CFCF, welcome to Web 1.0

The new Pulse ... err, CFCF ... err, CTV Montreal website

The new Pulse ... err, CFCF ... err, CTV Montreal website

It’s not even that we made fun of CFCF’s website for how bad it was, how it looked like it hadn’t been redesigned since the 90s (actually, its last redesign was in 2004, but that wasn’t much better than its 90s look). It’s that it was so bad it was completely off the radar. You couldn’t link to news stories because there was no archival system for them. Forget Web 2.0, it wasn’t even Web 1.0.

Well, some of that’s changed now. CTV has rolled out new websites for all its local stations, including CFCF in Montreal. It includes crazy Web 1.0 features like having individual stories on their own pages, links to wire stories, and individual pages for special features. The weather page has actual graphics from the show and even an embedded video of the latest local forecast (which for some reason is done exclusively for the web instead of just taking video from the latest newscast). It’s even got an RSS feed, and the video player is improved (it’s embedded instead of being a popup).

Looking for crap? Well they have that too. The community calendar page and lotteries page both have that vintage 90s feel to them. The traffic page is nothing but links to Transport Quebec highway cameras.

If you’re expecting bleeding-edge features like the ability to comment on stories, sadly you’re out of luck. They point you to a contact form if you want to comment on a story. But they include handy Facebook and Digg links, so you can comment on the story on someone else’s website. There’s hints of a mobile site, but apparently that’s available for every local station except Montreal.

Melissa Wheeler continues the tradition of hot web reporters

Melissa Wheeler continues the tradition of hot web reporters

The About Us page includes bios of all the “personalities”, which now (finally) include Daniele Hamamdjian and Maya Johnson, as well as this Melissa Wheeler person, who I’m sure is doing the best she can with this antiquated technology. They also list important executives like Barry Wilson and Jed Kahane.

Radio-Canada redesigned

RadCan also rolled its new design into service recently. It’s apparently to spotlight audio and video (which, coincidentally, is what RadCan is all about), but the audio and video player is just as crappy as it was before, mainly because it’s still based on Windows Media instead of Flash.

4 thoughts on “CFCF, welcome to Web 1.0

  1. Steven Mansour

    “If you’re expecting bleeding-edge features like the ability to comment on stories, sadly you’re out of luck. ”

    Do you believe that news websites should allow public comments on their articles, à-la

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Sure, why not? Moderate them if you’re worried about legal implications. Severely moderate them if you’re worried about quality.

      I’m more likely as a blogger to link to a story than one at CTV because the former allows comments (and has trackbacks).

  2. Michael Spat

    Radio-Canada’s website is beautiful, thanks to their design talent. But it’s out dated in technical part. You can’t comment on news stories because Radio-Canada doesn’t have the technology (except blogs). After all, how do you expect a page made by Dreamweaver to display dynamic comments?

    The same goes to Concordia’s websites. It looks fancy but it’s a tech disaster underneath. Most departments/faculties simply use Dreamweaver to update webpages, while a couple of units use CMS such as Joomla!. They are trying to get everyone to use the same CSS skin. Most units don’t provide RSS. And they don’t even get English/French switch right.

    McGill’s website, on the other hand, is less colorful, but more unified. They even have their own CMS. It’s 100 times advanced than Concordia.

    I have to say, both Radio-Canada and Concordia changes their web layout frequently (every two years), that’s because it’s much easier to change a CSS skin than updating the core technology underneath it.

    BTW, CTV’s website is a mess, both in terms of design and technology. It’s seems private corporations always have difficulties recruiting the right people.


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