Bloomington Herald-Times, February 13, 2014
To the Editor:
I think virtually everyone who frequently uses Herald-Times Online will agree that HTO was far better before Schurz Communications foolishly forced the switch to the vastly inferior TownNews.com template.
In the comments for a January 25 letter to the editor, HTO user MJE criticizes the H-T's failure "to be enthusiastic about electronic publication" and criticizes the H-T for "treating the HTO as the black sheep that they reluctantly publish as a subset of the printed version" - two excellent points.
There are so many things that are worse about the new HTO that they will not fit into 200 words. The problems include new HTO being much slower than old HTO, the fact that the comments are not public (except in the mobile version) and the comment system is nowhere near as user-friendly as before.
One thing that is now obvious is that the website designed in-house by HTO staff was excellent from a technical standpoint.
Content and comment moderation decisions aside, old HTO was on par with (and arguably superior to) the websites of much larger and higher-profile newspapers in much larger cities. If anything, TownNews.com should be using the old HTO template for all of their sites.