The Strib’s newest online product is live

Untitled-2.jpgVita.mn somewhat quietly launched in the last week. This is the Star Tribune’s attempt to create what they call “the ultimate guide to what’s going on in the Twin Cities.”

I admit that I went into this site full well knowing that I generally hate the Star Trib’s website, especially because of things like the Denny Hecker debacle. The strib has never been known for being on the forefront of anything when it comes to its website, but old media generally isn’t.

Surprisingly, even though Matt Bartel managed to rip it a new one over on MNSpeak earlier this week, vita.mn seems like it might be a decent place to go to find out information around town. There’s lots of user-generated content options more typical to today’s social networking sites, such as tagging and user generated lists. The tagging feature in particular seems interesting – users can tag venues and events with whatever they fancy. There’s also the option to add reviews common to many websites.

Logging into the site currently requires new registration even if you already have a strib login, which they are working on. It wouldn’t let me have the same login that I use for startribune.com, but they are going to eventually allow users to link (not sure why it’s even a big deal).

It’s worth checking out. My only gripe is that they do not appear to have utilized rss anywhere on the site for anything. The strib’s main web site is woefully inept regarding rss anyway, so that doesn’t surprise me too much.

6 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    It’s called “vita.mn”? Seriously? I can’t decide if I love that or hate that.

    Reading through the MNspeak thread soured me a little on it (it soured me even more on MNspeak, though). It does look like it could actually be kinda useful. But it’s also one more website to look at, and I already have a bajillion of those.


  2. Bill (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about MNspeak… especially since the Bartels bought it.


  3. Bill (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

    also “just another website” factor is probably why I won’t go back there that often. I don’t really regularly go to sites that don’t offer RSS anymore… I just find it more efficient.


  4. Greg (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    Very interesting it’s targeted to locals (opposed to tourists/visitors), “..where you can connect with other locals to share thoughts and recommendations on hotspots and happenings.” Don’t forget this is a vehicle for them to make money with online advertisers (much like your Denny Hecker example), but the ads seem randomly generated (Crystal Pierz Marine on the main page, Univ of Phoenix on the movie page). It would be interesting to see if sister newspapers to the Strib have launched the same thing (like how the Strib’s site is exactly the same as: http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/)


  5. Erica (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    Actually, it’s the Pioneer Press website that’s the same as kentucky.com.

    I’m still bitter about Denny Hecker.


  6. Erica (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

    The spectacularly clever naming earned vita.mn a mention on Gridskipper.



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