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Saturday, 30th June 2007

New Look on CNN.com

We pointed out last week that CNN's fee-based service, Pipeline, was about to bite the dust. According to this page, much of the once-fee based video content, including some live feeds, will now be available at no charge beginning on July 2nd. However, it looks like some if it is already online, except the live video streams.

On Saturday afternoon, a revamped (layout, fonts, etc) CNN web site went live with a new look. Here's a cached version of the old page for comparison.

Things we were quick to notice:
+ Direct links to "Hot Topics" at the top of the page. For example, here's the iPhone page. Note the stories, button to create RSS of top-level topic (Internet). Note the search box to limit your search to a specific category. This takes you to a results page where you can sort by date or relevance. Web results found on right side of page. Links to related topics like, media and software. Btw, the RSS symbol is red, not the more common orange color.

+ Cool, news by topics and dates page. Excellent for browsing.

+ Link to CNN Video at the top of the page.
Video is also searchable. Create playlists and watch your selections in order. The page also provides links to CNN Podcasts.

+ Top of home page and video page offers links to I-Reports (aka viewer contributions/citizen journalism).

+ Search on main/U.S. site:
Search is powered by Google. Default is web search. Click for CNN News and Video search. Also, right margin of web search contains news and video results. It appears that Google's advanced syntax works. No cached pages of web content are available.

+ Search on International Version of CNN
Powered by Yahoo. Same look and feel as U.S. version.

+ Note how many stories offer two, three or four key points at the top of the story. CNN calls them story highlights.

+ International and US versions available as well as a version in Arabic

+ All of CNN's RSS feeds can be found in the top/right of the home page.

+ Links to a small amount of material from two other Time Warner properties (Time and People) on bottom of page.

+ Nine video clips (for top stories) found on upper-right of page. Scroll, three at a time

+ The home page also contains links (middle of page) to e-mail services, local news (powered by Topix), info about mobile services, and CNN Radio. To change location, head to the personalize your weather section. Enter city name or

+ CNN.com sections include:
++ News
++ World
++ Politics
++ Entertainment
++ U.S.
++ Technology
++ Business
++ Living
++ Sports
++ Time (as in magazine)

+ Direct links to CNN Blogs

+ Also look for box with lists of most viewed stories, most emailed stories, and top search terms, phrases. Ranking top stories by topic and most viewed, e-mailed videos are available. No info on how often these lists are updated.

See Also: CNN.com isn't the only major web news site to get a makeover. About two weeks ago CBC.ca (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) also got a new look.


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