I began this column in Bikwil’s inaugural issue (May
1997), the very first site I reviewed was The Sydney Morning Herald.
A month or so ago, as our fifth anniversary approached, a new look seemed
a reasonable thing to consider. After all, this is one of Australia’s most
popular sites, drawing around 1.3 million readers a month.
coincidence the SMH
site has recently undergone an overhaul, so the idea turns
out to be doubly opportune. Not that this is the first
revamp it has had in the intervening years, but the
current upgrade seems particularly successful.
large the enhancements concentrate on content, which in my book is what
the Internet is all about. The Herald’s method here has been to
give greater depth of coverage in several broad categories: business,
technology, sport, travel and entertainment.
the example of technology, we find more coverage now by it having drawn
from the pages, not only of the Herald, but also of its Melbourne
sister paper The Age. Business treatment has likewise expanded and
now covers a wider range of major sectors. One change I appreciate is the
division of the entertainment section into separate subsections: film, TV
& radio, music, arts, books, fashion, puzzles.
new feature is an archive of “your favourite columnists”, so that you can
revisit his or her writings. Time will tell how far back such essays will
some of these changes may not lie within your areas of interest, but let
me assure you that news and comment sections maintain their justly
reliable reputation. Currency is maintained by the by now well-established
Breaking News section.
the site shows minimal change in this year’s incarnation, though some
streamlining has taken place and, more significantly, a new navigation bar
has been created to give visitors easier access to the sections they like
the Herald remains my browser’s home page.