03/03/2011

Wedding website not fit for a King

The official Royal Wedding website was launched this week, promising to be "regularly updated with exclusive content, including photo galleries, features, videos and links to important information for visitors on the day."

The launch was received with great enthusiasm in some quarters:

Oh, this is so exciting! The Royal Family has launched an official website in response to the pitiful amount of press attention being given to William and Kate's forthcoming nuptials.

(A Google News search for 'Royal Wedding' might have you reassessing what you thought 'pitiful' meant, but let's not get bogged down in the semantics.)

There's just oodles of information on the site, which gained 200,000 hits in its first eight hours from people who probably paid far less attention to their own trip up the aisle.

Alas, the site was not as well received in other circles. Writing in the Guardian, Jean Hannah Edelstein criticizes the site for being very ordinary. 

But the truth is the launch of a dedicated portal for stoking the coals of hot anticipation of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is actually quite old-fashioned in internet terms.

Edelstein compares the site to large U.S. ones like The Knot, and finds the William and Kate offering sadly lacking.

The Daily Mirror has an even less flattering evaluation. The headline pretty much sums it up: "Royal website verdict: it's a Big Fat royal disappointment".

Let's hope the big day isn't as much of a turn-off as this. This is the sort of site you'd expect for A Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, not a royal one.

While this might be a little over the top, this humble author also found the Royal Wedding site to be a disappointment. Surprisingly, its biggest shortcomming is a lack of content. 

On the procession 'story' for example (at least, as of March 3), we are promised the following:

The Royal Wedding processional route will go past some of London's most famous landmarks, including two Royal Parks. Find out more by clicking the button below which will take you to the Royal Parks website

Admittedly we are warned, but the "Read more" link literally does take you to the Royal Parks website, with nothing specific about the wedding or procession. Forgive the shameless plug here, but even your humble author managed to put together an interactive route map for the big day.

None of this has stopped hundreds of thousands of people from visiting the site shortly after launch, but we'll see how often they go back.

If the site live-streams the wedding, all will be forgiven.

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