The best session during MooseCamp by far in my opinion was called “Hacking the Mothercorp” which was managed by Tod Maffin from Inside the CBC. The CBC is a Canadian national broadcaster, supported by the government and thus the taxes paid by people living in Canada.
The session was created to allow us to give feedback on how CBC should revamp their website. An area called MyCBC should be coming soon and they want to know what type of features they need to appeal to us bloggers.
The session was recorded so that Senior Executives can listen to the feedback in order to better understand what they should focus on. Unfortunately, despite Tod’s best efforts, he ended up with a fair bit of conflicting opinions because some people wanted every “Web 2.0” feature added, while others wanted to keep traditional journalists in control.
One thing everyone agreed on though was that CBC needs to shift their content away from RealPlayer, as no one likes it.
They want the site to support open source software, standards, protocols and whatnot in order to appeal to everyone.
One comment that hit home for me was the fact that search is still not as good as it should be. I think this is always the hardest thing for any site, and eventhough they are using Google Search for their results, it still doesn’t always provide what you are looking for. People suggested adding tagging, and whatnot as ways to categorize content even more.
Another issue that people brought up is localization problems. Being a national news source, finding local information can be a problem. There were not suggestions for fixing this issue, but knowing it still exists is always a first step in trying to find a solution.
Like most big news sources that have added RSS feeds, they don’t have full feeds. People brought this up and hopefully the CBC will listen. The problem with full feeds in corporate minds though is security from content scraping. There are a few ways to decrease this problem, but if someone wants to steal content, they will find a way to do so.
Tod Maffin seemed to really understand the whole “Web 2.0” craze and social media, which makes me wonder why the CBC is not more in tune with the current market, but no doubt like any big company, it takes a fair bit of work for ideas to go up the corporate ladder, and then filter back down through the company.
A great session, and I hope more national networks take advantage of polling their audience and reaching out into their audience to get feedback, rather than being passive about it.
What would you want your national news source to change on their website?