Rob Curley has gotten a lot of good press for his success at newspaper websites, but none better than the profile now online at Fast Company. Here's a typical observation:
... then along comes Curley, unburdened by pieties about "how we've always done it." Unlike previous ink-stained generations, he and his mostly young charges practice journalism with software code, video, podcasts, audio, slide shows, blogs--whatever works. Multimedia storytelling comes as naturally to him as satire did to Mencken. Likewise, interactivity: The notion of a newspaper as a conversation rather than a lecture doesn't strike fear in Curley, the way it does some newspaper purists. It's exciting, full of promise.
And although that may seem a little super-heated, there is much to like about the way Curley approaches the business of employing digital tools to extend the work newspapers do. Importantly, one clear focus is on satsfying the information needs of audiences, not just doing what we've always done in different forms. I liked this explanation from Curley:
"Most people still think of a newspaper Web site as a digital version of what went on the press last night, but that's a small part of what we do," Curley says. "I want a site to be so cool and important to people that they talk about it the way you talk about having a great park where you live. It's a local amenity."