the obscene tags that could come through unfettered access. We also discussed the utility of individual user pages that could compile those user-generated tags and link to the stories that the reader had tagged.

Another interesting idea: Letting a reader “curate” our stories for a month, tagging them as he or she sees fit.

The Magic Bullet

Our goal for next year is to bring The Daily Tar Heel to the forefront of online innovation. We've got an opportunity to create a CMS that will help the paper transition to Web-first publishing and facilitate an online mindset among staff. We believe there's no magic bullet that will solve every newspaper's problems online, but we're trying to find the magic bullet that will solve ours. This blog will chronicle The Daily Tar Heel's move off of College Media Network onto a Drupal CMS.

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