Monday, September 10, 2012

Come on, SFGate mobile, get your shit together.

SFGate, as you all know, is the website of the San Francisco Chronicle, our local daily shell-of-its-former-self newspaper. Craigslist killed it! Or something. Anyway, in its browser format, SFGate is fine. You got your different sections and your top stories and whatnot. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a mid-range newspaper website; i.e., it's no LA Times, but it does the job.

SFGate for mobile, though, is a fucking trainwreck. Here are some screen shots I took yesterday (yes, I know it was 7:47 a.m. on a Sunday; I'm not drinking right now, so I wake up at 6:30 every day, more on that later).

Well, apart from the Choice Hotels ad, which I guess pays for this shitshow, what do you notice? Two stories about how Romney likes Obamacare! Guess what? They were the same story, listed twice in a row, and given slightly different headlines. This thing of repeatedly listing the same story over and over is endemic to the SFGate mobile site.

Then we have "Congress returns for short pre-election session" twice. No attempt to change the headline. Just spit the same fucking thing out. You could at least shake it up a little, SFGate. Maybe "Legislative body reconvenes for abbreviated activities in advance of national referendum"? There you go! BOOM, brand new story.

Here, once again, we didn't even bother tweaking the headline; it's just the same story, twice in a row. Did you like the story about the Tulane safety fracturing his spine? HERE, READ IT AGAIN.

Oh, and also, the headline "Ed Lee's cronies powerful, critics say" is hilarious to me, for some reason. It's so content-free! Like, what would Ed Lee's Critics say? "Ed Lee's cronies actually pretty cool, critics say"?

Let's scroll down and see what's going on in Business and Technology. Should be some interesting content or analysis there!

Sad trombone. We've got Son Of Romney Likes Obamacare, and a Duo of Congress Returns. WHOA I'M GETTING SOME SERIOUS DEJA VU. Really, SFGate?

I'm sure the mobile site is run by some bot that uses a free algorithm you can find online to pick stories and place them on the site, but AT LEAST have someone program the thing not to pick THE SAME FUCKING STORIES OVER AND OVER. Oh, fuck it. Why do I even care.


GG said...

+1 +1 +1

Let's also talk about how no one with an IQ over 40 is going to SFGate for their *national* news. So why isn't the "Bay Area" section the first thing you see at the top? And why are 1, 2, or even all 3 of the "Bay Area" headlines taken up by a BCN data repost (such as "your lucky lottery numbers"), etc.?

SFGate is so many different kinds of terrible, it really makes me sad, especially when there's no real second-choice local news site (SFist, The Bold Italic?) that seems ready for prime time.

Tamagosan said...

Last week I renewed our Chronic subscription and this weekend started getting two papers. 'Twas a typo, corrected today, but looks like the sales dept is right up there with the app dept!

Jim Marrone said...

Stupid mobile app loads big pictures for many stories and SLOWS DOWN the loading. Even when on wi-fi. Try to scroll the big picture and the link to the story is started. TERRIBLE DESIGN.

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