There are more things wrong with Time.com’s renovated website than befits a multimedia news-and-content monolith. Maybe that’s due to the lingering toxicities of that whole nearly fatal AOL infection. But those flaws are a subject for another day.
Today I’d like to call attention to really smart evolution of the blog and into a successful new format: The Page, Mark Halperin’s daily dose of high-quality political news scrapery.
[Sorry for the lousy cut-n-paste. Those two images should read seamlessly, as one.]
There’s so much I like about this:
The items are essentially links to the full content on Time.com and elsewhere. This makes the blog an easy scan of current relevant news items, with one-click access to the full versions.
It’s all very visual, using big images, varied typographic textures and white space to make The Page highly scannable. Essentially The Page is a compelling front end for the news.
It’s built on WordPress!
Below the big entries of the moment, the bottom of The Page is a more conventional gathering of news items, but notice again how each is presented with scannable typography and written as if the blurber actually understands the content.
The Page is also pushed out as a daily e-mail.
The Page is an excellent evolution that combines blog, well-crafted blurbified news and next-gen e-mail. It’s one of the most usable products of this type I’ve come across.
The real value-add, as they say on the business side of the operation, is not the content, but Halperin’s brain. Instead of rewriting the news, he selects and presents it.
Flaws? Halperin should be more ecumenical in his item choices, so the product remains a gateway to the political news of the day, not Time.com’s news reporting of same.
Oh, and this: Is the title “The Page” ironic, retro-cool or, for all of the product’s digital virtues, an artifact of the creators’ ink-and-paper-centric worldview?
Conflict of interest note: In a moment of weakness, Time.com several months ago declared this humble blog a Top 25 blog.