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Points of View Message Board 5: Summary of Meeting With POV programme and BBC Vision

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 12:00 UK time, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Attending the meeting were: Helen Foulkes, Roo Reynolds, Tom Van Aardt, Rowan Kerek, Nick Cohen, Nick Patten and myself.

I was very pleased with the meeting that we had on Tuesday to discuss the Points of View message boards. It was very positive with lots of enthusiasm expressed for improving the boards. (Helen from Points of View at the very start said that the boards were very useful to the programme).

pointsofviewmeetingPhoto of meeting taken by Tom.

Rowan who is currently hosting the Television board stressed (for me) the key problem with the boards at the moment. The community there feel they are not listened to by the BBC and want a closer relationship and better feedback. As she put it, they feel like they are sometimes "talking in a corner".

Before the meeting Rowan shared some numbers for web traffic which supported what you've been telling me in comments about the value of the Television board. The Television board gets the vast majority of the traffic to the POV boards, getting twenty times the numbers of even the board's home page.

I outlined the history of the boards (for more detail of the current hosting arrangements see this blog post). Up until recently they have been run and hosted by the BBC's Future Media division not by television (even though Points of View is a television programme primarily about BBC television).

I used the analogy that this was like asking Radio 4 to host a board about Radio 3 i.e. the relationship isn't close enough to get a really good conversation going. I said the key practical question for me was "who is going to host this board?"

I was pleased that that everyone in the meeting seemed to agree that the solution was that BBC Vision (the television bit of the BBC) should try to take on responsibility for hosting the POV boards and managing the community there.

One idea which seemed to go down well was for a community editor or manager in Vision to act as the host for the board and to possibly be in charge of a blog about television.

The blog could be for when BBC people want to talk about their TV work in a more structured way while the POV message boards could be continue to be the place where licence fee payers started threads about BBC television.

The community editor/manager could host the boards and the blog and feed in useful threads to BBC television people, encouraging them to respond and participate on both the blog and the boards. If a blog was set up it might contain posts about Points of View the programme when it's on air.

I said that if this happened the current POV boards should be refocused. The bbc.co.uk/Online, digital and radio boards could be closed down. Helen said that radio already has the Feedback programme (and its own message boards) and that Points of View (the programme) only covers radio when the story raises big issues about the BBC (e.g. Brand/Ross). The current BBC POV board could be the place where big BBC stories could be discussed.

I repeated niclaramartin's view that the bbc.co.uk board (which we have just renamed "Online" in line with Seetha's recent announcement) was "moribund" and in my work as editor of the BBC Internet blog wasn't really worth the effort I was putting in to hosting it.

I think people felt that the idea of a communities editor in television was well worth pursuing. Roo said he would investigate further. We also felt that if any changes were going to be made to the board a good time to make them would be April of this year when Points of View starts its next series.

Just to reassure people reading this that no one in the meeting suggested that the POV boards should be closed down.

Personally I'm very happy with the discussion in the meeting. To make the boards really work they need a strong host in the right place and the communities manager idea seems like a good solution.

Obviously I'll keep you posted on whether any of this happens and when and I'd welcome your comments.

Nick Reynolds is editor, BBC Internet blog


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  • Comment number 1.

    I've been interested in this topic, especially the reactions on the message boards themselves.

    I normally stay away from the BBC boards as I find their interface ghastly but its interesting to note just how moany those on the boards are. You dare to want to get their questions answered better but they're not happy, it appears a number of them just like to outpour nonsense onto that board and want left alone to do so.

    I'd agree with moving the TV board to vision and moving the radio board over to a radio site (I did love how they didn't seem to understand that its possible to make a new board to cater for them over there).

    What is different however is what to do about online. Whilst I think this blog is one of the better ones, partly due to the interesting stuff posts, it's both aimed at perhaps a more technical audience than the board and doesn't allow them to have a moan in the same way.

    Perhaps a better idea might be to split the blogs in two, moving what is the bulk of this board to a "bbc internet technical" board and having a "bbc internet feedback" board that allows both mods to start topics but has a weekly/daily "what's on your mind" post where replies about the board are dealt with directly by people in the know. I think that kind of accountability and feedback would be better both in the structured sense (as in, not just a big whingefest like pov) and show that there is chat going on.

    Meanwhile those of us who like to know about barlesq and technical nonsense can keep out of their way :)

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm confused - could you give your rationale for closing the POV Radio message boards.

  • Comment number 3.

    And while we're on the subject of Hosting & radio message baords - the 6music host seems to have fallen off a cliff - where's yr boss, Jem?

  • Comment number 4.

    One simple question as I dislike posting here (it's like asking teacher):

    Why even consider closing the POV radio board when most individual stations have no feedback boards of their own?

    Simple enough to answer...

  • Comment number 5.

    Because Points of View (the programme) is about BBC Television, not BBC Radio.

    Wheras BBC Radio has its' own feedback programme called "Feedback".

    If the idea is to get the boards closer to Points of View (the programme) then it makes sense to remove the radio board.

    I should say that no decision has been made to do this yet.

  • Comment number 6.

    So where is the Feedback message board?
    Clue, there's isn't one.....

    Please try to understand before we both die of old age.

  • Comment number 7.

    So Nick. Is the idea that, from April, when Points of View (the television programme) returns, the Points of View Messageboard "where you can share your thoughts and pose your questions on any aspect of the BBC ", will be revamped?

