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Points of View Message Board 7: A New Host

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 08:43 UK time, Wednesday, 15 April 2009

So Rowan has said goodbye and the Points of View message boards have a new host in the form of Sarah.

We also as previously discussed moved to reactive moderation for the POV boards last week.

A good time for me to make a couple of points.

The closure of the Radio board has caused some inconvenience to some people and I regret that.

points_of_view_logo.jpgBut I've explained the reasons for this decision many times including on Monday in the comments on Martin Kelner's article in the Guardian. It doesn't make sense to have a radio section on a board called Points of View. Points of View is a television programme about BBC television which does not routinely discuss BBC radio. The board will now be hosted by someone from television who will be working closely with the programme. To ask them to host a radio board is not a sensible use of their time.

This does not mean that the BBC doesn't want to know what licence fee payers think about radio. It simply means that there are better places to do it (as Jem says).

Regarding the technical improvements to the boards (as mentioned by Tom), we are still going to do these, but they are taking longer than I thought they would. We will update you about progress as it happens. Incidentally these changes will benefit all BBC boards not just Points of View.

With hindsight if I'd known it was all going to take this long I might have started this conversation a bit later, rather than way back in November of last year.

But I'm still glad I started it. It's been less than perfect but still worth doing.

I wish Sarah the best of luck, and I expect this to be the last post I write on this subject (although you never know...)

Update 1 p.m. 8th May 2009: Sarah has just posted this explanation on the POV boards of how off topic threads and threads about Radio will be dealt with.

Nick Reynolds is Editor, BBC Internet blog

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Waffle,waffle, waffle. Just answer me the one question that you have have avoided constantly. On which BBC Message Board - NOT BLOG - can we post our observations and comments on BBC Radio2 and BBC 5Live? It is not a difficult question is it Nick?

  • Comment number 2.

    Average,

    He still can't answer it though!

    H

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick, Jem may say there are other places to discuss radio, but THERE AREN'T on the BBC.

    We'll keep up this discussion with you and Jem til we get a radio board.

    We're not going away !

  • Comment number 4.

    Average40. Yes. At the moment there aren't specific BBC message boards where Radio 2 and Five Live teams host topics/comments about their presenters. However the BBC does host various boards/spaces devoted to music, news and sport, various presenters on Radio 2 and 5 Live have blogs where users can leave comments, discussion about R2 and 5Live takes place on a whole host of non BBC spaces and there are obviously more formal ways to register complaints or leave feedback about these issues at the BBC.

    This has been the case for several years. The now closed POV radio board was one such space at the BBC but it was unhosted, not integrated into the networks, and unpopular. Which is why we decided to close it, in that form.

    Jem Stone (Audio and Music)

  • Comment number 5.

    #1: Surely the people to be asking rather than Nick are those responsible for the radio channels in question. After all what's the point in having a radio board where those in charge of the stations don't monitor comments and respond to them.

    For Radio 2 maybe people should pester them via http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/contact-us/website/ to add a specific board for discussing Radio 2 programmes/content.

  • Comment number 6.

    Goodbye Nick.

    5 months on, and we are worse off than we were before you arrived. Lets look to the future with unjustified optimism.

  • Comment number 7.

    Jem - The radio board unpopular? Maybe with Victoria Derbyshire, Alan Green, Steve Wright, Sarah Kennedy, Stephen Nolan etc etc but certainly not with me, Kharly, PhilW, Quizzmo, John H, Peter the Meteor, Barrington Womble,Archie,Sarnia, Muskadash, Counterblast, S.Kellington, Phras, Antony J et al. All excellent posters, I didn't always agree with their views, but respected them and their right to an opinion - something the BBC does not at the moment.
    I do not want to comment on the BBC's radio output on "non" BBC space, I want my points registered with the BBC.
    Other formal ways?? Oh come on Jem, we are in the 21stC now, we want instant comments made and seen by all, not a hand written letter to some faceless clerk which then disappears.
    It is so simple, give BBC Radio it's own Message Board. Let it cover all stations from Radio1 - Radio7. I am sure there is someone available at the BBC to "host" it.
    Radio is the heart of the BBC, please do not ignore it.

  • Comment number 8.

    Seven Archers messageboards and none for Radio Five. BBC powers that be want only comments on fantasy programmes and any feedback or opinions about rolling news channels well, forget it. I notice one of the Archers boards is for discussion about anything you want so maybe the fight should adjourn to the bar of the Bull until we win it. I suggest domination of the discussions on it and a lock-in of huge proportions to show who has the power.

  • Comment number 9.

    Did I just read in post from Jem that the radio board was unpopular ?

    I've heard some excuses in my time but that takes the biscuit.

    Unpopular because it exposed how poor Radio 5live has become I suppose.

    It was used everyday from what I can see.

    Why not close one of your Archers boards instead ? I don't find all those very popular.

  • Comment number 10.

    If the BBC wants to just ignore the views and wishes of licence payers who pay £140 a year towards to what is public service then dispense with the licence fee and then and only then will you be entitled to do what ever you want and run the BBC as a commercial enterprise.

    I have been absolutely disgusted by the attitude , excuses snd responses we have been given on here and over the past weeks on the message boards.

  • Comment number 11.

    Thanks for spoiling the messageboards, Nick.

    You've probably enjoyed upsetting loads of people and then twisting and turning your way out of answering the direct questions sent your way.

  • Comment number 12.

    Can you show me one direct question that has not had an answer from either Jem or myself?

  • Comment number 13.

    You are having a laugh aren't you Nick? I have asked you at least 3 times on which Message Board - NOT BLOG - we can comment on the output of BBC Radio2 and BBC Radio 5Live? For your colleague to say there is nowhere IS NOT AN ANSWER!!!!!!
    YOU have avoided my question every time. In fact it is the first comment on this BLOG!

  • Comment number 14.

    Exactly.

    Where can we post comments about Radio 5live on a BBC, ( I repeat )BBC message board?

    What don't you understand about the question ?

    We have not had an answer yet and please don't direct us to digitalspy again.

  • Comment number 15.

    Nick said: "Can you show me one direct question that has not had an answer from either Jem or myself?"

    ????
    YES! loads!.. not least the one about how do we quote on this blog, what is your opinion on the success of your Open Blog, what are the rankings of traffic for each MB (Radio was NOT unpopular) , the REAL reason for DOG on iPlayer (not just your guess) and loads more too numerous to mention.

    I am not waiting anymore for your answers Nick... but I had to answer such a brazen reply.

    oh and why should I get Your comment contains some HTML that has been mistyped.
    Name cannot begin with the '?' character on line 1 ?

  • Comment number 16.

    ....some people have far too much time on their hands. If you're that bothered about talking specifically about a radio station, start your own fans forum.

    I don't want my licence fee wasted on a platform for a load of moaners, full of self importance and nothing particularly interesting or constructive to say.

    (rant over)

  • Comment number 17.

    It's called feedback, SteveoBagins. It allows the programme originators to meet the needs of their audience better.

