By Bill MItchell
Director of Poynter Online
On Saturday, Aug. 23, we’ll debut the new Poynter Online. We’ve prepared this page to alert you to:
The top left of every page will provide you with immediate access to the day’s top story and the latest activity on the site, including Most Recent Articles, Most E-mailed, Recent Comments and more.
That stack reflects much of what we’re hoping to accomplish with this upgrade: quicker, easier access to the latest, most relevant content throughout the site.
Some highlights of what you’ll be able to do with the redesigned Poynter Online:
- Access Romenesko from the top of every page of the site with the new subject area navigation
- Connect with a network of journalists in the new Poynter Groups
- Find critical content for critical times in revamped blogs
- Learn from the best practices of newsrooms around the world
- Explore all Poynter training — seminars, NewsU courses, Webinars — on the site’s left rail and from the Training tab at the top of every page
We recognize that shifting from that never-changing, vertical navigation currently displayed to the left may take some getting used to. But based on user feedback, we’re confident the new horizontal navigation across the top of every page will improve both your browsing and searching experiences.
Keeping it Current. You’re hungry for news about media, and we’re providing access to Romenesko from every page. We’re also featuring the newest content most prominently, and publishing more of what you need: a business blog (Biz Blog), columns about leading and managing through change (SuperVision), and a blog on engaging readers (Visual Voice).
Becoming More Effective. Our new design provides consistent navigation on every page to help you find what you’re looking for more easily. We have a cleaner look that will guide you to the many journalism seminars, resources and news updates we produce every business day.
Making it Engaging. The journalism industry is a tight-knit community, and from what our users tell us, they’re ready for serious online networking. So we’re especially excited to introduce Poynter Groups, a new way to communicate with colleagues, see who’s up to what where and establish an online base camp with your bio, photos and other relevant information and conversation. We don’t expect you to abandon Facebook, Flickr, Linked In and del.icio.us, so we created a way for you to link to all of your activity on various sites from your personal page in Poynter Groups. We hope this new networking functionality will encourage some fun and friendship at a time in journalism history when most of us could use a bit more of both.
As a result of feedback from many of you and a lot of work by designer Jeremy Gilbert and the rest of the Poynter Online team, a great deal has changed from the mock-ups included in that Dec. 14 post.
The groundwork for the new site began more than a year ago and included a survey of more than 2,100 users. Among the major results: Once they find it, users value Poynter content highly. It’s the finding that’s sometimes the problem. Some people complained that a centerpiece posted today would be gone — and hard to find — tomorrow. We’ve addressed that concern with a new carousel on the homepage that enables you to click back through the five most recent centerpieces published on the site.
These are challenging times in the world of journalism, with so many old models of news and commerce sputtering in decline. We hope the new Poynter Online provides you with some of the resources you’ll need to help rejuvenate what can be preserved and give birth to what can be created.
We look forward to hearing what you think.