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Quite the makeover

July 29, 2009
rather like your average model, there may not be too much going on up there, but at least it looks good

rather like your average model, there may not be too much going on up there, but at least it looks good

Considering we originally intended this blog to be about tech culture first, and Philadelphia second (and perhaps music third), I feel as if we’ve not had enough Philadelphian tech content on here, I thought I’d write a quick something on NBC 10 (the Philly affiliate, or aPhillyate if you will)’s new wesbite. I first saw it on a much more respected Philadelphia blog, and I thought it was someone’s Tumblr at first. This was probably a deliberate design choice, seeing as the new layout seems to be targeting the internet generation first and foremost. Everything about their new site seems to be pulled from some social media site or other. First there’s the status bar right under name, currently reading “is sad about Jim Johnson’s death“, which feels like what a 15 year-old would put as their status on Facebook in response to the news. And, rather like MySpace back in the day, it seems they can only have a few possible emotions: sad, laughing, bored, furious, thrilled, intrigued, which you can then vote on how they should be feeling. After “sad”, “laughing” is the second most popular choice on that article. Then they have a blog-feed style layout, rather akin to Wired’s layout, where the lead articles are fixed at the top, and then everything is chronologically displayed below. The background color is also very Tumblr-y, and the new “PHILADLEPHIA” logo looks straight out of the 70s, BoingBoing Gadgets-style. There also aren’t many adverts anywhere on the page, which definitely adds to the generally clean feel of the site. While I think the “sad” section at the bottom is a little odd, overall, this is a pretty great redesign. It’s clean, modern (which seems to involve being retro more and more) and easy to find what you want. It’s essentially the antithesis of Philly.com, the apparent portal site of the city, as well as the homepage of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Their site is so confusing, outdated and very rarely has real news on it. While I doubt the importance of the current lead article on NBC (“Local man thwarts frog mass murder attempt”), at least it’s local news at the top of the page, which is something Philly’s local papers are really lacking on their site. Even if this is a calculated marketing attempt to make NBC Philadelphia more accessible to younger readers, at least it’s looking good doing so, and it’s much better than what used to be up there. And, who knows, maybe it will be able take on the cumbersome dominance of Philly.com.

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