But I think it’s a practice that marks a big shift away from online newspaper publishers’ dependence on their dead-tree big brother’s form. The newspaper is a paradigm that relies entirely on the front page, for marketing the product to customers and because the front page signifies carries the story of utmost significance in the news agenda. It’s impossible to go directly to an article buried within the newspaper, which the web allows because it is an open form and which RSS and related technologies allow because they are inately personalising.
Many newspaper websites up to now have relied largely on the usefulness of the front-page paradigm as a first-stop gateway to the rest of their news, turning the front-to-back news agenda presentation into a top-to-bottom, column-centric one (The Guardian even includes a puff bar above the news content on its front page in exactly the same way the newspaper does – in this way, the lighter content inside the site – about the likes of travel and dieting – is given greater prominence than even the lead news story).
I think that’s a bit of a dig at us, and I can understand it. We’ve been thinking about this for a long time now, and we don’t have the answer (though I don’t think the Denmark example is it).
The answer may lie more in a clear site taxonomy which is comprehensible to the user wherever they are on the site and however they entered it. Then it’s up to the user to find their way to related stuff, but in a way which is transparent and hassle free (“don’t make them think”). Adding more and more links to pages is, I think (at the moment), probably a really bad idea.