CNN Keeps an Eye on…Wedding Bells?

17 Nov

Alright, I’ll admit it. I am enchanted by the British Royals. Whether this is a byproduct of my deeply harbored love for old-society traditions, or from the semester that I spent in London (in which I visited Kensington Palace more times than I would like to admit) I find the British royal family incredibly alluring. So when I awoke to a text from CNN this morning (I get instant news updates on my blackberry, another fabulous feature that CNN offers) I was surprised and excited by the announcement that I read: “Princess William Proposes to Kate Middleton.” Although this piece of news will undoubtedly create more of a stir in Britain (you can’t pick up a copy of The Sun or The World anywhere in England without seeing the face of one member of the royal family plastered to the cover) I knew that this news would create some hubbub in the United States as well. And although I noticed tweets regarding the engagement from almost every website and publication’s twitter that I follow this morning, I decided to check it out on CNN.com.

Low and behold, the homepage of CNN had a video of the couple front and center, with a video attached (the headline read: William, Kate on Royal Engagement.) I knew that CNN was pretty stellar when it came to its content packages, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this one would be up to the same calibur—after all, how much news could they really have stored about this couple? Apparently, a lot more than I thought. The main article, entitled Prince William Gives Diana’s Ring to Kate Middleton, contained information about the ring (which was Diana’s) as well as the proposal. The main tout on the top of the page featured a video speaking about the engagement news and the couples’ reaction, with various video touts scaling the side of the page (including Kate’s parents addressing the media, etc.)

On the left side rail, there were links to various other articles about the Royal couple, from the wedding buzz to more personal anecdotes of the royals (i.e. “Who is Kate Middleton?”) Other galleries were featured within the royal couple content package, too, like “Kate and William: life in pictures” and “Gallery: Kate Middleton.) But I especially liked the gallery “A Look Back in Royal Weddings,” which featured photos from various Princesses (Dianna included.)

Content packages, I have come to realize, are so powerful because they capitalize on the reader’s area of interest (I clicked on this article for a reason, didn’t I?) and lead him or her to various other parts of the site (and sometimes other sites, if there are partnership producers involved) that lend themselves to this theme or idea. It really maximizes the user’s experience, and guides him or her deeper into the site. While it’s no surprise that I spent much of my night clicking through articles of the royal family, it continues to impress me that the site’s navigational features can take me so far, without any search involved.

 

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