Welcome to the new look Internet blog

Thursday 24 January 2013, 16:07

Eliza Kessler Eliza Kessler Content Producer

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Hi everyone. Since November I’ve been the content producer on the BBC Internet blog. For much of that time I’ve been preparing the blog for a move to a new content management system (CMS) with a new look and feel. You can see the results of that today.

As Jessica Shiel explained in January of last year, over the last year all BBC blogs have been migrating from our previous publishing system Movable Type to the new pan-BBC CMS iSite. 

iSite is based on the CMS Alfesco and was developed within the BBC where it is now being used on all programme pages (from Eastenders to Africa) and sites such as CBBC. This is intended to create a more consistent design and functionality for users across bbc.co.uk.

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Content on iSite is stored as XML but is automatically converted into Web Forms which we can use to edit content (relatively) easily.

With this change of CMS comes some changes to the blog’s features and tools. 

The new blog is arranged with boxes down the right hand side from where you can browse and discover a range of content from the BBC Internet blog, across the BBC and relevant external content. We refer to these boxes as modules.

You will notice that we now have a live stream of tweets from the BBC Internet blog and BBC Internet links Twitter accounts. 

This Tweet module has previously been used on BBC programme pages such as The Voice and allows us to link to stories and conversations to add more context to the themes of the blog. 

For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, we use the BBC Internet blog account to tweet our own posts and other content from the BBC which our audiences may find interesting or useful. BBC Internet Links is where we retweet non BBC content from blogs, message boards and external news agencies. 

Unfortunately we will no longer be able to feed our Delicious links directly onto the blog page. However, you will find a link to our Delicious page on our Social and Communities module and we will continue to tag relevant content for Delicious. 

We will also tweet all of the links which we add to Delicious from one of our two Twitter accounts so the links will still appear on the blog page and be clickable from the Tweet module.

You don’t have to be signed in to Twitter to click on the links in this box and view the content they link to.

We’re investigating additional tools to gather and curate external content which we hope our audience will find interesting.  Watch this space for more news on some of these developments.

You will notice that we have migrated blog posts since June 2012 only and older content, which dates back to 2007, remains in the old Moveable Type style. You can find links to this archived content in our Archive module on the right where posts are arranged by year. 

For easier navigation we have also added a Tag module. This is similar to the categories box which was displayed at the bottom of the old look Internet blog. 

The tags on our new module only incorporate posts which have been migrated to iSite so for blog posts published before June 2012 we have included a link on the Archive module to a list of older post categories

The new look blog gives us the option of ‘featuring’ a post. This means that rather than the most recently published post automatically appearing at the top of the page we are able to highlight a post from further back in the archive to appear at the top of the page instead.

This will hopefully increase the exposure of older posts and allow users to find content more easily. 

The Topical posts module which appeared in the bottom left hand side of the old blog does not appear in the new blog. We are hoping to develop a similar module to expose the most recent comments in the next couple of months.

In the meantime in order to ensure good hosting of comments the time blog posts are left open for comments will be reduced to one week. Once there is a new module we’ll consider opening them up for longer.

You may also notice that we have a new URL bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet rather than bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet. A redirect will be applied to the old URL so no links to archived content or the new page will break.

We expect some teething problems to begin with but please do but let us know if you are having problems viewing any of our content so bugs can be fixed. 

You may have noticed that we have been publishing posts less frequently over the last few weeks as we have been preparing for the move but expect a return to form from next week on.

It would be great to hear what you think of the new look and our new functionality so please do leave a comment.

Eliza Kessler is the content producer on the BBC Internet blog.

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Staff from the BBC's online and technology teams talk about BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and the BBC's digital and mobile services. The blog is reactively moderated. Your host is Nick Reynolds.

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