Entertainmentwise was recently inspected by New Media age, the site was dissected and pulled apart, giving a fresh professional insight to the usability and quality of content. Obviously we could have scored better, but its all constructive criticism!
Decent, entertaining celebrity websites and blogs are two a penny, so it can be hard to gain real cut through and develop a big audience. Big beasts like the Daily Mail have a large resource, so smaller sites need to develop a more unique personality and tone to maintain a regular, loyal audience.
At one end the scale this leads to websites such as Perez Hilton’s, which pride themselves on cutting and witty commentary. Entertainmentwise, sister to music site Gigwise, manages to maintain its own personality and doesn’t seem like a tabloid or newspaper wannabe, but sticks to a more straightforward style than some of the celebrity blogs.
Its straightforward style is both a positive and a negative. On the one hand, its simple look and feel makes it easily forgettable compared to some of its rivals. But on the same hand, it’s a refreshing approach to have such an easy to use, clean celebrity website. It feels trustworthy and it is structured in such a way that its easy to find most content within a few clicks.
On every page the big, glossy images really stand out. And let’s be honest, it is mainly the pictures we want from celebrity news.
There is some great video content on there too, which looks to be mainly from a syndication deal with reelkandi.tv. The videos are signposted well throughout the site, as are the links to its social media extensions.
As most sites now do, it has a box to display the most viewed and the most commented-on stories. Celebrity sites usually attract some great reactions from users but on selecting the option to see the most commented, it didn’t work. The most viewed story at the moment is about Whitney Houston’s open casket and while being the most popular article, it had just three comments. Perhaps the editorial team could do more to encourage debate.
I terms of monetisation, there is currently a Tesco ad wrapped around the whole site and because of the simple layout, it doesn’t look too distracting. However, this also means that the ad, although aesthetically pleasing, does dictate the look of the website a bit too much. It’d be nice to see more Entertainmentwise branding and personality on the home page.
This is a good celebrity site with great content but there is a lot of work to be done in increasing engagement on it and a better balance could be struck in terms of the level of advertising.
I have an early start meeting with Entertainmentwise editor Claire Rutter and our PR and marketing director Steve McQueen, about our new campaign for the Face of Entertainmentwise, our search for a new red-carpet presenter for our recently launched Entertainmentwise video content.
Later, I go through a snag list with Michael Pumo from Unibands.com regarding the complete overhaul of the Gigwise website, which has been redesigned from the ground up. It’s looking awesome, we both agree.
I have an afternoon appointment with executive lifestyle coach Rebekah Fensome. Rebekah helps business people to achieve their goals and maintain a balanced lifestyle, something that isn’t always easy working in media.
After my pep talk, I manage to resist heading to the pub and head to the gym instead.
Sometimes it’s good to have problems. For instance, we’ve had some problems with our site’s CMS locking up. This is because we’ve grown so busy, particularly on Entertainmentwise, that we are constantly having to upgrade our servers. We’re based on Amazon’s cloud-hosting solution AWS, so it’s easy enough to bring up new servers, but it takes a lot of planning to make sure we’re ahead of the traffic curve.
I talk with our outsourced developers in India and they come up with a solution to keep things moving.
Late afternoon I have a meeting with a top-secret insider on some of the UK’s biggest reality TV shows to negotiate exclusive leaks. This stuff is obviously black ops, so don’t tell anyone. We meet in the Dragon Bar on Shoreditch High Street.
The meeting turns into a session on the beers and ends late into the night after a pub and bar crawl.
We’re spending a huge amount of our time developing our video strategy at the moment. Although we’re getting great traffic on our text-based content, advertising CPMs for display have been slowly sinking, while a dearth of quality video content means that pre-roll for streaming video is still generating excellent revenue, as well as engagement and value for brands.
I spend some time with the video team and sales director Don Amaechi, working on our shooting schedule and making sure that we’re focused on the biggest opportunities out there.
We’ve got some major artists lined up for interviews and sessions for Gigwise and TaleTela, as well as some big red-carpet stuff for Entertainmentwise.
Last year we had a viral One Direction video of them singing their favourite Christmas song and we’re planning for more of the same.
After last night’s drinking stint, a visit to the gym isn’t high on the agenda, maybe tomorrow night. I might have to up the sessions with the life coach.
I manage to grab a lie-in for a change. I live on Shoreditch High Street, five minutes’ walk from our offices near Old Street station. Handily, this means even with a lie-in until 9am, I can still make an office arrival time before 10.
Early afternoon I head into the West End to meet Sam Clue, editorial business manager at Yahoo HQ, to discuss extending our content partnership into video.
We provide text-based content for OMG, Yahoo’s successful celebrity destination from three of our great music and entertainment sites – PopDash.com, TaleTela.com and Entertainmentwise.com.
We agree on a couple of things to extend the partnership and I head back to the office feeling victorious, but not victorious enough to hit the gym.
I spend the evening practising my beat-matching skills on my MP3 turntables in preparation for tomorrow night when I will be DJ’ing with Steve (McQueen) in our local Shoreditch haunt, The Griffin (not the strip joint).
Using MP3s is considered a cheat by most DJs, but check out what the kids are using in the clubs today – why spend all night cueing up the wax?
It’s a busy day in the office today. With lots of campaigns due to start, we have to reply to lots of spec requests from agencies.
After getting all our paperwork out of the way, we head to the conference room for our first board meeting of the year to discuss this year’s business plan.
Late afternoon I have a meeting with Rebecca Marchant and Fiona Moseley from 7th Chamber about seeding viral video content on our sites.
The girls have some great ideas about creating engaging content for brands, which will definitely work on our content-rich sites.
I get back to the office where the atmosphere is buoyant. It’s late afternoon on a Friday and several of the team have cracked some beers open already.
Eventually we head to the Princess pub for some real ale in preparation for our DJ set.
DJ’ing seems to be the office hobby at the moment – all five of us who sit in our upstairs office have professionally DJ’d at some point.
Our DJ name is <3Hz (Love Hertz) by the way, not that we take it too seriously.