Sunday, April 29, 2007

New has undergone a Web 2.0 upgrade and the result is really good. I was excited a little over a year ago when Charlie decided to make his interviews available on Google Video. This site upgrade makes it much easier to find interviews that appeal to you.

His entire library of material is available and all of it free to view online. Instead of being limited to watching whomever Charlie is interviewing on TV tonight, you have the option of watching any interview he has conducted over his full career.

You can search for interviews based on guest, topic, or keyword tags. There are also "features" which are basically playlists of interviews that are on a particular topic such as The Indian Ascent. Want to watch all of Bill Gates videos and see how he has changed over the years? Go for it. Want to go back and see whose predictions were right and wrong on Iraq? That is there too.

Each segment is rated by viewers, so you can use the wisdom of the crowd to determine which of his interviews are best. Viewers can also leave comments on each segment, which you would hope will allow for more information on the guest to come out (but from a quick glance it looks likely that it will just be taken over with flame wars). There is a share button on each interview so you can include them on your blog or website (which I will be taking full advantage of).

While overall the site is really good, I have two hopes for improvement.

First, I wish they included a transcript of each interview on the site. This is a standard feature of most other news websites now. It gives you the ability to read the interview rather than watch it which is much faster. It also makes it easy to blog a quotation from the interview. While there is the ability to purchase a transcript, the $10 a show price is crazy.

Second, I wish they allowed people to submit their own playlists. The Features section has this for topics that the producers define, but I think creative viewers could do even better. Just like Rhapsody allows you to share playlists and Amazon allows users to submit lists of products, so too should Charlie Rose.

Charlie Rose has done tons of great interviews over the years, and they are all now easily accessible. I would recommend that you check out the site and find one to enjoy for yourself.

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