    What will happen to all the non BBC threads currently on the board? Will they be closed (a time-consuming task) or will there be a nice shiny new board starting from scratch?

  • Comment number 8.

    And what I mean by starting from scratch is a board with and for only BBC threads?

  • Comment number 9.

    So who made the fundamental mistake at the meeting that Feedback has its own message board. Helen or yourself?

    Because that's critical to any discussion of the removal of the radio board from POV, isn't it?

    At best, this is ineptitude, at worst, plain malacious.

  • Comment number 10.

    Is there even a feedback message board?
    New Techniques

  • Comment number 11.

    Nippie Sweetie - I think that whoever hosted the board would decide what to do about the off topic threads on the TV board.

    Although personally I don't think they serve any purpose.

    What I have in mind is to focus the existing boards, not start a brand new one. So I doubt if it will be shiny, although by April we should have improved some of the functionality which should make it easier to use.

    Loud Geoff - it was my suggestion that the radio board be removed. POV is a television programme about BBC Television. The question of where and how people talk about radio needs to be discussed further.

  • Comment number 12.

    But there's a fundamental issue about the discussion above. I'll quote it:

    'Helen said that radio already has the Feedback programme (and its own message boards)'

    And that is used as an argument to potentially dismantle the radio boards on POV. BUT THE FEEDBACK MESSAGE BOARD IS NONEXISTENT.

    So where will radio listeners leave their views?

    Simple question.

  • Comment number 13.

    What the sentence means LoudGeoffW is "radio already has its own message boards and its own accountability programme - Feedback".

    It doesn't mean that Feedback has a message board.

    Apologies for the confusion.

    Obviously we'll do some thinking about how people give their views on BBC radio.

  • Comment number 14.

    But, Nick you can't add 1 + 2 and get 4. Radio does have message boards with no feeback thread and there is a Feedback programme with no message board.....



    Where are radio station listeners supposed to make their views about programmes heard?

    So why even discuss the potential removal of radio from POV.

    Why not turn the whole thing on its head and unlink the board completely from POV and make it a general feedback board. Or is this treading on too many little empires?

  • Comment number 15.

    To expand on this, if for some reason the BBC decided to axe POV from the schedules would you consider it right and proper to remove ALL feedback of TV from the BBC's messageboards?

    Why does a messageboard have to be linked to a specific scheduled program or output channel. Because for the life of me I can't think of a reason.

  • Comment number 16.

    LoudGeoffW - the reason is that people on the message board want more contact from BBC people.

    One way of achieving that is to bring the boards closer to programmes and programme makers.

    We could turn the POV boards into a "general feedback board", and "unlink it" from POV, but wouldn't that be pretty similar what you've got now?

    Currently the boards aren't linked closely enough to the programme or to television.

  • Comment number 17.

    'We could turn the POV boards into a "general feedback board", and "unlink it" from POV, but wouldn't that be pretty similar what you've got now?'

    Absolutely, but since it is linked to a TV programme you're using that as a reason for the removal of radio/online boards. With no specified subsititute anywhere.

    It isn't rocket science. Either unlink it and make it a general feedback board or create specific feedback forums for radio stations, the ones that DO NOT exist at present.

    Second point, if you want to remove the BBC online boards, what programme would you like any new boards to?

  • Comment number 18.

    That last sentence made no sense, it should read:

    'Second point, if you want to remove the BBC online boards from POV, what 'programme' would you link any new discussion of online topics to?

    There's no valid reason on earth messageboards need to be linked to any particular station or programme. It's sheer bloody-mindness.

  • Comment number 19.

    The valid reason is that if you link a message board to a particular programme or network you may have a better chance of someone from that network or programme talking to you.

  • Comment number 20.

    But that doesn't happen much with POV, does it?

  • Comment number 21.

    Precisely. Which is why the suggestions outlined above might work.

  • Comment number 22.

    And would it purely be to discuss the television programme Points of View (ie like this http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbtalkscot/F2141458%29 or would it still be the place to discuss *all* aspects of BBC programmes?

  • Comment number 23.

    Trying to pin Nick down to anything is nigh on impossible. Let's try and work out the logic.

    1. Because POV is associated with a TV program there is no place for Radio/Online discussion

    2. But there are no specific feedback forums for most radio stations or general BBC Online discussions. And no promise whatsoever to create them.

    3. So since this would mean the loss of any discussion about radio stations the suggestion is made to refocus the POV board as a generic feedback board.

    4. Which is no good apparently because Nick assures us programme makers would not be prepared to interface with us there, for unspecified reasons.

    5. But they don't do that anyway, we cry. Ah well, Nick says, this is because the messageboards need 'refocusing'. Again in some unspecified way. But without radio, presumably. And with no guarantee then that anyone would take time to discuss issues at all, other than blogs from on high or the discussion of their toilet habits on Twitter.

    6. So we post lots of really simple questions that no-one without something to hide could fail to answer. And they're all ignored.

  • Comment number 24.

    Perhaps we need to take our concerns to someone higher up at the BBC .

  • Comment number 25.

    Well, since this blog appears to be about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, I think you're right, Curmy.

  • Comment number 26.

    Nippie Sweetie - I think it would be a place where all BBC TV programmes are discussed - much as it is now.

