USA Today goes community crazy

USA Today got a facelift over the weekend, with heaping doses of community thrown in.

The new site allows you to vote stories up, comment on stories and vote on comments. Selected quotes from user comments are displayed on the front page. A tab on the front page allows you to see the most viewed, commented, recommended and emailed stories. You can also pull up profile pages which show all of the comments made by a particular user. (No user friendly URL for these pages, though.)

It still needs some work: the blurbs from user comments make no reference to the story being commented on. Content blocks move around the page. The javascript that renders the comments on story pages causes weird window anomalies on Firefox.

Still, it’s great to see such a broad-scale experiment from one of the country’s largest newspapers.

For all of the talk about new experiences, there are plenty of unpleasant old ones. The first thing I saw was a giant rich media ad for FedEx that pushed all the news off the screen. Clicking on a story took me to an interstitial ad. When I finally got to the story, I got a pop up for mortgages.

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About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is CEO of redesign | mobile. Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at http://blog.agrawals.org and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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