Tag Archives: beta site

WaPo wiki site to focus on US politicians and government officials

The Washington Post has launched a new beta site Whorunsgov.com to build profiles of US politicians, law makers and government officials using a specially created Post editorial team.

The site and its news blog will also feature contributions from external experts, a release from the paper said, and will be expanded into a moderated wiki later this year.

At this stage users will be encouraged to edit and add to profiles on the site with submissions moderated by the editorial team.

Interactivity – in particular allowing users to discuss profiles on the site – is a key part of the project:

“This is the first phase of a new venture to create a uniquely collaborative and rich information resource that demystifies the individuals behind Washington’s policy-making process,” said Rachel Van Dongen, editor of WhoRunsGov.com, in the release, adding that the site is intended as a free-for-all resource.

Those featured on the site will also grow to include think tank members and state officials.

Australian National Library opens newspaper archive

Australia’s National Library has launched an archive of images and articles from Australian newspapers between 1803 and 1954.

The beta site currently features scanned pictures and text from 11 titles.

Content is easily navigable thanks to a panning tool and zoom controls, and can be searched by date, title, state or article keyword.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Mecom’s Danish arm may ditch costly CMS for Drupal

Berlingske Media, Denmark’s biggest publisher of daily newspapers, is considering making free open source software Drupal its online publishing system of choice.

Former Mirror-boss David Montgomery’s Danish lieutenant, Lisbeth Knudsen, is contemplating the move, which could save a substantial sum of money – but it does not come without risk.

Berlingske Media already runs some of its sites on Drupal – a long-time favourite free content management system (CMS) of web hacker-geeks – but many consider the open source solution more vulnerable to hackers than proprietary systems.

“Our sports portal, launched early in June, is developed in Drupal, and we will use this for more sites. We are in the process of evaluating future online solutions, and will make a decision on this later this year. So far we have chosen Drupal for some of our smaller sites and Saxotech online for the bigger,” Knudsen told me.

But is Drupal up to the task?

The Danish newspaper publisher is in the process of integrating all its titles into ‘verticals’ that deliver copy across platforms and titles, and its sports site carries material from several of Berlingske’s titles.

Henning Sund, head of digital development for newspaper publisher Edda Media, is sceptical about how well Drupal is suited to such large-scale projects.

”I think part of the reason Berlingske Media is considering Drupal is that they are so desperate to get away from Saxotech Online. That is a desire I understand perfectly,” he said, explaining that Edda Media, Mecom’s Norwegian division, is also in the process of replacing Saxotech Online, but Drupal is not a candidate.

”I do not feel the security in Drupal is well-documented enough. We want a provider that can take responsibility for this, something we will not get with Drupal,” said Sund, adding that you also have to spend a lot of money on developing the desired functionality in Drupal, as it is not ‘plug and play’.

Berlingske-owned AOK.dk, a city guide for Copenhagen that runs on Drupal, has used an east European company to develop extra functionality in Drupal – a concept that has been exported to Berlin and Mecom Germany.

However, Sund does not think that Mecom boss Montgomery will impose Drupal as the standard CMS throughout the company should it be a success:

“Montgomery has made it very clear that as long as you reach your budget targets, you can choose the solutions you see fit. However, if you do not reach these targets, you will get Montgomery breathing down your neck, and that is something you would do anything to avoid.”

For more news on newspapers harnessing open source read about The Jewish Chronicle’s launch of a beta site using Drupal.

Sky News new beta site

Sky News has launched a beta version of its new website, to run in parallel with its existing news site.

It has adopted a top story carousel for the homepage that displays the latest breaking news in video and pictures.

It has also added a story tracker in the right column, which lets you follow a story as it develops, and in the left column a See Your News personalisation feature.

“What you are visiting is very much work in progress. We are testing and trialling new features and a very different design,” Steve Bennedik, editor of Sky News Networked Media, wrote on his blog.

“At the same time we are still offering our existing site. When we are ready, we will switch off the old site and this will be our public face.”