Friday 25 May 2012

CBC And Microsoft For Playoffs

I'm not entirely sold on the idea of having Corporate Canada/America getting their hands on the game of hockey and branding it into a giant billboard for whatever their hawking, but I received an email from a lady and interesting piece of equipment from Microsoft Canada that had me clicking a button for the better part of a day today. Last season, CBC and Microsoft Canada joined forces to bring the NHL Playoff Pulse page to life for Canadians who wanted to get in on some playoff contests, polls, and a way to watch highlights of CBC's extended Stanley Cup Playoff coverage. With that button today, I also joined thousands of Canadians on the CBC Playoff Pulse page, and I was pretty impressed with what was delivered on that website.

We'll start with the email I received on May 15 from Tania D. from a Toronto-based marketing firm. She wrote,
"I wanted to quickly reach out to you let you know about a really cool app that Microsoft Canada and the CBC having been working on related to the playoffs, and I actually think it is right up your alley. I’d love to send you some information so you can test out the app and play around with it."
Because my work involves technological know-how, I was interested from the moment I started reading. Of course, I wrote back and indicated that I would be very interesting in participating in whatever Tania wanted me to do. After emailing back and forth, I received a package in the mail that contained this trinket. Yes, the picture quality sucks. That's my Blackberry's camera for you.

Anyway, with my curiosity already piqued, I did what any responsible computer nerd does, and I plugged the device squarely into my laptop's USB port. It lit up blue. With the device powered up and the drivers correctly installed on my laptop, I couldn't wait any longer - I had to push the button!
Thankfully, Ren was half-wrong when said something bad would happen because I would say he's half-right in saying something good will happen. Good did happen when I pressed the button!

The button took me directly to the CBC Playoff Pulse page that featured the three-minute game between the Devils and Rangers from their Game Six battle! I was already pretty happy that I had a cool new gadget on my desk, but now it does even more!

As an aside, I apologize to readers outside of Canada as the CBC and Microsoft Canada have limited the viewing of the video to Canadian viewers only. I can't change that, so make your voice heard on Twitter at @MicrosoftCanada if you want to see the CBC coverage of these highlights.

The site also has an area where fans can go to the CBC Playoff Pulse pool page, and there's also an area where fans can answer a poll question. The poll questions change throughout the games, so head back to this page while watching the game to answer new poll questions as they happen!

Clearly, as I've linked all the pages on the CBC Playoff Pulse site, you don't need one of these Microsoft smart buttons to access the website. The fact that they sent me one is a nice gesture, and I'm happy to work with both CBC and Microsoft Canada to bring forth some new innovations that they're working on for the fans. That being said, I'm hoping to bring you, the readers, something awesome from one of these two companies in the future, so stay tuned here.

As for the website, head over and check it out. I was pretty impressed by what CBC and Microsoft Canada have done over there, especially with the highlight packages. You can also see live goals as they happen on the "Plays" page on the site, and there are a ton of things to do during the games as well. Check it out, and let me know what you think of this all-in-one stop for highlights, fun, and interaction!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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