Website Review: ABC Online

"ABC: Capturing the web for everyman", by Greg Tingle

The newly vamped ABC website is arguably Australia's most impressive online representation of a news media organisation. Certainly as far as Australian television and radio broadcasters websites are concerned, there is no equal.

ABC's website, or should that be portal, combines a comprehensive blend of up-to-date news, functionality, interactivity, history, entertainment and usability to cater for an audience as diverse as everyday Australians, educators, students, journalists, TV and entertainment enthusiasts, sports aficionados, technocrats and friends of the ABC, not only in Australia, but around the world.

The ABC website is a massive, comprehensive accomplishment, which has intelligently and effectively presented in an online form. This has been achieved by using all encompassing sub-categories. The clear and well laid out website is an inviting home for Australia's national broadcaster.

We must remember that the ABC has been a lifeline for rural and metropolitan Australians for many decades, and the website and series of subsites reflects the rich ABC tradition, with the best in convergent media.

Both city slickers and regional Australians will feel at home whilst web surfing ABC Online. ABC has effectively covered news and information in all mediums, around Australia and the globe.

The ABC website is frequently updated, often on the hour, to cater for the ever changing world in which we live. From the latest in Iraq, to the cutting edge in science and innovation, to the glitz of the entertainment industry; it's all here in text, audio and video.

The highly topical, technologically advanced broadband, is far from forgotten. In fact, there is a dedicated ABC Broadband section on the website, offering a plethora of entertaining and innovative choices, to cater for the most discerning entertainment hungry online connoisseur.

The website is as functional, as it is informative. Incorporating ABC's recognizable logo in the top left corner, beside the ever present search box facility, the website contains the inviting blend of blue, black and white throughout. The presentation indeed, maintains the website visitor's interest.

As you enter and explore the multi award winning ABC site you are warmly invited to access the "world at your fingertips". In fact, who could resist the invitation to listen live, via the Real Player technology? Many portions of the site, such as Radio National, offer the option of utilising windows media player, as the media player of choice.

The ABC sends out e-mail newsletters to their database, using permission based marketing with the information they garner from the online newsletter facility. Furthermore, who could resist the temptation to sign the guestbook's and participate in online forums on topics as diverse as war, technology, environment, and media, to name but a few? There is a resonating theme of audience participation throughout ABC online.

One can also quickly glance at ABC's television and broadcasting schedule, and in many cases, with a click of the mouse, enjoy the programmes via their internet connection.

A smorgasbord of archived video and audio news and interviews is also offered in ABC Broadband including Media Watch, Rage, and childrens' programming.

The community feeling is further enhanced by the ABC free Community Noticeboard, where website visitors can post information about upcoming community events, in addition to accessing information about such events in their part of Sydney.

Overall, ABC's website combines the definitive mix of news, information, entertainment, and interactivity for everyone.

To say that there is something here for everyone, is somewhat of an understatement. The reviewers, big supporters of "Aunty", nearly suffered permanent "square eyes" whilst compiling this review, but it worth it!

ABC online, number 1 in Australia on the box, over the airwaves, and on the web!

ABC Online at a glance:

News Online: Local, national and international news at your fingertips.

Sport: Covering major national and international sporting events.

Television: In depth information on programs, personalities. Highly interactive.

Radio: Comprehensive listing of all ABC Radio programming. Even listen online.

Broadband: Features video on demand. Includes fast internet to video, audio, games and more

Kids: Children: "The Playground". 2 years and up.

Youth: Children: "Rollercoaster". 8 to 14 years.

Youth Online: "Fly net". Music, live gigs, video games, reviews, news and more.

Science: "The Lab". The online home to ABC TV and radio science programming.

Heath Online: "Heath Matters". News, features and facts about health.

Rural Online: Rural issues and primary industry news, features, weather and more.

ABC Where You Live: "Backyard". Local information including news, weather. Multimedia rich.
Indigenous and Torres Straight Islanders Online: "Message Stick". Giving a voice to indigenous Australians.

Education Online: "Learn Online". Resources for students, teachers, parents and those who just want to learn.

Arts and Culture Online: "The Space". Information on arts and culture including news, reviews, and features.

Religion Online: Information about most religions, covering beliefs, philosophy, traditions and more.

Asia Pacific Online: Go Asia Pacific features its own dedicated URL News, current affairs, arts, culture and more.

ABC To You: ABC Shop Online. A wide range of ABC products including books, videos, DVD's, Music and more. Open 24 hours.

Going Digital: All about the digital television revolution, from background to the future.

ABC Corporate: About The ABC. Information and fact sheets about the ABC.


Media Man Australia: ABC Profile

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