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Organizing Olympic Information February 28, 2010

Posted by Andre Vellino in Classification, Knowledge Representation.
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The past few weeks I have enjoyed some of the Olympic events on CTVOlympics.ca. Video on demand via the Internet… at last.  Thank you for that, CTV.

However, the CTV web masters could have benefited from a course on information organization – at the  new University of Ottawa School of Information Studies, for instance.  The category “Video” on the main page would lead the average user to believe that all video can be found in one location.  You can, of course, get some “produced” videos from there.  But not all, nor indeed most, of the video available on this web site is to be found under “Video”.

Instead, to watch video-recordings (commentary-free, what a bonus!) of prior olympic events, you have to (1) go to the event-type (e.g “Figure Skating”) and then (2) select the most unlikely option “Results and Schedule” and from there, (3) press “Replay”, which gets you the video recording of that event.

There is a certain logic to that way of organizing information: event-type, event-instance, event-results, event-data.  But that’s got to be an object-oriented computer scientist’s categorization scheme.  It isn’t going to help my grandmother find it.

Instead of displaying media-categories (“Photos”  / “Videos”) etc. a more intuitive category for this kind of event is time: a distinction between current events now showing now (e.g. on the current channel-panel) and display panel showing all past events on a timeline (the current, generic, “Results and Schedule” link), with a filter for each event type.  Then the user can either browse past events or search from the same interface.

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