    It's also the freedom to express your opinion in the correct area - just as you have done.

  • Comment number 18.

    "what is your opinion on the success of your Open Blog..."

    I did answer this question Officer Dibble and others.

    What do you mean by "the real reason"?

    There is no quote function on blog comments as far as I know.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hmmm...

    Doesn't appear that the moaning SteveoBagins has anything interesting or constructive to say.

    Nick can you answer the question about where we can post our comments on 5live on a BBC message board ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Leonard-Zelig - Jem has already answered this point in his previous comment.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nick: "what is your opinion on the success of your Open Blog..." I did answer this question...


    Where Nick? Instead of just enigmatically saying you have and appearing to be deliberately obtuse, why not answer it in as many words- or link it... No-where in your blog history have you answered my question.

  • Comment number 22.

    PS instead of answering "there is no quote function" why don't you as Man in Charge of these blogs do something proactive (as well as responsive to 4 years of feedback from the users) and instigate one?
    Does not a slightly enquiring mind create loads of questions for you when we all experience bugs galore on your blogs and boards?

  • Comment number 23.

    With the reasoning that Nick Reynolds gave for the closing of the Radio message board in mind, can I propose again what others have already proposed: a message board for Feedback. I believe this is the logical answer to all of Nick Reynolds' concerns, and I hope I would satisfy those message board users who are disappointed at the loss of the Radio message board as well. These are my reasons:

    * Feedback is the radio programme for feedback on all of the BBC's radio output, not just Radio 4.
    * Points of View has a long-running tradition of airing a sampling of message board comments to complement the phone calls, letters and emails from viewers that they receive. Feedback could do the same if it had an associated Feedback message board.
    * Like the Points of View message board is now, the Feedback message board could be hosted by someone working closely with the programme, allowing the comments there to be fed back to the Feedback programme and to the BBC.
    * In terms of where the message board is placed, I would suggest the best place would be under the Radio 4 message boards (where there would be no conflict with the Points of View "brand", although it would be nice if there were a link provided from the Points of View message board) and links could be provided from the other BBC radio station websites.

  • Comment number 24.

    Nick as regards Jems post to which we are directed to non BBC spaces or making formal complaints about radio stations output to the BBC.......

    Has anyone tried the making a complaint to the BBC ?

    I have and all you get is some patronizing drivel back which virtually says ' ok you've had your moan,I'll pat you are the head if you like, now go away and don't bother us again '.

  • Comment number 25.

    BTW good suggestion andrew.

    A Feedback message board was put forward as an idea on a thread on the BBC board but all we got back was the usual negative responses from the powers that be,

  • Comment number 26.

    Andrew 646 said :
    Like the Points of View message board is now, the Feedback message board could be hosted by someone working closely with the programme, allowing the comments there to be fed back to the Feedback programme and to the BBC.



    Andrew, we don't know that the new host has anything to do with the programme. That was only implied by Nick. She is paid by the programme but as far as I can see she has not said she has POV production experience.

  • Comment number 27.

    ..also the POV team have had access to the board for the last 4 seasons. The new host makes no difference to their ability to work with the audience. The new host is merely there to meet the BBC's operational requirements without impinging on Future Media's budget.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just a quick final comment. Nick says "But I'm still glad I started it. It's been less than perfect but still worth doing."

    So by your own admission you've done a less than perfect job, Nick. Why didn't you stay on and do a proper job?

  • Comment number 29.

    "It's also the freedom to express your opinion in the correct area - just as you have done."

    The correct area is a forum that the person expressing is paying for rather than everyone else.

    There is no reason for the BBC to have any message boards at all. The feedback from them is statistically unreliable and worse than useless - it would be incredibly dangerous for it to be listened to. Only statistically viable sampled studies are useful.

    Phazer

  • Comment number 30.

    @Phazer: Are you really saying that the BBC should disregard every letter, email and phone call that they receive about programmes? They are surely just as "statistically unreliable" as message board comments. Also, I presume you think that the Points of View TV programme and the Feedback radio programme are "worse than useless" as well, because they do not rely on "statistically viable sampled studies", which you claim are the only useful feedback method.

  • Comment number 31.

    Phazer - are you Nick in disguise...?

  • Comment number 32.

    @andrew656 Yup, pretty much. Felt that way for decades. Keep a compaints service to allow for submission of complaints about factual innaccuracies that can then be verified and corrected if valid, and the Trust should take complaints on the BBC breaching it’s remit. But otherwise individual viewer comments have absolutely no validity whatsoever. Listening to tiny groups of self moralisers has lead to most of the bad policy decisions by broadcasters and governments for the last twenty years - several government consultations recently have been textbook examples of exactly why.

    @Chosun "Phazer - are you Nick in disguise...?"

    No. As I've said, I would have just shut down all the message boards. All of them. And why would I have had any kind of consultation process about it? The consulation would have been invalid because it's a self selected sample.

    This whole saga is a great example of why the BBC shouldn't do message boards. It cannot do them properly, because people have expectations of them that cannot be matched by a publically funded service. So it shouldn't do them at all.

  • Comment number 33.

    To The_Phazer,

    So should people disregard your comments and complaints?

  • Comment number 34.

    Just to clarify that myself and The_Phaser are not the same person.

    I always welcome his forthright and intelligent contributions to this blog but unlike him I do believe that message boards have a role to play in getting feedback from licence fee payers. But as Jem points out they have to be well hosted, well loved and producing useful stuff. The radio board in my opinion was not doing this.

    Chosun - although I am not hosting the POV boards any more I will still be pushing for technical improvements which will benefit all BBC boards and there'll be more news on these on this blog when we make some progress.

  • Comment number 35.

    Nick

    Are you now saying the rest of us do not produce intelligent and forthright contributions ( such as you remarked about Phazer ) because we disagree with your actions ?

    If you are, I happen to find that extremely offensive.

    The Radio board was in place so that listeners could comment on their choice of radio listening.Whether the BBC took any notice of the criticism is neither hear nor there.It was a focal point to discuss BBC radio and I do hope we have a better and more friendly attitude from the new host to our concerns and the board is replaced sooner rather than later and we have a better response than from previous disinterested people who are bogged down in blogs.

  • Comment number 36.

    BTW Nick if your same lame point about message boards having to be well loved and producing useful stuff was also applied to blogs, then the majority of BBC blogs should be closed down.Another big waste of licence fee money.

  • Comment number 37.

    Nick says: " But as Jem points out they have to be well hosted, well loved and producing useful stuff. The radio board in my opinion was not doing this."


    Where is the evidence from the consultation to support this? No one came up with any of those critisims. None of the users said it was unloved (except for criticism of the design of ALL BBC MBs), no one said poor hosting was an issue on Radio (except you), and how can you differentiate the "useful stuff" from the TV board as opposed to the Radio board? I think you and jem are making it all up -show us the evidence that drove these conclusions, because what you came up with has no relation to what was highlighted as issues and solutions?

    I think you are also confused as to the role of the host. The suggestions from the users is that we would prefer a dialogue with relevant people in the BBC - that is nothing at all to do with hosting. You are the only one that has a bee in his bonnet about hosting -ie. you don't want to be responsible for it.

  • Comment number 38.

    .. and as for well loved, the TV board used to have two good hosts... we lost those, and got one good host and someone from Future Media, and almost instantly it became less "well loved". Now we have a new host (but not improving the dialogue with the BBC.) so we are now 5 months on and we and the BBC are worse off.

  • Comment number 39.

    Exactly.

    I have never heard a previous host come out with such a perverse analysis of a message board before.

    All I've read recently is that the radio board was unloved and unpopular which is not only a bizarre thing to say....it is totally incorrect.



  • Comment number 40.

    @NickReynolds: What did you think of the proposal I outlined in comment 23 about creating a Feedback message board?

  • Comment number 41.

    Officer Dibble - if you look back at the very first blog post I wrote you'll find a link to a comment on the boards that identifies poor hosting as a key problem. Getting a host who can encourage better interaction with BBC people is what I've tried to do.

    As for the radio board being unloved, if you look at the numbers in this blog post you'll see that it was not very popular, and low traffic.

    And this is not a "consultation" it's an informal conversation.

    andrew646 - I think this is an interesting idea and I will pass it on to my colleagues in radio.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nick

    You said.............

    "As for the radio board being unloved, if you look at the numbers in this blog post you'll see that it was not very popular, and low traffic"

    ---------------------

    but if YOU look at THIS comment from the bbc.co.uk Review

    ---------------------

    "We have also been cautious about comparing very different types of sites against each other as, in television and radio, it is more usual to accept that different genres of programming get different levels of appreciation"

    ---------------------

    THEY at least accept that comparing Television and Radio is like comparing oranges and apples. Television and Radio may be covered by the umbrella "broadcasting", and oranges and apples by the umbrella "fruit", but we don't ban oranges because more people eat apples. We encourage orange eaters to live side by side with apple eaters, for the simple reason that BOTH are healthy, and BBC SHOULD be ENCOURAGING Radio listeners to access a "General" Radio board side by side with their other CORE product "Television", thereby fostering EQUAL/HEALTHY user generated commenting for Radio as well as Television. Instead, YOU chose to go counter to the above advice from the Report, and close the "General" Radio board, as opposed to encouraging MORE commenting.

  • Comment number 43.

    Great post again niclaramartin.

    One says one thing.....one says another.

    Absolutely no reason at all to have so hastily closed down the Radio Board....

    ...and even if it is/was going to be replaced with Feedback connected board, there is still no excuse for not keeping it going in it's present form for the time being.

  • Comment number 44.

    Leonard,

    AND, renaming the bbc.co.uk Message Board so shortly before it was closed down. Wonder how many meetings they had to decide it was worth doing that? BUT, of course the answer is that the site was being re-branded, so it HAD to be done, even if they knew it was being closed so soon.

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    I agree that 5live used to be a terrific station.

    Whoever the controller has been in charge, it's dumbing down by the BBC has been an absolute disgrace.

    No wonder they decided to ditch the Radio board as the complaints on there mounted about the poor presenters and the downward style it has taken.

  • Comment number 47.

    Nick said (but without providing the links) "if you look back at the very first blog post I wrote you'll find a link to a comment on the boards that identifies poor hosting as a key problem. Getting a host who can encourage better interaction with BBC people is what I've tried to do.

    As for the radio board being unloved, if you look at the numbers in this blog post you'll see that it was not very popular, and low traffic."

    Nick, you again fail to read our posts correctly, nor answer the questions informatively. Poor hosting was in issue, but not an imperative -and closing a board seems a "Nose to spite your face" approach to a solution!
    How can you conclude that hosting was the principal issue? Accountability was. Of the hundreds of comments made directly to you, you have ignored the majority, and eventually addressed just one- hosting. As we have seen Hosting is NOT a solution to the BBC's lack of accountability (as we all said) and the new host is not showing she is a better conduit to interaction with the BBC. You seem confused as to what a host can achieve and we offered a number of ways of improving that -none of which you commented on, let alone adopted.

    You clearly state ratings mean quality and "loved", which is stupid. No-one has ever said the Radio board was unloved, nor unpopular. You also won't contradict my statement that the Radio board was actually amongst the top traffic boards - proving that Future Media are simply scraping around for reasons to justify illogical decisions.

    Please don't respond without the facts and comparative traffic numbers requested a week ago.

  • Comment number 48.

    Officer Dibble - I did provide the links, they are all there in my previous comment.

    Hosting and accountability go hand in hand. A host closer to Points of View the TV programme will hopefully provide better hosting and more accountability.

    The Radio board was not amongst the top traffic in boards. 60% of the traffic on the POV boards was to the television board. The Radio board was both unloved (not many people visited it and it was unconnected to BBC Radio networks, as Jem has said) and not very popular.

  • Comment number 49.

    Nick,

    You saying it was unloved doesn't make it unloved, nor unpopular - no-one was complaining that they didn't like it. As for the spurious traffic argument, why aren't you consistent and close all the oards I highlighted that have just 1% of the Radio boards traffic?

    We didn't have problem with it being unconnected with a Radio Network - especially as hardly any of the boards are connected and there is no dialogue with producers. and please don't kid yourself that the TV boards is now aligned with the POV programme just because a host who hasn't worked on POV is the part time host. (and hardly any of the message boarders care two jots for any alignment with the TV programme as it clearly is part of the accountability problem).

    5 months on we have less functionality, less opportunity to discuss the core BBC offer of TV and Radio, no more accountability and no change in repairing the design issues of the boards. We have been ignored, again.

    I wouldn't put this project on your CV.



  • Comment number 50.

    Officer Dibble - fortunately or unfortunately at the moment I have no power over any other BBC message board, so I can't help you in your desire to close low traffic boards.

    I think you are contradicting yourself. You say you want more accountability and yet that you don't care that there was no connection between the old radio board and the radio networks.

    In what way do you have less functionality? As I've said above when we make technical improvements to the boards these will benefit all boards including the POV boards.

  • Comment number 51.

    Nick, twisting my words is not becoming. This dialogue is like putting Eels in a bucket. There is no point in continuing - you haven't listened to any of us in the past 5 months.

  • Comment number 52.

    Well some have followed Jems advice and posted comments on Victoria Derbyshires blog and I can't say that Victoria feels to happy about it from a reply of hers I've just read.

  • Comment number 53.

    Nick

    We are struggling over ONE word - Accountability. YOU think ACCOUNTABILITY is putting a host in charge of the boards, who has some connection to a 15minute seasonal programme. As I've said before, you simply have to read ANY thread on the Points of View programme to see what Message board posters REALLY THINK of that programme.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=6498032

    YOU inferred a host(who by the way seems to be missing in action) MAY in some way report to SOMEONE at Points of View programme. You see Nick, you NEVER actually explained to us what the CONNECTION was. Whether our postings would be read by a Host who had some input to the programme, or whether the Host was employed by POV simply to read the threads, and do.........what? You failed in this discussion with posters for the simple reason, that at no point did you tell us what your remit was, and having completed it, you did not tell us how it would be implimented.

    OUR idea of ACCOUNTABILITY was getting BBC staff to come to the boards and talk to us there. Danielle Nagler writes blogs, with about 140 comments for bloggers on the subject of DOGs. The message Boards have several threads of over 1,000 comments on DOGs, and yet no-one from BBC feels they are ACCOUNTABLE to their message boarders in the way they are to their bloggers.

    As to Hosting being "the most important" feature for posters. NO. When we asked you what was the feature YOU felt was most important, YOU said better hosting. To which, we asked exactly WHAT input WE could have to Hosting. (You seem to have misunderstood Hosting and moderation - which IS a gripe - what have you done to tighten up on this moderation by an external company?) I don't think there has been mention of sorting out the company doing moderation/3minute rule/WUMs/too short opening hours etc. which WERE points we DID bring up. But, hey, YOU got a host (who we have barely seen), aligned the boards to a twee and farcical programme, closed three boards, saying that as Radio is not television it can't appear on POV, used "hits" as a reason to close, rather than accepting that Television is THE major board, and NOTHING can compete/compare to those numbers. The "General" radio board had reasonable numbers, and was well-loved by the many posters who have continued to argue for it's retention.

    To summarise, YOU wanted better and more closely aligned Hosting - WE had no input to this. WE wanted BBC staff to come onto the message boards and talk DIRECTLY to us. YOU gave us a POV employee, of indiscrimate power. WE enjoyed the diverse boards on POV. YOU closed three of the five. YOU kept telling us that you were closing threads/moving them because they were NOT on the CORRECT board, and WE now have the ludicrous situation of being, BY YOU, told to go to post what are effectively "OFF" topics (on someone elses' boards) because YOU closed the CORRECT boards for THOSE comments. If YOU had told us what you were thinking of doing, we could have told you what would work and what wouldn't (we're the experts on messageboarding, you admitted you are a blogger, who loves blogging and knew practically nothing about message boards). Unfortunately, whilst on the message boards you NEVER threw yourself into learning anything about message boarding. Just kept linking us to YOUR blogs, and expected US to embrace and learn how to use YOUR blogs, when you would not reciprocate with OUR message boards.

    All in all Nick, sorry, but a complete farce. A complete waste of our time. A complete waste of your time, and a complete vindication for those posters from Day 1 who said, "improvements" is BBC code for "closures".

  • Comment number 54.

    Nick,

    From your comment above.........

    "Hosting and accountability go hand in hand"

    ................

    The problem we have is that YOU have decided that it is US who is ACCOUNTABLE, and have set up force-fields to stop us talking DIRECTLY to BBC High Heidjins. The point of ACCOUNTABILITY is meant to be the other way around. BBC are supposed to be ACCOUNTABLE to US. Having set up a new Host, and aligned the boards to a trivial little programme, which is held up to ridicule on the VERY boards named after it, can you please tell me WHERE IS BBC's ACCOUNTABILITY to US, in THIS exercise? What you have done is make BBC LESS Accountable, by removing our ability to comment on various matters (Radio/Online and Digital). The last one is a hoot, as YOU have removed the Digital Board at the VERY time we are moving over to DIGITAL.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hopefully the new host will input into the programme. That indeed is the idea.

    The Digital board was very low traffic indeed. Should low traffic boards be kept open just for the sake of it?

    I've explained here why message boards may not be the easiest place for BBC people to participate.

  • Comment number 56.

    "Hopefully the new host will input into the programme. That indeed is the idea. "

    ----------

    And, what about BBC's ACCOUNTABILITY to us. Getting a post read out on POV appears to make NO DIFFERENCE to the Senior Staff (I've had four read out by the way, and ALL four were frivolous, frippery - not one of my postings on more weighty topics has been read out - so I HAVE experience of "input" to Points of View). We do not want postings read out on Points of View. We have NEVER wanted postings read out on Points of View (it does your street cred no good on the boards). We WANT BBC staff like Danielle Nagler or yourself to come ONTO the message boards, and discuss our points of view/complaints/suggestions THERE. So, AGAIN, I ask, how has this exercise of "improvements" actually improved BBC's ACCOUNTABILITY to US? Or, does the Graf Report and BBC Trust Report NOT say, that BBC should be MORE ACCOUNTABLE to it's viewers/listeners? You have side-stepped what THOSE reports asked BBC to do, and instead chose to make US more ACCOUNTABLE to BBC, and not BBC more ACCOUNTABLE to US. Please address that point.

    As to the Digital boards. (doh smiley Nick) Low traffic (doh)

    ------------

    "Should low traffic boards be kept open just for the sake of it?"

    ------------

    Erm, Nick, perhaps it would have been judicious to keep the Digital board open, in case there was an INCREASE in postings. Given that there is the switch-over to Digital. It absolutely beggars belief that a BBC employee would close a board for discussion of Digital matters at this VERY time.

    ------------

    "I've explained here why message boards may not be the easiest place for BBC people to participate"

    -------------

    NO, Nick, what you have done, is show BBC employees up as frightened to stand up for their opinions. You have made out that we would be unruly (close offensive posts, but answer truthfully justified comments in that case). What comes out from THAT statement is that BBC employees are running scared from the licence payers, and don't want to open themselves up to scrutiny. If they are concerned about the press reading the boards, then do their job properly and make sure that their answers are truthful. What is now happening is that YOU have used the tiny minority of nasty comments as an excuse for NO interaction on Messageboards between BBC staff and viewers/listeners. You admitted that BBC staff LIKE blogs, because they can CONTROL them. I honestly don't think you appreciate just how bad that comment was. Re-read it, and see if you think it shows BBC staff in a good light.

  • Comment number 57.

    "What comes out from THAT statement is that BBC employees are running scared from the licence payers, and don't want to open themselves up to scrutiny."

    This is untrue. It is why we have blogs like this one.

    But I do think that BBC people should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a message board if that's somewhere they are not comfortable.

  • Comment number 58.

    Just a curiosity.

    Down the bottom of the screen is a list of "buzzwords" called - "Categories - These are some of the popular topics this blog covers."

    Let's think of a few words that might have featured in a (relentless) series of blog posts recently.

    POV - nope
    Points of View - nope
    Messageboard - nope
    Consultation - nope

    But...
    Ugc (?) - yep - one post in 2008
    What we do - yep - two posts in 2008
    Identity - yep - one post in 2008

    Now, either someone's forgetting to add "Post Categories", but surely the editor of the BBC Internet blog wouldn't do something like that, or someone doesn't want messageboards polluting their blog.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nick, I think it is a little rich for the person who closes boards to say you think people should have a choice of where they communicate with the BBC. Who says people are uncomfortable with Message Boards? You are making this all up! Your list of things to justify your own inexperienced opinion of what we want seems to be diametrically opposite to the clearly stated wants of those that have contributed. Blogs were never on the wish list from anyone... indeed until you arrived no-one knew the BBC had any blogs.... and looking at the recent "improvements" there is still nothing to attract people.... indeed they appear unpopular (proven), unloved (proven) and relatively low traffic (incontravertible). Better be consistent Nick and close them down.

