Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The new fall TV season and toronto.ca

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

What's the "new. exciting fall TV line up" got to do with toronto.ca?  Absolutely nothing directly ... but I think it's fair to say the risks to the networks when launching new TV shows are similar to the risks we face in launching a re-branded website.

Locally, if not even globally, our audiences have as much to gain and as much to lose by anything we do new or change. It may not seem to be at the level of Jay Leno moving to Prime Time and back to late night again (Hello, Goodbye Conan), but, in our little piece of the communications universe, it's pretty important.

All About Ratings
I've been posting here frequently about how the user experience has to be better when surfing toronto.ca. To me that's akin to a viewer liking a show enough to come back week after week, making the program a ratings hit.

But there is also the proverbial reviewers' choice that the critics love but audiences don't take to. In our case I make the analogy between inside and outside users.  Often our staff will create navigation that is comfortable for them while they use our site. It may or may not be a hit with the outside user.

All this is a short way of saying you can promise the greatest experience and promo it to death but, if you don't deliver, you don't satisfy.

A Summer of Changing Websites
I think all of the government websites that launched anew over the summer (some have been subject to other posts here), have the same pressures we do.  But what interests me a lot is the fact these sites haven't taken the same road we have. Although they say they talked to users in getting their new sites up-to-speed, I haven't seen much evidence of the dialogue on their pages. I see surveys and places to send comment but I don't see anything close to our comments wall where you can actually read what users are saying about you.

If you haven't read the wall yet, it's good insight on user opinion. One of the reasons we're taking our time in finishing up what we're calling the web re:Brand, is we don't want to rush change just for change's sake alone. In fact, we're of the mind the site is going to evolve constantly.  We're intentionally going to change organically.

That being said, you'll see some changes creeping in this fall - some initiated by the re:Brand team and some by Divisions - we hope your reactions will guide us all further along the path. In TV they often tweak a pilot - sometimes recasting the entire show when they feel the idea is right but the delivery wrong. We reserve the right to do the same.

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