    LoudGeoffW - as I've already said we'll have to do some thinking about radio. But to have a board about radio under the Points of View banner on a set of boards which might be hosted by someone from television doesn't make much sense.

  • Comment number 27.

    But until you have in place a workable plan of action for radio, online and digital feedback messageboards then any talk of removing them from the only place they currently exist is premature and ill-conceived.

    And you will only receive negative responses.....

  • Comment number 28.

    Nippie, you'll note that Nick has inserted the word TV into his reply. There's no place for radio in the new world order of POV.

  • Comment number 29.

    Dear Nick,

    I'm grateful that you are at least giving us the opportunity for some feedback prior to making any changes. That's more than we got from the individual BBC Radio stations before they shut down many of their boards.

    There needs to be a more coherent approach from the BBC with regard to feedback about it's output. Radio 2 and Radio 4 in particular have systematically stifled all comment about the content of their broadcasts in the last 2 years with scant regard to the listener.

    Use of R4's Feedback show is not the answer. It covers a limited amount of topics each week and is far too 'softly, softly' with it's BBC colleagues at times. I can give you an example with Feedback over the Ross/Brand affair where they could have raised the issue of the broadcast on the Friday before the Mail on Sunday ran it and failed to do so. I contacted them on the Monday after the broadcast to ask whether the BBC considered it acceptable and because I wasn't available to give a 'live' quote to a researcher on the phone during the times available they dropped the whole thing. They could easily have used my written complaint to tackle a senior R2 figure and failed to do so. A week later and what happens.......................................

  • Comment number 30.

    Just to reassure people reading this that no one in the meeting suggested that the POV boards should be closed down.

    Why not? They are completely ineffective, can't be made to be effective, and cost money to run. They should be shut down. Why was saving this money not even discussed?

  • Comment number 31.

    Ah, I see one of Nick's colleagues had arrived, bright eyed and bushy tailed, this fine monday morning.

    And how pray, 'Phazer', would licence payers make their points known? Twitter. Get real.

    Perhaps you could expand on why the messageboards costs so much. Because many non-profit making, non-commercial organisations seem to manage without a bespoke, outdated, legacy system with badly implemented moderation for a fraction of the money the BBC waste.

  • Comment number 32.

    Actually Phazer, do you have any idea where Jem is?

  • Comment number 33.

    Just to be clear The_Phazer is not one of my colleagues as far as I know.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well, he cetainly comes from a techie background judging from previous posts. And he's toeing the company line so to speak, so you can see why the assumption is made.

  • Comment number 35.

    Okay let me put this simply. The BBC produces products - it's TV and radio services etc. In the same way, a manufacturer produces products. Like Dell, for example. And Dell has a long and detailed community forum where users of the products can explain problems and issues. Not a blog, a messageboard. One that functions correctly, with searches and all. And I'm not paying Dell for that service, in the same way as I pay you a small portion of your income.

    That's just one example - shall I continue?

  • Comment number 36.

    In reply to Phazer message 30.

    Nick has already asked this in one of his previous blogs.

  • Comment number 37.

    There seems to be a mountain being made out of a molehill here.

    loudGeoff - I really don't see what the problem is, other than that is is a change.

    It would make considerable sense for people involved in the POV TV programme to look after the board rather than the internet guys, and host it properly and be able to answer questions from perspective of a TV production team.

    And that as those TV people have little to do with radio, launching a *new* board for the Feedback programme, looked after by the Feedback programme would be a good idea?

    Of course there isn't a board there now - what would be the purpose of it, duplicating the existing, wrongly placed, POV radio board.

    This all sounds entirely sensible to me.

  • Comment number 38.

    But northern_steve, if you read back through five extemely long blog discussions and numerous foum postings you'll realise at no point whatsover has there been any promise or even mention of a new radio feedback board.

    In fact, in the above minutes it states:

    'I said that if this happened the current POV boards should be refocused. The bbc.co.uk/Online, digital and radio boards could be closed down. Helen said that radio already has the Feedback programme (and its own message boards) '

    This is a blatant falsehood. Feedback has no such message board. There are no other feedback forums for most radio stations on the network and some have been deliberately closed.

    So no, it's not making a mountain out of a molehill. And a lot of people see that.

  • Comment number 39.

    LoudGeoffW - it is not a "blatant falsehood". I have already explained what it means here

  • Comment number 40.

    It is. Why say that feeback has its own message board when it doesn't. Do you have a link.

    Because the one you provide above takes me to a forum discussing the use of the English language.

    You're just going round in circles again. Not all stations have feedback fourms and Radio 4 has a Feedback program but without a forum. So how can you square the circle and prove that all stations have a place where feedback can be discussed?

  • Comment number 41.

    Okay, because this is driving me nuts. Hypothetical question.

    I'm a Radio 1 listener and I want to discuss whether Chris Moyles is a good DJ. You've removed the POV radio boards.

    Where do I post to discuss with other listeners?

    Digitalspy? Drowned In Sound? Daily Mail?

  • Comment number 42.

    Or actually at the corporation that he is an employee of. The 'accountable' BBC.

    Please don't answer 'Nothing has been decided yet'.

    Secondly, please remove that link to the 'Word of Mouth' messageboard. It has no bearing on this discussion and just looks silly.

  • Comment number 43.

    loudGeoffW wrote:
    "in the above minutes it states:

    '.. that radio already has the Feedback programme (and its own message boards) '

    This is a blatant falsehood. Feedback has no such message board."

    I think the quote from the minutes is attempting to explain the current postion is that:

    1. Radio has the Feedback programme.

    and 2. Radio has its own message boards.


  • Comment number 44.

    What's the timescale for this project Nick and where is it about at the moment?

  • Comment number 45.

    That would be fine jtemplar, except as message 40 states Nick uses two disparate statements and attempted to produce a third position out of them.

    To whit:

    1. There is a Feedback program (with no message board).
    2. All radio stations have message boards (but not necessarily with feedback forums).


    3. There are is adequate feedback for all radio stations.

    Doesn’t compute. And why hyperlink to an unrelated board discussing the English language. Most strange.

  • Comment number 46.

    LoudGeoffW - how about discussing Chris Moyles on the Chris Moyles' blog?

    Can you point me to the broken link again? I can't see it.

    Nippie Sweetie - it's not really a project yet but I would hope as I wrote in the post that if we do make any changes to the POV boards it would be in April to coincide with the new series of the programme.

  • Comment number 47.

    "LoudGeoffW - how about discussing Chris Moyles on the Chris Moyles' blog?"

    I really don't understand your obsession with blogs over messageboards (other than making it easier for yourself to control the conversation, you might be better off talking to yourself?), or your apparent desire to antagonise messagboarders by repeatedly telling them to blog, particularly as you seem to be at the start of a process of looking at what to do with the boards.

    Laying out your conclusions (blogs good, boards bad) makes it hard to take serious the suggestion that you are looking for the best solution rather than pushing solutions that suit your prejudices.

    Regarding posting to Moyles' blog, surely that is only possible if what you wish to say happens to coincide with what the show wants comments on? If you have a more general point, or a point that isn't relevent to that days blog you are back to square one. Not a problem with messageboards.

  • Comment number 48.

    Message 46 from Nick

    "Nippie Sweetie - it's not really a project yet but I would hope as I wrote in the post that if we do make any changes to the POV boards it would be in April to coincide with the new series of the programme."

    So I take it that would that be when BBC Vision take on the boards then Nick? Thanks.

  • Comment number 49.

    So Nick can you describe the new forum for radio listeners to interact with the BBC. As you envisage it?

    BTW, this whole process is a text book example of how large organisations

    a) make a decision
    b) make a dumbshow of "consultion"
    c) carry on with the decision already made.

    It's really very, very cynical. I'm diasappointed, but not suprised.

  • Comment number 50.

    FistofOnan - first of all no decisions have actually been made yet.

    Secondly I started talking to the POV community well before this blog post (the fifth in the series).

    So it's not a "dumbshow", nor am I "carrying on with the decision already made", as when I started the conversation no decision had been made.

    Thirdly, this is not a formal "consultation". It's a conversation.

    I've been talking to you (or trying to) in order to help me think.

  • Comment number 51.

    Nick, here's Chris Boyle's blog for today, verbatim:

    'Chris is going to an oxygen chamber with Rachel and other fellow climbing friends because they're getting fit for the climb - then he's going home for a curry with "our kid" - he might also change a few lightbulbs
    Rachel is doing the same as Chris - but not making a curry or changing lightbulbs
    Dave has an afternoon of Daddy-daycare as Mummy Jayne is out
    Dom is doing the 12:45 edition of Newsbeat, he's then taking Fin out
    Carrie is going to Yoga this afternoon and then she might make a curry
    Aled is working on a climbing trip, checking in on Greg (who's busking to raise money for our week of talking about money) going home for a sleep then watching last night's Lost!'

    At what point would a comment on that blog as to whether that show, or it's conten is any good or not be appropriate?

    The link isn't broken - it's just irrelevant. What connects a discussion board about the English language with evidence that there are feedback forums?

  • Comment number 52.

    I note of course that Chris Moyle's latest blog, despite his millions of listeners, has attracted precisely zero comments.

    No-one is really interested in posting to those blogs, Nick. Because they're talking at us, not to us.

    Forumphobia appears to be your problem, Nick. It's a rare condition, and appears to be mostly confined to people within the confines on the M25 and working in the media :-)

  • Comment number 53.

    Wild horses wouldn't make me read let alone post on Chris Moyle's blog !

  • Comment number 54.

    And that's the point, Curmy. These blogs have no connection with user feedback in any sense at all.

    They're just public diaries.

    I'm sorry, but after hundreds of posts in which it has been patiently explained in every possible combination that blogs are in no sense a replacement for messageboards, that the two are complimentary but different animals, nothing seems to be sinking in.

    So sad.

    I'm thinking of posting a blog somewhere to express my feelings. Any comments....

  • Comment number 55.

    In fact here’s some samples of the most recent blogs, from radio stations that don’t have feedback forums.

    1Xtra listeners are a bit fridgid! (contents of people’s fridges discussion, zero comments)

    Chris Evans – A Twist In The Tail (chat about Mike Hawthorn and his lunch trip)

    Chris Moyles – Curries, Reeling And Cola (haven’t a flipping clue, couldn’t be arsed to read it)

    Greg James – I’ve got hair like Arsene Wegner (that’s the entire blog)

    Need I continue? And you have the balls to come here and suggest that these ramblings are adequate substitute for discussion of the BBC’s output through messageboards. Sir, I admire your courage – but you’re dead wrong.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm nothing to do the with BBC, yet I think the blogs are useful and avoid the boards. Does that make me not-normal...?

    (OK, I'm not normal anyway but that's by-the-by)

    I've said it before, but I do think that blogs and boards are both useful and serve different purposes. Blogs are great for posting/reading information on specific topics - precisely why I follow this one. Boards are great for chat on (or despite) a main topic.

    As to the whole radio aspect, yes it does make sense for there to be somewhere to discuss radio stuff. But keeping them in the "wrong" place (a board associated to a TV show about TV feedback) just because there's no "right" place doesn't make it any less wrong a fit.

    And to anybody who thinks the decisions have already been made...
    "Obviously I'll keep you posted on whether any of this happens and when and I'd welcome your comments."

    I read that as saying that they're putting a plan together, but at this stage it's still possible for something-else/nothing-at-all to happen.

  • Comment number 57.


    As I've said above blogs and messageboards are complimentary, but one is not a replacement for the other. But if you read through all of Nick's responses here and on the boards themself I think you get the measure of his bias.

    From his provocative postings on Sunday, it is very clear that EVEYTHING is orientated towards his beloved blogs. Check out his response to my hypothetical Moyles question above.

    We've have suggested that the POV board become disengaged from the TV programme and made into an independent one-stop talking shop. Too 'unwieldy', apparently.

    He hasn't responded at all as to whether individual radio stations will have feedback boards created. And yet he's prepared to even discuss removing them from the one place most listeners can currently talk shop.

    So sorry, Tiggs, but I think the decision HAS already been made. And Nick, who has an extreme, almost pathological, aversion to messageboards has been given the executioner's sword.

    Still, wait until April and don't say I didn't tell you so.

  • Comment number 58.

    Nippie Sweetie - I would use the word "might" rather than "will". TiggsPanther's comment is on the mark, we're still investigating the options.

    LoudGeoffW - I notice that the PM blog has an open thread called the Glass Box for feedback. It seems to get a lot of comments. If more blogs did this, it might help.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nick, you are getting desperate. Only a very, very small percentage of programmes have blogs at all.

    And one blog to cover talking about pretty much anything in the world, the universe and eveything isn't exactly going to produce very focused arguments is it?

    So are you suggesting that every single programme on BBC Radio is given a 'glass box' open blog. Can I expect a George Lamb open ended blog where we can leave our thoughts?

    Because to be that looks like a messageboard split into many, many disparate elements. And without any great functionality.

    Point is blogs in the main aren't like this. They're for the main the inconsequential ramblings of people who have more time on their hands than really necessary. READ the blogs I have shown you above. Do you understand what we're saying AT ALL?

  • Comment number 60.

    "If more blogs did this, it might help."

    It might, but it would be using blogs to achieve what could be done better with a message board.

    Is there any question to which the answer isn't 'Blog'?

    Do you see any merit in message boards at all?

    The process of helping you 'think' seems pointless if your thought process is "blog, blog, blog,blog; blog, blog, blog".

  • Comment number 61.

    Actually, Nick here's a question. Been at this IT lark long, have we? Taken a look at messageboards on other sites, the ones with hierarchical structures, the ability to edit one's own posts, search facilities and the like. The one's that WORK properly. And cost a tiny, tiny proportion of the millions the Beeb has blown on the outdated legacy system we're lumbered with.

    And then examine the blogs on the Beeb. They seem to lack any sense of structure, search facilities etc etc. In fact, they're more of a mess than the messageboards are in, aren't they? But that's inbuilt into blogs, isn't it. It's mostly unstructured ramblings, with unstructured rambling comments appended. With the HUGE disadvantage to us (not you, of course) that we can't start our own threads. But isn't that the real intention? You know in your heart it is, you just can't say it here, CAN YOU?

  • Comment number 62.

    Sorry, Nick's sitting with his fingers in his ears repeating:



  • Comment number 63.

    LoudGeoffW - No in fact I've just got to my desk. And obviously I can't use a keyboard if I have my fingers in my ears.

    You are right that we need to improve the technical aspects of all the BBC's blogs and message boards (e.g. search). And we have some work in progress to do this.

    But I don't agree with you that a blog is more unstructured than a message board thread.

    It depends where your feedback is more likely to get an answer.

    Where are you more likely to have your feedback and read and responded to by the PM team?

    On PM's glass box blog post, or on a POV radio message board?

  • Comment number 64.

    Blogs are completely unstructured. There's no continuity. A new Glass Box everyday, the old ones pushed away to the archive.

    So will I get feedback on Chris Moyle's blogs about curry and climbing then?

    You're using one isolated example to justify the removal of all the radio boards. I don't want a response from PM - I might want one from Radio 2. Where would I go?

    Are you deliberately being so obtuse. It's not an appealing trait.

    You (and Jem) also appear to be in somewhat of a minority.

  • Comment number 65.

    "On PM's glass box blog post, or on a POV radio message board?"

    The problem there is one or the location of the board, not the superiority of blogs over boards.

    There used to be feedback boards for individual stations (such as 'The Station' for R5), but these were axed and people directed to POV. A reversal of this policiy and a return to more local feedback boards would seem a good idea.

