Talk to me! What would you do differently? Publisher's blog, posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Feb 5, 2007 at 4:32 pm Gina Channell-Allen is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Welcome to the new Pleasanton Weekly Online! I hope you are enjoying the new site.
As the new publisher, I'd like to know what you like or dislike about the site and / or the weekly publication.
So, if you were the publisher, what would you do differently?
Posted by Anoop, a resident of the Sycamore Place neighborhood, on Feb 17, 2007 at 8:16 pm
I like the new pleasanton weekly online. One improvement that will make the site more pleasing is the placement and format of advertisement. I know we gotta have advertisement. But how about trying to make it more like google search. A bunch of links up-top clearly named as Sponsored links and a bunch of links on the right side. The way it is right now makes it look busy.
Looking forward to a great future for pleasanton weekly online.
Posted by Surprised, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Maybe this is why the "Non-resident school board member making decision that affect Pleasanton tax payers?" thread hasn't been locked. Perhaps Jeb Bing has sold out more than just true, balanced journalism...
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 6:06 pm
I was also under the impression that Jeb Bing held both the publisher and the editor positions for the Pleasanton Weekly, and to confirm my understanding, I went back to the paper copy from last Friday, and that's what it said. Gina Channell-Allen is listed as "President", a title which I've never (ever) heard for a newspaper, but then again, what do I know?
So it seems that there has been some "change of the guard", and if this is the announcement, it's an odd one. After all of these years at the helm, one would think that Mr. Bing would be granted the earned dignity of a feature article or a column describing the new direction of the newspaper, before an odd little blurb to the effect "I'm in charge now, what have we been doing wrong?" is posted to this board.
So to answer your question:
#1) Please grant Mr. Bing the due dignity of the above.
#2) I agree with the first person who posted regarding the numerous columns of advertisements on the right side-bar. Shrink it to one; if you *must* have the info regarding the delivery of the PW, then move it to somewhere else on the page so that your paid ads appear, yet you still have room for actual content (which is currently occupying only about 3/5 of the total page.
#3) Change up the color scheme. A bit boring.
#4) Keep up the quality of journalism that has been the norm. Please don't dumb it down.
Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:31 pm Jeb Bing is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Thanks for your concern--all four of you. I'm still here serving as publisher and editor, as I've done since we started the paper Jan. 24, 2000. We've always had a president who takes on the overall management responsibilities of the operation (including budgets and other finances, which are not my forte) not only in Pleasanton but also at our newer paper, the Danville Weekly. Gina Channell-Allen came aboard following Deborah McKeehan, who followed Bob Thomas as president. Gina has extensive experience in communications, including newspapers and radio. She also is very involved in Advertising at both papers. As Editor, I keep an arm's-length distance from advertising. The Editorial and Advertising staffs have a solid firewall between them, which I work to enforce. As for the Publisher's column, I happily turned it over to Gina--a prolific writer--since we have no dedicated place called President's column for our online edition. If you ever read the Editor's blog, you'll see that I am woefully behind on updating it, although that will change in a few days. Thanks all for your interest. -Jeb Bing
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on May 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm
Sorry for the delay in responding to the explanation! Mr. Bing's response was very helpful in sorting things out. It's funny that the topic sifted down to near the bottom of the discussions, despite the April 23rd date! In any case, welcome to Gina Channell-Allen in the Publisher Column role on the website. Since the "what can we do differently" question was thrown out there, I'd say start with the suggestions that were made here... clean up the columns on the website display, add more content and fewer advertisements, and please, follow up more quickly with local issues!
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on May 13, 2008 at 10:13 am
Dear Publisher: I'm a bit confused; you asked the readers for suggestions on what could be done differently and the readers provided some suggestions, as requested. There has been no thank you or response to the suggestions, and there has been no change in the display of the web pages. Since then, I have noticed that there is now additional clutter to the pages, with another banner at the top of the page. I also have a question: why on earth are you accepting advertising from a firearms firm and displaying it prominently on your pages with a motto "You don't get a second chance in a firearm battle"? Do you have no control over which banner ads you accept from Google Ads and which you don't?
Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly, on May 13, 2008 at 10:32 am Gina Channell-Allen is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Hi Grace: Thank you for your feedback and I do appreciate your suggestions. The advertisements you see on the site and in the newspaper help to pay for the staff to generate the content. So, for better or worse, we can't have more content without more advertisements because journalists of the caliber we have on staff deserve to be paid properly.
And, no, we can't choose the Google ads. We have some non-Google banner ads going up soon and that will limit the number of others. Some of those Google ads make me cringe too.
Posted by Al, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:32 am
Gina -- No one said you should discontinue ads; we are all familiar with monetization realities and that staff deserve to be paid. Such a patronizing answer. The suggestions were to adjust the format of the ads. Your response does not address that.
So I'll say it again a little louder: On the page I am on right now, when I open my browser window all the way on my extra-large screen, I see nothing but ads and boiler-plate on all but about 20% of that initial screenload. That tiny 20% has the start of this topic. That's the first screen. Then when I scroll down, there are ZERO ads (only blank, space-occupying colored columns) until the modest bottom banner. The issue is not that ads are bad, but simply that the content is so minimal on the first page, when the reader is first trying to find it. Not a big deal, just a design/navigation thing, which your response suggests you did not grasp.
I also think an answer FROM YOU regarding Mr Bing would have been more gracious, rather than having Mr Bing's response be the only one. I agree -- a little more courtesy here for a long-time mainstay of PW.
You CAN exert some control over the Google ads. They have filters, and you can block specific advertisers (such as the very common wish to block competitor ads from one's site) and unsavory content. The "how to" is all there on the Google site:
I agree with Grace that firearms ads are truly inappropriate. Your response, "And, no, we can't choose the Google ads," is simply incorrect. Surely you would not let a blog discussing prostitution in Pleasanton run ads for "escort" services?
Posted by Al, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 11, 2009 at 11:05 pm
Here, I agree. And look at the post just above yours: it's from me, almost one year ago. Unanswered. Gina asks for input, then ignores it. Would be better not to ask, in that case.
Look at the top page of this blog: 20% content, 80% ads, a jumble of them. Hard to find the content, for a first-timer. Just a very bad design, symbolic of the rest of it. This could be a great community resource.