Is HeraldNet missing out on the digital revolution?

HeraldNet, Snohomish County’s online version of The Herald, has about 176,000 monthly visitors. According to Quantcast, the majority of their visitors are repeat bringing up the total monthly visits to a little over a million. “The purpose of the site is to expand The Herald’s mission to be the leading provider of news, information, and advertising in Snohomish and Island Counties.” One question I wanted to ask in this post is: how is HeraldNet holding up in a digital world?

The site looks ordinary; they seem to be missing some depth of content. There are plenty of ads, text and photos, but no videos. Instead, HeraldNet seems to be putting all their videos into one bucket on a ‘multimedia’ section. This section seems to be just a mishmash of random content, animated graphics and video mixed. They do, however, have a separate blog section, although it’s more like an RSS feed and doesn’t have any video either.

One great place to start with video would be the sports or entertainment page, but even these are motionless, only the ads animated. I wouldn’t suggest they start implementing every social media concept, but try testing the waters. Expanding on the blogs and highlighting them in a more visually appealing way as well adding some of that content to the homepage would help. Also creating a section on the homepage that rotates the most popular video content of the day.

In contrast, the Seattle Times seems to embrace the digital world a little better. Just on their homepage they have links to Twitter feeds, local blogs, comments, and separate video and photo areas to browse through.

One difference I see between the two: the Seattle Times is obviously more popular, and shares content with others. HeraldNet, on the other hand seems to be satisfied in creating their own content, which leads me to think if they embrace video more, they will have to think about how to create it themselves. If HeraldNet seems focused on being an authentic local community paper, I really think their audience will embrace a more interactive site that shows community leaders and local events as videos too.


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