  • Comment number 60.

    OK Nick (using my best Jeremy Paxman mode I shall ask AGAIN) where is BBC's ACCOUNTABILITY to US. YOU have told US .....

    "But I do think that BBC people should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a message board if that's somewhere they are not comfortable."

    -------------------------

    which is unbelievable, since THAT is exactly what YOU did to US. Change THAT sentence to.......

    ------------------------

    "But I do think that POSTERS should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a BLOG if that's somewhere they are not comfortable.


    ------------------------------------

    Do you not see the incongruity of you saying BBC staff should NOT have to go onto the Message boards if THEY are not comfortable, but that you did not show us the same courtesy you are insisting for BBC staff.

    BBC staff are ACCOUNTABLE to us. We are NOT ACCOUNTABLE to you, and until you get your head around that little conundrum you are going to continue with the misconception you have, that WE should just do as you TELL us.

    -----------------------

    You then quoted from my message.......

    ""What comes out from THAT statement is that BBC employees are running scared from the licence payers, and don't want to open themselves up to scrutiny." .............

    This is untrue. It is why we have blogs like this one."

    -----------------------------------

    AND YET AGAIN WITH THE BLOGS. I SHALL WHISPER THIS - we do not want to blog on BBC, we choose to message board when we come to BBC.

    ----------------------------------------

    And to finish I shall ask AGAIN - why do you NOT think that BBC staff should be ACCOUNTABLE to their message board community ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS, and NOT on the blogs.......as you so very nearly say.....

    "people should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a (replace blog for YOUR use of the words message boards) if that's somewhere they are not comfortable."


    (Nick can you please get a quote function on these blogs, so that we don't this visually unappealing and long-winded way of quoting and viewing those quotes, where all the text just runs into each other)



    .

  • Comment number 61.

    Nick

    Just a suggestion for your blogs - have a wee look at the Commenting section on Google's Matt Cutts' Blogs. (Just Google "Matt Cutts")
    You will see obvious delineation of posters by colour (grey or white for alternate posters with the blog author in green). Visually so much easier to differentiate the posters' comments.
    And the use of a quote box, is an absolute Godsend to blogging, and again, so much more pleasing, visually.

    Any chance of BBC attempting something approaching the appearance of Matt Cutts' blogs?

  • Comment number 62.

    If you need evidence that blogs are all about CONTROL, not communication, just look at the Roxana Saberi posts on The Editors blog (the link to it is up the right hand side).

    Several blog messages and lots of comments... but now all the comments appear to have disappeared, despite two recent ones still showing 28 and 58 comments.

    Of course there could be an innocent explanation.

  • Comment number 63.

    Nick,

    "the were closed because they are unloved and unpopular" were your words. Can you tell me when the blogs will be closed? or is simply a case of double standards?

  • Comment number 64.

    Seurat of the Yard is clearly a very fine detective - Mma Ramotswe would be proud.

  • Comment number 65.

    Officer Dibble - again I don't have responsibility for all BBC blogs so I can't help you in your desire to close them. I'd like to know your evidence for them being unpopular. Many BBC blogs are very popular. Certainly Robert Peston's blog or Nick Robinson's blog attract many more comments than some threads on the Points of View boards.

    Suerat - good call. I will add a "messageboard" category.

  • Comment number 66.

    Nick - you know I am not calling for their closure. and ignoring the clear double standards by you just gives us the impression you are hiding your real reasons for the decisions you made.

    The evidence Nick? The traffic is well below that of the Radio board - so by your criteria you should close your own blogs. I have seen nearly unanimous antipathy to the Blogs - I don't see that written about MBs - so again for consistency, you should close the "unloved" blogs at the same time you close the Radio MB (which has never been stated as being unloved).

    I could link many many posts that show the support for the MBs you closed, and can also show you many more that were against the blogs you preside over. I see no statements in support of closure of the MBs. (other than Phazer wanting them all closed) and I don't see droves of people using the Blogs compared to the MBs.

    Evidentially your reasoning is unsubstantiated. A little bit of honesty would increase your credibility. Without it there is little point in you being here.

  • Comment number 67.

    And, again, in Jeremy Paxman mode.....
    Nick can you tell us how the BBC plan to be ACCOUNTABLE to THEIR message boarders.
    From YOUR comment above.....
    "But I do think that BBC people should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a message board if that's somewhere they are not comfortable."
    -------------------------
    where I responded.....
    which is unbelievable, since THAT is exactly what YOU did to US. Change THAT sentence to.......
    ------------------------
    "But I do think that POSTERS should have a choice about how and where they do this. They should not be forced to go onto a BLOG if that's somewhere they are not comfortable.
    WHY do you think that BBC employees have MORE RIGHTS than the people they are ACCOUNTABLE to? If you insist on using skewed logic, it will come back and bite you on the bum.
    WE are asking that BBC employees come onto the BBC Message boards and speak DIRECTLY to the general public, who "do not feel comfortable" on BBC blogs.


  • Comment number 68.

    This baffles me.

    If you have a question you go to where you are most likely to get an answer, don't you? Doesn't matter whether it's a blog, a message board, a letter or a phone call to a relevant programme. You just decide what's more likely to get an answer.

    If you're more likely to get an answer on a blog then you go there. It's getting an answer that counts, not where you are.

  • Comment number 69.

    Before I deal with your comment above, I think I should post THIS comment which Sarah (our new Host) - who YOU have said aligns us closer to POV programme, and would give us more contact with it.
    Quote from Sarah on BBC Message Board...
    "I do have closer ties to the Points of View team, but I wouldn’t say that I work for them. I can give them a "heads up" if there are any posts on the board that might be suitable for the programme, although there are researchers on the programme team who also keep an eye out. I'm not involved in choosing what actually goes into the programme."
    So, I'm not sure where THIS "improvement" is that you have been telling us. We always had a Host, and POV used to check in on the boards (how else can you explain the "Message Board comments section" of the Points of View Programme. So, where is this new ACCOUNTABILITY.
    YOU have delivered us nothing new and dressed it as "improvements".

  • Comment number 70.

    Now to deal with YOUR comment above....
    "This baffles me."
    Doesn't take much does it!!!!!!
    "If you have a question you go to where you are most likely to get an answer" -
    and YOU have decreed that THAT will ONLY be on the BLOGS (we're NOT discussing phone calls, emails, letters etc, because THOSE are completely different from Blogs and Message Boards).
    "If you're more likely to get an answer on a blog then you go there. It's getting an answer that counts, not where you are."
    And, taking THAT argument and turning it to the CORRECT direction. YOU are saying that BBC staff will ONLY look at BLOGS for the QUESTIONS raised by the general public.
    You constantly say that BBC staff won't go onto the message boards because THEY don't feel comfortable there. What about the public who are not comfortable on BLOGS. Using YOUR logic, BBC staff WILL NOT set foot in the message boards to ANSWER questions raised there.
    WE choose to ask QUESTIONS on the Message boards, and YOU have decreed that the ANSWERS will be given only on BLOGS.
    Can you not see how SKEWED, ALIENATING, INSULTING, DISCRIMINATORY, NON-INCLUSIVE, PATRONISING and plain WRONG that attitude is?

