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Ian McDonald Ian McDonald | 17:00 UK time, Friday, 8 July 2011

view from above of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Venue Vu embeds live footage (eg the leftmost court) into a CGI Wimbledon

  1. The weekend saw Britain triumph at Wimbledon. Not at tennis, obviously, but in broadcasting technology. Not only did it see the BBC’s first ever 3D broadcast and CGI flights over Wimbledon, but thousands of you helped us by taking part in our trial of HD over HTTP. For audio, 5 Live trialled software to let you control the balance between tennis and commentary. If this inspires you (and you are an audio ubergeek) R&D are recruiting a senior audio expert.
  2.  

  3. BBC technologist Richard Courtice raised wrote to BBC staff paper Ariel about headline-only RSS feeds for the BBC News blogs. The product manager of the BBC News Website confirmed:
    We plan to move to an RSS format that includes the full text of each item over the next few months.
  4.  

  5. On Wednesday, BBC Trust chair Lord Patten told the Royal Television Society that the values of the BBC matched the values of the Internet.
    Both the internet and the BBC form part of the public realm. Both are fundamentally democratic. Combine the social and personal elements of the internet with the editorial and curatorial ambition of the BBC and we can create something exceptional.

    He expressed his concern (about which he might find Prof Tim Wu's NPR interview interesting) that the internet might lose its grassroots diversity

    The BBC also has to contend with the threats posed to the online world by the market. The history of all other media is of a fight for greater control, with a risk of oligopoly. We should do what we can to avoid the shrinking of the internet as an open, democratic territory.
  6.  

  7. After a two-day delay to say goodbye, and three days after the BBC reply to a Freedom of Information request, the Ouch Messageboard closes today in line with BBC strategy to focus discussions around content. Some messageboard members set up a new community-run forum, Ouch Too.
  8.  

  9. And finally, Phil Buckley revealed today in discussions about the new CBBC Newsround website that even being the product lead for CBBC and CBeebies is not enough to impress his children:
    they vaguely understand that their dad does something to do with CBBC and CBeebies but they don't think it's that cool; meantime I get loads of free user testing

(Confused reports on Monday about the BBC allegedly banning staff from tweeting do not qualify for this list because they proved to be inaccurate.)

Ian McDonald is the Content Producer, BBC Internet Blog

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, the Ouch! board has closed.

    And you can 'justify' it because the disability relevant output by the BBC is so pathetic.

    Shame on you BBC.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    "We plan to move to an RSS format that includes the full text of each item over the next few months."

    The way that response is written, it sounds as though this is an inspired new idea thought up by the team. It's not: it's how the blog feeds always used to work until they were broken by the new system!

    However, I am very glad to hear that the full feeds are coming back - perhaps the News feeds could follow the example and be extended to contain the full text also? I expect not, as news stories on the website tend to "evolve" along with the story.

    Glad to hear that not all of our comments are ignored...

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Thank you for the mention of Ouch Too. The Ouch messageboards were a fantastic source of help, advice and companionship for the Disabled community. If you Google anything relating to disability there is a good chance that the Ouch messageboards come up as the first choice. Given time hopefully Ouch Too will develop fully enough to fill the yawning gap left by the messageboard's removal. As for the blogs that are deemed to be a worthy replacement - puh-lease!

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    It seems a shame that in the week that we saw the BBC’s first ever 3D broadcast and the excellent trial of HD over HTTP we see the BBC’s head of HD and 3D Danielle Nagler leaving the corporation along with her two team members, not to be replaced.

  • Comment number 13.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 14.

    Wow, Danielle Nagler gone. What will happen with BBC 2 HD plans, the six 3D test programs, the 1920x1440 decision? Maybe we can have a blogpost on this next week?

    "BBC HD after Danielle"

  • Comment number 15.

    here today, gone tomorrow... hardly worth building rapport... oh I remember... that didn't happen.

    So who is "in charge of HD"? Do they have an understanding of TV this time?

  • Comment number 16.

    The Controller of BBC Two is doing it next to her job, so probably focus on BBC Two HD.

