Wednesday, 16 July 2008

We're there!

Our new site is well and truly launched, and aside from a few outstanding technical issues preventing uploads to a couple of sections, I reckon it's looking good.

We're already getting the anticipated backlash from regular readers, but despite expecting relentlessly negative "I hate change" comments, a reassuring number are saying they like it. And our most vocal critic has changed their mind too - after I re-posted a load of comments from the old site.

That's the most interesting part of the backlash for me - the number of people howling in protest that their comments have gone. It's reassuring too - they obviously feel they own the site.

It's also got me wondering whether their comments qualify them as citizen reporters, according to US journalism professor Jay Rosen's definition?

"When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism."

He's talking more about bloggers, but I'm sure this can be extended to our commenters too. We certainly pick up enough stories from their posts. And so, by extension, if their comments are journalism, I'm not surprised they feel aggrieved they've been taken down. One reader said they felt they had wasted a week posting comments which had now disappeared.

It will be interesting to see what happens when we launch a forum in a few weeks, and they truly have control of threads from the very start. I'm hoping it will be a bit more lively than this other Croydon forum . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought, Jo. All that hard work you and your colleagues put in towards the re-launch, and the content rich areas up to Friday.

But now it is Monday afternoon, and nothing appears to have been updated since Friday. Three days and no news, sport or blogs on the website.

What was it they said on Alien? In virtual space, no one can hear you scr....