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Open Post, Tuesday 18 May 2010

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Paul Murphy Paul Murphy | 10:52 UK time, Tuesday, 18 May 2010

ooooooooooooo_nu.jpgI'd like to invite your comments and questions on the work of the Internet blog and the topics and areas that we cover. We've run Open Posts before and they've always been interesting. They're an opportunity for you to help steer the direction of the blog with your suggestions and ideas.

Nick's answered the question "What is an Open Post?" in a previous post and this is what he said:

This post is for comments and questions about anything to do with BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, BBC HD, and the BBC's digital and mobile services. But as it's an open post you can leave a comment about whatever you like.

I can't guarantee that every single comment or question will get a response. But I'll try.

Paul Murphy is the Editor of the Internet blog.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Are there any plans to relax the mobile phone restrictions and allow any Windows Mobile 6.5 phone to access the iPlayer on a try it and see basis?

    This is as opposed to the current policy of having a blessed set of rather old and out of date phones meaning that newer more capable phones are banned for accessing the iPlayer.

  • Comment number 2.

    There are several problems watching iPlayer on Flash, especially on non-Windows machines. This drives people towards bypassing the Flash player, and all the extra hassle that involves.

    I realise there are content copyright issues, but I'd still like to hear what your plans are for moving beyond the Flash implementation and allowing easy open access on all platforms.

  • Comment number 3.

    Can you remove the recently introduced timer on the PS3 iPlayer? its very distracting.

  • Comment number 4.

    Are there plans to use the new BBC iD system on all parts of the site, e.g. saving homepage customisations to the user's account, rather than just the computer?

    Any news on the BBC News and Sport Mobile apps, the first of which was due in April, I believe?

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Agree with 1. - We shouldn't have to fiddle with settings to get iPlayer working on modern WinMo phones e.g. HTC HD2.

  • Comment number 7.

    Could you update readers on the following?
    1. Any timing of an iPlayer for android?
    2. When will BBC archive materials become more available, ideally through iPlayer?
    3. Downloading radio on the iPlayer into portables?

    many thanks.

  • Comment number 8.

    ooo my open comments / questions below:

    1. Open posts with 100+ comments are too long to read through to see if your question has already been asked. Why not try user generated, but very moderated forums?
    2) When will there be iPlayer for IPad? The iPhone version checks for device compatibility and fails, reverting to the Flash site :(
    3) Stephanomics is the best blog on the BBC.

  • Comment number 9.

    Funny how all but 1 of the comments so far are a consequence of the BBCs' decision to make iPlayer a proprietary, closed, approved-devices-only system..

    And note that not 1 of those commentators is from the free software community (though, at least some of the devices mentioned are built on free software).

  • Comment number 10.

    Are there any plans yet to open access to iPlayer to British Citizens living abroad, even if it involves having to pay extra to do so?

  • Comment number 11.

    An issue with watching TV or listening to the Radio that some people find is how to know when a new series of a show is starting. For instance, I enjoy comedy radio shows but don't normally listen to BBC Radio 4 or 7 so do not hear any adverts for new series.
    However, with the BBC's new standardised programmes sites, surely a simple solution to this problem is to create an RSS feed for each show, similar to that which is currently available for programme catergories on the iPlayer, so people can follow the programmes that they are interested in and find out instantly if they are being shown.

  • Comment number 12.

    I see that no sooner has the new header across most of the website a newer version appearing to resemble the GVL version has appeared on the Nature UK site http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/uk/. Whilst as a developer it's nice to see the new header/design in progress I suspect many visitors would prefer to have continuity.

    Also is there any news yet with regards to the review of H2G2?

  • Comment number 13.

    Oh darn you Keith, I was planning to ask about that. I take it that the chunkier version of the new menu bar is sort of the equivalent of the cludge version of the bar seen on old sites such as /cult with new sites moving to the smaller version in time.

    On a related note, you recently had a page at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sportsummit/ saying that the page had been removed and to check web.archive.org, however its now changed to a 404. I thought you were mothballing old sites? Deleting them outright, especially given your apparently megadeletion plan coming soon seems rather poor as many sites have lots of great informations on them. Any explanation on the reasoning behind this?

  • Comment number 14.

    Oh dear, that first bit reads even worse than I thought.

    What I meant was, the menu seen on www.bbc.co.uk/nature/uk is much smaller and more like the new style. Therefore is the chunky new menu seen around the site in the last week to start the new links appearing but in the old templates.

    In that sense, is it a placeholder for consistency like the black bar seen on Barley pages?

    Does that make more sense? I hope so.

  • Comment number 15.

    What's the point of these open posts when the BBC have proved that they just don't bother listening to what their users (and often, paymasters) are telling them.

  • Comment number 16.

