I like getting columns, reviews, and information from local staff writers, NOT JUST WIRE FEED. I like reviews, columns about life in Roanoke and the surrounding area, articles about local history and culture. I feel the paper is enriched by writers like Ralph Berrier; I feel the Extra lost a treasure when Ben Beagle was forced out. RT needs to feature its local writers and have its own, unique city character.
To be extremely blunt, the RT is never going to come close to the big news websites for national content. Your hope is to focus on local/regional info. Your other hope is in educating your news staff that the internet is a viable provider, and to treat it as the INSTANT source for information. One of my biggest complaints is that you have several, and I mean LOTS, of ‘bloggers’/reporters whose idea of providing content seemingly is to do 1-3 blogs a week, and to check on their blogs once every day or two. That frustrates the users more than anything.
If you’re going to do it, be serious about it.
One other complaint – it almost seems like you intentionally do this – you ask for feedback to supposedly improve your website, but you flood us with 5-10 straight days of asking us to fill out ‘polls & comments’ for you. Ever hear of burn out? That’s what you force on those of us who care.
Sure, I just complained about your bloggers not blogging enough, then complained about you asking for responses for days on end, but here is the point – we’re the customers. It should be pleasant for us to visit your site, not a chore. Seeing polls that supposedly determine the future of the site and being asked to do them day after day after day after day is NOT fun. That leaves no time to actually read your site, because WE have to do homework for YOU.
crooked road said it better than I did. With a few exceptions, these are poorly managed blogs. Online engagement is a 24/7 business. A datablog that updates every couple of years? That’s a reference page, not a blog.
A new gardening blog, in the height of gardening season, that updates once a week or so? That’s a column. And hey, it’s cheating if a blog post is nothing more than “read my column!” Blogs are useless (worse than useless, because by doing it wrong you lose readers) unless they are dynamic and provide added value and engagement.
Thanks, Tass, for your comments. You’re right in that different blogs serve different purposes. We’ll keep that in mind in the redesign.
As for Karen’s gardening blog, remember that some readers might not see her column in the paper, so that’s why it’s important to repost them to her blog.
And while she may not update as frequently as you’d prefer, please look at the conversations she’s mediating on the blog posts — she’s taking the time to answer lots of questions from readers, and I think that’s important as well.
The Roanoke Times is redesigning its website, roanoke.com.
As the project continues, we want to hear from readers who have ideas and can help us build our future online. This is the place for those conversations and for the latest news about our redesign. | Meet the feedback team
Also look for updates on other new digital offerings, including our tablet and mobile apps.