Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Washington Post Redesign (when did this happen?) with a cool new feature.

It appears that the Washington Post has redesigned their site to the slowly growing in popularity resolution of 1024x768. And... it looks great (at least relative to the old design).

The old site was a jumbled mess, and the Post definitely uses to the extra space to help solve that problem. Still showing they're still a bit worried about customers, they wisely use the right column for advertisements that might get cut off by smaller browsers.

Unfortunately, newspaper based websites (other than the International Herald Tribune) still suck, and the Post continues to suffer from trying to cram headlines from nearly every section of the website onto the front page.

Still, the new redesign is without a doubt an improvement. More importantly, there are hints that the Post is going to be a bit more aggressive with utilizing the web. As pointed out over on Signal Vs. Noise today, the Post is testing a new feature that allows for receiving RSS feeds of the votes made by all members of Congress (read more on the Signal v Noise blog). This is great because, in case you're not a tech geek, RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication, and it definitely earns the title. It will be great to see what kind of mashups are made with the tool. I'm sure someone will grab the feeds and start building a visual representation of the votes made on certain bills. I can see this becoming very valuable during election cycles, etc.

In addition to the RSS feeds, if you observe the URL that the this is being fed from, the Post appears to have created a section, or subdomain, on their site named Projects. If you go to it now, it only redirects to their home page. However, if they're being smart about it, they could be one of the first major print and newspaper media companies to have a beta section on their official website. Sounds cool to me. Print media is under attack by the web, and it's interesting to observe how they respond.

This appears to be a good move by the Washington Post.


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