Web News Site Upgrades
Two local news web sites recently went through transitions. Both the Times- Standard and Santa Rosa Press- Democrat seemed to upgrade their sites within days of each other.
I'm finally getting used to the Press- Democrat's new format. It is a bit less cluttered, although I'm still having to look a little harder to find the items I normally read.
The Times- Standard seems to have gotten rid of the slide out windows telling you what other stories you might be interested in- an annoying feature at best. At least I haven't noticed them the last couple days. Maybe they forgot to add them? I hope not. Nobody should miss them.
They have yet to add a section for letters to the editor, although you can get to them through the Opinion links at the top of the page. I suppose that's not too big of a deal. Despite the letters page supposedly being one of the most highly read in any paper, we don't seem to get many letters in the Times- Standard for some reason.
They still have that lame Today's Promotion tab type thing at the bottom of the page. That, and the occasional ads that pop up when you click on a link. I'd like to see them go, too, but understand they're desperate for advertising revenue. I wonder if they actually make any money from them?
One thing I wish both papers would do is dump the Facebook format for comments. I find FB comments format both annoying and awkward. I'd prefer they use Disqus comments as the Sacramento Bee and Lost Coast Outpost use. Disqus allows you to subscribe and unsubscribe to comment threads, something I'm not sure Facebook allows anymore.
Maybe FB still allows you to follow comments? It has a Follow Comment link you can click on, but it stopped working for me. I found it very useful when I'd make a comment on a story in the T-S or SR- PD and get a notified when someone replies to my comment. All of the sudden it stopped working and I can't find a way to get it started again. Disqus still works right so I'd prefer they all use Disqus for that reason alone.