CNN.com should be very good at using video. After all, it is the online version of a TV cable station. When visiting the front page of CNN.com, there are little television camera icons next to each story that features a video.
When you click on those links, a video will begin to play on the screen. The first video you see will be a short commercial. I find these commercials highly annoying. They tend to be loud, and scarcely ever directed at me with something I would buy. These commercials could be optimized to users and could be less intrusive. When I am casually perusing the Internet, I do not tolerate this. I close these sorts of links immediately, because I don’t feel like the content is worth having to sit through an ad for.
Here’s an example of a CNN.com video.
As you can see, the content in this video is very well produced. I think it may at least have used some video from the television station, but reused content is fine by me. The graphics in the background are pretty neat. They show things like the current market numbers at the time the footage was taken. Those graphics are pretty clever, but they can become cluttersome if they’re used too frequently.
At another point in the video, a video of traders looking at the numbers is used in the background for another reporter. This comes off as excessive to me. I believe that a more serious tone is fostered when the station uses content more judiciously. The image they chose seemed similar to video clip art. It was simply unnecessary.
Here is another example of a video on CNN.com:
This video is successful because it utilizes elements that can help a breaking story succeed. First of all, the focus of the video remains on the important elements of the story. The anchor goes over the details of what has taken place, and then the duty of telling the story switches to a foreign correspondent. When a story like this is somewhat unexpected, a foreign correspondent lends credibility and local insight to the story. The video later goes on to use a split screen technique so that the anchor and the foreign correspondent are both on screen simultaneously.
Although it is less heavily produced than the first story, it is very professionally done, and it certainly gets the point across.
I believe CNN is exceptionally good at online video, and I’m sure the news organization will continue to dominate with this technology.