Discussion:
sfgate: bye!
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Keith Keller
2014-10-09 02:23:06 UTC
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From what I can tell, sfgate has now officially switched to their new,
wholly unusable web site. It's not quite as bad as it was when I first
saw it, but it's still basically unusable.

Good-bye, sfgate.com! Hello, sfexaminer.com! (And perhaps sfbg.com,
maybe ktvu.com, perhaps others, still looking.)

--keith
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David Kaye
2014-10-09 07:02:14 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Good-bye, sfgate.com! Hello, sfexaminer.com! (And perhaps sfbg.com,
maybe ktvu.com, perhaps others, still looking.)
SFGate violates the First Rule of Google: KEEP IT SIMPLE! Take Google News
for instance: http://news.google.com -- some photos, lots of headlines, and
specific topic areas to click on the left such as sports or local news.

I stopped using both Yahoo and SFGate as home pages because SFGate was
getting weird with its experiments and Yahoo is now mostly OMG gossip
stories. I don't need either of those. (Yahoo Sports and Business are
still excellent, but not as home pages.)

I do like the Examiner (http://www.sfexaminer.com -- NOT the examiner.com
site), even though a former journalist who worked there told me that Todd
Vogt bought the Examiner, Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, and the B.A.R. in order
to consolidate them and begin charging for them. I'm not sure that the
charging model works for newspapers or news websites except for financial
sites and papers.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 18:45:49 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
From what I can tell, sfgate has now officially switched to their new,
wholly unusable web site. It's not quite as bad as it was when I first
saw it, but it's still basically unusable.
Good-bye, sfgate.com! Hello, sfexaminer.com! (And perhaps sfbg.com,
maybe ktvu.com, perhaps others, still looking.)
Hi Keith,

I "almost" was going to agree with you especially after the
horrible SFGate beta crapola a month or so ago.

Looking at the SFgate page now, it's not too bad but there are
some thing needing correction and rough points needing polishing:
many of the news article are repeated multiple times in the
infinite scrolling crap on the top page.

But I found the "Day in Pictures" which is one of my favorite
features of SFgate.

What is really annoying still is the articles are no longer
aggregated in "Bay Area". "California", "World", picture
galleries, and similar categories. At least the article
splashes are no longer the 10" x 10" crapola as during the beta.

So, it's usable, vs. the horrible idiotic worst websites
on Earth for the San Hoser Mockery Murky Mercury News and
the LA Times.

Besides the Examiner, there's also SF Weekly:

http://www.sfexaminer.com
http://www.sfweekly.com/

and BBC, Reuters, and other non-USA news sites. Even the
ChiCom People's Daily has interesting stuff. Some of the
newsites I visit can be seen here:

http://thadlabs.com/NEWS.htm

noting Firefox on Linux cannot properly display all the buttong
on that page but Firefox on Windows works perfectly.

Note also that NEWS page is 100% HTML compliant; click the W3C
button at the lower left corner to run the test. The problem is
the Mozilla code base for Linux is hosed vs. the code base for
Windows; they're 2 different products whose menu structures differ
greatly even though the same version is falsely shown for both.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-09 19:18:18 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
http://www.sfexaminer.com
http://www.sfweekly.com/
By the way, Todd Vogt is out as chairman and CEO of the Examiner, Weekly,
and Bay Guardian. The chair of the Oahu Publications (Honolulu newspapers
and magazines) has stepped in and instead of draining the papers of cash as
Vogt did, the new philosophy is to build them up and get them back on track
journalistically.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 19:25:00 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by David Kaye
http://www.sfexaminer.com
http://www.sfweekly.com/
By the way, Todd Vogt is out as chairman and CEO of the Examiner, Weekly,
and Bay Guardian. The chair of the Oahu Publications (Honolulu newspapers
and magazines) has stepped in and instead of draining the papers of cash as
Vogt did, the new philosophy is to build them up and get them back on track
journalistically.
Hi David,

That's GREAT to know! Thanks.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-10-09 23:04:54 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
and BBC, Reuters, and other non-USA news sites. Even the
ChiCom People's Daily has interesting stuff.
News about San Francisco (which is all I really care about from sfgate)?
Seems unlikely. (I will check out the Weekly, but in the past they have
struck me as following local politics less than other papers.)

