Washington Post

Site Name and Description:

The Washington Post is a newspaper web site based in Washington, D.C. While it has many sections focusing on local coverage, it also aims for a national and international audience, covering national politics particularly broadly. The Post has several international correspondents and regularly sends reporters to cover major national stories. The site primarily focuses on traditional written news stories and blogs, but also regularly showcases photo slideshows and some video features. In addition, there are some special project pages and data-driven sections.

URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com

Type: Newsmedia

washingtonpost.com homepage

Design Overview:

The homepage attempts to pack in a ton of links to various stories and sections while also trying to keep a relatively clean design in the “above the fold” section that first appears in a user’s browser. There are two small rows of navigation links above the main site logo, and then most of the home page is a three-column design. At the top, there is one central story with a photo, links to two other stories on the left of the main story, and an advertisement on the right. Below the main section, the page starts to look more cluttered, with the two left columns containing many sections full of links, and the right column reserved for social features and special features. The sheer number of links makes for a very long page – I had to page down five times on my laptop screen to reach the bottom.

Individual story pages also are quite cluttered with links above, to the right and below the main article.

Audience:
The audience, broadly, is anyone interesting in current events. However, the advertising sales site says the audience is primarily high-earning and well-educated. This is presumably the audience the site is trying to attract, since advertisers want to reach those people, and having a high-earning, well-education readership allows the site to charge more for advertising.

Business/Site Goals:
Provide news and information for its audience, while creating revenue through advertising.

According to the Washington Post Company’s 2011 annual report, washingtonpost.com averaged more than 273.4 million page views per month and had an average of 35.7 million unique visitors per month during 2011.

Social media integration:

The footer on most pages has links to the Post’s main Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds. The site also prominently plays up its social reader Facebook app, which allows Facebook users to link their account and show their Facebook friends which stories they have read, as well as seeing the stories their friends have read.

Articles have small buttons at the bottom of the page to share the stories with some social media services such as Tumblr, Reddit and Digg. There are no one-click buttons to share with Twitter or Facebook (other than the social reader).

Technologies used:

Some of the site’s blogs are using WordPress and the site is in the process of moving more blogs to use WordPress (according to an explanatory blog post). The site also hosts a developer page with APIs for some data sets, and has a GitHub account sharing some Django applications. It is not clear what platform the home page and main news pages use.

Team members:
Daimon and Lukindo

Reviews:

I assume there are reviews of washingtonpost.com, but the sheer amount of content produced by the Post itself, including reviews, overwhelmed the online searches conducted without any page reviews found.

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