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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



ABCNews.com Needs a Relaunch for the Relaunch

April 30, 2007 12:33 PM

ABC News.com officially launches its revamped site tomorrow but the site is already live today. Which would sort of mean it’s already launched.

In a memo sent to employees last week ABC New’s David Westin said the relaunch is “the first stage of an overall redesign that will ultimately transform the site into a news and information website that will be boldly different—both from what it has been before and from what other, similar sites offer. The new version will be simpler, easier to use and will feature video more prominently than what we’ve had until now.”

In March ABCnews.com generated 150 million page views, a 22 percent rise over February and also clocked in with 11.5 million unique visitors.

The new layout seems pretty standard for a news site—there is a listing of top headlines in the upper left. There are also links for hot topics and then an item for “As Seen on GMA,” which includes a link to Emeril Lagasse’s “Bananas Foster French Toast.”

That sounds tempting so I check it out. I expect to see video, but instead am greeted with a photo of Mr. Lagasse and the recipe.

But wait, then I notice in the embedded player lies a video for the French toast, just waiting to be played. So I click on it.

And I click on it.

And I click on it.

And still nothing happens.

I go back to the home page and try to click on a polar bear video. Still nothing happens. I’m clicking on the video itself, the image on the middle of the player and nothing is moving at all. So then I try the text link below and the video finally launches.

I think ABCnews.com could do better, especially because the site was so good before.

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