As many of you know, OregonLive—the primary Web site for The Oregonian, the largest paper in Oregon—is managed far beyond the control of the local reporters and Web designers here in Portland. Like in New Jersey. What’s more, OregonLive runs exactly the same codebase as all of the other Web sites managed by Advance Internet, like New Orleans’ paper The Times-Picayune.
And since we all love to carp about the shortcomings of OregonLive, it seems only appropriate that we give them kudos for making marked improvements. Recently, Advance Internet has rolled out a few changes to OregonLive that are worth mentioning.
First—given my proclivity for touting Portland as the hub of OpenID development—I’ll lead with the fact that you can now create an account and comment on OregonLive using your OpenID. So all of these folks should be happy. Not into OpenID? That’s okay. You can use your Google or AIM accounts too.
At this point, I’m not sure if you can tie your OpenID to an existing account. The site has been throwing an error every time I try to log in. Maybe I should take that as a hint?
Second, there has been a substantial change to the OregonLive blogs. What exactly? Well, according to Oregon Media Central:
Blogs now have tag clouds, posts have recommend buttons, and both writers and users have profile pages. Those profiles now feature RSS feeds that include writers’ posts and users’ comments.… The look of the site’s blogs has also been modified.
Third, OregonLive has decided to move its Oregon Reddit functionality from the OregonLive site to the Reddit mothership. And while the Oregon Reddit on the home page of OregonLive remains relegated to the lower nether regions of the page, OregonLive is working to incorporate Reddit more prominently in the new blog designs.
One drawback? If you built up a great deal of karma participating in OregonLive Reddit, you’re now back to square one:
To submit to Oregon reddit on reddit.com, you will need to create an account at reddit.com (if you haven’t before) and follow all of the normal procedures at reddit.com. Make sure to type “oregon” in the reddit field. If you already use reddit.com, you won’t need to submit your links twice anymore.
But on the upside, your submissions now have the chance to be seen by a much larger Reddit population. And that’s always a good thing.
All in all, these OregonLive changes are positive steps forward for the site that serves as the most popular news site in Oregon. And they’re changes that should promise more interactivity with The Oregonian‘s reader base.
Here’s hoping this is only the beginning of the site’s continued improvement.