05 October 2010

Critiquing the CNC

Earlier this year I wrote a couple of posts about the mysterious CNC -- What's the CNC? and That's the CNC! -- aka 'Chess News Corporation'. It looks now like the CNC is officially in service, except it has metamorphosed to become the Chess Network Company, allowing it to keep the same domain name: Chessnc.com. Here, for the benefit of future chess historians researching the history of FIDE, is an image showing the home page.

If you're like me, the first thing you probably noticed was that big image that dominates the center of the screen. If you're even more like me than I am, you probably asked, 'What's that big image got to do with chess?' That artists rendition of whatever-it-is (New England autumn foliage?) appears on every page in the site, at least all of the pages that I looked at, and sports the informative name 'banner.jpg'.

I once worked for a company where the president liked to walk around saying, 'The most expensive real estate in the world is the top of an engineer's desk.' He was talking about computers and everything behind them, but he might as well have been talking about the computer screen itself, our window to the magical world of information systems, the internet, the web, the cloud. Nowadays he's probably walking around saying, 'The most important marketing resource in the world are the eyeballs looking at our company's web site.' Whatever he's saying, he's definitely not giving his visitors fields and rolling hills.

On top of the wasted space, I noticed a few other things. See those two round, blue buttons ('<<' & '>>') in the lower right of the big image? When you click on them, they don't do anything. Believe me, I tried several times. I even turned Flash on, but the result was the same. Worst of all is that big blue bar in the lower left of the big image. It says, '29.10.10 - KIRSAN ILYUMZHINOV RE-ELECTED FOR FIDE P', i.e. it starts with the wrong date and ends with a truncated headline. Here's the first paragraph of the news article behind that link:-

Few days before the elections the Lausanne Sport Court declined the case brought up by Karpov and Kasparov against FIDE (and legitimacy of Ilyumzhinov's tion from the side of Russian Chess Federation). These year’s elections were marked with a scandalous pre-election campaign movements – Anatoly Karpov and his team accused FIDE in being corrupted, that has never been proved. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had an idea to sue the opponent for such accusations.

I could start by asking, 'What's a tion?', then move on to more subtle points, but why bother. At least they spelled 'Ilyumzhinov' right. This is a news site? TWIC, Chessbase, Chessvibes, and Chessdom have nothing to worry about here.

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