MinnPost Is A Bit Underwhelming

I guess I’m not the only one who is a bit underwhelmed after the first week of .

Maybe it’s unfair, but I guess I was expecting a bit more. Though , the lineup of journalists is impressive but the site is painfully spare on journalismStories, people! As of this writing, these are the stories by section that the site currently features:

  • : 7.
  • : 4.
  • : 1.
  • : 1.
  • : 0.
  • : 2.
  • : 28.  Clearly, here’s where the meat is. Posts are shorter, blog post-like news stories that adhere to traditional journalistic standards. Some of the posts on this page are also listed in other sections.
  • : 0.
  • : 2. Stories that include video. These stories are also listed in other sections.
  • : 4.  These are citizen opinion pieces.

Let’s be generous and let them double count their stories: That’s a mere 49 stories over the course of the week. The stories are of the highest journalistic standards and writing of course, but if, as editor Joel Kramer has stated, they are targeting news junkies, shouldn’t there be more content?

I personally was looking forward to the sports coverage because I’m a sports nut. During a time when the Minnesota Vikings boast the likely rookie of the year in Adrian Peterson and a head coach who may not last the whole year, zero sports stories?

Of the three sports-related "posts" on the site, two are and one is about

Jay Weiner is great at what he does, but I’ve read the stadium story a thousand times before.  It’s not that stadium stories aren’t important, it’s just that they’re not sports stories–they’re politics stories.

is that MinnPost takes traditional journalism and puts it online without taking advantage of the medium.

I couldn’t agree more; innovative MinnPost is not. But I’d be fine with that if it sated this news junkie’s media addiction. I’m certainly going to give it a lot more time, but after a week, MinnPost is not the fix I was hoping for.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

13 Comments

  1. taylor on November 13, 2007 at 9:06 00 pm CDT

    I feel like Minnpost is giving me a glimpse into the mind of an average baby boomer.



  2. taylor on November 13, 2007 at 2:06 38 pm CDT

    I feel like Minnpost is giving me a glimpse into the mind of an average baby boomer.



  3. Ed Kohler on November 13, 2007 at 9:20 00 pm CDT

    With something like 50 journalists on tap, how did they generate less than a story a person?



  4. Ed Kohler on November 13, 2007 at 2:20 38 pm CDT

    With something like 50 journalists on tap, how did they generate less than a story a person?



  5. David Erickson on November 13, 2007 at 9:51 00 pm CDT

    I don’t want to be too hard on MinnPost, and I imagine the spartan content is due at least in part to limited funds, but if the idea is to compete against the Strib and PiPress, they gotta do better than that.

    I think shorter, more frequent stories might be better, given the way people consume news online, with maybe a weekly in-depth piece.

    And, yeah, they’d do well to recruit some younger, more diverse reporters to give a better perspective.

    Still, it’s only a week. I perfectly happy to wait and see. 🙂



  6. David Erickson on November 13, 2007 at 2:51 32 pm CDT

    I don’t want to be too hard on MinnPost, and I imagine the spartan content is due at least in part to limited funds, but if the idea is to compete against the Strib and PiPress, they gotta do better than that.

    I think shorter, more frequent stories might be better, given the way people consume news online, with maybe a weekly in-depth piece.

    And, yeah, they’d do well to recruit some younger, more diverse reporters to give a better perspective.

    Still, it’s only a week. I perfectly happy to wait and see. 🙂



  7. Joel Kramer on November 14, 2007 at 3:19 00 am CDT

    “The stories are of the highest journalistic standards and writing of course…” Thank you, David, for noting in passing that the journalism is very good. That was our goal. Re your complaint about amount of content, we are doing exactly what we said we would do — emphasize quality, not quantity. We said we would do two major local stories, one world/nation essay, one community voices pieces, and eight posts a day. That’s what we’re doing. The quality is high because we’re selective. It’s high because the writers are taking the time to produce good stories, rather than grinding out volume. And it’s high because we’re not reducing their stories to chicken nuggets. We do not intend to compete with the Strib or PiPress on quantity, only quality.



