Social media driven news site Digg has gotten a facelift and some added functionality. John Battelle takes a closer look and speculates on possible future enhancements and plug-ins for the site. The viral success the site has enjoyed makes this an interesting model to examine in light of the quickly changing state of online news and that of the greater newspaper industry.
Elsewhere in the newspaper world, MediaNews Group, the new owner of a few former Knight Ridder papers (which McClatchy recently bought and quickly turned around) could leverage these properties into an extensive SF Bay Area online portal, according to the Contra Costa Times. This could also bring in the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle which currently operates SFGate.com.
The comprehensive integration of online news, classifieds and directory information is currently lacking from many online newspaper sites (SFGate is arguably one of them). This deficiency has existed for many publishers despite their assets in these areas, and their potential to employ search technologies that bring these disparate information sources together in robust online portals.
The online strategies being attempted by some publishers to create better online experiences (and those that should be attempted) are analyzed further in the third installment of our newspaper White Paper series, due out next week.