But the current online ProJo set-up, a bifurcated mishmash of mini-reports and hidden content, is confusing and frustrating. Nobody can find anything or link to anything. Just yesterday I sent a link to friends of a video-feature taped on Monday night and posted hours later — and it was wonderful — but the video was swapped out in under 12 hours and has evaporated completely. No archive, nothing. So the link didn’t even connect to the video, it connected to the video space. This just isn’t how people would ever use this.
Furthermore, bloggers — and yes, we have some ownership of this problem, but here we are — can no longer send traffic to your site by linking to the articles and opinion pieces. You have disappeared from Google searches completely — whatever the opposite of ’search engine optimization’ is, you’ve nailed it. Here at the Dose we find ourselves linking to the Providence Business News and even the Boston Globe for local news. Your numbers in this regard must be plummeting.
So I urge you — publishers, editors, and owners — bite the bullet and scrap this model. And please figure this out soon; the thought of Rhode Island without a newspaper is too terrifying to even contemplate.