Daily News site wins viewers’ approval


Launched only one month ago, the Daily News web site is attracting lots of attention. Statistics made available on Feb. 25 indicate that the site is getting over 45,800 hits per day, on average. That's more than one million hits during the site's first month! Over 4,300 users daily are actually logging on and browsing.

“We are thrilled with the response,” says Kelly Curwin, publications/communications coordinator, Office of Public Relations. Comments have been “overwhelmingly positive,” she adds. “It shows that the site is a valuable service that people want.”

According to statistics compiled by Computing & Information Services (CIS), the most popular viewing time is between 2 and 3 p.m., although volume is consistently high between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursdays are the busiest viewing day. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are tied for the second most popular viewing day.

Launched Jan. 24, an objective of the site is “to provide one-stop shopping for news about McMaster” to compliment other campus communication vehicles like The McMaster Courier. Curwin expects interest in and use of the Daily News will increase dramatically with the launch of a fully searchable calendar.

Comments submitted through the “Your Two Cents' Worth” section range from the effusively complimentary to the downright abusive. One visitor felt it was “beautiful and very informative.” Another registered disapproval with the words: “The page sucks. I'm sorry but that's the truth.”

However, Curwin says that many comments have been received that support the concept of a daily news page. The following one, in particular, sums up why frequent users are discovering it's a daily must-view. “Just a note to compliment you on this terrific site. It is the perfect way to keep us connected on a daily basis. It is a virtual town centre.”

Some negative responses were received from on-campus users who see the Web site as their default page when logging onto Netscape. Curwin says there was initial confusion over whether the Daily News site had become the University's home page. In fact, outside users logging onto McMaster's site continue to see the familiar University home page with its ivy-covered archway logo.

The Daily News page was made the default page for internal users to generate interest in and as much feedback as possible about the site, Curwin explains. While campus users can switch the default page back to the University home page, she is hoping that most will opt for the timely news items and current information provided on the news site.