New Capital 95.8 Website

New Capital Website

Interesting to see the new Capital 95.8 website go live this evening.

Whilst it is using roughly the same structure of the previous sites (and the new One Network sites), it’s had a wash and brush up, and at least works in Firefox properly for the first time!

Now, radio websites are, by and large, bloody awful. It something that strangely inflicts stations from all over the world. After you get over the ususal horific design, the main problem is badly updated content and terrible copy writing. It’s always amazed me that radio can be incredibly talented at getting the right sound on-air, with presenters on message, and music and production that work, clearly targeting an audience, but they somehow abandon all of this when creating a website.

GCap, however, have done a good job with the latest roll-out of sites and I believe this is also likely to just be an interim version before there’s a full re-tooling later in the year. With lots of staff involved with the sites, I think they they clearly lead UK commmercial radio’s online presence.

One thing the sites still haven’t managed though, is adopting evolving internet practices, something users will be used to when using other sites. What particularly grates is the abysmal blogging system that MediaSpan (who currently provide the backend) provide. If you have a look at this, you can see that it barely looks like a blog. There’s no room for per post comments, you can’t link to a specific post and there’s no use of trackbacks. Really this means it’s not a blooming blog and the station loses out on all the benefits of being a part of the blogosphere. It’s the comments, linking and trackbacks that will generate more page impressions and more ad money. I also can’t stand the URL structure, all this Article.asp?id=450638&page=2 nonsense is rubbish, some plain english URLs would make users more comfortatble navigating the content.

Edited to add the words UK commercial above.

9 thoughts on “New Capital 95.8 Website”

  1. “With lots of staff involved with the sites, I think they they clearly lead radio’s online presence.”

    While there’s some nice stuff on the new Capital website, I don’t agree that they “clearly lead radio’s online presence”. That accolade lives with either Virgin Radio, BBC Radio 1, Last FM, or even NPR.

    The design, writing, and featurelist of the new Capital site follows a very distant second to the above, I’m afraid. Sorry and all.

  2. I will correct this when I’m not typing on my iTouch, but I meant to refer to UK commercial radio websites. The BBC is so out of our league I rarely think about them in the same breadth.

    Indeed how do the Chris Moyles Extra videos fit into Radio 1’s service licence and the rules set down with iPlayer, or do things on YouTube not count?

    Anyway, I digress. That sounds like a post for another time.

    I’m also not particularly in awe of the Virgin Radio website, especially if seven odd developers only have to deal with one radio station.

    Maybe I should have stopped after I digress.

  3. Thanks for the attention folks! I’d agree with both of you by the way – whilst this is much better than before, it’s just a first step! Watch this space 🙂

  4. There’s one reason why the Virgin website blows all other stations out of the water for me: “More ways to tune in”. The sheer number of different options is incredibly useful, at least for me.

    In fact, the primary reason I switched from Capital to Virgin was because Virgin gave me the ability to listen to their stream wherever I wanted to and didn’t obfuscate the links or try to be clever:
    – MP3 stream for when I’m listening via my PDA on a wifi connection
    – 192k multicast stream for when I’m sitting in my office
    – Ogg for when I want to get in touch with my geek side
    – RealPlayer for the terminally brain-dead

    I stopped listening to Capital when my Wavefinder died and their website insisted I jump through hoops to find a link to paste into a media player. I don’t want the adverts, or indeed a browser window open all the time.

    I listen to radio because I want witty banter and good music. Most stations – for reasons I don’t understand – make it difficult to listen, instead dazzling you with crap content (Virgin is also guilty of this, but at least the listen links are easy to find).

  5. Apologies James,

    One editor, one music producer, one featurers producer, one commercial producer, two assistant producers and three designer/developers. Nine people in total.

  6. yes it’s all out there but time after time i find myself drawn back to the original and still the best………….radio caroline

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