Monday, November 13, 2006

Being Jon Tester...

The New York Times, among other papers has a good profile of Jon Tester, the new Democratic Senator-elect from Montana. For those of us who know only the headlines about this race, it offers some helpful background info.

All his life, Mr. Tester, 50, has lived no more than two hours from his farm, an infinity of flat on the windswept expanse of north-central Montana, hard by the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

For all the talk about the new Democrats swept into office on Tuesday, the senator-elect from Montana truly is your grandfather’s Democrat — a pro-gun, anti-big-business prairie pragmatist whose life is defined by the treeless patch of hard Montana dirt that has been in the family since 1916. [More]

The article is also interesting to me for its format. Note the large number of hotlinks. When a traditional publication like NYT institutionalizes a info-techno change like this it can mark a milestone in communications.

Blog readers have been growing accustomed to hotlinks for years now, but my feeling is more readers will find newspapers one-dimensional in comparison.

Want to check out the source for accurate citing? Just click and read yourself. Want to see more pictures/charts/examples? Follow the link.

This ability to add informational depth may be the big driver behind readership shifting to the Web from newspapers, not flashy screen tricks. Judging from my own experience hotlinks rapidly make reading printed materials seem sparse by comparison.

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