Monday, August 10, 2009

Rocky's Web site shouldn't be treated as junk yard

Alan Mutter raises an important - and sad - question in his post about the web site of the Rocky Mountain News. His headline asks "How long should dead paper linger on web?" My answer would be that it would be best for society if the paper's Web site could be archived and preserved. Barring that, though, Mutter is right that the current state of the web site is disturbing.

"I can’t help but wonder why the final website of the Rocky Mountain News remains online today as an uncomfortably maudlin reminder of the paper’s demise nearly six months after it closed," he writes.

The site has been disabled and sits as a painful reminder of the paper's last day. Instead of just disabling it, my former employer should have put up a page at the Rocky's url explaining what it is doing with the content from the web site and how readers interested in finding something can do so. That would have been a true public service. What they're doing now makes it seem they don't care anymore. Which I refuse to believe.


  1. I like the idea of taking the archive / preservation route. I wonder if either of the following would be possible:

    a) Donate *all* of the paper's past content to a historical society or community group and, if there's interest, allow them to pursue a collaborative project that would organize the content and present it as a resource -- a means for using the city's history to understand current issues.

    b) Have the company take on the task of organizing / presenting that content. I haven't remotely thought this through, but I wonder if there's a business opportunity. A newspaper with a history as rich as the RMN has *so much* to offer the community, even long after it ceases to publish new content. If a company can harness its vast reserve of community information, it might be able to create a useful service that could generate some revenue.

    - Greg Saulmon

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