Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I chose newstreamz because it is local news, it's regularly updated, and it is not a well known site. I think they are in the middle of switching their name, because the http reads newstreamz, but the title is San Marcos Local News. So it's partly under construction. On the front is a story done March 3rd, so it has been updated today. Newstreamz seems to stay bias about the information they report. It is focused on local stories in San Marcos. The site has internal links to different types of news, but the only external links come from advertisements. They all work properly. I wish it had some external links, that would improve the stories.

Newstreamz has an About tab that tells who works for the company. As far as who developed the site, it's hard to tell. It is a completely online publication, so I'm supposing everyone contributes something. Each worker has an e-mail to contact them. It has the number for the office. On each story, there is a place to leave a comment, and that is about it for discussion. What would improve the site would be a twitter feed, or at least a link. This is important new technology for the publication world, so Newstreamz needs to hop on it. It is a .com site. There isn't any references to outside sources, but that is to be expected from a news site. Newstreamz is not a print publication, and I wouldn't rely on it as a source like I would the Daily.

The site isn't as professional looking as it could be. The text doesn't seem uniform, and it just seems kind of blocky. For the most part, the content is suitable for the stories, and I don't see any publication errors. Everything is pretty simple to use, and I really like the navigation. Probably could have less in the navigation though. Newstreamz uses pictures decently well to work with the stories, but the format seems to be one picture for each story, sometimes none. There is a separate video tab, but Newstreamz doesn't use videos with the stories. I think they could spice things up by adding slideshows, interactive charts, links to other photos, use the photos in different ways, etc. Even short soundbites could be helpful. The editorial and news sections are separate, but the advertising is in all sections. It is kind of distracting. Looking at the source code, it doesn't seem as long as the content on the page. There are alot of links for the main page, connecting all the information together.

Overall, Newstreamz is just alright with me. It would probably be my last resort for a major publication in San Marcos. I would look at the Star before I read Newstreamz, but of course I'm a little bias. The content is O.k., and even thought they have improved on the design, it is still a little unprofessional looking.

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