  • Comment number 17.

    July 14th, OfficerDibble wrote:

    hardly worth building rapport

    I think Danielle was one of the department heads who always took the time to answer my emails personally. My experiences with her are better than with some other directors.

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Piet,

    You we lucky to have the email address. I refer to the blogs - her chosen form of communication (unless she was forced to use blogs). Her record of replies speaks volumes. That is not dialogue. The HD channel is a topic of great interest to the audiences, a subject that evolves and especially needs user interaction. The HD blogs are barren ground for dialogue - most now shut down.

  • Comment number 21.

    OfficerDibble - your view of Danielle Nagler is inaccurate and unfair. In my experience she has been one of the best BBC executives at talking with licence fee payers, not just through emails (as Piet suggests) but also through blogs (where she has responded to comments) and twitter. Personally I am sorry to see her leave as I regard her as a model for others.

    Some HD blogs were shut down because a small group of users continued to disrupt them and because the BBC Trust gave its' verdict on the matter. If people wish to have dialogue they need to obey the house rules and also accept that some conversations are not going to run on and on forever.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 22.

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

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    As I have said before (#161), criticism of the BBC is obviously acceptable but being abusive to other commenters, including BBC staff, is not.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nick,

    The record of replies from Danielle on her blogs is clear to see. That fact is what I am basing my statement on. The HD blogs were closed because of the LARGE group of users (a majority) that did not get satisfactory answers - not only with regard to the issue adjudicated by the Trust, but all the other HD related issues raised on the various HD blogs. Now they are all closed and there is no avenue for dialogue.

  • Comment number 26.

    OfficerDibble - you seem to be basing your comment purely on Danielle's record (which was pretty good) of commenting on her blog posts and responding with follow up posts and not on the other ways she engaged in dialogue with licence fee payers.

    A small groups of users were unhappy with the answers they recieved about BBC HD. A smaller group continued to press their points after they had recieved answers, resulting in disruption of other conversations and making it harder for other more productive conversations to happen.

    It is an exaggeration to say that answers were not satisfactory "all other HD related issues".

    Blog posts are closed automatically after a certain period. In the case of this blog after three months.

    If people are unhappy with the answers they get this does not give them the right to repeatedly break the house rules.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 27.

    Nick, I raised the issue of dialogue on blogs. Emails are irrelevant as 99% of the audience have access to staff via emails. Our opinion on good dialogue on blogs differs - I base mine on the fact that DN did not reply on most of her blogs.

    If posters broke house rules they were deleted. Those that remain on the HD blogs clearly did not break house rules. The overwhelming tone of those posts (as anyone can see) is negative.

    I only base my comment on facts - not opinion. That is where we differ.

    As for closure of blogs - whether it is automatic or a "managed" decision, there is not a channel for dialogue and that seems contrary to the stated ambition of the BBC to embrace social media. Ironically, the draconian "speak when we say" approach to blogs has meant a fall in traffic (which I am sure you can't disprove).

  • Comment number 28.

    typo: should read "...99% of audience DON'T have access to staff via emails.."

  • Comment number 29.

    OfficerDibble: Danielle did respond to comments on blogs, both with comments herself and with follow up posts. At the risk of repeating myself:

    A small groups of users were unhappy with the answers they recieved about BBC HD. A smaller group continued to press their points after they had recieved answers, resulting in disruption of other conversations and making it harder for other more productive conversations to happen. This is disruptive, therefore against the house rules and in some cases meant blog posts had to be closed to further comment.

    Thanks





  • Comment number 30.

    Hi @OfficerDibble

    Claiming that the other person is not basing their comments on fact may be seen as abusive. I am leaving your post up because it is part of an ongoing conversation, but please be civil.

