Why Are Newspapers Still Not Doing This?

When Paul Rademacher — then at DreamWorks Animation, now at Google — created the first high-profile “mashup” of Craigslist real estate data on top of a Google Map (now almost 18 months ago), he pointed the way toward a range of interesting map-based applications — many of which have come to pass. But newspapers, which should have taken a cue from Rademacher and immediately jumped on the trend he helped ignite, have largely ignored the opportunity.

I was reminded of this today in deciding whether to take my seven-year old daughter to see “Flushed Away” or “Happy Feet.” I found a review of Flushed Away on the Boston Globe site. Next to the review was a “movie map” (below) that showed where the film was playing and the showtimes. This is a simple thing that makes a difference in terms of usuability:

Movie Map

Beyond the Globe there are a number of newspapers that have done things like this at the margins. But I don’t understand why newspapers as an industry didn’t jump at simple things like this to make their sites more usable and interesting.

2 Responses to “Why Are Newspapers Still Not Doing This?”

  1. Andy Vogel Says:

    Greg, after spending nearly 18 years on the business side of “newspapering” I learned to stop asking questions like this. With so much at stake for the few remaining independent publishers I’m surprised that more are not experimenting with mashups.

    Newspapers will believe that there are always more important battles to fight as long as the industry remains inwardly focused.

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