    But I still think that boards are more suitable for general, or spontaneous, discussions of programs (or stations) than Blogs which by their nature are better for garnering responses to a particular point of view or story put forward by the blogger.

    The 'Glass box' seems to be trying to use a blog to do a boards job.

  • Comment number 66.

    And of course, to use blogs in the manner of Glass Box you would have to create literally HUNDREDS of blog micro-sites, one for every single programme on BBC Radio.

    Does that seem at all logical at all, Nick?

    Because message boards seem to be better at grouping information together, don't they.

  • Comment number 67.

    And to throw in the opposing view...

    I follow the blog. I like that there's an easy way to see when there's new content and when there's new comments. And due to the (yes) Twitter feed, I can tell both when there's a new post but whether it's on any of the subjects I'm currently following.

    I wouldn't be able to get that from a message board. Well, not unless there was an "announcements" section purely for BBC-generated threads. But then those would probably get the same criticism for BBC staff only using "their" section and not "joining in" on the rest of the board.

    For me, anyway, the blogs are where is it at. Maybe I'm in the minority, but they work for what I want when I'm information-seeking and I don't have to dredge through dozens of other threads just to find the latest official word on something.

  • Comment number 68.

    You want an example. Take 6Music - well there's Gideon Coe, Marc Riley, George Lamb, Chris Hawkins, Nemone, Craig Charles, Don Letts, Guy Garvey, Bruce Dickinson, The Freak Zone, Dave Pearce, Lauren Laverne, Adam & Joe, Liz Kershaw, Jon Richardson, Bob Dylan, Tom Robinson, Stephen Merchant, Clare McDonnell, Iyare, Queens of Noize, Shaun Keavney, Steve Lamaq etc.

    In fact, there's 29 different shows through the week. Are you suggesting 29 daily feedblack blogs be created just in case someone wants to comment on a show. Or one feedback blog with thousands of totally unconnected messages about all the shows.

    And that's just one of a dozen stations.

    Doesn't work. Can you not see this at all?

  • Comment number 69.

    So, a simple question for you, TiggsPanther.

    Imagine the POV radio boards were gone. And you wanted to discuss something about the quality of say, Ken Bruce's program, where would you go?

    There isn't a feedback forum for Radio 2 is there?

    And you can't rely on someone opening up a blog by chance to discuss Ken Bruce. So where do you go?

    Should I have to repeat this mantra. There's a place for blogs and there's a place for messageboards. Heck, even twitters if you're self-obsessive. But one does not replace the other.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nick, can you come up with a figure for how many daily feedback blogs would need to be created to allow for feedback to be posted against them for every single show on BBC Radio. And every conceivable facet of the online and digital services?

    I'm sure it will be quite a high number.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm sure it would be.

    It's not the only option of course. You might not need daily feedback posts for all blogs.

    One a week might be enough.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd probably go to a third-party discussion group.

    I've done it before, I'll do it again. Before they left Radio 1, I was an avid listener of Mark & Lard. I was also a regular on the Usenet newsgroup that existed for their fans.

  • Comment number 74.

    So, at minimum about 200 new feedback blog micro-sites need to be set up?

    Even without daily blogs being posted.

    Doesn't seem a terribly efficient way of working to me.

  • Comment number 75.

    But doesn't it worry you, Tiggs that as a licence payer you wouldn't have a voice on the BBC's site itself. Other than to reply to something someone at the BBC has decided to post. And you're looking at just being a 'fan'. Well blogs are fine for that. But not if you want to raise a complaint. Or is everything the Beeb does just fine and dandy?

    Why be so passive. Your choices to raise topics that concern you are being curtailed. Slowly but surely.

  • Comment number 76.

    We lost Peta, a committed messageboarder and we got Nick, a committed blogger.

    That wasn't an accident was it?

    As RedRedRobin said;

    "The process of helping you 'think' seems pointless if your thought process is "blog, blog, blog,blog; blog, blog, blog"."

  • Comment number 77.


    I know that if I have a serious complain, there is a dedicated complaints page only 3 clicks from any given webpage. (I just checked)
    I also know that, ultimately, there are official channels outside of the BBC (i.e. Offcom) where extermely serious complaints and issues can be brought up and addresses.
    I don't feel I'm being denied the opportunity to raise topics becase I know that I can still raise them in the places where they will (and should) actually be taken notice of.

    I certainly don't think the BBC is getting everything right. But I doubt me posting on some board will make a difference. And posting comments here (which I do) is little more than adding a voice to the crowd - which is important, but not always the best way.
    But if I had a serious complaint I would write, probably via actual snail-mail, to raise a formal complaint. I've complained that way before about TV shows. And I know there's no way they'd risk pulling that.

    Boards (and even blogs) are not a suitable place for raising serious concerns. The official channels are.
    All boards do is give the illusion of getting your voice out there.

  • Comment number 78.

    Tried, that Tiggs. We all have. Standard cut and paste responses. And compared notes.

    A complete waste of time and effort. And without messageboards you'd never know anyone else had done the same...

    Would you like me to post the Dave Barber letter I had, in which it was clear that he had not even heard the show I was complaining about!

    As a talking shop, messageboards are necessary. The fact that no-one at the Beeb is interested is their fault, not ours.

  • Comment number 79.

    And a question, Tiggs. Why are you so keen for one more line of licence payer comment and interaction be removed?

