Friday, November 13, 2009

Confused By Clicker.com

My family only ever bought the Radio Times, the TV listings magazine issues by the BBC, at Christmas time. Back then, with four channels, it was good reading. These days it has to cram huge amounts of information onto its pages and is almost unreadable. Indeed, all printed listings suffer from the same problem.

Even online guides such as On The Box and Digiguide suffer from similar issues, although the ability to customise them makes them far more accessible.

But TV distributors suffer from the same issues and creating compelling EPGs is a real art which most broadcast distributors get horribly wrong. Still, it's far more accessible than the print equivalent.

Nothing demonstrated the difference between the internet mindset and the TV mindset more than this week's launch of Clicker.com.


The service is a confusing mess of boxes and links, suggestions and breadcrumbs. So different from a TV EPG. Unlike the excellent Locate TV, there is a real paucity of information about the programming and basic features such as 'I've seen this' which you'd expect of an interactive service are sadly missing, although I'm sure are on the roadmap. Concepts like 'Trending Episodes' don't help. Trending what ?

Clicker.com is a glorified database with an interface developed by people who live in webland, not the world where ordinary people watch TV. There's little added value and I'm amazed how the media has gotten into a frenzy over something so basic and so poor.

Pass the TV Guide...