Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Relaunching, with a Focus on News: A Critique of Two Magazine Web Sites:

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Relaunching, with a Focus on News: A Critique of Two Magazine Web Sites:

Article excerpt

Site: Mediaweek.com

Traffic: 163,657 unique visitors; 478,407 page views [April 2008]

Relaunched: May 2008

Editor: Michael Burgi

Publishing Company: Nielsen Business Media

MEDIAWEEK KNEW ITS WEB SITE was in need of an overhaul. "It felt completely antiquated," says editor Michael Burgi. "It was very 20th Century." But the Nielsen Business Media title was forced to "sit on the sidelines," while the company relaunched Adweek's Web site first.

That gave Burgi and co. time to refine their ideas between their first meeting last summer and January, when the "serious" discussions began.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

"We looked at the sites we wanted to emulate, and others we wanted to avoid," Burgi says.

Mediaweek studied news sites like CNN, MSNBC.com and USA Today's Web site, identifying aspects they liked--such as prominent "breaking news" placement--and matched them up with what the e-media team at Nielsen could offer in terms of technology, such as Flash and tabbing.

Wireframes were completed in March, and Burgi's team spent the bulk of the rest of the redesign process populating the site's new content management system, Stylus2--the toughest part of the relaunch. "The migration of the old site into the new CMS," Burgi says, meant "days and days of mind-numbing drudgery." Then, after a soft launch on May 3, there was the period of "chewing on our fingernails, seeing just how buggy the site was." The site's official launch was on May 5.

"No one gets it perfect," Burgi says. "We're now looking at what we did right and what we did wrong."

AN OUTSIDER'S TAKE:

Laura Brunow Miner, editor, JPG: "The homepage is not easily scanned ... Weak, inconsistent hierarchies, too many widgets and content boxes that don't fit ... it uses Flash in places where it isn't necessary."

Web Site: Nymag. …

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