Changes to BBC Message Boards: Update
I thought I'd just give a short update following my last post about message boards.
I will try and make this as free from jargon or 'techie' speak as possible, even though this is the internet blog, where we occasionally get a bit 'geeky'.
I'm not going to deny there are some bugs that need fixing or there are some extra features you'd like to see.
In the release deployed on Wednesday we delivered a number of fixes:
· Fixed an issue with link (url) translation.
· Increased security by preventing the submission of malicious code in posts.
· Tidied up some general formatting issues in posts.
This release is half way through our current sprint and there are more items being worked on presently.
I'd also like to point out my team isn't just working on messageboards. We're a small team that has many projects to work on. In addition to the messageboards we provide the comments on blogs, moderation tools and backend services to manage complaints, services for BBCiPlayer social features, 606 and h2g2 articles and forums.
We're also working on a significant project involving data mining/business intelligence technology that will allow us to have more detailed insights into how moderation works across all the BBC's social media services.
Additionally we are looking at various ways we can enable search across messageboards and blog comments. I'm not just talking about the Food or Archers messageboard, this is across all user generated text content across the whole BBC.
Originally we had this feature and it worked well when the scale of user contribution was small. As this has scaled up it has become an interesting challenge for us.
Indexing dynamic content compared to statically published pages is a real challenge. We have multiple levels of caching to prevent us being overwhelmed by search engines (bbc.co.uk receives 10% of UK internet traffic) and to stop them killing our ability to deliver content (and we also prevent spiders/web crawlers visiting us), so to enable search on our 250 GB database isn't a small feat.
It's something we are tackling though, and we need to find a solution that is cost effective for the license fee payer and can be supported across the various services live operation so it's as reliable as possible.
David WIlliams is Product Manager, BBC FM&T Social