    Cost. Well, there's plenty of ways to reduce that. Use an off the peg messageboard solution, make the boards adult only thus removing the need for one layer of moderation (I'm sure children prefer blogs anyway), centralise logins, that sort of thing.

    Or isn't it good to talk to your fellow human beings about the state of the union?

  • Comment number 80.

    Still all this talk of feedback interaction on whatever media (be it messageboards, bloggs whatever) is just an illusion anyway. Take the example of George Lamb (or Victoria Derbyshire for 5Live listeners).

    9600+ posts to 6Music Feedback, 99% calling for his removal. Nothing

    E-mail and snail mail complaints about particular Lamb shows to the BBC. Same old cut-and-paste reponse.

    2100 Anti-lamb Facebookers. Sweet FA

    No blog, as we're unlikely to have a 'How Bad is George Lamb?' one started any time soon.

    So the BBC will only interact when it suits them. And no amount of blog evangalism will ever change that.

  • Comment number 81.

    Nick, have you any thoughts on my exploding kettle / scalded pussy analogy?

    It's in the other place.

  • Comment number 82.

    Could someone please sum up for me what's happened in this blog in 50 words of less?

    All I can see is endless paranoia from loudGeoff who appears to think that it would be impossible for any of the existing radio messageboards to have tweaks done or new ones opened.

    I mean I can understand not wanting to focus everything onto feedback's board (if they were to open one). As a Radio One listener I certainly wouldn't go there and would rather use the radio one board. However for each board that is currently there its surely not that much hassle to open another sub-board of general comments. And presumably the easiest way to encourage the people at radio to open these boards is to go "look, we're closing the board that we don't want lumbered with, its about your dept, come up with a replacement."

    Having said that its far more fun to presume a great conspiracy against everything is being heralded by those who are generally just trying to sort things out. The Daily Mail thrives on that sort of idea.

  • Comment number 83.

    "However for each board that is currently there its surely not that much hassle to open another sub-board of general comments. "

    That would be my view also, and it would be a return to the old system, which seemed to work pretty well.

    The difficulty is that there seems to be a view from Mr Reynolds that blogs are the answer, and he will not be deflected from that.

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm trying to post and comment and nothings happening. Any reason?

  • Comment number 85.

    Couldn't post this before, trying again:

    Hymagumba, if you haven't read the five blogs and hundreds of forum posting by many of us (notably niclaramartin who won't come here because of Nick's attitude) then you have no right to call anyone paranoid, I'll thank you. Resorting to abuse is the last refuge of the desperate. I've offered dozens of suggestions about improving the messageboards. All ignored.

    Read and inwardly digest the following:


    See, under 50 words - nice and simple for the hard of understanding

    So go over to POV Online where you can find the main, meaty discussion. Lots of other people there, not just me...

  • Comment number 86.

    So convince me you're not a plant, Hymagumba. If you listen to Radio 1 then email them to suggest they set up a feedback forum. I listen to 6Music, we've already got one so shouldn't be too much trouble. And they try with Radio 2, because they had their board removed with very little notice. And then onto 5Live maybe. And then 1Xtra. And so on.

    Hopefully you've managed to persuade all those radio stations to carry feedback forums. So now it's on to the Online board. Not sure who'll you will contact, but give it a go. And then Digital. Because Nick is talking about removing all three.

    And once all those boards have been set up then, and only then, should we even be talking about removing them from POV. And all us messageboards will maybe shut up.

  • Comment number 87.

    If you don't want to do this I'll ask a direct question to Nick and if he answers unambiguously then I'll shut up:

    Nick, can you absolutely guarantee that appropriate feedback messageboards for all radio stations, online services and digital enquiries will be in place and up and running before any attempt is made to remove those specific boards from POV?

    See simple question - can't be misunderstood, reworded or left open to interpretation. No paranoia, no wittering. One question.

  • Comment number 88.

    Why is it some feel that if another user disagrees with them they automatically must be a plant (by the BBC), when reality is it's more likely just somone (non-BBC) who has a different opinion.

    With regards the Points of View site in general if it's going to associated more with the television programme it would be helpful if the relevant /programme pages provided a link to the boards.

    For the radio section *if* the current board was closed down then perhaps it would be useful to have a new one created which is run by radio (or whatever the BBC department it's referred to as).

    I think it would be more effecitve to close the 'Online' and encourage people to make use of the 'Contact Us' link in the footer. Often this link loads a contact/feedback page for that specific site area, which I'd thought would ensure messages reach the relevant people far quicker than posting on the PoV board.

    With the message boards in general it's slightly puzzled me why the URL is /dna/mbpointsofview/ (I've no idea what 'dna' is supposed to stand for). I also notice that if only '/dna' is entered an error page is shown rather than something more helpful such as a list of message boards to choose from. Personally I think it would be nice if we could have URLs such as '/forums/pov' in a similar style to how the blogs are set up.

  • Comment number 89.

    I've read them, mainly the blogs to be fair, I try reading the message boards but there's an awful habbit of some users just screaming blue murder about everything and going "we don't like blogs" a lot, so if I'm honest my eyes do tend to glaze over.

    As for the other boards, digital. Is it *really* needed these days? I mean apart from BBCi, the majority of digital stuff would fit nicely into the tv and radio boards. With only three(?) years till switchover is done it seems a bit of a leftover from the days when digital was all new and shiny.

