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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.

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Trial and Error



HGTV Web Series—Don’t Forget the ‘Video’ Label

November 7, 2006 4:12 PM

Today it’s time for HGTV.com. I see a link on the bottom of the page for “featured videos,” but before I click on that, my eye catches a link for “8 Fresh Ideas for Kitchen Backsplashes.” This link will actually take me to an HGTV Web series.

I click through to a page on the series that lists all of the episodes. I like that the video doesn’t launch immediately, that the site gives me time to look around and choose what to watch. The first episode listed is “Toon Time” on how to create backsplashes with colorful cartoon characters. There’s a “watch video” button next to the image, so I simply hit that and it launches a smooth-looking embedded video payer

I fast forward to the end of the video and it doesn’t drop me right into the next one. I like that because I want to pick and choose what to watch. Fortunately, there’s a “related videos” tab nearby, so I select another episode. The player operates seamlessly.

So I return to the home page because there’s something that just seemed odd about this experience. And then I realize what it is. The link to the video is placed prominently on the home page. But it doesn’t specify that you’re going to be watching a video. I only knew the “backsplash” link was for a Web series because I wrote a story on it in early October (HGTV to Offer Web-Only Series).

So if you’re going to feature your Web video on the home page, if you’re going to make web video that works easily and well, just make it clear that it IS video. After all, that’s what site visitors these days want—video.

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