Friday, January 23, 2009

Time for the Navy to get with the times

I just noticed today that the Navy and by extension Marlant and Marpac and all the various ships have updated their websites to a new standard pattern. Overall the sites look great but they are still missing one feature - RSS. Thanks to RSS I knew about 413 Squadron's rescue of three fisherman before I heard about the Canadian Rangers embarking on HMCS Calgary (I did receive the Marpac News Release email about the Rangers - but noticed Dave Pugliese's blog post in my RSS reader first).

The only reason I noticed the new Navy site today is that my Marlant and Marpac scraped RSS feeds stop working due to the changed pages. The DND/CF site has a page that lists feeds for DND/CF, the Army and Air Force, but nothing for the Navy. The Army takes things to a completely different level offering 57 feeds including Podcasts and video downloads.

RSS is not a new technology. Email and traditional news releaeses just won't cut it in today's 24 hour news world.

On a related note, it would really help give context to stories if they had a date on them. Looking at this story on HMCS Halifax's return from a Great Lakes Cruise, located on the Navy's News page, under Community Relations, you might think that Halifax completed a Lakes cruise in the summer of 2008. In actual fact it was HMCS Charlottetown that did the Lakes tour this year, Halifax was in 2007.

There are a lot of good stories to be told about the Canadian Navy and plenty of people willing to help tell them. Give them the tools to spread the word.

/rant off

PS. while you're putting RSS feeds in, throw in some social bookmarking tools and you'll have a leg up on the Army and Air Force!


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