The L.A. Times put its online entertainment listings today under The Guide banner. Memo from associate editor Leo Wolinsky and website executive editor Meredith Artley follows:
From: Wolinsky, Leo
Sent: Mon 4/14/2008 9:52 AM
Subject: Phased Launch of The Guide and Calendarlive switchover
We've flipped the switch. The Guide is now the primary resource for local entertainment information and listings on LATimes.com, and Calendarlive no longer appears in the site's main navigation. The Guide is a more user-friendly site, and we're very excited to offer it to our local readers.
Still in its beta phase, the site has undergone some important changes as part of this transition. We've made improvements to The Guide's homepage, based on feedback from current readers and recent user testing. Changes include better access to recommendations from both staff and readers on what to do in and around LA. The search function is more prominent. Also, visitors to the main LATimes.com homepage will see more visible promotion of The Guide.
Most Calendarlive content has been archived and will remain accessible to users via bookmarks and search engines. Following are some key changes:
* Archived Calendarlive home page and section home pages (except for the Movies and TV sections) have been tagged with messaging to explain the transition, with a "countdown graphic" signaling a redirect to The Guide after ten seconds.
* Users can read all Calendarlive subpages, i.e., those featuring articles or venues, but a link has been provided to The Guide home page.
* We'll be giving more prominent placement to some Calendarlive features, such as "Around the Galleries", "Will Call", and the Art Openings listing in the coming weeks. For now, they can be found through search or by clicking on "More Articles" or the Calendar "Print Edition" link on The Guide home page.
* Movie Showtimes and the TV Listings grid have been carried over to The Guide.
* Existing Calendarlive user reviews have not carried over, but The Guide has been designed to foster user-generated reviews and recommendations.
* Going forward, print articles with a local angle that previously appeared in Calenderlive will now appear in The Guide online while collections on Arts and Culture and national Entertainment news will continue to appear in their respective sections on LATimes.com.
* As mentioned above, print versions of The Guide and Calendar are published on the Website, and prominent
Guide home page links will now direct readers to them.
As part of this transition, some design and content changes have been made to the print and online versions of The Guide to make the print version more readable and align the two more closely. For example, section and feature titles have been standardized as much as possible and the number of print listings has been expanded. The print edition also features more family-friendly activities. Where we have print content that also is featured on line, we will provide URLs directing readers to Website.
We are excited about this development in our new local entertainment site and print edition. We look forward to hearing from our readers and you as we continue to develop and improve The Guide. If you have any questions or ideas, please contact Scott Sandell, Acting Editor, The Guide (print) or Dean Kuipers, Acting Editor, The Guide (online).
Leo C. Wolinsky