RealNet CMP of Buford Georgia developes revolutionary new Internet news format pub. Dec 1, 2002
Developed by the Post and RealNet Solutions, an Internet services firm in Buford, the Internet newspaper was designed to be easy to read and to disseminate information quickly.
It allows viewers to jump to the articles they want. The paper's format was developed by Paul O. Martin of RealNet and J.K. Murphy, executive editor of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
The goal was to design a layout where online readers, at a glance, can see the top headlines and the first sentence of all articles in the paper. From there they can read only the ones they're interested in.
The front section of the online edition is consolidated into one front page that also shows headlines from the paper's other sections -- Sports, Business, Lifestyle, etc. "Previously, our website was limited to 10 stories and a couple of photos.
The RealNet version puts the entire news content of that day's paper online," Murphy said. The site continues to be developed. Currently daily postings put one day's edition online. Archiving, more interactive and updating features will be added.
The site was also developed to be desirable for advertisers, Martin said. "How and where to place the ads was the toughest part of the puzzle" said Martin who designed the new advertising format. "We knew what we didn't want; obnoxious pop-ups and distracting banner advertisements. We knew we had to create a format that would deliver a message from the advertiser that was effective but non-invasive."
RealNet developed "Anchor Advertising" where only the articles have advertisements and each article has only one ad. They also try to place advertisements in related areas. Traffic stories are connected to the automobile ads and stories about residential development are placed with homebuilder or mortgage bank ads.
To further drive the advertisers' message home, they allow only one advertiser per market segment. In other words, only one grocery store, one department store and one restaurant, etc.
"We're delivering an online-newspaper, not an advertisement website" says Debbie Creel, president of RealNet Solutions. "We feel that over time, our advertisers will become the icons for the community for the particular product or service that each one offers.
"It's taken us a long time to get here but I feel what we've developed will be the new standard for online publications. In fact, we have three additional newspapers in Georgia considering adopting our format and over a half dozen in Florida."