USATODAY.com has relaunched with, reportedly, more prominent user generated content:
MediaPost reports: “The revamped site, which went live Saturday, enables reader comments on each story and solicits users’ input in the form of photos and movie reviews. USA Today also is aping Digg, the new Netscape and other social news sites that allow readers to determine which stories are most important.”
Editor & Publisher explains: The site has incorporated technology developed by Pluck Corporation to “create a community around the news,” according to a release. Using the new features, users can see other news sources directly on the USA Today site; see others readers’ reactions to stories; recommend content and comments to each other; interact using comments and in public forums, upload digital photographs to the site; write arts and culture reviews of their own; and interact more with the newspaper’s staff.”
There certainly is a lot of UGC there – but the front page would benefit from being slimmed down from the whacking great five pages you have to scroll down (usability expert Jakob Nielsen says three Page Downs should be the maximum) – the best stuff takes two Page Downs to get to – photo galleries, video, blogs, and interactive graphics.
You can also read USA Today’s own blog post on the relaunch.
UPDATE (Apr 16 2007): The relaunch has been quite a success, as IIN reports “a dramatic 380% increase in registrations. Readers are also spending more time per visit on the site.”