Organising posts in a chronological order is a challenge for news sites because prioritization, which I believe is vital to effective news delivery, is ignored. The post does go on to refer to this limitation, that "a big story can be washed away by a torrent of small ones," one that the site’s managers are going to address with a more newspaper-like format.
Time is also an issue with conventional sites, especially those that operate concurrently with an organization’s print publication or TV operations; that is why the BBC is experimenting with its News Radar and the New York Times with Times Wire.
That said, this model of presenting news in a time-bound hierarchy has a lot to do with the emergence of the blog format and the way blogs present information. Blogs give importance to time – the latest post comes first, followed by the others.
USA Today, which adopted a blog-like model during a major redesign some years ago, does prioritize news but not in the formal, slotted, hiearchical way that is the norm for most news websites.
Well if AnnArbor.com manages to keep readers interesting for a longer period than conventional news sites do, then it would offer a solution (in part) to a major problem in the online world – visitors who scamper away without really speding quality time on news.
Time will tell if a no-frills blog style home page will really work. Even if the site does not aspire to become a mainstream news site, it is dealing with news and news means hiearchy as much as time.
And finally, you don’t want your site to end up looking like a glorified RSS feed, do you?