    Thank you for all your comments and questions so far. I've sent them to the various people that will be providing answers. I'm away Thursday and Friday but should be able to report back on Monday.
    Cheers
    Paul

  • Comment number 17.

    #4 @Alex

    Yeah, we plan to roll out BBC iD across the whole BBC site over the course of this year. Its actually site-wide now, but not all products use it - only those parts of the site which do use iD currently display the sign in and register links at the top of the page.

    The Homepage is a great example of a part of BBC Online that would really benefit from BBC iD - but they've been busy porting it to a new platform, and just haven't had the time to integrate BBC iD. They should be working on this in future releases.

    S

  • Comment number 18.

    Keith - comment 12 - for more news on h2g2 take a look at this announcement from the h2g2 editors. And this one too.

  • Comment number 19.

    Re the roll-out of BBC iD, is someone from the BBC going to reply to the comments/concerns expressed here or are we just going to be left fobbed off and hanging for a second time (as happened the previous time BBC iD and CBBC was blogged about).

    When is the BBC going to give their users the tools to combat multiple spam (and other abuse) abuse from single accounts, such as this account, rather than expecting us to waste time filling out multiple complaint forms.

  • Comment number 20.

    #11 @Mark
    There are RSS feeds for iplayer programmes by category at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/feeds/
    I haven't come across any at /programmes, but apparently there is a plan to do that.

  • Comment number 21.

    @18: Ah must have missed the topic, still glad to see it's being kept.

    On a different subject, regarding the topic tracker on the home page is there any news as to when it will be possible to access all blogs via the tracker. For example at present it's not possible to track the BBC Internet or The Editors blogs. This has been raised by a number of users in the blog entry regarding the new home page, however there has been no feedback regarding this.

    Incidentally I notice since my last post the Nature UK header has reverted from the GVL version to the 'new' header.

  • Comment number 22.

    Please can we have an official iPlayer app for Windows Media Centre?

    I asked the question in a previous Internet Blog comment ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/10/where_next_for_the_bbc_iplayer.html ), but I understand that this request falls between two different departments - hence no response as yet. Hopefully this will find its way to someone who can give us an answer and share the thinking around how such decisions are made?

    Thank You!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Further to comment #19, you can add this new account, to the numerus accounts that are being used abusively, causing the build up of spam that isn't being removed because of the "Aunty knows best" attitude in not allowing users to report at the account level.

  • Comment number 24.

    With the planned BBC move to Salford (Salford, not Manchester) will The Culture Show become less London-centric and less hooked on big international names?
    Much Art nowadays is IT-related.
    So it seems much more appropriate to pose this question here rather than on a Readers' Letters-type programme, and no links seem to be provided so that I can contact the show and its editor or presenters or producer(s) directly.
    We are invited to watch tons of interesting archive stuff, but for God's sake don't think for a moment that we professionals will even notice what you plebs on that side of the screen think.
    The regeneration of great swathes of our industrial heritage in The North is taking place daily often linked to all sorts of artistic input, but this transformation of the Britain I grew up in is being hardly noticed, let alone mentioned by high-brow outlets such as The Culture Show.
    I think I'll emigrate to another country for ten years or so, then return as a foreigner. Then my new culture might be of interest to BBC bigwigs.

  • Comment number 25.

    Boilerplated - we are aware of the situation and are taking steps to deal with it.

  • Comment number 26.

    #25. At 6:34pm on 20 May 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - we are aware of the situation and are taking steps to deal with it."

    Looks like it, just how long does it take to nuke spammers accounts, considering that nothing more problematic than a slightly off topic comment that criticises certain people within the BBC can be nuked within the quarter of an hour of appearance on these blogs.

    I'm off to watch some paint dry...

  • Comment number 27.

    I have an interest in iPlayer coming to the next generation of mobile phones like the HTC touchphones. Particularly on winmobile which seems to be lagging behind in iPlayer's attention.
    These are mini computers rather than just phones and surely should be able to handle things like the iPlayer sideloads not just a few selected mobile company streams. (Yes I know they can use wifi if you tweak the browser) Why should I have to do that?

    Why are the phone lists so out of date and why are the new phones that have similar formats not tested?
    The excuse of not being given one free by the manufacturer to test does not exactly wash.
    iPlayer is a brilliant service, don't think I'm being negative about it, I just would like to see even more access to a very popular and useful way of utilising it :)

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm so disappointed there is no quote from The Phazer (an independent voice about the BBC) this time, is he on holiday?

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    Will there be any further follow-up comments, sometime this week?

  • Comment number 31.

    Re comments about spam at #19 and #23

    When someone from the BBC Internet Blog department gets around to dealing with the spam build up rather than just make excuses here is yet another account that is being used to post nothing but spam...

    Five days and no action, despite being "aware of the situation", how long does it take to nuke spammers accounts, considering that criticism against people who we pay for out of our TVL fee's can be removed within the hour! Somewhere, either the BBC Internet blogs or the BBC's IT services, something or someone is not fit for purpose.

