Text NewsLyrics News
Text only message pages are making a slow return. Here is the reason.
"Did anyone research the ability of news pages to communicate sensitive, low-bandwidth information in times of war? This was a good time to ask - two day later CNN said they had produced a plain text website without advertising or vido. In the same month, NPR began advertising its plain text website text.npr. org on corporate content to give up-to-date information to those with restricted access to the web during Hurricane Irma.
The oldest example of a working plain text message page that still exists is probably NPR's text.npr. org. Initially started as thin.npr. org in June 2005, in reaction to the September 11 attack - when many news websites were struggling to remain on line in the midst of all time high volume news - and also to help those who navigated to Blackberries on portable platforms like Newport.
A number of enhancements to the site (which is redirected to thin.npr. org) were made early this week, specifically for low-bandwidths. Over the past few weeks, Twitter, Facebook and Google News have also released their own version of slimmer websites that use less bandwith, especially for those in developing countries that do not have fast networking connectivity.
Early this weeks Twitter said it is now testing an Android application that will use less information for those with restricted connections. However, most news organisations - apart from CNN, NPR and The Age in Australia - do not have low-bandwidth editions of their websites. Many ways news organisations can enhance the way they reach both low-bandwidth and visually impaired audiences by removing unneeded items and optimising different parts of a website.
For more information, I turned to front-end website builder J. Albert Bowden, who often twitter about web accessibility and web development standard, to ask a few simple question about how we could go about creating pure text websites to help end consumers. Which types of things can be removed from websites for low-bandwidth and visually impaired persons?
Designed for low-bandwidth users: The text file is good enough here. This is for the partially sighted: One of the most common types of blind and partially sighted screensavers are those who use a website (literally HTML) to read its contents and return them to the end-customer. Kramer: Is text the right way?
Is there a way to think about uploading pictures and/or other ways to help these people? Bowden: Text in HTML is the way to get there; they address access problems and include access to many different types of device. This means that the base site works on almost every telephone.
Many of the talks now taking place around low-bandwidth news pages focus on disaster, but I assume that these pages would also help those in news havens or places where web connectivity is not as resilient as on the cost. Updated: Sara Goo is now Editor-in-Chief for NPR digitale news.