Posts Tagged ‘thisisgloucestershire’
It is a great shame, but the web site of our local newspaper, The Citizen is just about unusable. The comments are often batant trollism with arguments, bullying and quite disgusting personal comments. Those that do get banned simply register with another user name. It is impossible to sort for local news. I try clicking on Gloucester news and every day find it full of Cheltenham Tewkesbury and Forest of Dean Stories.
What a shame. We do need local papers.
Sadly, their latest update has turned a site that while not perfect, did at least perform the function of a newspaper. Users used to be able to look at Gloucester news, Cheltenham news, or even Forest of Dean news.
Not any more. Despite many complaints it seems that Northcliffe are determined to soldier on with this dreadful format. Even if you select news, you aren’t guarranteed to get news. The listings are mixed with “forum” posts and adverts.
The comments sometimes have to be seen to be believed. The crudity, nastnes and sniping are dreadful to behold, as moderation seems to be left to recieving a complaint. Banned users simply register with another email address, and in the last week I have noticed at least 2 posts there taking the mick.
Come on TIG, let us have our newspapers back. Discussion here
I am saddened by the new on line version of our local papers, the citizen and Echo. I know they need to make money, and all websites need updating from time to time, but the web team seem to have forgotten what they are and why people use the site.
Their big attraction is local news, but the update makes it almost impossible to find it. No longer can we look at Gloucester news, or Cheltenham news, and worse still, if you are trawling the single news heading, look at a story and then hit your back button, you are returned to the home page. That really is dreadful.
I’m far from the only one to think this. You can see the discussion thread on our boards, and the comments on their own site. What a shame.
I really can’t understand why The citizen and Echo just don’t get the web at all. When TIG first went on line they seemed to think they were going to dominate, just like they do in print, which was just plain silly of course. I suppose we should be grateful that they now require registration before you can comment, so the worst of the zoo is now gone, but they still seem to ignore their own gold, and also ignore best web practices as well. This is a great shame, because we really do need our local newspapers.
So, what’s the beef.
- Why have their web developers not only covered the entire site with affiliate adverts, but also set it up so you can’t read an article or make a comment until all the adverts have loaded ? I know all businesses need to make money, but this isnt the way to do it. We are all getting used to seeing “waiting for yieldmanger” etc every day now.
- Not long ago, TIG discovered Blogs. A whole spate of worpress blogs, and one embedded in the TIG site were launched. None of these is being updated now, not even the editors, and again they just didnt get it. If soemone comments on a blog or asks a question, why do they never take part in any of the conversations they started ?
- This week they seem to have discovered twitter. No doubt this will suit them better as they wont follow back, and certainly won’t answer a question.
- Why are their archives not on line. You can see microfiched copies at Gloucester library, but not on the TIG site. I for one would be willing to pay for this.
I could go on, but there seems very little point. It is a shame. I know newspapers are struggling to make money, but I’ve just pointed out an obvious one for TIG, but the just don’t seem to realise the “I’m an important journalist, but you are just pond life” is not going to work on the web. People expect interaction today, and they certainly expect an answer to a reasonable question..
I suppose it was inevitable, with the conservatives promising a free vote on the hunting ban, but I was dismayed by the venom and the downright hostility shown on the TIG site by the majority of the public making comments.
Apparently anyone who rides a horse is an ingrate, and of course anyone who disagrees with the anti hunt rentamob has genetic problems. ( I paraphrased to save blushes )
I do accept of course that there are many people who genuinely think it is cruel, and they are entitled to their opinion, but to my mind the anti hunting bill, and the protests of the majority here were nothing to do with cruelty. It is a nice easy way to get back the the class wars that the left love so much.
If you try to challenge them with reasoned arguments that just gets ignored and another insult flies its way over the net.
Here are a few questions :
Is fishing cruel ?
Is horse racing cruel?
Should we have spent the vast amount of public money this bill took ?
Wouldnt anyone who really cares about animal cruelty be campaigning to stop battery farming
I posted briefly about the new look this is Gloucestershire site ( the internet site of the Citizen and Cheltenham Echo ) and now after using the site for a week or so here are my thoughts.
The front page is more attractive and modern looking with a scrolling box of the headlines and a list of most commented stories. So a good start. Click on the news menu and you get the old list of stories, but a most welcome new feature is that the top menu then changes to allow the reader to choose from Cheltenham,Cotswolds,Forest,Gloucester,Stroud and Tewkesbury. Many people want to see just the news from their area, so this is a big improvement. This is spoiled a little by many stories either being on the wrong page ( Stroud stories on the Gloucester section ) or stories just repeated on every section. Hopefully they will strengthen the sections to avoid that.
If you want to comment on a story you now need to register on the site. Frankly I’m amazed that this wasn’t done earlier. It does help to keep the Trolls out, and should mean that their staff have less work to do monitoring content. The site claims to remember you but again this feature is a little flaky. Some times it does, and some times it fails.
There is now an “official” blog run by Matt Holmes that is looking very promising. A quick tip Matt, try setting up some relevant categories instead of posting everything in Uncategorized.
Ian Mean, the Editor also has his own Blog . Again a promising start, but do remember over there that the comments section is there not only for readers to comment, but for you to answer them and start a genuine conversation. There does seem to be a bit of confusion on the blogs, some are at wordpress, while others are at the new sub domain on this is.
There is a bit of SEO going on in the site as well with links to stories and sections. We all do that, but TIG needs to be a bit careful it doesnt get penalised by google for duplicate content.
There are still far too many affiliate adverts on the site. I know we all need to make money, but the way they are delivered from a central source can make the site slow at times, and there are far too many tracking cookies delivered. My AV finds at least one a day when I have visited TIG. Privacy is important.
So, not perfect but a big improvement. We need local papers so I do hope they carry on in the way they have started.
One thing has always puzzled me. Anyone who wants to do local research probably visits the local library, where you can search old copies of the papers on micro fiche. Why TIG doesn’t publish them on line is a mystery. That could be a paid section that could bring in badly needed revenue.
“New website is just the job” proudly proclaims the this is gloucestershire site, but it is not a new web site, it is not local, and worst of all when they first trumpeted this so called story comments were open.
2 perfectly legitimate comments were put up, but these were deleted and the ability to add new comments were removed .
It makes me laugh when a vast organisation like Northcliff is afraid of a local family firm. Be ashamed Mr Mean.
At least that is what they call themselves, but to be perfectly honest I think the Citizen, Echo , Forester etc are less and less local every day.
They have a large feature on the site at the moment entitled Local Newspaper Week ( heavily moderated ) with virtually no comments at all telling us how marvelous and at the heart of all things local they are. If only
Comments are routinely deleted and some times the ability to comment at all is withdrawn with no explanation at all. Emails sent to the site are never answered, but we still see the same smug stories telling us that they are local and their campaigns are the only ones run in Gloucestershire at all.
It is a great shame, but in my opinion they are killing themselves. Apart from the hatched matched and despatched section they provide very little now that isnt available elesewhere, and their pretense that they take into acount local opinion and views is sadly tarnished.
I really do think that the “this is gloucestershire” web site is anything but. I know they have to make money, but ….
We see the same articles repeated on the same page, if you click on the Gloucester section you are more than likely to see a Cheltenham story, but worst of all is their so called ” have your say”
The most horrible comments are left there, but put something up they don’t like and it is deleted without delay.