    And, as you can see from Sarah's comment on the BBC board, we have now lost THREE boards, and gained a Host who is peripheral to POV Programme (which is the bee-all-and-end-all to you). You must think we are totally gullible.

    BUT we said from DAY 1 that THIS would be the outcome.

  • Comment number 71.

    Here's what I would do - I posted this "solution" on Ian Betteridge's blog, on a post about comments, a few weeks ago:
    http://www.technovia.co.uk/2009/03/warning-this-post-contains-strong-language.html

    "These comments confuse me. Is this some kind of Turing test?

    I would much prefer the BBC to figure out the bits of the web they do horribly first - like a permanent webpage for every programme and give up blocking content to non-UK Internet users.

    My suggestion would be to be for the BBC to have a top 10 list of sites for each genre of output and assign an employee to each to interact with licence fee payers there. Anyone coming to the BBC pages get the list of sites where BBC employee will be participating.

    This does a number of very important things:
    1. It drives traffic from the BBC to other sites.
    2. It moves the moderation headache to sites who get the benefit of BBC traffic.
    3. It allows BBC people to participate without having to spend most of the time firefighting turf wars.
    4. It cross-polinates to others who may not actively be using the BBC sites.
    5. It removes the "dead-hand" feel to the moderation task the BBC has to enforce."

  • Comment number 72.

    I see from the BBC message board that the very much missed and popular Radio Board is now under discussion.

    I just hope it is reinstated as fast as it was removed for no acceptable reason at all.

    It surely can't take that long for someone to make a decision.

  • Comment number 73.

    Niclaramartin, - judging by his last comments, there is no reasoning with Nick. His comments make no sense, and if that is the sort of reasoning that is controlling the BBC's communication with its audience then there is little point in any discussion.

    Jem, his BBC colleague, summed it up- Quote: "Nick is too thick skinned". Personally I think Jem said too much.

  • Comment number 74.

    As for the new host. I don't think anyone actually believed the promised improvements - and evidently it has made no difference to the accountability. The so-called TV production person has no more BBC insight than any other poster on the boards - and probably less than a few I can name. The closer ties with the POV programme was a spurious statement. The Future media exercise was a sham - the benefits nil.

  • Comment number 75.

    OK Nick
    Do you think that BBC are accountable to their viewers and listeners?
    If you answer THAT question "YES", then, YOU cannot pick and choose WHICH viewers and listeners YOU and BBC staff will enter into dialogue with. Perhaps BBC staff are more comfortable on THEIR blogs, exerting CONTROL over commenting. BUT, THAT is not an acceptable attitude to your customers. The Graf Report and BBC Trust Report said that BBC had to be MORE ACCOUNTABLE. It did not say, "BBC has to be MORE ACCOUNTABLE to bloggers". It said "bbc.co.uk has helped make the BBC more accountable but more can be done to meet the public’s growing expectation of open dialogue." AND.....
    "The original terms of approval for BBC online included a condition that it should use the internet “to forge a new relationship with licence fee payers and strengthen accountability" (NOTE: "Licence fee payers", not "bloggers"

    BUT we come to the MOST important point.....
    "bbc.co.uk allows the BBC to engage easily with licence fee payers. The internet allows for easy distribution of information and, unlike in the case of broadcast media, the flow of information can be two-way. bbc.co.uk gives licence fee payers opportunities to provide feedback in many areas"
    NICK - PLEASE NOTE - its says "in many areas" (not just one place - blogs, but "in many areas")
    So, in the spirit of aiding BBC to find useful commenting in one of those "many areas", may I point you (and hopefully Danielle Nagler) in the direction of THIS thread
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=5439003&skip=0&show=20
    where licence fee payers have clocked up 1107 comments on the subject of DOGs (as opposed to the 140 comments on Danielle's Blog). It would appear that the above thread is WHERE the general public have CHOSEN to discuss this subject, so, as the BBC Trust and Graf Report say, perhaps BBC staff should get over to discuss it with the licence fee payers in THEIR choice of the "many areas".
    I should also point out that the BBC Trust Report AND the Graf Report were both keen to encourage User Generated Commenting, and where can you find that......Message Boards

  • Comment number 76.

    Nick, you said...
    "If you have a question you go to where you are most likely to get an answer, don't you? Doesn't matter whether it's a blog, a message board, a letter or a phone call to a relevant programme. You just decide what's more likely to get an answer."
    So, in YOUR own words "doesn't matter whether it's a blog, a message board, a letter or a phone call...." So, are you telling me that if I write a letter I SHALL receive a reply. If I phone a relevant programme, I will be spoken to by a member of BBC staff. Or if I post a comment on a blog, I SHALL receive a reply (haha). BUT, if I CHOOSE to post MY comment on a BBC Message Board I SHALL NOT RECEIVE ANY RESPONSE from BBC staff, because THEY are NOT COMFORTABLE there.
    Absolutely derisory, and totally indefensible. Not to mention obscenely ARROGANT for BBC to take THAT (if you excuse the words which will make you shudder) Point of View.

  • Comment number 77.

    Officer Dibble

    I am ADAMANT that Nick HAS to DEFEND his decisions. We can all see them for what they are. BUT his responses are there for everyone on the internet to see, and judge. The more we question him, and make him respond (albeit in what can be seen to be poor understanding and responding) the more ludicrous this whole exercise can be seen to be. The Message boards are going to be closed one by one, BECAUSE BBC staff don't like them.

  • Comment number 78.

    A point I should have highlighted in the following comment made by yourself...
    -------------
    "If you have a question you go to where you are most likely to get an answer, don't you? Doesn't matter whether it's a blog, a message board, a letter or a phone
    -------------------------
    I've been on the Message boards for some years now, and I CAN'T remember seeing ANY input from High Heidjins at BBC. There was a sorry attempt by Points of View Production Team to produce a sort of Blogboard - where THEY set the Agenda, and we were supposed to respond (so NOT QUITE answering OUR questions), but NO, no input from BBC staff. So, even when BBC blogs were in their infancy, BBC staff didn't come over to the message board to become involved in "open dialogue".

    Nick you are such a card......
    When we sign in, you have links to "606", "Archers", "Film Network", "h2g2" and "Radio 4" message boards. YOU were "in charge" of Points of View Message Boards, BUT no sign of a link to them. (doh) Maybe the ones you have linked to are deemed "safe".

