Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Making fun of the Arizona Daily Star's website isn't that difficult, honestly. It's kinda terrible in a number of different ways, from content to usability — and I'm not saying that as a competitor, but as someone who actually uses the Internet for things. It's just bad.
But c'mon, azstarnet.com. This is what you're running on your site right now?:
That, dear reader, is a bylined story highlighting a special being run by a national chain of sandwich shops that isn't even based in this town:
Subway has resurrected its popular early bird BOGO offer.
Throughout the month of April you can get a free 6-inch sandwich with the purchase of a 6-inch sandwich. But the offer is good only until 9 a.m. daily.
Subway has 39,182 restaurants in 102 countries and a big handful of them in the Tucson area including at 5480 E. Speedway, 2955 W. Valencia Road, 455 E. Wetmore Road, 1503 W. Saint Marys Road and 10325 N. LaCanada Drive in Oro Valley.
Apparently, it isn't even an ad. It's just...there. As a thing. We'll assume that they got a press release from Subway and had to write SOMETHING for the Caliente section — slow news day. I get it. We'll fill our pages with goofy content too sometimes (and hell, it's not even like we're [completely] against the idea of sponsored content, though if we did so we'd at least ensure we weren't whoring ourselves in the process — and we wouldn't pretend it wasn't an ad, either).
But they're running this as the top story in their food section, bumping a local story to site purgatory:
See that note about Brewd Coffee Lounge? As mentioned in Noshing Around last week, Brewd closed up shop after a rough year downtown. The Star's story notes their forthcoming move to the east side, which might help them in the long run, as they won't have to compete with construction or two other high-quality coffee joints (Sparkroot and Exo Roast Co.) less than a mile away.
That is actually interesting — far more so than a rewritten press release about cheap-ass sandwiches, anyway.
Get it together, Daily Star — we all know that you're likely to move to a paywall, joining most of your other Lee Enterprises brethren, sooner rather than later. There's no way that you're going to convince people to buy into your website with content like that...or this baseball quiz, for that matter, which was ripped straight from the website of stltoday.com, complete with links to St. Louis Cardinals features at the end, no less.