- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Washington Post Archive
NY-based appointment planning and physician review service ZocDoc has announced they have traveled a bit further south and have launched in Washington, D.C. They selected Washington based on feedback they have received from potential users over the past year.
ZocDoc is very easy to use. You select your insurance provider, location and specialty (dentist, psychiatrist, derm, etc.) and ZocDoc spits back a list of available appointment times. For me it’s saved a ton of time calling around to find available appointments that match both my insurance provider and my availability. ZocDoc notes that they have over 21,000 listed appointments in the D.C. area. In NYC ZocDoc has over 300,000 available appointments and the company notes that over 90,000 people use the service each month.
It’s great to see a NY-based startup expanding to another east-coast city.
Check out all of our ZocDoc coverage including my real-world test of the service. ZocDoc team members are also looking to meet with Senator Olympia Snowe around health-care reform, something I’ve written about previously and still believe we are doing it all wrong.
One of the leading digital news blogs paidContent has announced a distribution deal with the Washington Post online today. The content partnership will bring paidContent content to the technology section of the newspaper’s Web site. I imagine it won’t be too long until we see the partnership expanded to the print edition.
Jim Brady, Executive Editor of washingtonpost.com said, "paidContent’s experts offer some of the most thorough analyses available today on the digital media industry, and will provide an important concentration in our technology section."
I’ve enjoyed reading PC from the start as they provide excellent coverage of news plus insights on the industry and they stay out of the name-calling and attacking maneuvers that some of the other large blogs engage in. As blogs continue to grow in quality and readerbase, we will see more of these newspaper distribution deals.
This morning I was pointed to an article on the Washington Post about travel. If you want to find it, you can go to the Washington Post site and look around. I am sure you will find it eventually. Maybe, maybe not. Click here, click there, search, and perhaps you will find the article called "Web Travel Resources, Part I". Wouldn’t it be easier if I just linked to it?
Yet in the article, the authors names about 20 Web sites without one link. You as the reader are forced to copy and paste and hope that the site is name.com and not getname.com, haveaname.com or any other variant. Why wouldn’t they want to link? This is the same issue with almost every newspaper Web site. Rarely a link within a story to the relevant sites. Bloggers are quoted everyday on the New York Times site but they won’t link to the blog.
The newspaper sites still don’t get how to join the conversation. It starts with something as simple as a link to the sites and blogs who provided the content. In this case, the links should be provided to the travel sites that are mentioned. To steal a word from Uncov, FAIL.
Yet, they are willing to slap a link on the word "Apple" to their stock page. Is it desperation to hold on to the visitor?
Of course many of the big bloggers seem to have adopted similar out-linking policies. More to come about that later. Check out our previous Washington Post coverage including a video review of their new social site.
Last week I posted a video review of the new Washington Post newspaper web site. This week, the paper is launching a new loyalty program called PostPoints. The program is open to anyone however most of the offline shops are only available in the Washington, D.C. area. Online Media Daily has a great writeup of the program. A couple snippits:
"The main purpose is to reward readers of the Post's content," says Steve Hills, president of the Washington Post Co. "It's primarily a retention tool, and an acquisition tool."
Hills acknowledges that consumers are likely to be wary of yet another doodad on their keychain. "So many reward programs are much more limited–you can only use one credit card, or you can only use it at one chain of stores. The beauty of our card is that you don't have to make a choice." Let's say, for example, that a PostPoints member is shopping at CVS, which has signed up with the PostPoints program, but also offers its own rewards for frequent shoppers. "You can use both the CVS card and the PostPoints card at checkout," Hills says. "You can even pay for it with whatever credit card you're accumulating points on–it's possible to triple-dip."
I am a deal finder and maker and adding yet another card is a bigger issue than Hills realizes. When you use the CVS card, you know where it works. You don't have to think or ask. I have never walked into a walmart and handed then my CVS card. With this card, you have to keep checking the list of merchants or you have to ask every shop you purchase from. That's a hassle.
There is also no list of points redemption on the site. They MUST have this listed because the home page says you get 1,000 points for signing up and what good is that if it takes 5 million points for a gift card? Whenever I don't see the points redemption list, I think of the arcades with the tickets for skee ball. After you played for an hour, had 200 tickets you realized that all you could get was a stuffed dog, while the sega game gear required 100,000 tickets.
I would have looked at tying into the Thank You points system from Citibank. Now getting points for reading the newspaper you already read makes sense. While I could see this working more effectively on the USA Today type papers, it may increase loyalty to the WP over other papers, both online and offline. Loyalty is crucial in this space and the WashingtonPost is using money and prizes to increase their customer loyalty.
The Washington Post launched a new version of their web site yesterday. I like it. As compared the overwhelming NY Times or the wanna-be portal LA Times, the Washington Post has created something that is well put together and the usability is higher than the other 2 listed.
They have added some social networking features without going overboard as some of the other newspaper web sites have. You can add stories to digg and the crew along with a Technorati module to show inbound links to a story. The recipes section is very well done and isn't littered with ads as on allrecipe.
There are some small bugs in IE with the site (mostly showing incorrect fonts and styles) but overall I think they did a very nice job. It does appear they have listened to the users of the site and tried to meet their needs and demands.
Check out my video review: