Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CNET TV Beta is videocasting star

I'm very pleased with the CNET TV Beta.

You can build your own customized, auto-refreshing video channels, rate videos via 5 star system, send feedback, edit preferences, create playlist, and be exposed to non-annoying, infotaining commercials within the video presentations.

"Coming Soon: video player embeds [to post their videos on your own blog], video sharing, and more."

#1 Online Video Marketing Reality:

Users expect to find tons of FREE, downloadable, or "Get the Code" items that they can take back to their site for prestige, coolness, new functions (like custom search engine sidebar embeds), and other benefits.

Users do NOT want to have to always go to your videocasting site to watch videos. If your site is infotaining and blends stability with frequent updates, it may have a bit of stickiness to it. But users are NOT looking for Venus flytraps, they are looking for fast food joints, metaphorically.

They want to copy your videos, and put them into emails, blog posts, blog comments, web forums, and other online locations.

Universal Infotainment Utopia:
Any Content. Any Time. Any Amount. Any Format. Any Where.

Video player embeds are mandatory. Obviously, this is how users wish to use video sites. They want to take the infotainment modules with them, back to their own site. This is the fundamental marketing reality of ecommerce and online advertising.


They should also have a "Get Code" function to enable users to copy some html code, then paste it into their blogs and sites, a link button for CNET TV Beta, that their users can click on.

I watched "Today at CNET", the default entry orientation video, "Alienware Area 51 7500 PC" product review demonstration, and "Basic HTML Tags" newbie tutorial. All three were brief, fast-paced, informative, clear, funny, entertaining, helpful, interesting, and fun to watch.

I can only sit back in satisfaction and admiration.

In fact, the "Basic HTML Tags" tutorial was so pleasant and effective for beginner education, I am now inspired to try doing my own Vaspers the Grate tutorials.

I might treat such topics as "blog residue analysis", "blog template tweaking", "home page credibility analysis", "adding items to blog sidebars", "digital image uploading to blogs", "special effects for non-effects web cams", "advanced blog design tricks", "user observation testing", "blogocombat live demonstration at a real blog comment field", and so on.

BUR (basic usability review)
of CNET TV Beta:

* Visual Impression: immediate sense of professionalism, clarity, ease of use.

* Header/tagline: "CNET TV Beta. Explore thousands of CNET tech videos, or sit back and enjoy your favoite video channel."

* User Orientation: insta-start welcome video. Clearly and normatively labeled controls. Site identification upfront.

* Content: on target, well organized, easy navigation, fast skim-scan.

* Text: well written, relevant, easily understood, professional.

* Video Screen: large display panel, intuitive, normative controls.

* Credibility: CNET logos, sponsors Geek Squad and Sony.

* Monetization: two small sponsor logo link buttons.

* Interactivity: unregistered users can access site and view videos, but users must register to rate videos, access feedback form, etc.

ERROR: Functions are not optimized visually. The important interactive functions would be more visible, compelling, and usable by making them big radio buttons, instead of tiny text links. Encourage interaction, sense of user input and community, by drawing attention to functionalities you want users to notice and use.

* Feedback: on-site form works and is easy to use, but in addition to name and email address, there could be user URL and feedback topic data capture on the form.

* Channels:

New on CNET

Gadgets & Gear

Tips & Tricks


Car Tech


Movies & Music

Tech News

ERROR: These categories, or channels, are not readily understandable. Relevance and content are not clear in some cases.

"Shows" tells me only "something to see and probably hear, video in other words". What kind of shows? You mean Hollywood films or computer tutorials or YouTube type silly amateur flop drops?

"Tips & Tricks"? Magic circus tricks?

Sure, we're supposed to assume it's TECH or COMPUTER tips and tricks, but many users will be unsure, and since I did not click on it, I cannot prove either interpretation. Never make users play guessing games or assume they are all insiders.

"Movies & Music" means you must not have enough of both to warrant separate channels. Movie viewers and music listeners are not necessarily the same psychodemographics.

Up Next on CNET TV

is a list of shows, with mouse-over cursor hovers that launch pop-up boxes containing tool tip thumbnail, video title, create date, run time length, and a one sentence descriptor.

Check it out.

That "Alienware Area 51 7500" PC must be seen to be believed. Now you can be afraid of your computer.

"Basic HTML Tags" will show new bloggers how to post digital art and photo images to blog posts, sidebars, and on comments at other blogs, plus text bolding, and other simplicities.


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