A Tale of Two Websites
This chapter focuses on the early days of online news, before profit, traffic, and metrics-based imperatives became key concerns. It pays close attention to the first years of TheNotebook in New York and LaPlace in Paris, two publications that started as innovative, playful, and collaborative editorial projects. It also describes how TheNotebook and LaPlace shared similar utopian beliefs but at the same time had distinct political and editorial identities. The chapter points out ways LaPlace was more countercultural, participatory, and politically engaged than TheNotebook, even though the French website is an explicit imitation of its U.S. counterpart. By comparing the identities and metrics of TheNotebook and LaPlace, the chapter also discusses how news websites handled the chase for clicks.
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