Monday, July 28, 2003

Web Design

Every so often events conspire to provide me with an almost direct comparison of web sites that basically provide very similar services. In this case, I went to browse the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website to find the link to a day-old story for my previous entry, and a week ago I went to the Salt Lake Tribune website to find a two-day old picture that had been on the front page.

Finding the link in the Post-Gazette required clicking the opinion tab and scrolling down until I found yesterday's stories (listed blog-like in reverse chronological order). Trying to find the picture in a recent past edition took some 25 minutes of trying to guess keywords that might be in the caption, before I got lucky. While the Salt Lake Tribune does supply links to the past week's editions, it is off in the left frame, and much less noticeable than the searchable archive link that is in big letters at the top of the page.

I suspect that the difference is that the Tribune is an organ of the Tribune company, a media conglomerate whose primary goal seems to be controlling information rather than freeing it. The Post-Gazette, on the other hand, appears to be a very small organization that has kept its roots local.

Incidentally, the picture was of a group of newly-naturalized citizens who had taken the oath at the Provo July 4th festivities, and were later invited to Hill Air Force Base to receive US Flags that had been flown over the stadium in F-16s during the show. My father was one of the honorees.