--keith
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Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 23:22:10 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Thad Floryan
and BBC, Reuters, and other non-USA news sites. Even the
ChiCom People's Daily has interesting stuff.
News about San Francisco (which is all I really care about from sfgate)?
Seems unlikely. (I will check out the Weekly, but in the past they have
struck me as following local politics less than other papers.)
Hi Keith,

Both the BBC and Reuters often have a lot of stories occurring in
San Francisco and California in the course of a week:

http://www.bbc.com/

http://www.reuters.com/

e.g., today:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/09/us-apple-icahn-idUSKCN0HY1BT20141009

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-10-10 01:51:10 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Both the BBC and Reuters often have a lot of stories occurring in
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/09/us-apple-icahn-idUSKCN0HY1BT20141009
Well, Apple's in Cupertino, not San Francisco, and that's a business
article, not politics (I should have been more specific about my
preferred topics).

--keith
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Tak Nakamoto
2014-10-09 20:21:42 UTC
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The Chron is melting down on the hard copy side of the operation as well.

http://sfcsubserv.tumblr.com/

I'm wondering if the paper will survive.

Tak Nakamoto

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Keith Keller" wrote

From what I can tell, sfgate has now officially switched to their new,
wholly unusable web site. It's not quite as bad as it was when I first
saw it, but it's still basically unusable.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 22:28:02 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
The Chron is melting down on the hard copy side of the operation as well.
http://sfcsubserv.tumblr.com/
I'm wondering if the paper will survive.
Hi Tak,

Since 1966 I subscribed to 3 newspapers:

Oakland Tribune
San Hoser Mockery Murky Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle

It didn't take long for the Tribune to become irrelevant so I
canceled.

When the Mockery News ceased the COMPUTING section in the Sunday
edition and made other untenable changes, I unsubscribed.

When the Chronicle lied and never sent me the "$10-$20" gifts
they promised for renewing 2 years in a row, I unsubscribed.
They then tried to woo me back with an annual-subscription-only
that was approaching the same price as the New York Times so I
ignored all their solicitations since then.

When SFGate replaced their home-brewed world-class commenting
system with a piece of Canuck Crap named Viafoura that didn't
permit thumbs down along with all comments being invisible, I
ceased logging on and haven't logged on since.

And literally just a minute ago I received an email from SFgate:

***@sfgate.com

with this content:

" Dear Readers,
"
" We are excited to unveil a new, redesigned SFGate today! The new
" site has a bold and modern aesthetic that reflects the dynamic
" spirit of San Francisco and its people, with many new features
" including:
"
" * Scrolling stories, the Latest News Feed and the Most
" Popular stories on the homepage.
"
" * More visual elements, such as photo galleries, videos,
" infographics, maps and related links, that help bring the
" stories to life.
"
" * A navigation bar that allows you to move more easily
" between sections and showcases the top stories with photos
" from each section right there in the navigation drop down.
"
" * Faster-loading pages and improved search.
"
" * Easy-to-find social sharing icons integrated into every page.
"
" Please try out the new SFGate and let us know what you
" think. With your input, we will continuously improve the site and
" add more content, voices and partnerships. Let us know your
" comments at www.sfgate.com/feedback.
"
" We hope you'll enjoy the new SFGate!
"
" Kristine Shine
" President
" San Francisco Chronicle


As I wrote earlier, SFgate is presently sort-of usable but there are
a lot of gotchas before it's a fully usable website again.

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 22:49:19 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
[...]
"
" Kristine Shine
" President
" San Francisco Chronicle
[...]
Hmmm: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kristine-shine/3/885/4a1

Her Overview:

Current
President at San Francisco Chronicle
Public Company; 501-1000 employees; Newspapers industry
January 2014 – Present (10 months)

Chief Revenue Officer at POPSUGAR
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PopSugar
" POPSUGAR is an online media network of websites oriented
" toward a female audience.
http://www.popsugar.com/
Past
Vice President of Sales at POPSUGAR
Vice President of Sales at Spot Runner
Director of Sales at Microsoft - MSN
Owner at Kristine's Papery
Vice President of Online Sales at BusinessWeek
Account Executive at Business Week
Director of Print Advertising at Icon International
Education
Marist College

