TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

CBSNews.com Chock Full of Stories and Ways to Watch Them

November 10, 2006 1:55 PM

Since we checked out ABCnews.com yesterday, CBSnews.com seemed a natural for today.

I’m only interested in video so I search around for any video links on the home page. Right across the top on the menu bar is a link for CBS News Video.

That launches a big fat window that’s poised to play a news story. The window also includes a ton of links to shows such as “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours,” and “The Early Show.” Then there’s a long scrolling list of the latest news stories and also a link for “The CBS Evening News,” which streams online.

I started with the main news story in the player. As that plays, I notice two tabs underneath — one for “now playing” and another for “playlist.” The playlist includes five or so of the top news stories so I click on one and hit play. Then I realize that I can actually create my own playlist. There are buttons to let you move videos around or up or down. You can also delete them from your list. Then the videos in your list all play in order. So basically, you’re creating your own newscast from the selections CBS gives you. It’s a totally cool feature that puts the viewer squarely in control.

I try it out and it works well, even though I do have to watch the same Chevron ad every two minutes.

Next, I try the “CBS Evening News” link. The show plays perfectly.

And it occurs to me that so far, CBSnews.com and ABCnews.com both provide fantastic user experiences. Other sites and channels should look to news as an example. Tomorrow let’s see how NBCNews.com fares.


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