    It would also be nice, whilst talking about moderation issues, for users who have had comments removed due to falling foul of moderation to be able to edit the comment in question rather than having to submit a reworked new comment further down the discussion - assuming that the blog hasn't been closed for new comments, further it would be nice if on referral (except for spamming perhaps...) the user is emailed was with the reason why the comment has been referred so that they are not left speculating as to what the problem is and might also stop them repeating the problem. This would go somewhere to negate the issues that arise when, for example, an off topic referral is made and the moderation process could be waiting on a reply from elsewhere within the BBC.

    /thoughts

  • Comment number 32.

    Boilerplated - we have taken action. We have changed the moderation model on this blog to post mod as a temporary move to combat spammers.

    In previous posts we've explained why allowing commenters to reedit their comments once published would lead us into a world of pain. The preview button on blog comments was introduced (can't remember exactly when off the top of my head) to help people check their comments before publication.

  • Comment number 33.

    #32. At 6:59pm on 24 May 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - we have taken action. We have changed the moderation model on this blog to post mod as a temporary move to combat spammers."

    That's OK then, and the existing spam can remain! I bet if some user kept using four letter words not only would their account be closed pretty dammed quick but their comments removed too, so why can't that happen when people are (in effect) advertising via the BBC, in a clear breach of the BBC Charter...

    As an aside, any account that is posting to multiple blogs within 90 seconds (on average) between comments, as is happening in these mass spam attacks, should be automatically suspended, and flagged up with all comments referred for moderation by the server, no human could post at such a rate.

    "In previous posts we've explained why allowing commenters to reedit their comments once published would lead us into a world of pain. The preview button on blog comments was introduced (can't remember exactly when off the top of my head) to help people check their comments before publication.

    But that is not what I was suggesting, I was talking about were a comment has been removed due to moderation, what would be the difference between someone resubmitting their comment in a new post and editing their previous comment, I was not suggesting that all comments should be editable, in fact if I remember correctly I supported the rational against such a general privilege when someone else suggested it in the past.

  • Comment number 34.

    Gone very quite in here again...

  • Comment number 35.

    Seven days on and the spam, as pointed out above, is still present, not a lot of point in securing the stable door after the horse has bolted unless someone bothers to catches the horse and put it back in the stable...

  • Comment number 36.

    Any news yet? I notice since this open post entry was made there has been a spate of blog entries, which has now resulted in this entry disappearing from the main page.

  • Comment number 37.

    Keith - as you've noticed there's a lot going on at the moment. But I know that Paul is trying to get some answers.

    Boilerplated - I have been removing spam as I come across it. And as I've said before we have put the blog in post moderation to try and catch it.

  • Comment number 38.

    #12 Keith wrote:
    I see that no sooner has the new header across most of the website a newer version appearing to resemble the GVL version has appeared on the Nature UK site http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/uk/. Whilst as a developer it's nice to see the new header/design in progress I suspect many visitors would prefer to have continuity.

    Hi Keith
    I spoke to Bronwyn who wrote the original GVL3 post and she said:
    "They’re the same nav bar, just one has a black background which pokes out above and makes it look deeper."

  • Comment number 39.

    #37. At 4:38pm on 27 May 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - I have been removing spam as I come across it. "

    As you come across it?! I gave you three URL's to the user pages, there is shed loads, no need to 'come across it'...

    Also, are we really to believe that the head of BBC Internet blogs can't fire off an email to your opposite number at (if I remember correctly) "CCT" with the relevant account details and ask them to delete, on-block, the accounts and messages in question, words such a mind and boggle come to mind!

    As I said, if someone had repeatedly posted profound language or a deformation, someone somehow within the BBC would have moved a mountain PDQ to take the offending content down so why can't the BBC do it when someone is obviously attempting to use the BBC blogs as a links-farm?

  • Comment number 40.

    Bolierplated - I have already done all the things you have mentioned in your second paragraph. When spammers constantly create new accounts it can be difficult to keep spam under control. Still at the moment the things we have done seem to have worked.

  • Comment number 41.

    As I said, if someone had repeatedly posted profound language or a deformation I doubt the offending content would have survived the day never mind a week or more...

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.

    It would be great if there was some way of keeping track of any replies to comments I make on the blogs. I have come across RSS feeds for comments somewhere, but it would be nice to have a feed which aggregated these feeds for any posts which I've commented on.
    It can be a bit of pain going back over old posts to see if there's been any new comments. Please let me know if there are any plans for anything along these lines (or if something similar already exists); if not, I may have a go trying to hack something together myself.

  • Comment number 45.

    The message boards (for all their other faults) have them.

  • Comment number 46.

