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So what if they're not Harvard? They can do bad all by themselves!

The Cavalier Daily website has its advantages and disadvantages. One improvement I think it has over the Harvard Crimson is the fact that it's much less cluttered and has fewer distractions. On the initial page, you see pictures for three top stories and that's it. I think this actually makes it easier to make a decision on what to read than having many top stories that are not all associated with pictures. On this website, the pictures are big, and it's easy to see what's going on in them, whereas some of the Harvard Crimson's were smaller and sometimes hard to make out. So, although you have fewer choices displayed, it's easier to tell whether or not it's the kind of story you want to read. I actually prefer this approach, probably because I'm so neurotic and have a tough time making choices, but someone else might prefer the Harvard Crimson's more inclusive approach, which I find chaotic. The Cavalier Daily also has good, clear organization going for it, with all of the categories displayed at the top of the page. If you have a particular kind of story in mind, it's very easy to use these categories to find it.
One of the more major problems with the presentation of this site is the fact that you don't get any headlines or links to stories to click on above the fold. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the pictures are eye-catching and made me want to scroll down to see the headlines they're associated with (well, at least the picture of the Pilgrims eating Chinese food did, but maybe this isn't always the case). But on the whole, this website is almost completely dependent on the pictures to lure potential readers in to find out more. If the pictures by themselves don't do it, then there's nothing to draw the reader in. I think redesigning the site so that the headlines are visible above the fold would be very beneficial. Another problem with the site that I'm not sure has a solution is the recent comments section. Both times I've looked at this site, the comments featured tend to be negative ("Your food reviewer doesn’t know what broccolini are? Great choice for a restaurant reviewer. Keep up the high quality work!"--I think this is meant to be sarcastic.) I also saw some negative comments on another person's article about feminism that criticized the writer for not knowing enough about the topic. These comments reflect poorly on the quality of the writing of this newspaper, and they made me not want to read it. While I understand this is a college newspaper and will not always have the best quality, the comments section should probably at least be adjusted so that negative comments are not on the home page. In the section where you can post a comment, they say they'll remove comments they think are "in poor taste or unfit for publication," but if they start removing all the critical comments, it'll look like they're censoring, which will also reflect poorly on them. Ultimately, I think the best solution is to maybe not feature the comments on the home page and make sure the writers are aware of these kinds of complaints so they are sensitive to the criticisms in the future and make sure they thorougly research the subject they are covering.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 27, 2009 11:07 AM.

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