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Saturday, 19 June 2010

Free Press' 'Passages' Sucks

Not sure if anyone has had to use the Free Press' obits section in the past few years. Passages is FP Newspapers' on-line display for entries, similar to how they use Workopolis as their on-line partner for want ads. The problem is, Passages really sucks.

For the history research I do I sometimes need to delve into the site and I cringe whenever I see the terrible formatting of their entries. Someone's careful and lovingly crafted remembrance reduced to an almost nonsensical run-on block of text for out-of-town relatives and people looking back in time to scratch their heads over.

Thankfully that poor woman doesn't have the misfortune of requiring an accent in her name as that unleashes a whole new formatting kettle of fish.


I wonder if they get much business from their 'order laminates' tab ? Who wouldn't want to shell out for a laminated blob of text like this as a keepsake for a loved one ? That would be touching.

I guess I am a little sore because this week I've unfortunately had to use the Free Press obits for my father. Most of his friends and relatives are overseas so they won't be reading the Free Press in person which means that if I don't go get the paper, cut and scan the ad we placed and either send it to all of them by email, or upload it on my blog and send them the link, they'll have to rely on the nonsensical version that the Free Press happily uploads to Passages.

Seriously, Free Press, for what you charge for obits set aside 1% of that for a month and hire a grade 6 kid for a week this summer to help you solve the formatting issues that have dumbfounded you for the past 5 years.

5 comments:

Kat said...

Sorry to hear about your dad MrC. I would be upset about the formatting too!

Anonymous said...

Condolences, Mr. C.

Why not create a blog as your own memorial site for your father and link to that?

I agree in principle with you.

Sean said...

Sorry to hear about your father's passing.

mrchristian said...

thanks, folks.

I will do that, Anon. I've already had one relative who didn't get the scan but found this on the FreeP site
http://www.passagesmb.com/obituary_details.cfm?ObitID=165790 and emailed me to ask if I was feeling alright enough when submitted his obituary....

That's kinda frustrating.

Anonymous said...

110% in agreement. In this day and age of cheap (read: free) disk space and free sites like FaceBook (which a 5 year old can use to format professional looking text) - you think they would have a little better system for something as important as this?

And charging $5 to post a life story or picture? C'mon, get real.

RIP Frank. "C" took my Dad way too early too.