By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

This morning’s report

The next few weeks should be interesting as the folks at the Boston Globe work out the bugs at

Starting last night, the site stopped working on my almost-four-year-old MacBook using Chrome and Safari. (Might be just my set-up, though I did reboot.) On the other hand, it still works fine with Firefox, for which I’ve recently been developing a new appreciation, as it seems to be the most stable of the three major Mac browsers. No problems on my iPhone or on Mrs. Media Nation’s iPad, either.

I’m glad to see Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon made it to the site today, and I hope syndicated cartoons will be included on days that Wasserman isn’t drawing. The comics are online today, too. Maybe they were yesterday, but I couldn’t find them.

Other observations: clean as the site is, the organizational scheme is a bit bewildering, with many different options. I feel as though I’m missing stuff. The “Today’s Paper” option doesn’t seem to be quite that. It would be nice to have a clearly delineated separate section of everything that’s in that day’s print edition.

Also, how about combining all the little “Names” tidbits into one column? Other “g” shorts could be combined, too. I don’t want to keep clicking to read 90-word items. It’s one of my main peeves about GlobeReader, too, and I’ll bet I’m not alone.

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  1. I still can’t find the comics! Where’d you see them?

    Overall, I am pleasantly surprised. Certainly there is room for improvement, but this is an overdue move by the Globe. I am willing to pay for content online, but like the Times, they have to do it in a way that allows at least some interaction with twitter, facebook etc…it can’t just be a walled garden. Yet they have to give me something for what I’m paying too, otherwise it’s just a donation. I hope they continue to improve on the new format, and I hope it works as a business model for them – because I’d miss the Globe if they sink.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Steve: Click on Lifestyle, and you’ll see that Comics is one of the options immediately underneath. The crossword puzzle, too.

  2. Your comments are spot-on! I also feel the organization is driving me nuts. I feel, too, that I don’t know if I’ve read everything. I am glad I am not the only one. And, yes, have Today’s Paper content be clear and not mushed in with everything else.

    And, yes, Names should be one click.

    I have already sent in feedback on some of these issues.

  3. Mike Benedict

    All those 90-word items drive up their click stats and lower their bounce rates, Dan. You might not like doing it, but as long as you click away, that’s all they care about.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Mike: No. That’s true on the free site, but not on this one. Even the longest stories are not broken into multiple pages, which is great. I’m told the 90-word tidbits are a function of the production process. Here’s what @AdrienneLB of the Globe told me on Twitter: “Names items are processed separately online so items don’t get lost. Will ask about a ‘full text’ version. No promises.” Unfortunately, her response shows that someone over there is putting ease of production ahead of the user experience.

      And I will not “click away” on those short items if it’s too much of a pain in the ass.

  4. Mike Coughlin

    Dan, on your iphone does the site respond to the touch pad so that you can “slide” to the next article in the sequence?

    I thought I read it was supposed to do that on smartphones but it does not do so on my android smartphone.

    The NYT app for smartphones is superior to in that regard.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Mike: No, and I agree, I really like the New York Times iPhone app.

  5. Robbie Hartery

    “It would be nice to have a clearly delineated separate section of everything that’s in that day’s print edition.”

    If you go to the ‘Today’s Paper’ section and look right under where the date is listed, the word ‘view’ is written in tiny red font, and it is possible to select ‘All Headlines’ instead of the default ‘Quick View.’ That option opens up links for all of the stories laid on a single page, just as the ‘Today’s Paper’ section of used to. Personally, I don’t think the layout is quite as eye friendly as was, but based on a quick perusal everything is there in one place.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Robbie: I’ve been trying that, but my experience so far is that once you open a story, the navigation changes again. This is all new. I’m sure things will settle down in a few weeks.

  6. Jeff Cox

    Is the Globereader going to be history?

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Jeff: Globe publisher Chris Mayer told me that GlobeReader would continue indefinitely because it’s the only product the Globe offers that downloads the entire day’s paper. But development will stop, and eventually it will be phased out.

  7. Bob Nelson

    I would rather have them keep it free and run ads. No password either..let the ads pay the freight. In the meantime I’ll stick with what I consider to be Boston’s best paper,
    the Herald. Thank God we’re a two newspaper town!

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Bob: (1) Online ads don’t come close to paying the freight. If they did, the Globe would not have taken this path. (2) Boston is not a two-newspaper town. It’s a two-daily, multiple-newspaper town. I want to point that out as an alumnus of the Boston Phoenix.

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