5 Most Interesting Stories from the Fortnight
A burnt-out car in Tottenham. Picture sent to the BBC's UGC hub by Malcolm Tyndall.
On Monday 8th, the TV iPlayer team launched the first version of iPlayer for connected TVs - on the Playstation 3. It was widely discussed. Gideon Summerfield blogged about the thinking behind the new design, and members of his team answered questions. Coverleeds was first with the most common problem:
Jut downloaded this onto my Playstation. I much prefer the new user interface. Except for one humungous bug:
YOU CAN'T EXIT IPLAYER WITHOUT SWITCHING OFF THE WHOLE CONSOLE!
The answer is to hold down the PS button and choose quit. Because the new iPlayer is a native application, it quits the same way as other native applications. Press reaction was positive, with Playstation Attitude listing Five Ways BBC iPlayer is now Better on PS3.
Also on Monday 8th, someone in the BBC forwarded a joke email to Andrew Bowden about how designers, developers and project managers see each other. (Similar infographics appeared this week on how scientists see each other as well as the relationship between types of journalist.) This prompted Andrew to write a thoughtful post about the role the graph forgot - Product Manager - a discipline BBC online now champions.
Monday 8th was also the day that the English riots spread to Birmingham and other English cities. Jamillah Knowles (also of Radio 5 Live's Outriders) was on duty during the riots verifying the accuracy and the contributor's consent on the BBC's User-Generated Content hub. She told the blog:
There was a high volume of material and people to talk to during the riots, mostly sourced from sites like Twitter. Getting permissions for material and finding the truth in the rumours was a priority. Many people on the team worked longer hours but it was satisfying work being able to bring people's first hand accounts to the news coverage.
As anyone who has been through the BBC's internet research training knows, content on the internet is subject to the same copyright rules as anywhere else. Unfortunately, the BBC's first response to Andrew Mabbet's complaint about pictures attributed "from Twitter" claimed they were in the public domain.
Chris Hamilton, News Social Media Executive, swiftly left a correction on Andrew's blog post and blogged about the BBC's approach to copyright on Monday 15th. Although he assured Andrew that the BBC tried hard to contact contributors, he did say that the BBC would occasionally, in extremis, use a picture without permission:
We don't make this decision lightly - a senior editor has to judge that there is indeed a strong public interest in making a photo available to a wide audience.
This is still one of the most talked-about BBC topics on the internet. The practice of using a picture in exceptional circumstances attracted criticism from e-Consultancy on the basis of validation and from the NUJ on the basis of copyright.
Also on Saturday 13th, classical music blogger and podcaster "Overgrown Path" spotted that the Buzztracker had stopped on BBC Proms pages. David Thair of the relevant BBC team told us:
There have been a number of problems, initially with our data supplier and now at our end (although likely related) which mean that the system was not picking up any new buzz last week, and after an initial fix, only a very limited amount this week. The technical team who manage the project has been working very hard to fully recover the service - it isn't only the Proms page that has been affected.
On Monday 15th, Paul Sawyers at the Next Web blogged about the sucessors to the 5Live 606 messageboards. The BBC's DQF strategy for social media has meant several BBC messageboards shutting down in favour of more integrated social media. Some have been vocally against the closures.
In the case of Ouch, members of the community set up Ouch Too. Paul charted the new range of football websites:
We’ve seen a wave of copycat forum-style websites pop up, not to mention more dynamic social network style sites, some inspired by 606, others not.
Ian McDonald is the Content Producer, BBC Internet Blog