Here are a few ideas I played with long ago and never let see the light of day. The first is a redesign of the Williamson Herald web site, which is the Williamson County based publication I was previously employed at (and still occasionally do freelance for.) Since the web was never an integral part of their business model, I didn’t really catch too much flack for my drastic redesign.
The second design is my take on a clean up of The City Paper, which does stellar journalism when I can find it in print. It’s harder to find now that they’ve scaled back to two editions a week and increased their online presence. I did this design a month after they officially announced their new strategy. It was purely inspired work — and in case your wondering, yes I am a geek of revamping newspaper sites.
City Paper Redesigned:
Why I like what you did with the Williamson Herald site, it just reminds me too much of Digg. That, and the removal of the header ad space could be very dangerous. Newspapers make the most money off ad purchases, and when you remove prime real estate such as that, you can really hurt ad sales.
Ultimately you could add the header back in, but since the Herald makes the majority of their money from the print edition, I wouldn’t really mind making it visually appealing to attract the audience first. Once people are used to the site, ads are less likely to annoy. The same thing happens with other sites when they first launch (in this case it would be relaunch).
As far as the digg similarities, what can I say? I’m definitely a fan of Daniel Burka: