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Sunday, October 26, 2014

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  • "60 Minutes" Interview With bin Laden Shooter is Riveting; Should be Much Easier to Find on Show's Web Site

    I TiVo'd the "60 Minutes" interview with Mark Owen (his pen name), one of the Navy SEALs who shot Osama Bin Laden and has now written the new book, "No Easy Day" about the operation. As luck would have it, because of the U.S. Open women's finals, my TiVo stopped recording a third of the way into the interview. Frustrating, but not the first time this has happened. No problem, I figured I'd just go online to 60 Minutes' web site and the interview would be right there, front and center. Right? Wrong.

    Oddly, if you visit the 60 Minutes site, you will see a large picture and the headline "SEAL's first-hand account of bin Laden killing" (in rotation with 2 other unrelated stories receiving equal prominence), but not the video itself embedded. In fact, if you scan the home page to try to find the link to watch the full episode, a thumbnail for it can't be found until about a quarter of the way down a lengthy page, well below the fold and after a group of related behind-the-scenes videos from 60 Minutes Overtime.

    Because I didn't do this the first time I checked the 60 Minutes web site, and therefore didn't see it immediately, I bailed and went to YouTube, quickly searching and finding the interview there. Later, I returned to the site, and noticed that only after clicking on the above headline, links to the video itself are exposed

    Generally, the 60 Minutes site is nicely laid out, but in this case I don't see why this interview isn't right at the top of the home page, with huge, can't miss visibility. I've been a 60 Minutes fan for years, and this is easily the most compelling interview I've ever watched. It is absolutely riveting to listen as the details of the SEALs' 38 harrowing minutes on the ground are matter-of-factly revealed. And 60 Minutes interviewer Scott Pelley is brilliant - asking the right mix of questions about operational strategy and human interest (e.g. after confirming they'd shot Bin Laden "did you guys start shaking hands, patting each other on the back?").

    I have to believe that the folks at 60 Minutes must also recognize this is one of the show's signature episodes. Regardless of what the incumbent site navigation might be, it should have been be re-worked to give this episode stronger visibility and better promotion. Newspapers have recognized how to do this for years with banner headlines. It's no different online; the lesson here is that when you have a jewel of a video, it should be front and center, ready to draw visitors in and be monetized effectively.

    60 Minutes home page:



    Bin Laden episode page:

     
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