Today, I checked out InTheCapital‘s “frontpage” stories, to take a look at the type of content and the layouts that the website features. The site’s four top-featured stories alone are a great example of the variety of written formats that InTheCapital uses – with great success, in my opinion.
First up was a Valentine’s Day gift guide, in the form of a numbered list, replete with hyperlinks to other InTheCapital articles. I liked that the hyperlinks didn’t pull you off the site, but instead just redirected you to other InTheCapital content that you perhaps wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The gift list wasn’t too long, and basically served as a middleman for helping you access other InTheCapital articles.
Next up: a very short (four tiny paragraphs!) review of a Sunday brunch restaurant. As short as it was, I appreciated that the article was concise and gave you all the information you needed to know – basic menu options, price range, and atmosphere.
The third article I took a look at was considerably longer than the first two – a six graph article titled “Federal Workers Beware: Tweeting On Agency Time Is Against The Law.”
The headline itself was enough to pique my interest, but upon reading the story, I found it only pertained to tweeting about partisan politics while at work, not just about tweeting in general. But while I found the headline slightly misleading, the story itself was interesting and informative. This was one of the longer InTheCapital articles that I read.
Finally, the last article I took a look at was a compilation of links to other top stories. These articles ranged from the attempted hijacking of a plane headed to Sochi, Russia, to news that the DC Metro is reportedly opening up a Silver Line.
What was especially interesting to me was that many of the links took readers away from InTheCapital to other news outlets. I think this practice is especially indicative of the sharing culture of the Web. InTheCapital is promoting this environment, while remaining confident that its readers will return.
I can tell that InTheCapital strives to keep the audience interested. They avoid long, heavier stories that online readers might be quick to click out of, and instead provide fun, lighter, and informative short pieces that a younger, online-savvy generation will respond well to.
Not only that, but InTheCapital cultivates a culture of sharing information from other online sources, as well as promoting local DC businesses. It’s an enjoyable combination that I think will be a success as the online journalism industry continues to evolve.