    "The BBC", as mentioned, isn't really very busy and apart from a recent surge due to this gaza business doesn't really warrant being there.

    Finally online, I covered this in my earlier post #1, I feel would be better served using two blogs, a technical one and a one for normal users. So long as the normal user one was done right - as in with plenty any questions? posts, with good posts on new site launches around the site and good enough watching of what others are saying about the BBC on their own blogs and suchlike it would work. I think this is one of the best BBC blogs simply for the way it keeps and eye on the rest of the net and what its saying about the BBC.

    Radio and TV are therefore left over, TV is supposedly going to remain on Points Of View and be moved under the control of the TV dept.

    That leaves just Radio. And yes, at the moment not much has been said, but one would expect perhaps a degree of silence whilst trying to twist the arms of people at radio to open such message boards. Course if time keeps going on and it appears that nothing is going to happen with radio at all and they just want to close the board and leave it, THEN, we have a problem. But I wouldinterpret silence in a "we're working on it" way rather than we're trying to dipose of it.

    Finally, and something I know annoys a lot of messageboarders, and perhaps fair enough, its a legitimate concern even if sometimes ruined slightly by silly ways of expressing it over on the messageboards. Blogs.

    I would see it this way. The main complaint is that there is scant way to talk to programme makers via the boards. Now its very likely that a lot of programme makers simply don't want to participate in them as they find them unwieldy and overly large. If I was making my little sitcom then I'd probably not want to try and get attention or try to search through endless pages of complaints about Jonathan Ross and those things they ruin credits with to get my voice heard.

    Perhaps blogs do give them a bit more control, a bit more order, then perhaps its good progress. Surely its better that there is a way to tease answers out of people rather than have nothing at all?

    At least thats the way I see it, if Nick would like to correct my view of what I think he's saying let him, maybe the messageboarders are right and he is just a big raving twitterlover.

    And I don't hope you were offended by my little attention grabbing opening sentence, just I wanted to make my point visible as this has so far been rather geoffdominated ;)

  • Comment number 90.

    @the broll

    dna is the name of the software that the blogs run on, originally designed for bbc.co.uk/h2g2

    Have a poke around http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/hub for a bit more info

  • Comment number 91.

    But I'm don't disagree with you Broll. There has to be a radio feedback board somewhere hence my question to Nick. It's a very reasonable question, don't you think.

    But Hymagumba is so determined to toe Jem and Nick's party line it's embarrassing.

    'Course if time keeps going on and it appears that nothing is going to happen with radio at all and they just want to close the board and leave it, THEN, we have a problem. But I wouldinterpret silence in a "we're working on it" way rather than we're trying to dipose of it.'

    Radio 2 listeners haven't had a feedback board for over 2 years. Wake up and smell the roses. There's no appetite at the Beeb for feedback messageboards.

    Or if you use a bus service regularly and it's threatened with cancellation, do you just sit there and cross your figures they might provide a substitute service?

  • Comment number 92.

    I was under the impression that radio 2's feedback was meant to be directed at the pov/radio board but as nobody from the BBC takes much notice of the thing then they were suggesting reforming it.

  • Comment number 93.

    That's fine - so where will people go then if it's not on POV?

    My question was simple for Nick - get radio forums set up before even considering moving them off POV.

    Does it have to be any clearer?

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm not suggesting your question is invalid (cause it's not), I'm suggesting that he's not explicity stated either way and that perhaps that isn't the bad thing that its being suggested.

  • Comment number 95.

    Still, don't keep repeating the same old arguments here with me. Go over to the message boards and find a whole lot of other people, long since bored with being given the runaround here by Nick, have departed.

    Or do you have some sort of aversion to messageboards?

  • Comment number 96.

    Well, I would think that question would be a good one to pose to someone who has already postulated the removal of those boards in the meeting minutes above.

    I'm pretty sure that before you decided to consider replacing something you have also considered what you are going to replace it with.

    And Nick won't answer that.

  • Comment number 97.

    LoudGeoffW - I wouldn't want to "absolutely guarantee" anything at this stage, simply because:

    a) I can't predict the future and

    b) I don't dictate what my colleagues in radio or television might choose to do

    The radio board is something we will have to think about.

  • Comment number 98.

    so that's what I said then isn't it? Although it would be as I'm a party line toeing plant as we know.

    Can I ask about the plans for internet feedback? Are you suggesting its not needed because there are other places for discussing it better or are you implying that this blog is the replacement?

    If its felt that blogs are the best way for internet feedback to continue would a split such as the one I outlined in #89 be on the table or would it all just merge into here?

  • Comment number 99.

    But, Nick you're discussing removing boards from POV without a clue about whats going to happen to them. That's just not a very impressive plan of action is it. Doesn't scream management skills, does it?

    No Hymagumba, blogs are not the best way for internet feedback. Blogs AND messageboards are the best way for internet feedback.

  • Comment number 100.

    Neither blogs nor message boards are in themselves better for feedback.

    The crucial point is whether they are hosted well.

    As I've said in my previous posts I'm currently hosting the Online board of POV but I don't think it's currently worth the effort I'm putting in.

    Hymaumba - as for a "split blog" I think that the Internet blog could serve both groups of people you mention (and has done in the past).

    Is there anything you would particularly like to see the Internet blog cover?


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