Thursday, June 30, 2005

Media Guide Downsizing

Today's Omaha paper discusses the effects of the new 208 page limit on media guides. While I enjoy keeping the guides around as a source of history, over the year's they've began to suffer from bloat as they become less of a press tool and more of a recruiting tool.

I first heard about these NCAA restrictions last spring, and realized that these upcoming restrictions led Nebraska to develop as a dynamic alternative. When this web site was rolled out, I was extremely disappointed with the results, considering the amount of effort that went into it's design. This type of design pretty much died in the 20th century when the "dot.bomb" economy tanked. It looks great at first, but it's just "lipstick on a pig." (One web usability expert say this site is "99% bad".) Judging by how infrequently it is updated, it must be just as difficult to update as it is to use.

So why did Nebraska create this site?

As we have all learned over the past 18 months, this athletic department is motivated by one thing: recruiting. I personally believe this web site is geared to impress recruits, who will likely only use it once. I believe it also is a byproduct of a recruiting DVD-ROM that could be handed to recruits to show them the history of Nebraska, the fan support, the academic support, and some video from the HuskerVision archives, and you've got a powerful recruiting tool that can be put on a laptop, shown to recruits, and given out so that mom and dad can see it too.

As a web site, sucks. Put it on a DVD-ROM with some of the stuff that HuskerVision has cranked out over the past 10 years, and it's an extremely powerful recruiting tool.

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