  8. Joel Kramer on November 14, 2007 at 3:19 00 am CDT

    “The stories are of the highest journalistic standards and writing of course…” Thank you, David, for noting in passing that the journalism is very good. That was our goal. Re your complaint about amount of content, we are doing exactly what we said we would do — emphasize quality, not quantity. We said we would do two major local stories, one world/nation essay, one community voices pieces, and eight posts a day. That’s what we’re doing. The quality is high because we’re selective. It’s high because the writers are taking the time to produce good stories, rather than grinding out volume. And it’s high because we’re not reducing their stories to chicken nuggets. We do not intend to compete with the Strib or PiPress on quantity, only quality.



  9. Joel Kramer on November 13, 2007 at 8:19 28 pm CDT

    “The stories are of the highest journalistic standards and writing of course…” Thank you, David, for noting in passing that the journalism is very good. That was our goal. Re your complaint about amount of content, we are doing exactly what we said we would do — emphasize quality, not quantity. We said we would do two major local stories, one world/nation essay, one community voices pieces, and eight posts a day. That’s what we’re doing. The quality is high because we’re selective. It’s high because the writers are taking the time to produce good stories, rather than grinding out volume. And it’s high because we’re not reducing their stories to chicken nuggets. We do not intend to compete with the Strib or PiPress on quantity, only quality.



  10. David Erickson on November 14, 2007 at 4:18 00 am CDT

    Joel:

    Fair enough.

    Maybe it’s a problem of expectation, then. The buildup to your launch SOUNDED like the site would be larger than what you’d planned. Maybe I was just pouring my hopes of regaining the coverage we’ve lost with the newspaper layoffs into a vessel that wasn’t intended to hold them all.

    I guess it’s obvious that I WANT more, especially because the quality of the stories are so good.

    Damned if you do, I guess. 🙂



  11. David Erickson on November 13, 2007 at 9:18 26 pm CDT

    Joel:

    Fair enough.

    Maybe it’s a problem of expectation, then. The buildup to your launch SOUNDED like the site would be larger than what you’d planned. Maybe I was just pouring my hopes of regaining the coverage we’ve lost with the newspaper layoffs into a vessel that wasn’t intended to hold them all.

    I guess it’s obvious that I WANT more, especially because the quality of the stories are so good.

    Damned if you do, I guess. 🙂



  12. Albert Maruggi on November 24, 2007 at 6:47 00 am CDT

    David, perhaps it was expectations, maybe it is a question of quality over quantity that lead you to leave the unsweetened blog post. However, Capecchi piece on Facebook in College was solid, Brauer’s piece on Coleman new PR consultant was superb writing.

    You are right, sports fans need not stop by, they will spend a lot of time looking for the sports section.

    Yelvington is spot on about not usign the medium. My two cents is I’d be all over every practical new media platform, Twitter groups for certain reporters. I’d have reporters use Utterz on the site to give insight into the making of the story.

    I am not sure they should be competiting against the other two daily newspapers with web properties. That is less interesting to me than offering something different.



  13. Albert Maruggi on November 23, 2007 at 11:47 45 pm CDT

    David, perhaps it was expectations, maybe it is a question of quality over quantity that lead you to leave the unsweetened blog post. However, Capecchi piece on Facebook in College was solid, Brauer’s piece on Coleman new PR consultant was superb writing.

    You are right, sports fans need not stop by, they will spend a lot of time looking for the sports section.

    Yelvington is spot on about not usign the medium. My two cents is I’d be all over every practical new media platform, Twitter groups for certain reporters. I’d have reporters use Utterz on the site to give insight into the making of the story.

    I am not sure they should be competiting against the other two daily newspapers with web properties. That is less interesting to me than offering something different.