Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Open Letter To Audrey Cooper, The New EIC Of The SF Chronicle

 Dear Audrey Cooper:

You're the new Editor-in-Chief of the SF Chronicle and you've been all over the place talking about a missive to make the Chron, its website, SFGate and all other platforms more entertaining, more compelling, more profitable. Makes sense, but there's more serious issues here.

I have a plan that should be at the top of your to-do list.

FIX!, immediately, the Gate. I mean, seriously, it is a royal pain in the tuchas to navigate.

And that's the easy part.

Look, I love getting Bay Area news, Ms. Cooper but I can't access the new site. It's like pulling hairs. I've had an easier time getting through Russian crossword puzzles with 12-letter words with no vowels. A Rubik's cube is easier to navigate --why the heck is SF Gate so damn horrid? In the old days, you clicked on links and you were able to read the story--now that chore is tantamount to climbing Mt. Tam with flip flops. Every time I try to go there, my computer freezes. It's relentless. I gave up. I can't subject myself to the torture and that really sucks because, Ms. Cooper, I really like the Chronicle. Hell, I even buy the print edition! That's loyalty.

So, please, give me and others the news and information we seek. Right now, you have an immense clusterphuck on your plate and you need to take care of business. Like now. Yesterday. I'm not alone. A lot of your partners are just as frustrated as I am. Now please, go do your thing.

Thanks in advance.

*Follow me on Twitter

Rich Lieberman
415 Media


25 comments:

  1. Who even visits SFGATE?
    Live leak.com is the place for the latest breaking news.

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  2. Rich, what makes you think you're blog layout is any better than SFGate?
    It's like you're living in the dark ages. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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    1. ?? I never have any speedy access issues with this site. SF Gate is maddeningly slow, so slow in fact, that's it's been awhile since I've been there.

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  3. Thank you for this, Rich. You are so dead on.

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  4. Amen Rich, Great JOB!

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  5. Some tips for the chief: Cut off the racist posts. They aren't free speech,they are yelling fire in a crowded Starbucks. Somehow other papers online have done it,yet the SF Chron has a never ending source of bigots.
    Some tips for newbies: Disable flash player, try a program that can block third part scripts (most 3rds are owned by google,like adsearch and ys ting isn't China,its google) 'No Script' is a little too hard to use..others might be better.
    The drawback is...you have to enable to post or see vids. If you just want to read,disabling works well. I'm able to read the Huffington after a time of it being too script heavy due to ads and those many companies that track you.

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    1. Stan wanting to censor online comments is hilarious?
      "They aren't free speech,they are yelling fire in a crowded Starbucks." Abysmal grammar, tortured metaphor, and profound ignorance from a habitual online racist.

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    2. Yeah right Stan, no place for incendiary ranting on the internet. LOL

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    3. I have no clue what you are talking about with these "tips".

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    4. You need to switch to Drudge. No access problems going to links from there. :) Huff Po? Geez.

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    5. The Starbucks down the street from me sells country and western CDs. What should I yell in there?

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    6. 10:40...."thank you"

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    7. 10:40... Caffè Macchiato, and make it snappy!

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    8. @ Stan....2/26/15 ~ 1:55PM
      AMEN to that! Its sickening the way that sfgate allows blatant racist remarks on their website, and when you try to rebuff the racist remark "your" comment is removed, or you are banished from sfgate.....Wtf????

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  6. I stopped reading the SF Chron many months ago because it's slow, doesn't load and freezes my computers too. A real hassle!

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  7. could not agree more. the site is crazy hard to navigate seems to be browsre sensitive. hate to go elsewhere but mostly forced to

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  8. Leave it the way it is, the faster for it to go under....

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  9. I give SF Gate (SF Wait) 1 chance a day. When it freezes, or gives me a story I didn't click on (that happens a lot), or promises an list type article and I get a 57 photo spread instead, or when I open on my Nook and I get an ad that floats over the text, or I can't find an article with their mishmash layout (I heard of article major about the VA last week and went to find it that day, had to do a search)--its time for Google News, NY Post, CC Times. Don't laugh re NY Post--I wanted to read about the big boxing fight coming up--after a few of the aforementioned things happened on SFGate I flipped to the Post, and easily found the fight story. Good luck on a smooth SF Gate experience.

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    1. Ending up with the wrong story is incredibly frustrating and it happens all the time on SF Gate. I now have to make sure the link my mouse is hovering over looks correct. You could measure the time it takes to load the home page using carbon dating...

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  10. What about the actual paper, the one the dog brings in if you have a dog (my cat won't ), the one you hold in your hands and spread out on Sundays? All pronouncements about newspapers today are about the Web presence, good or bad, which of course means that the printed paper is nearing obsolescence. Of course with many papers the paper-towel-sized offering is not worth picking up anyway. But of course I still miss Charles McCabe and Terrence O'Flaherty, so who am I to talk?

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  11. If you (Rich) have a subscription to the Chron, you should be eligible for free access to the sfchronicle.com site. It seems the Chronicle has put many of their eggs into that basket, which is easier to use than the clusterphuq they created with the SFGate redesign.

    FWIW, I don't even bother with SFGate anymore, I go right to the sfchronicle home page, and when I see an article I want to read, I click on it. It hides most of the content, but by changing the url to say "sfgate" in place of "sfchronicle", more times than not the full article loads. (You have to hit the "Return" key too, duh.) You really only need to change "chronicl" to "gat", so with three keystrokes you get the article. Doesn't work every time, but often enough to be useful.

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  12. Rich...
    Please, I beg of you to send this info you just wrote to sfgate.com Feed Back option. I have told everyone who has had an issue with their website to not just fume over sfgate.com, but to TELL THEM, that is the only way they will get rid of that horrid "Viafoura!"

    Also sfgate.com slide show photos are a joke, that don't even work half the time, and when they do, it freezes your computer!!!

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  13. Excellent post, Rich, and thank you. Abandoned SFGate like so many others here because it's aggravating to navigate. Not only does the site freeze, it often pulls up the wrong stories and subjects readers to ads that weren't clicked.

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  14. I use a MacBook, which allows me fast access on sfgate, so I don't have those freezing issues. HOWEVER, the site is simply a nightmare to FIND something you want to read! I mostly go to KTVU.COM now to get local news.

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  15. SFGate has sucked since they'd "fixed" their comments section, deleting the thumbs down option. And the layout has gone to hell. It used to be my favorite local news site.

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