If there's one thing our nation's newspapers seem to love these days - even more than, say, good reporting or staying in business - it's redesigning their web sites.
So I wasn't surprised to see an email from the good folks at the Los Angeles Times, trumpeting the latest new look of latimes.com (click to enlarge):
Well, let me clarify. I wasn't surprised to receive the email. I was a little surprised once I cracked it open. My hastily considered analysis:
1, We're in 2009, which has to be at least 10 years after marketers figured out that they could personalize email messages, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Which is why, "Hello Visitor," didn't strike me as the warm, personal greeting they might have been going for.
2, Looks like a slightly refreshed typeface for the masthead. Is it just me, or is it funny that big-city newspapers keep recycling versions of this sort of gothic-y typeface that appears approximately nowhere else in modern life instead of actually coming up with something new?
3, In case you missed it, Michael Jackson died June 25, approximately two months ago. (I'm pretty sure the Los Angeles Times was one of the few media outlets to cover the story at the time.) But, heck, let's subtly drop one more King of Pop reference into the promo email because what better way to tread on the year's most overdone news story than to use it to draw attention to a web site redesign?
4, Let me get this straight: You're drumming up excitement for your web site's new look which, presumably, makes everything look all pretty and nice. And the dominant image in your email is a huge fricking inkblot? A redesign that's so excellent, they'd rather spill crap all over it than show it to you in this message? Wow, I can hardly wait to see.