MinnPost.com: New MN Online Newspaper

A new news site is about to launch in Minnesota with a big list of names you’re probably familiar with. Basically, dozens of people who’ve taken a buy-out or been fired from the StarTribune or the Pioneer Press are going to be writing for this site.

This is a look at what I see from a technical perspective.

Here’s a link to their press release. Eventually, this link will not take you to the press release since it isn’t a permalink to an individual story, but a link to the news section of their site as it exists today.

There is no RSS feed. Yes, the real site hasn’t launched yet, so I’m being kind of tough on them about that. However, looking at the portfolio of their design company leads me to believe that they could quite possibly not offer RSS feeds for their site’s content. If that really happens it will be a disaster since their best audience for their content will be news hounds who are using RSS readers today. That will make their site’s content close to invisible since people with RSS readers tend to consume what in their reader first, then venture out to non-RSS friendly sites if and when they have the time.

For example, BestBuy.com, another site built by the same design firm, doesn’t seem to offer RSS feeds for shopping or even the press release section of the site. They do offer email alerts for press releases, which is basically serving Bacn.

A powerful online news site needs great writes and a great platform. Hopefully MinnPost.com will have post when it launches.

8 thoughts on “MinnPost.com: New MN Online Newspaper”

  1. Especially for a site that’s going to be publicly financed, I have to assume that they’ll do RSS the right way when they’re launched if they plan to have any traction with their potential loyal readers.

    Knowing some of who’s involved though, I’m not convinced that in terms of the Internet they actually “get it.” Right now I think they’re going to be another startribune.com or twincities.com with a little bit of user participation.

    And reading their PR: So they’re going to be closed on Saturdays and Sundays? Heh.

  2. I know a couple folks who work at Clockwork. I have to think that they’re going to do a RSS feed. I do think they made a bit of PR snafu by sending out this press release without having some actual content there and ready to, or at the very least having the feed ready.

    I also agree… the design leaves a bit to be desired. Hope its just a placeholder.

  3. Pingback: Zac Echola is muffin but trouble » Will MinnPost.com work?
  4. Hello, this is Matt Gray, technology director at Clockwork. I would like to clear up some inaccuracies in your post.

    While Clockwork has worked with Best Buy, we are not responsible for http://www.bestbuy.com.

    Finally, I think that any news site needs an RSS feed. There will most certainly be an RSS feed, if not feeds. A site news feed is now available on the News page of MinnPost.com. You can monitor this feed for updates as the site is prepared for launch.

    Cheers,
    —Matt

  5. Matt, thanks for commenting and clarifying.

    Adding the RSS feed is a great step and thanks for being so responsive with that. If you want to take things further, consider making the feed a full feed – especially for PR stuff – so people don’t have to click over to read MinnPost.com’s PR messages. It’s kind of insulting to force people to click to read PR stuff.

    Ideally, there should be feeds by topic, author, and customized feeds generated by custom search results. For example, if a person is only interested in reading content that mentions Edina ,they should be able to subscribe to just that content.

    Good luck with the roll-out.

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