  • Comment number 79.

    niclaramartin wrote:
    When we sign in, you have links to "606", "Archers", "Film Network", "h2g2" and "Radio 4" message boards. YOU were "in charge" of Points of View Message Boards, BUT no sign of a link to them.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quite so, Niclara. As long ago as Dec 4, 2008 I pointed-out the fact the address given-out by Jeremy Vine, on Points Of View TV programme, for the messageboards, (bbc.co.uk/pov), wasn't working.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F2131439?thread=6123422

    Now, I was not the first to point-out the problem with linking to the POV messageboards, nor was I the last. How anyone ever found the boards is a miracle, but the fact the given URL didn't work, and that there was a complete lack of links from across the BBC website, indicates there was, way back then, at the very least, a lack of commitment, on the part of the BBC, to the boards.

    A lack of commitment may be rather generous, or naive, on my part - some might say it was more an on-going agenda at work to get rid of all these awkward viewer/listener comments post Hutton. It may be that agenda is still developing; I for one will be interested to see how long what is left of the boards continue, given their now 'closer links' to a 10-15 min seasonal, schedule-filler, a here one minute gone the next programme, (Points Of View), which is often derided and little respected.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    From Wikipedia: The series has often been criticised for featuring too much praise of the BBC and its programmes, and playing down criticism. This tendency has been sent up by many comedians over the years, including memorable skits in Monty Python's Flying Circus and Not the Nine O'Clock News. In the latter, positive letters said such things as "I think the (television licence) fee is far too low. I would willingly sell my house and all its contents to help the BBC."

    Further criticism came from comedians Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie on the duo's sketch comedy show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. During a sketch where Fry had supposedly removed Laurie's brain, Laurie said that he was "off to write a letter to Points of View", the implication being that only the brainless would engage in such an activity.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    The latter part of that Wiki quote reminds me of the strange voice adopted by Nick Reynolds when he mimicked POVers in this interview:
    http://blip.tv/file/702851/

    As bluestar belgrade asked Nick on the messageboards: "Nick, why did you put on a stupid voice when you we're talking about people complaining about the BBC?", and he wasn't referring to Nicks apparent cold.

  • Comment number 80.

    I remember at one time people at the BBC DID interact with posters on the POV boards,which was a good thing,so using an excuse that they would not be comfortable is totally wrong.

  • Comment number 81.

    Niclaramartin - it seems clear that recently BBC people have not participated much on the POV boards (with a few honorable exceptions).

    Why do you think this might be?

  • Comment number 82.

    NickReynolds provocatively wrote:
    it seems clear that recently BBC people have not participated much on the POV boards (with a few honorable exceptions).

    Why do you think this might be?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nick

    1. How do you know BBC people are not participating much on the POV boards? They may be using a different identity.

    2. You work at the Beeb, so why don't you do a straw poll of 'BBC people', outside the Future Media tribe. pop down the canteen, stop people in the corridor, stick your head into a production suite, and ask them an unbiased handful of questions:

    a. Have you heard of the BBC Points Of View Messageboards?
    b. Have you visited the boards in ever, in the last six months?
    c. Have you ever contributed to the boards?
    d. Why have you never visited / contributed?

    Give a go and let us know the results.

    Have a nice day!

    john

  • Comment number 83.

    or indeed ask a producer if he knows anything about what people think about their product?
    Have they ever read the BBC phone logs?
    Does the BBC info department tell him what the subject of complaints are?
    Does he know where to find info about the likes/dislikes of "wobbly camerawork", overloud music, IPPs, film effect, coming ups and recaps, dumb VOs, presenter led programmes.

    Have any of the BBC production staff signed up as MB members?

    I for one have made many attempts to find a digest of complaints about camerawork style (I am a cameraman) and strangely even though we all know how much it creates a reaction from viewers, there is no log of how many complaints the BBC receives specifically for camerawork style. If I can't find it, then how can a producer?

    The BBC have no idea what their audience thinks - and judging by their attitude to communicating with them -they are just all talk .

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm interested in your thoughts.

    Why do you think they don't go to the POV boards?

  • Comment number 85.

    I'm more interested in reality:

    1. The reality of where people who want to make general comments on BBC Radio should go within bbc.co.uk;

    2. The reality of why Nick is so hung-up on 'BBC people' - if they don't feel comfortable using the messageboards is that justification for closing them? As niclaramartin has said 'What about the public who are not comfortable on BLOGS'?

    Personally, I am quite happy for blogs and messageboards to co-exist side by side, and I think part of Nicks (or someone in Future Media), job should be to encourage 'BBC people' to make use of both these areas of the BBC to better inform themselves and their colleagues of the debate which are going-on within their customer base.

    So, please, Nick, stop putting pressure on niclaramartin, (some might say bullying), to speculate only so you and your FM people can put her down - instead try making some real improvements to way both 'BBC people' and the licence payers interact. Now that would be useful.

    john

  • Comment number 86.

    You said....."Niclaramartin - it seems clear that recently BBC people have not participated much on the POV boards (with a few honorable exceptions).Why do you think this might be?"
    AND after John and Leonard and Officer Dibble's comments....
    You then said....."I'm interested in your thoughts.
    Why do you think they don't go to the POV boards"
    Nick, you can't see me, but I am laughing out loud. You see I have worked with a Professor who (amongst other things) explained how to read people's body language and speech - you know the sort of thing, Make steady eye contact, strong handshake, keep voice even, lean forward in chair/lean back to show willingness to listen etc. And the one you have just shown to it's full effect. WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER, TURN IT AROUND BY ASKING A QUESTION. (hahahaha) As I say, rocking back and forward laughing, BUT NOT leaning back and showing a willingess to submit.
    Now that you have been rumbled and your FAVOURITE tactic is highlighted, I am now going to turn YOUR questions back on you. Can you tell us why you are so evasive in answering what are very simple questions?

    UNLIKE yourself, I SHALL answer the question you asked about BBC staff and message boards, BUT in another posting. (shakes head in utter disbelief at the amateur ploy-playing)

  • Comment number 87.

    I know what I think and I've outlined what I think here.

  • Comment number 88.

    Nick you are an absolute hoot. You've become a charicature of yourself.
    If you think for one minute that I am going to trawl through a mini War & Peace so that I can interperate YOUR comments in any number of ways you are wrong.
    You are running from the answers. As we have said, answer a simple question with a simple answer.
    Do you have an idea how your "linked" answers come over on the internet?
    I'm right into my stride now, and thoroughly enjoying this blog. It would be nice if you could make an attempt to be MORE ACCOUNTABLE, but, hey, I have plenty more questions for you NOT to answer.

  • Comment number 89.

    Thank you John for your concern, but I have arm-wrestled with mightier brains than Nicks, and come out triumphant.
    It is becoming more and more obvious that Nick has NO answers. He DOES NOT have to give answers. (or so he believes) He is employed by BBC and is sitting in a wee fantasy world of power over the plebs. What he is perhaps failing to see, is that others outside of this argument will be READING without posting to this blog, (and the message board threads). If I was reading what Nick believes are ANSWERS, I would be concerned about the running of the BBC. Nick is obviously used to talking to junior staff, but it appears NOT to the general public. I'm not big into the "we pay your wages mate" argument, but, nick, your attitude just beggars belief. We have simply put forward questions and arguments about your closure of some of the POV boards, asking the reasoning, the implimentation (which is still foggy) of alignment to the 14minute programme which is known as Points of View (doh). You have been asked hundreds of times, by a great many different posters, various questions, and I think you have probably answered half a dozen clearly and concisely. For someone working in the Communication industry, I am dismayed at the lack of communicative skills.

