Monday, November 03, 2014

How to annoy your readers, McClatchy style

McClatchy has apparently found a new way to torture readers who go to at least some of its websites -- the ad intercept screen that has no ad on it and asks you if you want to read a story that's not the one you clicked through.

Is it any wonder that McClatchy's stock (MNI) is in the tank?

McClatchy keeps talking about how digital is its future (PDF). But I've yet to see this company really show that it understands how online works -- except to annoy readers with websites that don't display or print correctly, or have so much underlying crap code they slow down browsers.

For a while, I thought MNI was sort of getting it with its redesign (though the design still is about five years behind where forward-looking operations like The Guardian are going). And then this stuff crops up.

Here are a few screenshots from Myrtle Beach and Rock Hill. (I already had tripped The State's cookie by the time I decided to see if this was at other MNI sites, so I'm not getting the screen there right now -- but I will as soon as I sign out and clear session cookies.)

Rock Hill and Myrtle Beach screens that appear when you try to click through a story. Notice "skip this ad" in upper right - but there's no ad. So why annoy readers? Upper left is a suggestion to read a story -- one that's different from the one you clicked through to read.
Update 11/14
Matt Derienzo expounds on the Nieman blog about how newspapers in general are ditching the idea of customer service.

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