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BBC News And Sport on Mobile Update

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Kate Milner | 14:10 UK time, Friday, 12 June 2009

Editor's note: we ran out of time on mobile day and had some posts left over. We'll be publishing the best of them over the next few days. Enjoy!

It's been just over a month since we relaunched the BBC News and Sport mobile sites and we're already seeing the benefits, both for our audience and for the journalists.

The key benefit is that we've dramatically improved the publishing speeds. The mobile site is now published directly from the same Journalism Content Production System used to publish the desktop site. It means the mobile site gets the latest updates at the same time as the desktop site - absolutely crucial for breaking news and during live sporting events.

Sport is extremely important to our mobile audience and we know that Saturday afternoons are a key time, when football fans in particular want up-to-date scores and live text commentary on how their team is doing.

The move into CPS publishing means the Sport journalists can now easily manage the mobile content, to make sure the most relevant stories and stats are highlighted.

For example, during Formula 1 events, a journalist adds the Live Leaderboard to a prominent position on the mobile site, so people wanting quick updates on their phone don't have to spend ages hunting around for the key information.

The Sports desk is trying out a similar approach by highlighting Live Scores during key football matches. And with the Ashes approaching, cricket fans can also expect to find the latest scores at their fingertips.

As senior software engineer Paul Caporn will explain in a forthcoming post it was a huge task to migrate the mobile site from one publishing system to another and make changes to the content output. My role was to keep the audience needs at the forefront and to ensure that the new mobile site was easy for journalists to manage.

Journalists have to manage multiple outputs, including the web, Ceefax and Digital Text, so it was vital that we didn't create unnecessary extra work for them. The system had to be able to run itself for the most part, yet it also needed to be flexible for when extra editorial work is needed.

On the News side of things, this flexible approach means there is now more scope for journalists to respond quickly to big news stories, as the BBC News website's editor, Steve Herrmann points out.

And as my colleague Gavin Gibbons explained recently , this is just the beginning. Future plans include an improved sports stats service and more mobile video and audio.

Kate Milner is Product Manager, Mobiles, BBC Future Media and Technology, Journalism


  • Comment number 1.

    Cricket score cards are still not viewable on an iPhone on the mobile site - they just display the raw XML data. Also many of the featured articles on the desktop site (such as Jonathan Agnew's column) are not available on the mobile cricket pages. Are there plans to address these issues prior to the Ashes starting?

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks for asking about this. We're working on the Cricket scorecards right now, so you'll be able to view those on your iPhone in time for the Ashes. Jonathan Agnew's column does make an occasional appearance on the mobile Sport front page, so look out for that during the Ashes. It's true that many of our other columns are not yet available on mobile. We hope to offer more of those articles in the future, but it's not on the agenda at the moment.

  • Comment number 3.

    Thinking of upgrading to HTC Hero mobile phone and wondered if anyone can tell me if its new Adobe Flash Player will let me watch video and live streams on the BBC and other web pages - particularly interested in live Match of The Day - impossible on my Apple Ipod Touch. Thanks

  • Comment number 4.

    The business news section of the WML site has been broken for some older phones since almost 2 months now. Someone @ BBC Mobile said this was a known issue quite a few weeks ago - I totally appreciate that development effort is mainly focused on new features rather than bug fixes that affect very few users, but is this likely to ever be fixed? Thanks.

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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