Last evening, one day after the tragic earthquake in Haiti, I searched on my iPod Touch for mobile-friendly picture galleries of the quake, using Google Web, G-News, G-Images, and G-Blogs. I found a few traditional news sources with picture galleries (e.g. BBC, CNN), but they were not optimized for mobile, and were difficult/impossible on an iTouch (CNN employs Flash, so it’s unusable). Global Toronto, the second example below, is typical of the appearance of the traditional news sites. The Big Picture, in the third example below, does do a good job with mobile-friendly pictures, but like the Hyderabad News that’s in the first example, the Big Picture is a unique hybrid of traditional news and new,shifted media.
I had been noticing recently how good a job WordPress blogs often do with pictures. They’re especially notable because they adjust very smoothly to portrait-landscape change, resizing the picture to use screen space efficiently. So it wasn’t too surprising to find WordPress sites in my Haiti quake search. The top example below is from the Hyderabad (India) News, which seems to be a news-blog hybrid (definitely not a traditional news source, which is what I’m referring to in the title of this article). It displays pictures with smooth elegance, in typical WordPress fashion. Another WordPress source I found is the environmental blog feww.wordpress.com, which has just a few pictures, which do look good on an iTouch.
Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey