Overview

Introduction

The Nando Times allows me the luxury of a short overview. Simplicity is everything at Nando, where the basic service provides up to the minute A.P. news, and not much else. I will now quickly go over the aspects of the paper, and then proceed to the
analysis section of the review.

The News

The news is brought to you courtesy of A.P., and is delivered in the usual laundry list default provided by so many services. Global, stateside, sports, and politics are the main choices, and there are smaller choices such as business, employment, information and technology, opinions, entertainment, health and science, local news, and the sports-server. I will outline more about these shortly.

The laundry list occurs in each section (e.g., in global news), with a list of stories and the times they were published. I found that the stories were timely , and kept posting throughout the evening. At the top, the reader can get to a summary of all the stories, roughly one half-sentence per story, as shown below.

An example of a global news summary:
AFRICANS drop support for Boutros-Ghali... SOUTH Africa says 20 miners killed in mudslide at diamond mine... KAREN rebels say Thais mediating for peace... IN Mexico, president fires attorney general... GERMANY hopeful of resolving dispute with Czech Republic... EVEN AS its power grows, China's military stumbles ... FEARS grow for safety of seized bishop in Zaire ... INDONESIA won't stop bishop's trip to accept Nobel Peace Prize... BRITAIN'S Conservatives depressed by EU feud, poll... MOTHER Teresa has improved slightly but is not yet out of danger... MANDELA to meet with Taiwanese foreign minister... SERBIAN president under international pressure as protests countinue... FRANCO-African summit set to open... KEY suspect in Tokyo subway gassing arrested... CZECHS puff on despite chain-smoking leader's cancer...

News briefs could also be succored from the site, which were a collection of three-sentence stories of various late-breaking news.

Local News

Another possibility brought to you by the Internet is localization . Rely on a big service for your national news, and go to the local paper for all the little details about your community. Really, this is just another example of information outsourcing , and Nando takes full advantage. Unfortunately, they have only gotten six local papers signed up: The Anchorage Daily News, The Modesto (yes, Modesto) Bee, The Sacramento Bee, The Raleigh News & Observer, The Tacoma News Tribune, and the Kennewick/Pasco/Richland City Herald (shouldn't that be Cities?). If you limit yourself to papers without the word Bee in the title, you're down to four.

The Daily Weather

Isn't this weather cool? Unfortunately, that's the only picture you can get, and that ain't where I live. Nando ahas yet to completely nationalize all of its services, which is a problem unless you read the Sacramento Bee (see above).

Nando Toybox

As you can see, Nando also has some cool games. Of course, I couldn't play them since I don't have ShockWave plug-ins. If you do, go to this site and tell me how they are. I'm dying to know...

Third Rave

The Third Rave site provides the reader with some extra entertainment news and gossip, with specials on movies, TV, music, books, and the like. There are probably thirty-some odd stories in this section, and it's not clear how often they change. This once again provides a newspaper with a magazine-like subsidiary .

The SportsServer

Finally, the sports section. This brings you all the latest in scores and statistics, as well as a couple of other bonuses, like Nando Sports Chat. This section is comprehensive, and compares well with most any other sports information site, except perhaps Sportszone.

Analysis

Presentation

The presentation for this site is good: use of a few key gifs to show what each section is about. It's hard to get lost with the simplicity offered to you by this web site.

Quality of Articles

The quality of the articles corresponds directly with the quality of A.P. news articles. If you think those are good, then you think these are good. If you don't, well, then, tough beans.

Article Format

The format is simple: related links at the top, the article after that. Simple black text on a white background gave the usual newspaper-ish look to the site.

Navigation Tools

The control panel was good, providing direct links to all the main sections of the paper. Nothing like simplicity when it comes to web navigation!

On-line Help

There was little on-line help available, a trend that shows one difference between newspaper oriented sites and these more trendy on-line based sites: these sites assume the user knows more about the web than the other sites do.

Search Capabilities

The search capabilities of this site are easy to summarize: none .

Timeliness Of Content

Up to the minute news is provided here, the real strength of this site. Even at 2 a.m. in the morning, news feeds were rolling in as they were written up.

Use of Multimedia

Limited use of multimedia and other web-isms were present here. Not many hyperlinks were used at all, and gifs were few and far between, much less audio clips or video reels.

On-line Forums

Nando Chat was the on-line forum here, and it was the best of the lot. That doesn't say much, since who wants to read newsgroups anyway?

Electronic Partnerships

Some local newspapers were affiliated with the paper, yet another example of localization possible only on this electronic medium.

Summary

The tiny little news service named Nando has found a way into my heart. While it provides the least added value of all the other sites, simplicity can be beautiful . In fact, its the one site where you're likely never to get lost. Of all the services, this is most like a refined A.P. news service, providing the most timely access to information on the web. The biggest downer: no search capacity.


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