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marist_College

Marist College, Poughkeepsie New York
http://www.marist.edu/

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-09 22:50:58 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
The Chron is melting down on the hard copy side of the operation as well.
http://sfcsubserv.tumblr.com/
I'm wondering if the paper will survive.
It's a toughie. When the Chron laid off much of its staff and closed their
printing plants a few years ago it was because they were losing $1 million A
WEEK -- that's $50 million a year. Phil Bronstein attributed this largely
to the death of Herb Caen and the very lucrative Macy's ad the resided next
to his column, and the complete and utter devastation of their classified ad
section due to the rise of Craigslist. Historically, the class-ad section
was always the biggest money maker of any paper.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 23:16:39 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Tak Nakamoto
The Chron is melting down on the hard copy side of the operation as well.
http://sfcsubserv.tumblr.com/
I'm wondering if the paper will survive.
It's a toughie. When the Chron laid off much of its staff and closed their
printing plants a few years ago it was because they were losing $1 million A
Hi Dave,

That doesn't jibe with what I experienced.

About 5 years ago the Chronicle bought an incredible number of ultra-modern
presses and installed them in, IIRC, Fremont (East Bay), reduced the physical
paper size, and changed to a new kind of ink that didn't come off on hands,
tablecloths, etc. Chronicle distribution throughout the Bay Area was based
also in Fremont which is why I was surprised to read the comments at the URL
Tak posted [above].

That's when they tried to stiff me with a new subscription price that
was astronomical and I refused to take the bait. I did receive the
paper in that new printed form for about 3-4 months before I canceled.
Post by David Kaye
WEEK -- that's $50 million a year. Phil Bronstein attributed this largely
to the death of Herb Caen and the very lucrative Macy's ad the resided next
to his column, and the complete and utter devastation of their classified ad
section due to the rise of Craigslist. Historically, the class-ad section
was always the biggest money maker of any paper.
That's very true. Often the Chronicle's classified section would be larger
than the rest of the paper combined (e.g., over 150+ Sunday pages of ads).

I missed the puzzle pages and the comics. Both are (or at least were)
still online last time I checked but it was too much of a hassle to read
them online while eating breakfast -- it was much easier to do so with a
hardcopy paper on the same table as my breakfast.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-09 23:56:22 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
That doesn't jibe with what I experienced.
About 5 years ago the Chronicle bought an incredible number of
ultra-modern
presses and installed them in, IIRC, Fremont (East Bay), reduced the physical
paper size, and changed to a new kind of ink that didn't come off on hands,
tablecloths, etc.
I knew the union shop steward at the Chronicle printing plant. He told me
that they changed to Flexo (lithography) from (I believe) Goss presses,
which were photo offset I believe. Flexo is good technology, but the Chron
began using very thin paper which tended to jam and wrinkle a lot in the
finished product. Anyhow, the Chronicle did some kind of maneuvering that
managed to lay off all the printers. I'm not sure if they sold off the
printing plant to another company or what.
Post by Thad Floryan
also in Fremont which is why I was surprised to read the comments at the URL
Tak posted [above].
The Chronicle's main printing plant was in SF; Fremont was originally a
secondary plant.




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David Kaye
2014-10-10 00:43:44 UTC
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Anyhow, the Chronicle did some kind of maneuvering that managed to lay off
all the printers. I'm not sure if they sold off the printing plant to
another company or what.
Good thing that Tak put up a link to a story about the shuttering of the
Chron's presses because this jibes with my memory of the situation. I'm
wondering about the Flexo presses, though. It could be that they installed
a couple before shutting down the printing plant maybe to see if they could
do it more cheaply or something. What I do know is that my shop steward
friend was embarrassed at the wrinkled mess the Chron had become.
The Chronicle's main printing plant was in SF; Fremont was originally a
secondary plant.
Again my memory is really better than I thought. As Tak's link points out,
the Chron's plants were in SF, Richmond, and Union City, not Fremont.
Fremont is the outsourced printer.




