INTERACTIVE: A dull year for virtual activity: do Websites deserve their space? - NEW-MEDIA CLINIC

It’s exactly a year since Campaign Interactive revamped its look and content. We introduced items such as the Interactive Gallery and case studies because we felt there was now enough good stuff out there to build the section around what people were actually doing rather than what they were saying. So, looking back at 1996 and all that, were we right? Was there enough good work produced during the year for the new-media industry to be proud of?

It’s exactly a year since Campaign Interactive revamped its look

and content. We introduced items such as the Interactive Gallery and

case studies because we felt there was now enough good stuff out there

to build the section around what people were actually doing rather than

what they were saying. So, looking back at 1996 and all that, were we

right? Was there enough good work produced during the year for the

new-media industry to be proud of?



It’s perhaps telling that our Gallery reviewers, who initially started

out by selecting five projects they genuinely liked so that we could

champion good work, are now as critical as their counterparts in Private

View.



This is partly because they don’t always get to select what they review;

but then this itself is because reviewers kept coming up with things

we’d already looked at. The good work, it seems, is still fairly thin on

the ground.



From a personal point of view, I have to say I’m more often than not

disappointed by the new Websites I look at - and don’t even get me

started on CD-Roms, most of which are best described by a word beginning

with b- and ending in -ollocks. In all aspects of new media, most people

are still talking rather than doing.



Which is a lot like many of the sites they create: I know I keep going

on about this, but when will the message sink in? Websites are not ads;

it is not sufficient for them just to be there; they actually have to do

something to be of any value whatever.



So to the gems of 1996: much derided at the time of its launch, the BMW

site is a model of down-to-earth pragmatism married with good

design.



Snickers is the best youth-orientated site I’ve seen this year. The

Guardian’s classified job ads site, RecruitNet, was always likely to be

a winner and Loaded, with the odds stacked in its favour, didn’t

disappoint. Dollond and Aitchison’s site, with its warning software for

computer users who’ve been too long at their screens, and the Alliance

and Leicester’s site also deserve a mention.



But the best site of all, sadly, is an American one: Pointcast. Up to

the minute, selective news presented as a screen saver. Brilliant.

Follow that, Great Britain.



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