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BBC News Radar

Jake MacMullin | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 19 February 2009

The first post on this blog promised that we'd discuss prototypes and experiments among other things. Well, today's post is about one such prototype that we'd like to share with you: BBC News Radar (http://radar.journalismlabs.com)

Grab of Radar

I've been working at the BBC for the last 2 years where I mainly work on the deep, dark internals of the main content management system used to produce the news and sport websites (as well as many other sites) - but that's another story for another day. Today, I'd like to share something  that I've been working on in my 'spare' time at the BBC.

One of the things that first struck me when I started at the BBC was the sheer scale of the news web site. Whilst I knew the site was popular and I was aware that the BBC produced a lot of content, I have to admit I wasn't aware of just how frequently new content is published on the site and how often existing content is updated. You might also be surprised at how frequently and constantly that we publish new content on the news site: almost literally 'every minute of every day' (although there tends to be slightly less content published in the early hours of the morning in the UK, as we don't force all our journalists to work all night).

One reason you may not be aware of how frequently we publish new content is that until now there has been no one place you can go to see all of the stories we publish on the news site. You can always monitor the front page or subscribe to RSS feeds of each of the various indexes you might be interested in - but you'll only see a small sub-set of all of the stories we publish.

The BBC News Radar displays a list of recently published stories from any section of the BBC News web site. It displays both stories that have just been published for the first time and stories that have been recently updated. We've had an internal application of the same name within the BBC for some time - so I can not claim any credit for the idea of displaying all of our new content in one place. This prototype has been developed to explore the idea of providing a publicly available version of this application. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

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