When is a front page story not a front page story?

Screen grab from Nola.com

This morning while walking the dog, I saw a paper on someone else's doorstep and one of the page one stories above the fold was about wifi in the Superdome. As anyone who has ever tried to check the status of their fantasy football team during a Saints home game can attest, the Dome is an information-free zone. Since I've raged about this before, the story got my interest, but not the interest of editors at Nola.com. At the website, it's nowhere to be found in the headlines or the river, nor can the story be found in "More in Business" or "More in Sports." I had to search for it to discover that it is the fourth story under the "Saints" menu under the "More" drop-down. 

I recognize that Nola.com has no ties to The Times-Picayune's sections (and I'm sure is happy to get us out of the section mindset), but I'm not sure how the paper and site are to co-exist when the disparity in news judgment is so radical. 

I've spoken well of the Nola.com app, which has done a better job of curating the news than the website, but it buried the story as well. On the app, there is a "Saints" menu under "Sports," but it goes to a forum-like format unlike anything else on the app, where I first missed this story because an additional and unusual click is required to get to it. The time stamp on the story shows that it was posted at 1:29 a.m. (who was going to see that?), but it is out of the chronological order that Nola is currently hanging its hat on. Of the three stories in front of it, only one is newer while two were posted yesterday. Odd.

Highlights of the wifi story?

Doug Thornton, Senior Vice President of SMG, the firm that manages the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Arena, said the plan would allow the Superdome to join Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium as the only venues in the NFL to offer complete Wi-Fi coverage to patrons.

"We believe that in the next two to three years this is going to be a very common thing in the NFL," Thornton said. "Wi-Fi is going to either be mandated where the stadiums and arenas have to have it or it will be phased in over time, so we feel like we're ahead of the curve a little bit here."

What? How can we only be number two to get wifi?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell discussed the topic of stadium Wi-Fi as an initiative during league meetings in May.

"We want to make sure that our fans, when they come into our stadiums, don't have to shut down," he said at the meetings. "We want them to have that and have access to the same amount of information, have access to our Red Zone, have access to highlights, be able to engage in social media, including fantasy football."

Goodell and the NFL owners need to log off CompuServe, sign off the alt.country bulletin board and catch up. 

If you're someone who reads your paper in the morning and instead read Nola.com on your phone, tablet or computer, at 7:49 a.m. your top stories would be:

1. Lutheran teens in town for convention

2. Mickey Shunick murder investigation leads to indictment

(both of those stories are above the timeline)

3. Jon Johnson conspired to funnel federal grants to his political campaign (also out of the timeline)

4. Soloists soar at New Orleans piano competition

5. Western Atlantic expected to remain quiet for next two days

6. Pearl River residents under boil order

7. Man killed in fatal accident near Crown Point

8. LSU Coach Les Miles' greatest hits from previous Media Days

9. Jory Michael Pitre obituary

10. Steve Kelley cartoon

11. Bloodmobile visits Terrytown

12. Thursday's weather

13. Metro road closings

14. Metro community meetings

15. LSU football counting on Zach Mettenberger: links

16. Saints Top 25 countdown: Wil Smith

17. Arkansas football coach likes team unity

The newsiest stories aside from those above the timeline are the Pearl River and Crown Point stories, both of which were posted after 7 a.m. If you're an early riser who reads over coffee before 7, expect a steady diet of non-news. Based on my non-scientific look at Nola.com's morning offerings, certain things are scheduled to go first thing in the morning - Kelley, an obituary, road closings, community meetings and the weather. That's not much to entice the morning reader to stay with the website, though I suppose the premise is that people will change the way they consume news.

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