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.