It’s Texas north of 59, land of wild roses and cowboy boots all caked with oil sands. Actually, Alberta is a stunning province with an enviable economy and inflation to boot, but cripes a lot of its online newspapers do not deliver.
I’m on the lookout for sweetheart online newspaper sites, the underdogs that you don’t expect to aggressively market their digital side and master social media. Videos, podcasts, web streaming, live blogs and hyper-interaction with readers. Something you’d expect at large, urban dailies.
Lacombe Globe is a big tease. Don’t bother advertising that you signed up for Facebook if you’re not going to post anything. I have a DM for Sherwood Park News: Shut ’er down, boys. You haven’t updated Twitter for more than a month. Even I won’t follow you.
Drayton Valley Western Review has had the same accused robber suspended in online limbo for the past week. Someone check on him, see if he’s OK.
The Drumheller Mail had potential, letting readers know what stories it was working on. Maybe involve the public as it gathers information. A closer look showed much of its news is old, so the stories it’s working on might be, too. And there’s little interaction with its 259 Facebook group members.
Here’s the Scoop in Airdrie, Alta., has a site only a blind web designer could love. It has a toque-topped mascot named Alioops, and Twitter and Facebook with 403 and 1,111 followers, both updated regularly. Yet what little news I found online is stale dated.
I think digital news is the great equalizer. Update daily with photos, news, information, sports. Try blogs. Try engaging the readers. Try anything! Alberta newspapers have some of the biggest, brightest banners, but it’s all beauty and no brains if there’s little substance to back them up.
The Hyper Journalist