Movie City News Gets a Face Lift

by Anne Thompson
August 30, 2010 6:31 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
David Poland has given MovieCityNews a badly-needed facelift. I keep MCN as my homepage because I rely on the constantly refreshing curated links-- picked and posted because MCN thinks they will interest me. It's the most useful thing on the site. But there is plenty of original content on MCN, from Poland and others, which until now came and went and got buried. Now there's more rhyme and reason to searching for things and keeping up with the newest posts.

No question the redesign makes it easier to find new content. There's also a hot link to Toronto feeds and coverage, which is brilliant for those of us tracking the fest. The new design features a feed of stories and video links on the left column, curated news links in the middle, and links to other sites have been reorganized on the right (often oddly--isn't indieWIRE a trade?). Check it out--what needs to be improved? I'm not sure how I feel about all the small blue type.

Pasted on the jump are portions of a recent Poland email about his site changes:

On August 30, we will launch the next generation of MCN.

Our goal?  To retool the site to do what we did when we launched the site 8 years ago... to be a one-stop shop for all things movie.  

This has become so much harder with all the voices out there, grabbing different pieces of the media puzzle.  But we are building new tools to try to offer the widest swath of content, without stealing other media's work in order to build up our page view count.  When your ad gets an impression on MCN, you make a real impression, because the reader wants to be on that page, not lost in a maze of multiple clicks to get to what interests them.

Worth noting in detail are the new Movie Pages, which will be made for every movie we cover, and will gather content from across the site in one place for people to check out.  Elements that will be added and aren't showing up here include DP/30, Images, MCN Curated Headlines, Gurus o Gold, and some others.  Essentially, whatever content is added to MCN will show up on the individual page.

MCN Awards Watch will have very different graphics...Gurus o' Gold, the Awards charts, and the Critics Top Ten Lists will be databased in a new way this year so that readers can have an even more interactive experience.  (These tools will launch in November.)

And on the new front page, you may notice MCN Newslinks on the right side of the page.  This tool will generate the most current headlines from a wide array of appropriate outlets by subject matter.  So if you want Trade News, you can see what's current... or Indie... or Gossip... or Press Releases... or Awards Season, etc.  Unlike our traditional Curated Headlines, these will not be managed by our staff.  These are the headlines, presented as they land, from scores of outlets, from The New York Times to Some Schmuck's Blog.  

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