Homepage Two Months On: Your Feedback
Let me reassure everyone that video won't be playing automatically when you visit the BBC homepage. We hate it when that happens too! There'll be a static picture with a "click to play" button, along with the ability to mute the sound. Further down the line, subtitles may be available, too. And we don't intend to serve up video clips all of the time: text and photographs will continue to be part of the mix up in that top section of the page.
AndyAutomatic and others are quite right to point out the limitations the current cookie-based method of storing your preferences. There is a project underway which will enable users to keep the same profile, whatever computer they use. You'll have to be patient with us though, as this "portable identity" is still some months away.
It's interesting that not everyone is keen on the idea of non-BBC widgets, and I take the point that there are plenty of alternatives if you want to check your webmail and whatnot. However, for those who want the BBC set as their main portal page onto the internet, it's important. Indeed, we've had quite a bit of feedback from people specifically requesting the ability to add non-BBC services. But there's no need to fear the page getting cluttered (saintrumbly), as such widgets won't be visible on the page by default. Only those specifically seeking them out will see them.
Perhaps I should have made it clearer that new stuff won't be appearing on the beta immediately... but by the end of May, you should start seeing new modules and other enhancements sliding into view.
And for those wanting a sneak preview, here's a draft design of the upcoming "food" widget...
James Price is the editor of the BBC homepage.