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What was Newsday thinking (LI restaurants)?

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Good lord, what was Newsday thinking when they OK'd the changes to newsday.com, not to mention exploreli.com where the restaurant info and Feed Me blog reside?

Not that their site was a 10 before (IMHO maybe a 7 or 8) but at least before it was readable. The dark background with white print must surely have been the product of some "designer" who doesn't actually spend any time on the Internets.

Am I the only one who deplores the new changes?

The blog was the most appealing part of the old site, but now it's hard to read and they seem to have ditched the reader comments. Yuck.

Erica, if you still hand around here on Chowhound, I'd love to hear your comments, On the other hand, I would definitely understand if you declined to comment...

- Chris

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  1. I completely agree...I can't even look at it anymore. What were they thinking? And they plan to charge for this content down the line? Good luck.

    1. Exactly what I thought. The scrolling function is obnoxious too. But I don't even want to log on with the dark background, it hurts my eyes.

      1. Agreed. Nothing like change for the sake of change. Also have the previous reviews all been edited down?

        1. What do you expect from the Dolans?
          They took a lousy, slow loading website and made it worse.
          Try LIPress.com

          1. Add me to the list of haters, the web site is just terrible now, this isn't an issue of not being use to it. I feel bad because I know a number of Newsday staff post here. Feed me blog use to be part of my rotation of sites, I doubt I'll be checking much anymore.

            what makes it even crazier is Newsday is planning to charge for site access!

            1. Another vote for it stinks, especially the dark background. It almost has a rag quality to it now, as if the most sensational stuff is smack in your face and you have to really search hard for real news. A shame.

              1. Feed me blog does still have a comments link, but inexplicably, you have to click on the main article in the scrolling list of articles to get to the standalone article page. On THAT page, there is a link to comments. Unfortunately, it only seems to work on Firefox. On Internet Explorer (7 and 8), if you click on the comments link, a white box pops up, then everything freezes and you have to restart the browser.

                I don't mind the blue color, but the scrolling navigation is a pain, you can't easily browse by date for restaurants in the restaurant section (you have to use a poorly designed search tool -- what if you don't REMEMBER the name of the restaurant but knew Gianotti reviewed it 2 weeks ago?), you can't browse restaurant reviews by reviewer, etc. etc.

                There's also a formatting issue in longer articles where, after about 2 paragraphs, there will be a gap maybe 2 feet long. Looking at the page, you figure there was a goof and nothing more is there. But if you scroll down, and down, and down, you get the rest of the story.

                I've written editorial and web tech people several times. The third time, I was copied on an email to a tech person to the effect of "do you want to help this guy?" I got the feeling I was bothering them by doing their beta testing for them.

                As Mr. Phil noted, it's a shame because the reporting staff is not to blame, but they'll be the ones who suffer. The IT Department did not think this through in the design stage, and did not plan for adequate testing before implementing. (Geez, sounds like Iraq).

                1 Reply
                1. re: sbp

                  And I have to add, the pull down navigation bar at the top works like s***t. If you position your cursor right on "Sports", a context sensitive content bar opens up beneath. But then pull your mouse straight down to access, say, Yankees, the content bar reverts to the Long Island relevant bar, and you wind up clicking on "crime."

                2. I'm still hanging around, Chris.

                  All you hounds: I really appreciate your thoughtful (as in well-thought-out) comments and will pass them along to the relevant parties.

                  I do know that folks are working around the clock to make the site work better and it has improved markedly since the launch.

                  It doesn't seem like anyone has held back in this forum, but you are all free to email me directly at erica.marcus@newsday.com.

                  Thanks, everyone.
                  Erica

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: emarcus

                    Thank you, Erica - I have really enjoyed the site up to this point, and I'd hate to think of you losing part of your audience as a result of this foolishness!

                    Best,
                    Chris

                    1. re: chrisonli

                      Add me to the hater list. Newsday.com was a site visited multiple times everyday and since the change I click on, get annoyed and then click off. I am back to buying the paper and never miss Thursday's food section. I love the fact that they have expanded the food section and they should also give Erica more space in the section and some bigger review features. Keep up the good work Erica.

                      1. re: sgny

                        So maybe that was the plan!

                        1. re: sgny

                          Oh boy, I am so glad to hear that the food section has just moved to Thursdays. I had always bought the paper on Wed and Fri for the food coverage and was wondering what the heck had happened to it. Erica Marcus and Sylvia Carter are both very skilled writers and have great palates. Ms Carter's review was the reason I discovered (the somewhat unfortunately named for an English-speaking audience) Poo Thai in J Heights, the late and very much lamented Best Thai Restaurant Ever of my experience, and I will forever be grateful to her for it.