Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Look! It's a Web site!

I've been so disappointed so many times of late when I see a press release that a B2B publication has redesigned its Web site. More often than not, the new site is sheer idiocy. There are no links, no graphics, no feedback function and no multimedia capability. It's just black words on white space. In other words, there's nothing about the product that indicates that anyone who worked on it has a clue about how the Web works. There are no break-out boxes, word chunking or subheads to indicate that anyone who worked on it has any idea of how people read on the Web.
Then I heard that CMP had redesigned some sites.
I took a look. And my heart soared.
Now don't get me wrong. These sites aren't perfect. But at least they speak the language of the Web.
For example, take a look at CRN's new site. Click on one of the main stories, and you'll see that there's a feedback function at the bottom that allows readers to post comments. There's some video content on the home page, and there are links to five in-house blogs. Take a look at one of those and you'll see external links (I'd like to see external links in the news copy too, but I'll take what I can get.)
Check out sister sites Channelweb and VARbusiness and you'll see similar functions (and a cleaner design.)
None of the things CMP has done are revolutionary. Yet combined they make for a compelling online product.

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