Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Surviving a Customs Check

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Surviving a Customs Check

Article excerpt

Hopes at the Washington Post Co. for audience growth at its key Web site rest in part on the customization offered by mywashingtonpost.com. So it's only fair to ask: What happens when an average user ventures onto the site and tries to bend it to his will?

The experience is actually pretty smooth. Using a dial-up 56K modem and computer with a 5-year-old Pentium processor, I was able to access the site (http:// mywashingtonpost.com) and select from a wide array of choices. It took just a few mouse clicks to inform the site what news I wanted it to emphasize and what I wanted to see from within broad subject groups (entertainment, for example, or weather or traffic).

With the next logon, the site kicked back tailored headlines and links. In my case, this entailed dutiful links to business news and The Washington Post's media columnists, as well as useful links to live videocam views of key commuting routes in the traffic-choked Washington region.

And I could let the site know that, with each logon, I also want to be offered an icon linking to the latest version of the sardonic comic "Tom the Dancing Bug." Or to any of 51 other comics carried by the Post. Or to any of 11 political cartoonists. Or to school data in 21 jurisdictions. …

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