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Amazoning The News > Example 2 - News Story

Example Two - News Story
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What about a story that is not so easily broken up as a game story? Chris Willis, another colleague, designed this hard-news page that hews even more closely to the Amazon model.

This example builds not around an event, per se, but a topical issue. That's because issues, like stories, are constantly evolving. This issue, the controversy over a Supreme Court nomination, is a starting point from which to hang data, reader questions and feedback. And as readers get more and more involved, the story itself changes in response to their queries.

So on this news page, the specific event story, at top, center, is only a teaser — a concise summary, with a link if you want to go to the text story. There are Opinions and a Live Vote just below — showing that these are integral parts of the story.

Time and Place: This page also gives a nod to the notion of Time and Place by posting the story with Universal Time Code, or GMT.

There is also a readers' ranking, and a story ranking — showing that it's popular with conservative males aged 35-55 in Southern California. So here you have a psychographic ranking rather than geographic ranking. Recent reader comments foster the sense of network and interactivity — similar to Plastic.com or Slashdot.

Personality: By highlighting a reader comment, high up, this page shows that feedback is as important as the so-called lead story. And note the irreverence of the reader comment: The writer asks: What's so great about bi — meaning bi-partisanship and refers to Ralph Nader's 'skinny, loveless arms.' Here, users are defining the personality of the page.

Network: You find out that readers who read this story also read pieces in the Washington Post — using the network and geography. Again, building on the notion that what readers are interested in is what counts.

And, keeping in mind the study Steve Outing cited, you can browse related stories that were chosen:
a) By the editor
b) Or by the readers. And the readers' links appear here.

Interactivity: The so-called story-story is at the bottom. On the right hand side of the page, notice the View Cart, so you can buy not just merchandise, but more content. And there are featured sections. You can interact — save or send the story, or set up a Favorites List. Of course there's a poll — interact and enter the discussion.

Time considerations: On the right is a teaser to tonight's TV show about the issue under discussion, with a "remind me" button. And on the lower right, an up-to-the-minute tabulation of how many points you have accumulated. You're now eligible for this cool mug. You get instant gratification and an ongoing incentive to use the site.

Data: The elements under "Explore this Story" feed the user's obsession to know more about the issue. It captures the interaction of the community of readers. They ask questions, their questions then form the new links and access to deeper data. As you move around the page, you see an organic landscape of opinion that grows and changes.

And because it is organic, over time the page will grow — or degrade and die if there is no reader interest. To encourage a long life for the issue, readers can explore more such stories from the archives, or from the Washington Post or New York Times.

The feature, "Readers Also Wanted to Know," turns reader queries into a way to broaden the story. What does an attorney general do? How do you reconcile beliefs and jobs? The network tells you which data to move, to retrieve and highlight. At the bottom left, Chris offers readers an easy way to rate the stories.

As these lively examples show, on the web, storytelling isn't dead. It's alive, and well — and uniquely different.

Mix it up: Join in the forum about this presentation.

** Please note: We have added an additional example of a news story in the Amazoning model — Chandra Levy:

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Next >

0  Pages
1  Web Storytelling
2  Five Web Goals
3  Five Rules for Net Engagement
4  Example 1 - NBA Story
5  Example 2 - News Story
6  Web links
7  Readers respond

0  Related on this page
•  Steve Outing Column
Yes, Interactivity Really Is Good for Your Site.
•  Chris Willis home page


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