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Friday, October 10, 2014

Apoplectic Comments Regarding SFGate Redesign "Disappear," Replaced By New Ones

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Our paper of record redesigned its web page and our paper of record's commenters of record are not pleased. 

Yesterday, the short article introducing readers to the changed format was swamped with legions of comments offering feedback. It was not constructive. Though many of the suggestions were creative, if biologically challenging. 

Today, however, the comment total is weighing in at a mere 44 (for now). There is a reason for all this, however. And, unlike the website's redesign, there's a clear answer everyone can agree on.  

But, first, a sampling of some of those comments: 

click to enlarge SFGate's new look, right, and Pinterest. Well, huh. - KATE CONGER
  • Kate Conger
  • SFGate's new look, right, and Pinterest. Well, huh.

  • The new format reminds me of vomit on a sidewalk. Things are just kinda sprayed everywhere ... Gives me a headache 

  • I'll say it again, since you purged 1000+ earlier pans, including mine. This is probably the worst makeover in the history of the Internet. I can't fathom how this made it through any sort of user testing. Either 1) you did NO user testing, or 2) you are conducting a very early and cruel April Fools Day joke. 

  • The initial impact is like a Jackson Pollack for news. MEH

  • This could be the worst user experience I've ever encountered on a news oriented website. Not even really usable. As someone noted, copying Buzzfeed's style simply doesn't work for this type of content...unless this is dramatically changed, I'll certainly be finding another primary news source for SF.

  • When's the READABLE version going to come out?

    How did this happen? Well, it turns out SFGate didn't purge any comments. What went down is that it double-posted its "welcome" article as a blog and a conventional article. It rushed the former onto the web, then posted up the latter — but left both active. A reader, discovering the identical article with wildly variant comment totals, would naturally assume the comments had been scrubbed. 

    So, if you go here, you'll find upwards of 1,300 comments. But if you view the story here you have only a few dozen. 

    Whatever you'd accuse the paper of — or claim is vomit-inducing — don't claim SFGate is hiding from its readers.

    Maybe that makes you want to vomit, too. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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