Lumping unrelated content together at sunspot.net

Written by Adrian Holovaty on September 30, 2002

"Israeli tanks end siege of Arafat's office" was the lead story on sunspot.net this morning.

A serious story, wouldn't you think? One that doesn't have much to do with entertainment? One that isn't related in any way to, say, Barbra Streisand?

Wrong.

Sunspot.net implies the two are related. A sidebar titled "Also see" lists a related article -- and a 140x120 image of Barbra. Here's a screenshot:

Screenshot of sunspot.net page, showing Streisand photo next to article

So, wait. If I'm interested in the siege of Arafat's office, I should also check out the photo of Barbra? Ah, yes. Of course. Always knew there was more to her than meets the eye.

But, in all seriousness, this illustrates a common problem on news sites: lumping unrelated content together and using vague phrases like "Also see" to imply the pieces of content are related. A better way to do this, in Sunspot.net's case, would be to embed the "Related Articles" box in the content area to give an obvious visual clue that both pieces of content are related. Then replace the "Also see" label with "Also on Sunspot.net" to clarify the content in that sidebar has nothing to do with the article.

Comments

Posted by Stephen on September 14, 2004, at 5:56 a.m.:

This illustrates a common problem on news sites: lumping unrelated content together and using vague phrases like "Also see" to imply the pieces of content are related.

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