The Evolution of CNN.com

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CNN is one of the resources that I keep open during the day and today I saw a new icon next to some of the latest news stories; highlighted below.

CNN screenshot

I clicked on the icon and apparently CNN now sells t-shirts featuring news headlines. I selected the Sinkhole gulps entire lane of highway and the next screen came up.

CNN tshirts

I really like this idea and think of it as kind of an extension of reality as entertainment. CNN over the last several years has created one of the best news sites. When their redesign was still in beta, they were smartly collecting feedback from users and implemented changes that made sense. (They allowed users to toggle back and forth between the new design and the old design.)

When you select CNN hosted news stories you can get most of them via the medium of your choice (text, video) with the option of an editorial on some stories. This is a great way to communicate news.

Also, taking a page from sites like Fark, CNN has links to new stories on other sites. (Actually Fark headlines were featured on CNN at one point but I have not seen this recently.) This is a fantastic way to position yourself as the trusted source.

Obviously their adoption of blogs for interaction with columnists and the use of localization widget (enter your zip code and you get the latest local news/weather in that module) is a great way to personalize the CNN experience.

I also like the way they handle ads. They treat them as a part of their site with their own wrapper instead of free floating randomness.

As for the new t-shirt offering; I just have to wait for the right headline. I really wish Fark had this service. My favorite Drew Curtis headline on Fark is; Tokyo has world’s highest cost of living, analysts blame skyrocketing cost of Godzilla insurance.

By Michael Myers

Michael Myers

Digital marketing consultant, geek, father, husband, professor, founder, inconsistent blogger, snowboarder, cyclist, SCUBA diver, global traveler, #303

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