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Tak Nakamoto
2014-10-10 00:16:34 UTC
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"Thad Floryan" wrote


About 5 years ago the Chronicle bought an incredible number of ultra-modern
presses and installed them in, IIRC, Fremont (East Bay), reduced the
physical
paper size, and changed to a new kind of ink that didn't come off on hands,
tablecloths, etc. Chronicle distribution throughout the Bay Area was based
also in Fremont which is why I was surprised to read the comments at the URL
Tak posted [above].


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My recollection is that when the printing was shifted to Fremont using new
presses, that the whole printing operation was outsourced. The Fremont plant
is operated by another company, Transcontinental.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chronicle-presses-roll-for-the-last-time-3293054.php

Being a third party, Transcontinental could in theory partially recoup its
investment by printing for parties other than the Chronicle. This was likely
a mistake since all sorts of printing is diminishing in volume.

The SF Chronicle has outsourced both hard copy production and its e-edition.
The complete e-edition is produced by Olive Software in Colorado based on
the layout by the SF Chronicle staff. The Amazon Kindle version is a
shortened version of the daily Chronicle put together by Amazon. The Apple
edition I think is complete but is partially the responsibility of Apple to
produce. I don't know who produces SF Gate. I assume it is still directly
assembled by the Chronicle staff.

The Chronicle is in a dangerous position of not truly controlling its own
product.

Tak Nakamoto
David Kaye
2014-10-10 00:37:35 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
The Chronicle is in a dangerous position of not truly controlling its own
product.
On the other hand, magazines from Time to TV Guide have outsourced their
printing for decades. I'm not sure that TV Guide ever printed their own
magazine, even when they had the zoned editions. For much of its life, TV
Guide was printed by a Canadian company, Quebecor. And few phone books have
ever been printed by the phone companies. R. H. Donnelley had most of the
phone book printing market.




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Peter Lawrence
2014-10-11 09:13:36 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
From what I can tell, sfgate has now officially switched to their new,
wholly unusable web site. It's not quite as bad as it was when I first
saw it, but it's still basically unusable.
Good-bye, sfgate.com! Hello, sfexaminer.com! (And perhaps sfbg.com,
maybe ktvu.com, perhaps others, still looking.)
--keith
I find that its paid site ( http://www.sfchronicle.com ) to be much more
readable (and better organized) than its SFGate.com website.

I get access to the Chronicle's http://www.sfchronicle.com website at no
additional charge because I still have a "weekend" subscription (Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday) to the actual SF Chronicle newspaper.


- Peter
Keith Keller
2014-10-11 16:37:00 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
I find that its paid site ( http://www.sfchronicle.com ) to be much more
readable (and better organized) than its SFGate.com website.
With the recent change, it's better organized than sfgate.com just by
default.
Post by Peter Lawrence
I get access to the Chronicle's http://www.sfchronicle.com website at no
additional charge because I still have a "weekend" subscription (Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday) to the actual SF Chronicle newspaper.
I have a Sunday subscription, so I should have access as well. I tried
it months ago when they rolled out sfchronicle.com, but I recall not
being very happy with it. Perhaps compared to the new sfgate,
sfchronicle will seem like the pinnacle of web-based local news. I'll
try it again and see.

--keith
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Eli the Bearded
2014-10-14 21:07:51 UTC
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In ba.internet,
Post by Keith Keller
Good-bye, sfgate.com! Hello, sfexaminer.com! (And perhaps sfbg.com,
maybe ktvu.com, perhaps others, still looking.)
http://sfist.com/2014/10/14/the_san_francisco_bay_guardian_is_c.php


According to an email sent to employees of the San Francisco Media
Company and shared with SFist, the conglomerate that owns the San
Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian,
the Guardian will be ceasing publication as of tomorrow's issue.

Dear community: The SF Media Co. has just pulled its funding
from the 48 year old San Francisco Bay Guardian. More details
to come.
-- SF Bay Guardian (@sfbg) October 14, 2014

In the email, Glenn G. Zuehls, who joined the struggling media
company in June, says "Unfortunately, the economic reality is such
that the Bay Guardian is not a viable business and has not been for
many years" and that though he tried to make the publication a
financial success, "the obstacles for a profitable Bay Guardian are
too great to overcome."

[...]

So perhaps not sfbg.com....

Elijah
------
buys a Chronicle every weekday from vendors in various BART stations
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