    I'm personally quite partisan towards blogs, but they are not the only channel to feed back bouquets and brickbats.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Nick,

    I said what I was basing my statement on. Here are the facts of a selection of DN's blogs and how many replies she made to the often 100's of user comments:
    zero replies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2011/06/3d-for-wimbledon-the-future-of-tv.shtml
    zero replies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2011/01/bbc-one-hd.shtml
    zero replies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/07/the-one-show-and-the-open-go-i.shtml
    one reply http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/10/bbc-one-hd-is-ready.shtml
    one reply http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/03/what-do-you-want-to-see-on-bbc-hd-o.shtml
    zero replies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2010/03/bbc_hd_hello_to_the_tv_blog_an.html
    zero replies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/09/picture_quality_on_hd_a_respon.html
    zero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/08/bbc_hdtv_your_comments.html
    zero relies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/10/a_day_in_the_life_of_the_head.html



    I have to say that can't be construed as very good dialogue by any interpretation.

    I also found it difficult to find all her blogs because it depends if you click on her name in TV blog or Internet blog ... the listings respectively don't list all blogs she originated.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Ian,

    I note the help link you pasted. If you read the current and long standing threads over recent years all over the MBs you will see the general consensus is "tried that, got nowhere." My point about personal email addresses is not the same as an email to info department.

    DN's email address is not for public use, and rightly so, and surely that is the reason for blogs - a personal log to communicate with your audience. If it isn't going to be used as a personal blog, with dialogue, it might as well be a closed page with no interaction, like a PR piece. Afterall - these blogs are meant to be for our benefit.

  • Comment number 33.

    OfficerDibble - you omit to mention the fact that many of the blog posts you are linking to are follow up posts in which Danielle responds to specific comments (which are linked to) on previous posts. This is a perfectly acceptable way of having dialogue and just as good if not in some ways better than leaving a comment.

    People who write blog posts are not required to respond to every comment underneath them. Blogs are for the benefit of all those who read them, not just the minority of people who choose to comment.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 34.

    Whichever way you want to portray my facts as unrepresentative, I think most posters will see that zero replies on the majority of blogs as indicative. Unless you can provide evidence otherwise I would suggest that WE, the posters, are the very indicative of your audience. Let's be clear, the traffic to these blogs is not great, and those most interested in the subject are also most likely to have an opinion on it, and maybe reply. If these people are ignored, or dismissed as unrepresentative, then you might as well disable the comments facility and re-name these blogs as Press Release. Afterall, whether you like the comments or not, they are what social media is about and if the BBC wants to embrace social media it is going to have to accept the two way traffic that is inherent in the medium -one of the reasons why I don't think most big corporates can do social media properly -it is just too uncomfortable for them to hear what their customers / audience really think.

  • Comment number 35.

    Ian,

    Do you know if authors of weblogs get a reminder when a comment is made to their blog entry.

    I noticed that on the Over to You blog: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/overtoyou/ the author does not reply to questions made in comments. I took the liberty to answer one recent question for a certain person, but it should be someone from the BBC.

    It looks like Rajan Datar (the editor of that blog) is the only person involed in that blog.

  • Comment number 36.

    OfficerDibble - zero comments on some blog posts is not indicative of a lack of dialogue as that dialogue can be carried out in a number of different ways.

    "The traffic to these blogs is not great..." How do you know? Which blogs are "these blogs"?

    People who comment on blogs do not represent anyone other than themselves. The ratio of people who read blogs to the proportion who actually comment has remained remarkably stable over the years - roughly 1 in 10. (If you are interested in this subject there's some interesting slides in Holly Goodier's presentation which we made available as a video in June). People who comment tend to over estimate their importance.

    Two way traffic is indeed two way. People who comment have to understand that there are rules. On this blog we do encourage people to respond to comments, but commenters need to realise that that not every comment will or indeed should be answered and if a comment is not answered that does not give people the right to break the house rules.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 37.

    Love the insult.
    Thanks.

  • Comment number 38.

    I am a person who comments myself and consistently over estimate my own importance.

  • Comment number 39.

    No. You can't backtrack now. Self-deprecation doesn't wash with us.

  • Comment number 40.

    @Piet; no. Nick and I look at the "topical posts" list to see where new comments are.

    Thank you all for the conversation. I am closing comments here because I am about to post another round up.

 

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