On the front page of this week’s Morrison County Record is an article about the Rec’s redesign of its website.  Well, this fish just had to swim on over for a look-see.  I have to say, it definitely is more attractive than the old design.  The organization of the current main articles seems more logical, too.  I like the changing banner photo and the running slide show on the home page.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the menu bar at the top of the page will be the same one you see at the bottom of the page (the standard for most websites).  The menu bars are different, so if you aren’t seeing a link you expect to see, check the bottom menu.

The Rec has entered the blogosphere, offering two blogs by staff members.  The blogs, including Ranting Is All the Rave by Matt Perkins and Chatter That Matters from Tina Snell (so far), can be found under the Viewpoints menu.  I wonder if the Record will be able to stomach the sometimes caustic comments that are thrown around the blogosphere.  (And, yes, a comment can be caustic, but not libelous, so we’ll have to see whether the folks at the Rec can handle profanity, or if they’ll sanitize things for the most sensitive of readers.)

The one thing that hasn’t changed is the Rec’s search feature.  It’s always been difficult to use because you have to have the dates right and not every article published in the printed Rec shows up online.

According to Tom West, the Rec’s General Manager, the newspaper’s website has seen a growth in readership of over 45% in the past 6 months.  While the folks at the Rec may not want to hear this, at least a smidge of that readership has come from Fish Wrap.  For all the times we have linked to articles in the Rec and gotten a hover-over warning for our “malicious behavior,” our WordPress blog stats show that our readers have clicked those links and gone over to the Record’s website to view articles.  That’s both the beauty and the poison of the internet.  It’s all wide open and sometimes negative news can be good for the stats.

Sharing the pond,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

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