01 May 2008

Users Help Revamp Via Live Blog

A newspaper website in the US had a smooth relaunch thanks to error spotting from eagle-eyed users.

The Grand Island Independent featured a live blog during its recent revamp so readers could provide feedback in real-time.

And an unexpected benefit was that users quickly pointed out technical problems, which could then be addressed by the web editor and her team.

Web Editor Stephanie Romanski told journalism.co.uk: “I mostly expected either ‘Love it/Hate it’ responses or a lot of ‘I can’t find…’ questions."

She added: “The whole errors issue surprised me and was an unexpected bonus to holding the Q&A.”

Romanski also thinks the real-time element of the blog helped the Independent resolve issues almost immediately in some cases.

“I think we impressed some readers by being able to respond to their issues so quickly.”

The newspaper used CoveritLive software for its live blog, and plans to use the same tool again for future temporary blogs.

To see highlights from the Redesign Q & A, take a look at the Independent’s blog pages, while the full text of the live chat is available in the blog archive.

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