Home CNN.com To Launch Web 2.0 Re-design This Weekend

CNN.com To Launch Web 2.0 Re-design This Weekend

Over the past year or so we’ve seen many mainstream publications ‘web
2.0-ize’ their web presence. BBC has been a leading force, while in
March USA Today
announced a re-design
. Also we covered Martha Stewart 2.0 in April. Now it’s CNN’s turn. One of the
leading mainstream news operations in the world, CNN is this weekend re-launching its
website as an enhanced multimedia site – packed with web 2.0 features such as
recommendations and user generated content.

The new site officially launches on Sunday, July 1 – although the whsiper is that it
might go-live sometime Saturday. Read/WriteWeb was given a sneak peak of the new site and
we came away very impressed.

The new CNN.com features a big increase in multimedia,
including live video content that was previously only available via the subscription-only
CNN Pipeline. It is also now in Flash, rather than Windows Media format. That video
content has been integrated into the main site and is available for free. CNN
has beefed up its content with that web 2.0 favorite, “user-generated content”. Also
there is a recommendation feature called “We Recommend” – which is based on past browsing.

The new CNN.com also makes great use of Ajax, which as the Bivings Report noted, reduces page loading and so is “a baby step away from the page view advertising model.”

In summary, the new features are:

  • “Integrated multimedia storytelling” – i.e. text, videos, photos, maps, charts and
    more on one page. The multimedia is put into tabbed sections, so that users can easily
    access each part;
  • CNN claims it offers “the Web’s largest news video offering – both live
    and on-demand”; I am not sure how to verify this, but in any case this video is free of
    charge and streams (rather than downloads);
  • CNN is launching a new on-demand video player, offering “a Flash-based, play-in-page
    experience complete with larger and higher quality video and tools to create play lists
    and provide feedback.”;
  • A live player provides access to up to four live video streams, one of them featuring
    CNN.com-exclusive news anchors – which CNN says is “the only offering of its kind
    on the Web”;
  • “Hot Topics” section for in-depth multi-media content;
  • “All About” pages – thousands of pages giving users access to every story
    CNN.com has ever published on almost any topic;
  • Locally relevant content, allowing users to personalize CNN.com to offer enhanced
    weather forecasts. This content comes from various sources and content-sharing
  • “We Recommend” feature, recommending stories and videos from CNN.com and
    other content partners based on the user’s past browsing history;
  • Highlights at the top of every article and fact boxes throughout the page “to enable
    users to scan and digest story details quickly.”;
  • More ways for users to engage in news through feedback, content submissions with
    I-Report and article and blog commentaries;
  • “From the Blogs” feature, which aggregates comments from blogs around the
    Web discussing either a specific story or topics related to one published on
  • More TV promotion on the site “to improve the complementarity of CNN’s TV and
    online services”.

Did someone say ‘web 2.0’? We got blogs, podcasts, …

CNN.com currently gets an average of more than 24 million unique users each month. The
site was launched in 1995, and this re-design represents a big step forward for the
12-year old site. A CNN representative told us that CNN.com has been completely
redeveloped – both graphically and technically. Its goal was to present integrated
storytelling, using multimedia (especially video) and the web 2.0 aspects that R/WW
readers are familiar with – user generated content, recommendations, related content,
blogs, etc.

A CNN blog has been covering the
re-design and also there was a beta version of the new CNN.com running for a while – but
it was taken offline on Tuesday June 26, so that CNN could make the final changes. In a blog post entitled How it all
, CNN staff explained that “from a technology standpoint, the biggest shift in
the new CNN.com is the inclusion of more dynamic services”, such as personalization and
the “We Recommend” feature described above.


We took a look at the beta while it was up and came away impressed with the changes.
The new CNN.com ties video in a lot better – no more annoying popups. The main articles
now have video and image tabs on top, so that you can easily view related media. Also the
video is now in Flash format, unlike the Windows Media format on the current CNN. We
thought the beta was definitely an improvement design wise – it is a lot easier on the
eyes. Add that to the new ‘web 2.0’ functionality – such as story recommendation based on
past browsing (kind of like Amazon for news!). Overall we think this is a big improvement
on the old site.

The new CNN.com will go live either Saturday or Sunday, so check it out and let us
know your thoughts.

New site, due to go-live 1 July 2007

Old site

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.