Monday, February 16, 2009

We Waited THREE MONTHS For This?!?

Update: There does seem to be a link now from the front of the homepage. Whoop-do-doo. You'd think they'd put that there before they promoted it in the newspaper.

Hey kids! They finally really did get RJTV online today after lying to readers yesterday about its existence. No, they didn't put any indication of that out front of the ReviewJournal.Com website -- why make it easy for anyone to find anything on your website?!?!? -- but if you go to the Multimedia page, it starts rolling and suddenly, there's this...

It's a 86-second "show" (of which a good 12 seconds is the logo in the beginning and end) that presents an echoy Nathan Tannenbaum in a sheer white shirt pronouncing the outline of his tanktop undershirt. He sits before that blue background to welcome us and then reads a few headlines, the most important of which, given the order, seems to be that there's no mail today.

This is what you see:

Then we get a weather report, see?

Not sure what that fiery eclipsy thing with the green dot at the center's supposed to be, but whatever. End times upon us? A subtle wink at the NBC show "Heroes"? Someone playing with a cheap graphics program? Who knows!

But that's it. Three months since the newspaper announced this endeavor, all they've managed to produce is a minute's worth of stuff that people don't go a newspaper website for -- it's called Weather.Com, friends -- and no video, nothing.

Oh, I'm sure this is a work in progress. I just wonder why it would take three months to concoct something that any teenager could put together in about a half hour. And, of course, I had to provide screenshots in this post because...there's no "share" function. No way to imbed it on a blog, no way to post it on Facebook or MySpace, no YouTube channel for the Review-Journal, no subscription link to get it delivered to you via iTunes or another portable media device aggregator. Oh, and of course, no interactivity. Not an email address to write to or a comments section. Nada.

The LVRJ.Com crew will probably whine that I'm not being fair, that this is a beginning. Except that they just spent months working up something that isn't useful, isn't interesting, isn't portable. It's like a Vegas hotel opening while the casino, the rooms and all the restaurants are still under construction. What the hell have these people been doing for three months?

The tools for all of what they actually need to make this effort worthwhile are readily available and in widespread use on most major news websites. There's just no excuse for this. It's the work of rank amateurs, which I'm sure makes Sherm Frederick proud.


Anonymous said...

brutal. deserved, but brutal.

gregoryzephyr said...

Perhaps it took so long because they programmed every pixel of background graphics in COBOL. Right now there's a programmer at the RJ slapping his forehead saying, "Doh!! They have computer software to do this stuff?"

FooBarU said...

Obviously, you need to feel superior and denigrate a work in progress.. Hope you feel better about yourself and your "media" outlet.

Personally, I liked the "newscast" and the content. Considering how many newspapers are losing money and readership and staff, I think this is a good effort that will only get better.

Your pissy maligning, however, get surely get much more priss-ier..


Rocky D in TallahassEE said...

Dear FooBarU: Why would it need to be a work in progress to offer the sorts of basic things that every other major newspaper website already offers? You know, like embed-able video? You speak as though these things have yet to be developed! Or as though the Rj is being cutting edge here. a good effort? this thing took more than three months to create! are you kidding? the r-j is a joke.

Anonymous said...

we noticed the undershirt in our newsroom, too. you'd think a tv guy would know better.


FooBarU: That's precisely where you're wrong. I *want* them to succeed. I *want* them to be cutting edge, to create new and interesting content and use new and interesting methods of delivery. I *want* a newspaper or a news source that survives, thrives, illuminates, informs. Those people they're going to end up laying off because of their ignorance, lack of imagination and thriftiness are my friends and colleagues. But they behave as though they're inventing the wheel when it's been invented and perfected by many other news outlets. If they weren't so smug, if they weren't so deliberately clueless, if they actually had a modicum of respect for their readers and their craft, they could learn from other efforts and give Las Vegas the media it needs and deserves. Instead, they're putting clearly incompetent people to work and we wait while those people learn such basics as providing RSS or making content Facebook friendly. This isn't a game. This is real life. People's jobs are on the line and the public's ability to be informed is at stake. I will rejoice on the day I can compliment them for a job well done. I just can't imagine that ever happening under this leadership.

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Anonymous said...

FooBarU: Steve doesn't need to feel superior to this amateur effort. He IS superior to it! This blog is more technologically advanced than anything the R-J has. Steve's Petcast podcast -- to say nothing of the Strip podcast -- has higher production values than the R-j, the largest newspaper in town. How can that be? Because when you are clueless about new media, you produce clueless content in new media. Ta da: R-j T.V.

Tom M. said...


I visited the site today and there's alot more content on there than the cheesy news headlines. Some of it is pretty interesting. While it may not be up to date technology wise, I think you are being too hard on them. Some of the content is interesting. They had a good interview with a pawn shop owner about how his business has been affected by the economy. When I read your review, I felt like all they had was a news show. I don't think they need that. Why compete with the TV newscasts when you are a print paper. Going out and getting good local stories should be their focus.