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A few words about the new

I don’t like it very much. (Is that FEW enough?) :-)

(Note added December 17, 2009: Just when I thought that CNN had corrected all of my criticisms below concerning the Web site, an odious change has emerged within the last day or so. Suddenly, pages on CNN’s site start automatically playing videos, with sound, when the page loads! Dear CNN, if I wanted to have someone else decide what I want to do on a Web page with my computer, I would run Windows! :-) If you want to load the darn video, fine. Don’t start running it. I will decide whether or not I want to see it. When you irritate “the user,” that irritation is directed toward BOTH CNN and your customer whose ad you are running. CNN should learn from Microsoft’s mistakes.)

I might “guess” that the redesign of the site was to give the site more symmetry, to incorporate the images at the top of the page to make the site eye-catching, and to focus on highlights and latest news at the top. CNN succeeded in these aims.

What don’t I like?

  1. The homepage of the site is AMAZINGLY overburdened with text. I know. Some people “think in text” and some people “think in pictures.” Yes, I am in the latter group. I once worked for a company whose homepage was given as the classic counterexample to how a homepage should look. It had TOO much text and TOO many links. Guess what? So does CNN’s new homepage. I know that the scope of your coverage makes it hard to “keep it simple.” If the job were easy, ANYONE could do it! :-)
  2. Every time that I reload the homepage (I reload every time since I do not like to deal with cached pages), a curtain opens to reveal “Welcome to the new – brought to you by Blackberry.” Look, I know that everyone is proud of the redesign. The fact that the curtain opens every time that I hit the page makes me ANNOYED. Where is that annoyance focused? At both CNN and Blackberry…. I know that this was not the intent. :-)
  3. Where in the “Blue Blazes” is the Science news? At a time when “the OLD” informed us that the Arctic ice will likely disappear in summer in less than a decade, “the new” has “Science” nowhere to be found! There is no “tab” for science at the top and no section for science at the bottom. What are the polar bears supposed to do… swim until autumn? As the “old” article states, “polar bears face extinction.” What are the top three text-overburdened sections below the “Editor’s choice?” They are “Entertainment,” Politics,” and “Opinion” – arguably THREE DIFFERENT FORMS of Opinion! (Sorry to “shout.”) :-) The next three text-overburdened sections of links include “Money” (more opinion). I have opinions too (mine are generally based upon real observations), but I count on CNN for real news.

CNN, please help me out here. You folks deliver generally excellent news, and you have embraced new technologies and delivery methods (e.g., blogs and digital video submissions).

Please see what you can do about the relatively minor points above.

(Note added October 31, 2009: Well, it looks like the new removed the “curtain” [I found a search for “CNN curtain” that hit my site. :-) ] and rearranged the sections at the bottom by moving more factual (generally) sections to higher positions. CNN, please do something about the last remaining area, “Science.” Global warming has put us on a VERY short timecourse. I would hate to see you postpone your science coverage until coastal cities start to flood. Thanks again!)

(Note added December 8, 2009: Well, it looks as though CNN has hidden some of its “science” news under the “Hot Topics” area, “Environment.” C’mon CNN. We’re tough. We can take it. We’re not afraid of science.”)

Thank you.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at

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