Sunday, 1 April 2007

[ 1. The Channel 4 Site | Homepage ]

[ The Channel 4 Website ]

The Channel 4 site offers thorough programme information, information on an eclectic range of interests within Channel 4 and beyond, TV listings and scheduling information, news, a large entertainment section and various other audience related and interactive activities for a global audience which grants a massive reach for potential consumers of Channel 4’s products and services.
The website offers the massive audience of Channel 4 and all of its spin-off channels a chance to immerse themselves further into the channel as a whole, one specific program or their interests, guided by the extremely talented editors and according to the demographic group.

[ In Detail ]
The homepage has static panels along 3 sides of the page, with links ranging from the site content, to site maps and contact information. The panel on the left is the largest and the main navigator panel. This panel contains the main links: Watch Online, TV, Entertainment, Lifestyle, News, Documentaries and Interact. Under these, there are smaller categories within the links themselves, for quick navigation. This makes it more enticing for the audience and looking through the website doesn’t feel like such a chore.
The dominance of the homepage is entitled “Today on” and features a slideshow of the main feature of the day such as FourDocs, Channel 4’s “broadband documentary service” which allows anyone to record and upload their own documentary on an open range of topics to be viewed and rated by other viewers from around the world which is a good example of democratisation. It is one part of the 4Talent initiative to get more young and prospective hopefuls into the extremely competitive industry. This feature, which is clearly highlighted from the homepage shows off to the audience about how innovative Channel 4 is and how highly it respects the views and products of the audience who show the same in return. The technologies involved in this and other areas of the website are very wide-ranging. Apart from the internet, being the overriding new technology in this instance, there are various peripheral technologies which combine to make the Channel 4 website as impressive as it is. One of these new technologies is RSS [ Really Simple Syndication RSS ]. RSS is a web feed format which publishes frequently updated websites and online content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts, such as the FourDocs blog or the Games page, which features a frequently updated page of console and free online games as voted for by both the public and nominated by the employees at the 4Games department within Channel 4. The rest of the homepage consists of various different tasters of the other categories of the site: News, Entertainment, etc. and also the main television feature of the night on any one of the numerous channels owned by Channel 4. Clicking on one of these links may bring you to a page report on the item, some background reading, games, quizzes and links spanning the website on issues related to the link followed.
Outside adverts from paying companies are also placed on the homepage, on the right. These are often internet or technology-related and are specifically targeted at the early-mid 20’s demographic.

The Channel 4 website is a good example of both democratisation and true connectivity and interdependency with the audience and shows a great deal of interactivity both on, and off-site.

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