Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A.M. Costa Rica is FUGLY- let me count the WAYS

A.M. Costa Rica, your daily English-language new source, is just NOT attractive. sucks! AmCostaRica.Com Sucks! AMCOSTARICA.COM SUCKS!

Yeah, I said it.

For those of you who don’t know, A.M. Costa Rica is basically an online newspaper, or how they bill themselves- ‘Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday’. Whatever.

They’re very popular, in Spite of Themselves.

Literally, everything about A.M Costa Rica SUCKS! The layout speaks for itself, and in this day and age of cool, user-friendly web designs, there’s just NO excuse. It really is HORRID. Let’s see what the WIKI people say about the basic aspects of design:

1. The content: the substance and information on the site should be relevant to the site and should target the area of the public that the website is concerned with.

2. The usability: the site should be user-friendly, with the interface and navigation simple and reliable.

3. The appearance: the graphics and text should include a single style that flows throughout, to show consistency. The style should be professional, appealing and relevant.

4. The visibility: the site must also be easy to find via most, if not all, major search engines and advertisement media.

Yeah, this looks good... well formatted... is this one of those 'tag clouds?'

As far as 1, yeah, they have content and it’s sorta relevant, but we’ll get into that later. They FAIL miserably on 2 and 3 (usability/appearance)- Go Look - Cruise Around and see for yourself. They also got 4 covered, mostly by DEFAULT, but the search engines definitely find them- a little too much for my liking.

They’re content is often subjective to say the least and frequently just blatant over-the-top advertising disguised as a relevant story. Take a look at this story, I mean advertisement, it ran a few weeks ago, Front Page, first story. Are you kiddin me. How much did they get for this one?

Back when I first started this BLOG, it was during the presidential elections; well the editor of A.M. Costa Rica wrote an editorial endorsing John McCain. Now, I could care less who A.M. Costa Rica endorses, but check out the article (actually, it’s my post, F*** AM Costa Rica, but their article is there as well), talk about one-sided…. I realize it’s an editorial, but this guy supposedly REPRESENTS a unbiased, factual news source- you don’t think his extremely right-wing, biased, conservative views don’t spill over into other stories A.M. Costa Rica does?

A.M. Costa Rica is a “Front’, the real stories are the advertisements. A.M. Costa Rica EXISTS to advertise, not unlike most magazines, newspapers, tv, etc, so I get it, but geeeez…. check out the front page, ad, Ads, and more ADS- there’s gotta be 3X the amount of advertisement space than story space. I have no beef with wanting to make money, but it’s just so blatant in my opinion.

Ummmm.... can't afford a designer, maybe a NEW template is in order, as hard as they are to FIND.

It’s a ‘hack’ site at least 70% of the time. Of course they do provide some relevant information, mostly because they PULL the REAL information from other sources. Stories are either written by ‘A.M. Costa Rica Staff’, or ‘Special to A.M. Costa Rica’ or provided by the ‘A.M. Costa Rica wire services’. A.M. Costa Rica Staff provide the fluffy, subjective pieces, the MEAT is usually provided by outside sources. And when A.M. does try to provide the meat, they often end up with a story of dots, that not only don’t connect; they don’t even resemble each other. Check this story out from the A.M. Costa Rica staff:

'An open boat spotted Saturday by a U.S. Coast Guard patrol plane ended up on a beach in Parque Nacional Corcovado Sunday where Costa Rican law enforcement took one man into custody.

Eventually a second man was detained, and police cut into the deck of the boat to reveal what was said to be 320 kilos (704 pounds) of cocaine. Dogs had alerted officials to a possible drug cargo.

The 22-foot craft of Ecuadorian registry did not appear to be a fishing boat as an occupant claimed. The man, identified by the last name of Murillo Mero, told the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas that he had run out of fuel and had to put in near the mouth of the Río Sirena. That was about 7 a.m. Sunday. Some 12 hours later the second man was located near Playa Salsipuedes. He carried no papers, officials said, but was believed to be from El Salvador.'

*WTF? What does this ‘second man’ have to do with anything? He’s not even relevant to the story, or more importantly, maybe he was, hard to say. Hey A.M.- it’s ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ and furthermore, it makes much MORE sense to the reader when the DOTS actually connect. Who writes this shit?

I write because ‘I have ideas’, I’m no REAL writer, but A.M. Costa Rica writers may be even worse- subjective, general, vague, with often terrible explanations of ‘things’… and they’re NOT me, I can do that, it's a BLOG for God sake, but they’re suppose to be reporting the news in a matter-of-fact fashion, but frequently, if you didn’t know what they were talking about, well, you wouldn’t know what they were talking about.

And that’s my point, they’re POPULAR, but A.M. Costa Rica could be SO MUCH BETTER and really pack a punch, while maintaining integrity, but still providing accurate, unbiased NEWS about Costa Rica. Come on A.M. Costa Rica, take some of those advertising dollars and invest in a good web designer and maybe beef up the writing staff with people that actually graduated high school- you have the audience, now it’s time to step-up and perform.

Pretty PLEASE... you have an audience.

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Unknown said...

I have to agree. AM is a front. But they do have lots of eyes looking at them. It's probably improving page rank for advertisers.

I ran across a new site

I sold my AC through it. It's up as the start page in my town Playa Samara. The person working in recepcion even got a commission for finding me the buyer.

Unknown said...

yeah, definitely true about the page rank... I'll definitely check out that site.... and damn, I want to get to Samara, anyway, thanx for the comment, always appreciated.