CNNot a great use of video
You might think that CNN, given its position in the cable TV newscape, would have a good chance of getting video right in the 2.0 world.
But no: CNN’s renovated Web site–which on the whole is extremely good, one of the more successful mainstream do-overs of the last year–makes the same amateurish video blunders you see Webwide these days. Four-minute stemwinders on a school beating. Two minutes of muddy water slamming into a bridge abutment. Two minutes of heads a-talking. This morning’s weather, still available this evening!
Saying “Watch our video” is sort of like saying “Read our words” or “Click our links.” Hell, why not come clean and just stick “View our pages, repeatedly” across the top?
The point is that video should be used when it’s the best tool to deliver what users are looking for–not because the boss said “YouTube is sucking traffic from everybody, we need a video strategy by close of business Monday.” Or not because (as I’m guessing was the case at CNN.com) “YouTube is sucking traffic from everybody, and we’ve got all this video that people seem to like okay on TV, so let’s stick it up on the Web and tell the suits in corporate that we’re amortizing production costs across multiple platforms.”
Anyhow, like all 2.0 spasms, the vid fad will fade when the numbers come up short. Webmakers will eventually figure out that video is just one of dozens of 2.0 technologies that can help accomplish some legit online mission.
And no, “View our pages, repeatedly,” doesn’t qualify as a legit online mission.