Tuesday, April 07, 2009

WJMA and the Online Opportunity

Stephen Baker's post "The Online Opportunity for Radio Stations" provides a lot of good information -- and not just for radio stations. Consider this:
Usability. Eliminate the clutter and focus on getting customers to relevant content quickly. I’m still amazed at the complexity and quantity of clicks required to get to target content.
It's making me take a hard look at our website. Can people quickly get to our content within a click or two? And ditto for our favorite subject case, WJMA. A lot of content is front and center on their homepage. And even their red-headed stepchildren (their podcasts) are only two clicks away. But wait -- there's more.
Aggregation. Success in the local market requires that publishers look beyond their own content for relevant stories and information in order to become a local online media hub.
Again, WJMA's site has a lot of potentials. The home page has a local news feed, community calendar, weather, etc. But let's look a little closer. Here's the "Local News" when I checked the site. "Obama in Baghdad" Huh? Is there a Baghdad, Virginia? That feed needs a little tighter focus.

Also, consider this:
Compelling content. Most news/talk radio stations produce extremely relevant content to our daily information needs - traffic, weather, sports scores, etc. - that drive our initial entry to the site and lead us to engage with additional content of interest.
OK, WJMA is technically a music station, but they do produce their own local news, so a lot of this still applies. There's enough of the above-mentioned content to get us to the WJMA site. But where's the additional content of interest? Take, for example, the community calendar. Click on the date, and the day's events pop up. Cool.

But there's no addition content and not a lot of information. For April 7, the event is simply:

"Spring Into Safety Health Fair"
Presented by Culpeper Regional Health System.

Two problems here. First, the link isn't in a different color. I discovered it lead to another page purely by accident. Second, there's no real information here. OK, there's something happening today somewhere in Culpeper. What's the location? What time? What's the theme? Details?

And the most important question, why do have I have to click through another page to get the information? (Remember Baker's recommendation for usability?).

So how does your site stack up? Compelling content, usability, aggregation. I don't have a radio station website, but Baker's post will make me take another look at our own site.

- Ralph

Day 2 of the WJMA Podwatch.

No comments:

Post a Comment