Sunday, June 08, 2008

Learning from the competition

A while back I posted a list of the 30 most popular newspaper web sites according to Editor & Publisher. Needless to say was nowhere to be found. I decided to take a closer look at some of the newspapers on that list and compare their sites to It might be, you know, instructional.

The first paper is the San Diego Union-Tribune. With an estimated total population of 2,955,804 the San Diego market is significantly smaller than the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market which numbers 4,342,505 (Source: Geoscape International). The weekday circulation for the print edition of the SD U-T is 319,606 and Sunday circ is 419,633, both numbers are larger than the Herald's circulation figures. The paper is privately owned by The Copley Press, Inc.

The official name of the web site is To me it's clumsy and is probably an outdated attempt to be hip with techies. Just below is tiny version of the newspaper's masthead. If it were up to me, I'd reverse these.

Interestingly there is a weather link and a separate "Surf" link. This indicates the importance of surfing in San Diego and we can determine that there's probably a lot of people looking at the paper's web site to get the latest surf conditions. The "surf Link" sends you to a page where you can select the location you want to see a report for and also a list of web cams so that you can observe live surf conditions. Ads are served on the web cam viewer for certain locations. could similarly highlight boating/fishing conditions in South Florida.

No comments: