Review: CNN Beta

Posted Jun 1, 2007

CNN is in the process of revamping their website[1]. The new website leverages Web 2.0 technology. For example, in the below screen shot of the new CNN website, where it says CNN Video, there are arrows below it that allow the user to scroll through popular videos by use of AJAX. The same is possible for scrolling through the categories of the “More Stories” section.

The new homepage does not look too much different from the original, but the way that the videos are set-up, there will not be anymore pop-ups involved. There is a separate video page that places the stories below the actual videos. On the video page, there are tabs for Most Popular, Staff Picks, CNN TV, CNN Live, I-Reports, and a By Section. Users will be able to search through all of the archived videos.

A good point that the Bivings Report made[2] was that there is not an option for bloggers and website designers to embed videos within their own homepages. CNN does not give the code to do so. Another problem I see is that the hyperlinks at the very bottom of the website are very small. This could be a problem for those who depend on reading glasses.

The new CNN will feature the ability to add local content, personalize weather reports, feature story highlights, comment on blogs, recommend content to users, and suggest stories. Given the pros and cons, I still believe that the new CNN website is a step-up from the old website.

Out with the old:

In with the new:

[1] beta.cnn.com
[2] Bivings Report: CNN Launches New Beta Website