    What is the point in placing anti spam measures on these (BBC Internet) blogs if the BBC is incapable of removing the spam that has already been posted - and been made aware of - a prime example of bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    As I said, words such as parties, breweries and glasses come to mind...

  • Comment number 47.

    Whilst you've all got yourselves worked up over spam, anyone from the Beeb care to comment on my previous question about winmobile phones and iPlayer?

  • Comment number 48.

    And I was REALLY hoping that I might get a response to my post #22, especially as the purpose of this thread set that expectation!!

    Please? !!

  • Comment number 49.

    There is something corrupting the HTML on the following webpage;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2010/06/feedback_on_the_iplayer_beta.html

    Almost all the text on the page is in italics, an unclosed <i> tag perhaps, whilst the comment text box doesn't appear to submit the entered text - claiming that that an error has occurred, that the text-box contained no text.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for your feedback Bolierplated. We'll look into it.

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    The spam previously mentioned still remains. Rather than having on topic but uncomfortable comments removed would it not be better time spent getting the shed loads of spam removed?...

  • Comment number 53.

    If the Red Button blog can't be discussed in Button blogs perhaps Nick or someone can suggest were it can be discussed?

  • Comment number 54.

    The BBC red button blogs have no place in the internet blog - they just get lost too quickly and from the censorship I've seen those who run the internet blogs don't seem to understand our concerns in the way they were handled over on the Press Red blog.

    Ideally the Press Red blog should be reinstated, but at the very least can it not be redirected to a sub-category of the red button blogs posted here. It's took me two weeks to find a blog I'd been reading regularly for the last year.

  • Comment number 55.

    Brekkie - we don't "censor" on this blog. We do remove comments that break the House Rules.

    Sorry you're having difficulties finding the red button posts. You could try following John Horth's RSS feed as a possible solution.

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    the previously mentioned shed loads of spam remains, funny that how those with in the BBC manage to get uncomfortable comments removed but can't get 'commercial' advertising removed from their blogs....

  • Comment number 58.

    Boilerplated - As far as I can see we have now taken measures to deal with the spam you mention. Please moderate your tone and stop disrupting this thread. Thanks.

  • Comment number 59.

    58. At 12:00pm on 13 Jun 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - As far as I can see we have now taken measures to deal with the spam you mention. Please moderate your tone and stop disrupting this thread. Thanks."

    Oh right, so trying to hold the BBC to account is being disruptive, but censoring unwelcome comments isn't and are thus censored...

    That is my last word on the issue - here at least, were the BBC can act as judge, jury and executioner...

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Brekkie,

    You are not alone in worries about censorship on these blogs.

  • Comment number 61.

    so amongst the spam from boilerplated, can I have a response to my question post #3?

  • Comment number 62.

    And #22 / #48..... Please?

  • Comment number 63.

    In contribution to the theme of this post, a moment to congratulate the BBC for the outstanding coverage of Formula 1. The creative use of the Red Button, Live streaming of 'on board' cameras on the sports pages, choice of commentary and the excellent "Forum" to round it all off makes us probably the luckiest viewers of this sport. I know we are all, like the BBC, waiting for the move to HD.

    Fantastic....

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't really see the point in these open posts. They're great in theory, but the majority of comments never seem to receive a response.

    Anyway, as I didn't get a response to comment 44, I just went ahead and hacked something together myself. I've been using it myself for a while, but thought I'd put it up online in case any else found it useful. Its at http://lukeblaney.co.uk/bbc/blogcomments I don't know how reliable it'll be as it relies on a fair bit of scrapping.

  • Comment number 65.

    I don't really see the point in these open posts. They're great in theory, but the majority of comments never seem to receive a response.

    Anyway, as I didn't get a response to comment 44, I just went ahead and hacked something together myself. I've been using it myself for a while, but thought I'd put it up online in case any else found it useful.

    However, apparently I'm not allowed to link to it so you'll just have to write your own version. :P

  • Comment number 66.

    #42 Hi lucas42

    I think an overzealous mod removed your post with the link so I've reinstated it.

    I take your point about responding to comments on this Open Post not being as good as it should be. There have been more recent updates on iPlayer, Android and BBC iD that have answered some of the questions posted here.

    Things have been very busy on the blog so apologies,

    Paul

    Editor, BBC Internet blog

  • Comment number 67.

    Paul,

    Thanks for reinstating my post.

    I think the main problem with the open posts is that about a third of the comments are about things that have already been answered many times before. Another third are boilerplated complaining about spam. Which leaves only one third proper comments.

    Perhaps it might make things easier if rather than having one big open post, you had a couple of smaller ones about general areas (e.g. an iPlayer open post etc.)

  • Comment number 68.

    I have a question: I am about to purchase a "Droid" phone from a U.S. Phone carrier {name withheld}, will I be able to access to the BBC Website and its services?


    ~Dennis~

 

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