Why have a website?

spitslogoIn the beginning of 2008 Dutch free daily Spits merged its website with NieuwNieuws, a spin off from the popular GeenStijl blog. The new website was called Spitsnieuws.

Almost everybody was happy. The former NieuwNieuws now had more visitors than ever, getting visitors from GeenStijl like they always did, but also from the former Spits website. Spits was freed from the non-profit-making online operation.

Only some of the readers weren’t too happy. Some NieuwNieuws readers thought Spits too ‘tame’ while some of the Spits readers considered the NieuwNieuws editors as being too nasty.

After almost two years, also some of the journalists think that having a newspaper without a website is not a very good idea. Because SpitsNieuws has its own editor-in-chief, the Spits staff does not have their own online presence.

From today on, Spits is online again. Two blogs: Page2 with news from the newspaper, and Meningen (Opinions) with journalists’ blogs.

According to Spits editor-in-chief Bart Brouwers on journalism researcher’s Alexander Pleijter blog, the reason to go online again, has some business reasons (more visible to the audience) but the main reason is emotional, journalists want to be online these days.

Costs are low, both websites run on WordPress software, while there will be only one part-time staffer, working from Colombia (to avoid expensive night work).

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