Category Archives: News Sites
New Site Added to the Wap Review Mobile Directory
US Cable TV news channel MSNBC began in 1996 as a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft. Over the years to developed an unabashedly liberal bent to its reporting and opinion pieces and is generally seen as a counterpoint to the conservative Fox News network.
When NBC bought out Microsoft's share in MSNBC last year the msnbc.com desktop and mobile news sites started redirecting to nbcnews.com. The MSNBC online presence disapeared for several months but eventually resurfaced at tv.msnbc.com with a complete visual overall.
The new MSNBC web properies run on the WordPress.com VIP platform and use browser detection to serve a separate mobile template to phone browsers. The image heavy mobile site works well in the Android and Opera Mini browsers. Content consists of a homepage of current news headlines and separate pages for news categories like education, Health and the economy as well as pages each of MSNBC's shows.
With local newspapers seemingly unable to make the switch to an online world and dying off like flies, the concept of the "hyper-local" news site has taken off. The genre has a attracted the attention of big media with AOL pouring millions of dollars into building a network of thousands of Patch.com hyper-local sites and MSNBC acquiring everyblock.com, a smaller (16 sites) hyper-local network.
Founded in 2010, Oakland Local (OL) is different. Published by a community based, non-profit organization, it's an online news source for Oakland California, residents. Updated around the clock by an all-volunteer staff of eight, OL is credited with breaking the story of Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen being critically injured by a police projectile during the repression of the Occupy Oakland demonstations.
OL carries no advertising and has an annual budget of under $60,00 which comes from contributions and grants.
Oakland Local has won several awards including a Society of Professional Journalists' Prize for for multimedia cultural coverage and is included in the Columbia Journalism Review's News Frontier Database of the top online news sources. It also provides training and support for local non-profit and community groups staff and members who want to learn journalism and online publishing and social media skills.
Hosted at WordPress.com, Oakland Local is mobile friendly.
Filed in: Wap Review Directory - News/US Local by State/Alabama - California
Ratings: Content Usability
Mobile Link: m.oaklandlocal.com
Yesterday Google announced that they are now serving Opera Mini visitors to news.google.com a version of the site that's optimized for their browsers. Up to now Opera Mini users had been seeing the bare bones legacy mobile version of News. The legacy view is optimized for embedded feature phone WAP browsers and only displays five headlines from a single section per page with no images.
Google News for Opera Mini is very similar to the Touch version that the iPhone, Android, WebOS and bada browsers have been getting for a couple of years. It shows about 30 headlines with thumbnails. The headlines are organized by section. The images above show (from left to right) the Opera Mini, Android and legacy views of Google News.
As you can see in the screen shots the main difference is that the Opera Mini variant is missing the "Jump to" section menu and the tabbed navigation bar of the Android one.
Opera Mini is the most widely used browser in the world with over 100 million users. It's especially popular in the developing world thanks to its amazing ability to deliver a rich web experience with basic and older devices and slow networks. I think it makes a lot of sense for Google to go after this market.
While I was testing Google News in various browsers I noticed that Google is still serving the legacy Google News view to the Opera Mobile 11 and the Symbian^3 browsers on my N8. I was able override that and use the touch version by visiting news.google.com/news/i . Both Opera Mobile and the Symbian^3 browser seemed to be able to handle the Google News touch view with no problems.
Patch is a "hyper-local" news site that delivers professionally written and edited news, photos and videos for nearly 500 small US cities, towns and neighborhoods
Each locality has its own site on a sub-domain URL i.e., halfmoonbay.patch.com. The ad-supported sites are full-featured local news sources. updated frequently with the latest local news, sports, weather, photos, videos and event listings. There are also columns, classified ads, letters to the editor and a directory of local shops and services.
Patch, a startup that was aquired by AOL in 2009 for $7 million, targets mostly upper-middle class communities with a population between 15 and 100 thousand, that are under-served by traditional journalism. Each community site typically has one paid local editor/writer who creates most of the content and also buys stories from free lancers.
AOL is bullish about Patch's potential and is sinking $50 million into it in 2010. It will hire 500 full time editors in 2010 making the largest hirer of journalists for the year. AOL hopes to make money on Patch with local advertising and has created an automated system that lets advertisers create their own ads complete with coupons and discount offers.
The mobile edition of Patch is served to detected mobile browsers. There is no separate mobile URL. It includes the full text, with photos and video of recent news articles plus the events listings and local business directory and a news archive search.
Ratings: Content Usability
Front page size: 50 KB
Mobile Link: patch.com