  • Comment number 90.

    Why don't we start with the question you don't think I'm answering.

    If it's about "accountability" then you might need to express it in a different way as I don't think I understand what you're saying.

  • Comment number 91.

    "I am dismayed at the lack of communicative skills."
    Nick, it would be worth your time to over to the boards again, and witness the thoroughly pleasant welcome which Rowan and Sarah and now Andrew have been receiving. THEY have realised that it pays to speak TO and WITH posters, not AT. I don't think I ever saw ONE nippy posting to Rowan, and she was given a lovely send-off (try doing THAT on your blogs). Sarah has now been welcomed, and although missing in action already, people are giving her the benefit of the doubt. Andrew has been a real tonic on the board. It is so nice to see someone from BBC who "GETS" message boarding. He even admitted he didn't know an answer to a question (how to delete blog posting history). So, a thoroughly nice chap, and, showing us the HUMAN side of BBC. Maybe we'll try to get Andrew to ask MORE BBC staff to come over. We don't bite (at least if we are treated with some modicum of appreciation for OUR liking of message boards, and not constantly being told to BLOG).

  • Comment number 92.

    Just repeating and highlighting John's question, which is based in FACT.
    "I'm more interested in reality:

    1. The reality of where people who want to make general comments on BBC Radio should go within bbc.co.uk;"

    So, nick, in your wisdom, WHERE do people post such comments on the MESSAGE BOARDS? (Sits back and waits for nick to post a link to a BLOG) (doh) (Or says I discussed it "here" link)

  • Comment number 93.

    Nick's comment.....
    "I know what I think and I've outlined what I think here."
    or
    I know what I think I think, and I think that if I link, they'll think I may think, I know what I actually think. So here's the link "here". (Do you think I got away with it, and THEY'LL never guess that I've forgotten what I think I thought I thought back then)

  • Comment number 94.

    Nick
    May I pose a question I asked earlier.
    If as you say, we can write a letter and receive a reply from the BBC, and we can send an email and receive a reply from the BBC, and we can phone and get a response from the BBC, or we can write a response on a blog and have it read by the BBC. CAN YOU NOW TELL ME why can't I receive a response from BBC on the BBC Message Boards?
    Simple question - simple BUT TRUTHFUL response will suffice.

  • Comment number 95.

    Nick said....
    "Why don't we start with the question you don't think I'm answering.
    If it's about "accountability" then you might need to express it in a different way as I don't think I understand what you're saying."
    Hahahahahahahhahahahahahhahah
    As I say, an absolute hoot. Oh please Nick, ask me another. Hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

  • Comment number 96.

    Good one Nick
    "I don't understand what ACCOUTABILITY is"
    What a gem.........only from the BBC

    What a doozy.

  • Comment number 97.

    Whatever the definition of accountability is, we are not seeing it - not on the blogs, message boards, nor complaints channel.

    Put an open question to the audience - do you feel the BBC is less accountable now than 4 years ago?
    I will wager the answers will be 90% negative. Nick, I'd class that as a failure on your part, no matter how you define it.

  • Comment number 98.

    I understand what accountability is. I don't understand what you're saying about it.

    But I can answer the other question.

    The different methods of communication have different statuses. Some are formal, some informal. And it also depends on what you're doing.

    For example leaving a comment on a blog or message board is not the same as making a formal complaint on the BBC's complaints website. You will get an answer if you make a formal complaint. But while its important that BBC people deal with comments on a blog it's an informal conversation. You won't necessarily get an answer.

    Many people phone the BBC and the BBC doesn't phone them all back personally. It depends on what the phone call is about. We have customer call centres to filter calls and deal with them according to what they are about.

    You're also confusing a comment on a message board being "read" with it being responded to.

    BBC people aren't obliged to go on blogs or message boards in the same way as they are obliged to deal with a formal complaints letter.

  • Comment number 99.

    Nick
    I think most of us realise that if you make a "formal" complaint it is going to receive MORE ACCOUNTABILITY than a comment on a blog or message board. WE are talking about online commenting, in the vein of......this section of the BBC Trust Report
    -----------------
    "Does bbc.co.uk make the BBC more accountable to licence fee payers?
    bbc.co.uk has helped make the BBC more accountable but more can be done to meet the public’s growing expectation of open dialogue.
    The original terms of approval for BBC online included a condition that it should use the internet “to forge a new relationship with licence fee payers and strengthen accountability”. This remains an important goal and one that is now a responsibility of both BBC management – which offers accountability at both individual programme and corporate level - and the BBC Trust."
    -------------------------
    Note: "TERMS OF APPROVAL" and "use the internet to forge a new relationship with licence fee payers, and strengthen ACCOUNTABILITY"
    I have made it as crystal clear as I can, what I am asking about ACCOUNTABILITY. If you like we can start with "Janet and John do ACCOUNTABILITY", but, I did think that BBC employees would be au fait with the term ACCOUNTABLE to licence fee payers. Obviously my mistake.
    You said......
    "BBC people aren't obliged to go on blogs or message boards in the same way as they are obliged to deal with a formal complaints letter."
    ---------------
    NO, but "approval for BBC online included a condition that it should use the internet “to forge a new relationship with licence fee payers and strengthen accountability”.
    As BBC Trust say "licence fee payers". YOU are NOT allowed to pick and choose WHERE BBC staff will be ACCOUNTABLE. It is part of the conditions of APPROVAL.
    What has become even more clear than I think EVEN we believed, is that YOU and probably most BBC employees feel they are under no obligation to us. BBC staff WILL read comments on THEIR blogs, BUT they will NOT read comments on BBC Message Boards. That is a dreadful indictment of the people employed by BBC.

  • Comment number 100.

    As a result of your obtuse reading of comments I shall make it perfectly clear that NOBODY on the BBC Message boards would ever expect a reply to EVERY comment. And to be perfectly honest, most have had their eye's opened about "mail shot" responses to complaints using the complaint's system, so we are NOT asking a lot.
    Simple input from BBC staff on a level which recognises it's Message boards, reads it's message boards, takes some information away from the message boards, and occasionally post to the boards, when a matter of genuine concern is raised, as in the case of the numerous threads regarding DOGs.
    Have you a response why Danielle has not put in an appearance on the message boards to address the THOUSANDS of comments posted on DOGs?
    Again, where do Message board posters post general comments regarding Radio?
    and one you may answer...
    Why do you have links to 606, The Archers, Film Network, h2g2 and Radio 4, but none to POV? If we are going on NUMBERS h2g2 would not get a look-in, but you probably feel it is safe.

 

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