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Trialling search on BBC message boards

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David Williams | 15:12 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

Today we are trialling a search feature for BBC messageboards.

Initially, we will trial this on the Food messageboard with a three month history, which means that these search results will include comments from the past three months. You can find this on the right hand panel on the board in a box called 'Search recent posts'.

The team will be monitoring the database traces carefully to measure the impact on performance. Once we are confident that search is not affecting the ability to deliver the other services offered by DNA we will start to enable search on other messageboards which have been migrated into the new templates.

I've asked Mark Neves, the lead database engineer on the team, to provide some insight into how we delivered this and you can find Mark's blog post here.

David Williams is Product Lead, DNA, Audience Publishing Services, Programmes and On-Demand, BBC FM&T.


  • Comment number 1.

    I have always hoped for a long promised messageboard search.
    Is there any chance that blog comments may in due course also be searchable.

    I trust you have not lost interest in the messageboard improvements, as in fixing the known and existing problems in them. The last I can see on that is : http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2010/10/changes_to_bbc_message_boards_1.html?postId=102916695
    (That being a new style blog link, the old blog links were broken last I tried)

    As some messageboard links may not direct as intended does that cause problems with search results ?

  • Comment number 2.

    Well I look forward to any new post or thread being pointed to an existing mouldy old one.
    The search facility will stifle new content and get the amateur board police even more enthusiastic then ever, joyfully chastising any new poster on a repeat topic and getting their weekly triangulating thrills.

    It was not needed BBC, you could google most of what you wanted on all the BBC messageboards if you tried.

  • Comment number 3.

    I welcome this initiative.

    I'm not sure whether I should post this here or on Mark Neves' blogpost, but here goes. My main boltholes are in radio drama areas (R4 D&R, R7 D&BS, and R3 Arts and Ideas). In these areas, I believe the most common search enquiries would be for play/book title, playwright/author, producer/director, actors/readers, broadcast date. To the extent that programmes are in the iPlayer database, all of these common items are or should be standard iPlayer metadata. So I suppose my question is whether and how the proposed messageboard search system might be linked to or integrated with the iPlayer database. Or, putting the point in another way, it is possible that a searchable iPlayer database might be of equal use, and possibly a more resource-effective search system.

    I would imagine the common search queries listed above will apply to the TV area.

    In both TV and radio areas, it would be very useful not to put a recent timewindow constraint on the searches. (e.g. typically, in current traditional messageboard enquiry mode: "Can anyone remember the title of the programme, I think it was in 1986, which was about .... and had so-and-so actor in the lead role...")


  • Comment number 4.

    So you needed to cut down the number of message boards before you could get a working search function - was it just unable to search that many?

  • Comment number 5.

    A searchable iPlayer database for what, programmes?
    Try this

    For iPlayer issues there is already a searchable FAQ/help section.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    As programme searches are mentioned look at this BBC site :
    - http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/collections.shtml
    Described as
    The BBC Programme Catalogue is a prototype that allows you to search for information on over a million BBC radio & TV programmes, dating back 75 years.

    Has that now just been left to stagnate ?

  • Comment number 8.


    _ Search POV Messageboard _
    I note that the POV Host is anticipating the Search function be is being extended to that mb, any news on that front ?
    Which boards are being provided with this and when, any provisional news ?
    POV comment is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951574?thread=7832769&latest=1#p104197502

    I note changes to messageboards were made again today.
    Are we going to get an updated blog post on the outstanding issues with messageboard fixes ?
    You are ignoring comments on your previous blog post:


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