Okay, so I’m browsing over at CNN’s new beta site (hat tip to Brian for the super secret link which isn’t really super secret), scheduled to launch in the next couple months, and something strikes me as… different. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It looks cleaner. Brighter. Cleaner. Grayer. Whiter. Redder. Bluer. Nicer.
… Oh yeah. Now I know what I’m digging: the beta site doesn’t have any advertisements (save for a Larry King promo). Damn, it’s amazing how much cleaner stuff looks without ads. Unlike the other features of the beta, we can be sure this ad-free status won’t last long.
On the positive side though, they’re going to offer CNN Pipeline (their live streaming video service) for free, some sort of ad-supported way. Supposedly they’re also going to be linking to other sites which aren’t part of their media empire (which already includes TIME, Money.com, The Weather Channel, Entertainment Weekly and People), so some blogs might be getting traffic from them, which is always nice.
Also, I hear they’re going to integrate AJAX into their website, which will allow some content to dynamically refresh, instead of that incessant Drudge-like auto-refresh every 90 seconds or so that drives everyone nuts.
Of course, I realize that by bitching about their site, I’m doing exactly what they want: building up buzz and anticipation and interest in their new site. Shrug.
Update: The Bivings group suggests that CNN provide embeddable video players for their 2-3 minute short clips on various subjects like YouTube and other sites do. What a great idea that would be.