Last week, the Palladium-Item - Richmond's daily paper - launched an updated website. Here's my initial review:
- The site clearly continues the paper's commitment to encouraging conversations and interaction between people who track what's going on in the community. As I did in 2006, I commend them for this.
- The abuse reporting system in the forum is more robust. As I understand it, if a particular comment is reported as "abusive" by three or more people, it will cease to appear in the conversation thread. In the past, users could report abuse but action had to be taken by an administrative user.
- The system for recommending stories published on the site allows users to see what's interesting to fellow readers.
- With their new blogging system, any user can create a blog. While these user blogs aren't featured like the ones maintained by the staff, they are a good platform for a kind of conversation that's a little different from forum posts.
- The use of customizable profile photos (or whatever image a user chooses) alongside posts gives the conversation the potential to feel a little more personalized and authentic than when there were none.