The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

The West Online: lamez0r

Clearly freaked by News Limited’s move with PerthNow, some months ago The West Australian redesigned their web site. After a ridiculous promo on Saturday’s front page, today’s paper features a big full-pager informing everyone of how great the new site is.

Back when PerthNow was released, I dug into it for being behind the times. But guess what? For all today’s print fanfare, The West Online is even worse. Indeed, the kids at Vivid Group who built this site have clearly not used any decent online news service in the last, oh, five years or so.

Where to begin? The Community page, with its lame attempt to tell you everything while keeping you on The West’s site, reeks of a mid-90s “Web portal” play. Heck, the print ad even claimed it provides Transperth information (though I couldn’t find it) — cos you know, it’s not like that’s the job of Transperth’s own site or anything!

What’s more, the front page has a decidedly old-school design (no, we won’t show you all the stories up-front, you have to click on this silly little tab thingy!) and there’s no RSS feed. There are, however, promises that “interactive blogging opportunities” will come soon (ha!).

Meanwhile, the content still consists of only a few shovelware stories, without so much as the occasional picture to dim the monotony. By comparison, for all its still-starting-out-ness, PerthNorg already features more, and better, content than The West Online could ever hope for.

If this represents the best that can be had from a local web-dev firm, then it saddens me that there is such a big shortage of clue in this town.

  1. If I had a blog I could write anything on(it’s coming), this is the post I’d write (though, you have said it much better than I would have)

    Thank you!

    I was quite intrigued when I read about in in Saturday’s paper, but quite surprised when I looked at it today, and nothing had changed! The changes that were there, had been made weeks ago, and are VERY unimpressive. It’s practically insulting how bad it is!!

  2. [...] They say it’s only the beginning, and there’s more coming, like video, audio and blogs. Now I think it’s great they’re doing something, but they should have at least launched with something more impresssive, especially after making such a big deal out of it! It doesn’t even have RSS feeds! Now that has changed my life! Even PerthNow is much better than the West site, though isn’t that impressive either, compared to some of the overseas and eastern states news websites, or even PerthNorg! Anyway, Hourann at The Pencil Guy and Bronwen at Norgdom have put my thoughts into words very well! [...]

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