I feel like offering some unsolicited advice to MinnPost.com. If you’re not into techie web stuff, just move on now.
Last week, I mentioned that MinnPost.com’s pre-launch site’s lack of an RSS feed was kind of scary considering how important RSS is to the news hounds the site is apparently targeting.
This led to a quick response from Matt Grey in the comments, pointing to the RSS feed and mentioning that it was available from the News page of the site.
Less than a week later, here is what I’m seeing:
1. The initial press release was added to the RSS feed, but truncated. Not sure why.
2. A story was published to the RSS feed today, but was slightly truncated. Not sure why.
3. A progress report was published to the site on 8/27, but never showed up in the RSS feed. Not sure why.
4. The Featured Journalists and MinnPost Press articles on MinnPost.com never made it into the RSS feed. Not sure why.
5. The “news” section has been renamed “Progress” and the RSS feed is no longer available from that section.
6. New sections, Press and Journalists, have been added, and do not have discoverable RSS feeds.
7. There is no permalink to the 9/4 progress report.
8. Or the 8/27 progress report.
9. The 9/4 progress report isn’t available under the “Progress” section of the site.
10. It’s strange how few blog write-ups of the MinnPost.com announcement have made the press page. Compare the press page to Google’s results for the term “Minnpost.com” to get a feel for this. Where’s Chuck Olson, Charles Quimby, or MNSpeak, to name just three? As far as I can tell, unless the write-up came from either the online side of a traditional media site or the blog of a media insider, it didn’t make the cut.
This all may seem picky, but it raises what I see as legitimate concerns about their understanding of web technologies and the role of blogging in online journalism.
BTW, if MinnPost.com is looking for an easy way to fix most of the stuff listed above, here’s how to do it:
1. Install WordPress. It’s free.
2. Slap the current logo into a comparable WordPress theme.
3. Copy/paste the current stories into WordPress.
4. Set a 301 redirect from the current feed’s location to MinnPost.com/feed/
Less than 2 hours of work and you’ll have a platform that’s probably easier to use and will scale nicely between now and the launch of the site. I’d also consider using that as a permanent press center at the domain minnpost.com/blog