Mid-Day Morphs into a Blog

In recent times more and more websites of Indian newspapers are transforming their graphic interfaces. The likes of DNA, Hindustan Times and Mid-day have got a more “current” look on their websites. Mid-Day just transformed their website into a new version. And it now looks like a WordPress blog.

The accompanying image is a screenshot of a random page on Mid-Day.com. However this could be the page from any blog too. In their zeal to come out with a newer website look, they seem to have hired someone who took the WordPress MU component and set it up for them. And judging from the fact that it was launched to the public, its a little unnerving. Are newspapers trying to ape blogs so that they can get popular with a whole chunk of blogreading audiences?

Newspapers online have a distinctive style and there are many good examples including my favorite the NYTimes.com . Even the TOI has a somewhat nice interface once you see it in firefox fully throttled with AdblockPlus and Filter.G etc.

Mid-day’s transformation is for the worse. I would go out to say that in some ways it represents the psyche of the actual newspaper itself in terms of content. More and more it reads and sounds like a blog and not a newspaper with content written by professional journalists.

And lastly have always maintained that the one gripe I have about wordpress is how it is so easy to spot. Most wordpress blog themes look very similar if you look beyond the grpahics and the color. There are very very few (5%) themes that you cannot spot as a wordpress blog. That however was not the case with Movable Type which I was on earlier or with Express machine or drupal etc. Some notable exceptions to the wordpress “all look same” theme is ultrabrown.com but then Manish hand coded a lot of the look. Hence the difference.

I am in the process of starting a new blog venture (sssshhhh!! secret) and the hardest thing just now is getting a good theme, look and user friendliness for a multi-author site. Any suggestions and ideas?

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