This post at Publishing 2.0 echoes my earlier diatribe about newspapers, particularly the New York Times, and web publishing.
The post talks about the different ways in which primarily web-native news aggregators' home pages appear: TechCrunch displays the day's constantly updating stories in reverse chronological order, like a blog, and Digg displays them either in chronological order or in order of popularity. The post hails these as digitally integrated and useful formats. The Times*, on the other hand, echoes its print format in many ways. Indeed, much of the page stays static through the course of a day, unless something huge happens. The article links the page's static-ness with its way of arranging articles: by "importance." Because somebody decides once a day that this article or headline is important, it lives on the homepage until tomorrow.
I'm right with this post's call for traditional journalism to really get more web-integrated.
But I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Out goes static boredom (I too have stopped checking the NYT site more than once a day, while I check others frequently--bad news for the Times**). But why must we throw editorially-deemed importance out with it?
I use NYT's "most emailed" list heavily, but I like the homepage too, because there people I trust ("editors") tell me what to read. I don't have time to read the whole paper; I like that they pick stories for me *in addition to* the most-emailed ones. I think editors add value to my content consumption, and I don't want to lose that value.
In other words, I feel like the Times might actually be doing it right in trying to find a combination of these models--including both their printish front page and what Publishing 2.0 calls their "blog ghetto" at the lower-right corner of the page. It's just a matter, now, of finding the right amount of each.
*Yes, I know I italicize the NYT and leave the others in Roman. It's deliberate. I don't know what it means yet, but it does signal the changing ways in which we think about citing different kinds of material, no?