Editor’s note – This post refers to the long defunct website “London Topic”, which was a hyper local news site, pitched on the TV Show Dragon’s Den.
The site has been out of commission since mid 2011. This site ranks high on a search for “London Topic”, because it’s one of the few articles written about the site. Whenever the Dragon’s Den episode airs again I get a little bump of traffic.
If you enjoy this post, check out more of my Web Design posts.
London Topic, a local website dedicated to news in and around London Ontario was recently on The Dragon’s Den. Site owner Ross McDermott wanted to take the concept nationally, and had a pretty ludicrous pitch.
Most alarming was how they dismissed Robert Herjavec’s opinions that the site was poorly designed…the site looks like it was designed in about 1999, and hasn’t really been touched since then. In fact a quick view of the source shows tired old table based design and an HTML 4.01 transitional doctype which all died around 2000. A far cry from the “fantastic” design that McDermott claimed it was.
The idea is sound, the content is good, but the execution is poor. Just a common news site would be really easy to replicate, but building a community around it would be the way to make it stick. Not just comments, but also social tagging, the ability to crowdsource editorial significance, put an emphasis on mobile versions for Blackberry and iPhone users, and really Web 2.0 this mother.