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Main Page Rants

Dayparting

Seattle Post-Intelligencer has done something revolutionary by doing what every other traditional media outlet does: tailor the news to the time of day.

The day is divided into three four periods (including the standard edition), or dayparts, allow editors to present context sensitive information to their readers.

Hitting the page in the afternoon reveals a softer news focus for site. Early evenings offer traffic and market updates; harder news, including the popular headlines from earlier; as well as evening events, like sports and entertainment. The night view includes breaking news, and hints to the stories appearing in the next day’s paper.

While some usabililty experts may cringe at the changing nature of the homepage, I think it’s a great way to serve (likely) unique group readers a tailored news experience, while keeping it fresh for the news junkies.

The idea has been bandied about for a while, and some online newspapers are using dayparts for more than ad sales, but the Post-Intelligencer has upped the ante.