GlobalPost is an interesting development to me for a number of reasons. Chiefly among them is the amount of in depth journalism and specialized coverage they provide in an internet-only, Web 2.0 style. This is only surprising to me because hard news has been extremely slow to adopt this type of modern organization of data, and way of crafting their stories. Entertainment blogging, and particularly hip-hop blogging/journalism has long been doing this, and I’ve always felt that other writers wrongfully dismissed the strengths of this approach. Global Post has seemingly embraced this philosophy, and I love the progressive mindset of it.
This approach alone isn’t necessarily the savior of journalism, however. In fact, it places just as much pressure to produce content as a daily paper does. Global Post’s one shortcoming is that some of the stories on their main page aren’t new items. One story on Obama has a published date of September of 2009. Now, the story may still be relevant, but there is something about the mindset of consuming information online that is not entirely friendly to leaving stories on the main page for long periods of time.
Things I may consider for improvement: featuring less items on the jump/main page, and linking to a small amount of “portals” that would then provide you with links to these stories. Stream-lining is very “in” right now.
That said, I realize that GlobalPost’s goal is not to break little news items the way CNN or the NY Times may. They focus on comprehensive examinations of events, people, and movements. If they break a story through that, even better. The reason I mention all that is because it’s not as “harmful” for a site like this to leave content featured for a while. The bottom-line is you must have the appearance that you are churning out content on a regular basis. If you feel some stories warrant extended coverage, find a way to feature them as such, like they have done with their Life, Death, and the Taliban feature.
This feature is bold in its ambitions and I am a fan. What will serve GlobalPost well is their ability to think of new, innovative “web technologies” that even the most novice of users can appreciate, ie: the mouse-over on the main page that automatically plays the audio/slideshow of Charles Sennott introducing the piece. As I said before, “stream-lining is in” and this is relatively simple approach in introducing complex and comprehensive coverage.
My only recommendation would be an aesthetic one, as the coverage and content of the stories/features is interesting and exemplary. I would say that GlobalPost would benefit from a heavy image consultation. By this, I mean taking an artist/designer to really craft something that is inherently theirs. Their current approach to design and presenting media/special information is very reminiscent of other news sites who do multimedia. There isn’t much that screams, “we’re different.” The thing is though, is that Global Post IS different. It isn’t another news site, and I’m sure they do not wish to be thought of as such. What I am suggesting is not some flashy, ornate site, but rather, consult with someone who knows design theory and knows how to craft a classy, appropriate, minimalistic, yet unique and recognizable image and feel.
note: I will have a Q&A video with Charles Sennott, the Executive Editor of the Global Post, sometime in the coming days.