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5 Most Interesting Stories from the Fortnight

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Ian McDonald Ian McDonald | 13:18 UK time, Friday, 19 August 2011

Burnt-out car

A burnt-out car in Tottenham. Picture sent to the BBC's UGC hub by Malcolm Tyndall.

  1. On Monday 8th, the TV iPlayer team launched the first version of iPlayer for connected TVs - on the Playstation 3. It was widely discussed. Gideon Summerfield blogged about the thinking behind the new design, and members of his team answered questions. Coverleeds was first with the most common problem:

    Jut downloaded this onto my Playstation. I much prefer the new user interface. Except for one humungous bug:

    YOU CAN'T EXIT IPLAYER WITHOUT SWITCHING OFF THE WHOLE CONSOLE!

    The answer is to hold down the PS button and choose quit. Because the new iPlayer is a native application, it quits the same way as other native applications. Press reaction was positive, with Playstation Attitude listing Five Ways BBC iPlayer is now Better on PS3.

  2. Also on Monday 8th, someone in the BBC forwarded a joke email to Andrew Bowden about how designers, developers and project managers see each other. (Similar infographics appeared this week on how scientists see each other as well as the relationship between types of journalist.) This prompted Andrew to write a thoughtful post about the role the graph forgot - Product Manager - a discipline BBC online now champions.

  3. Monday 8th was also the day that the English riots spread to Birmingham and other English cities. Jamillah Knowles (also of Radio 5 Live's Outriders) was on duty during the riots verifying the accuracy and the contributor's consent on the BBC's User-Generated Content hub. She told the blog:

    There was a high volume of material and people to talk to during the riots, mostly sourced from sites like Twitter. Getting permissions for material and finding the truth in the rumours was a priority. Many people on the team worked longer hours but it was satisfying work being able to bring people's first hand accounts to the news coverage.

    As anyone who has been through the BBC's internet research training knows, content on the internet is subject to the same copyright rules as anywhere else. Unfortunately,  the BBC's first response to Andrew Mabbet's complaint about pictures attributed "from Twitter" claimed they were in the public domain.

    Chris Hamilton, News Social Media Executive, swiftly left a correction on Andrew's blog post and blogged about the BBC's approach to copyright on Monday 15th. Although he assured Andrew that the BBC tried hard to contact contributors, he did say that the BBC would occasionally, in extremis, use a picture without permission:

    We don't make this decision lightly - a senior editor has to judge that there is indeed a strong public interest in making a photo available to a wide audience.

    This is still one of the most talked-about BBC topics on the internet. The practice of using a picture in exceptional circumstances attracted criticism from e-Consultancy on the basis of validation and from the NUJ on the basis of copyright.

  4. Also on Saturday 13th, classical music blogger and podcaster "Overgrown Path" spotted that the Buzztracker had stopped on BBC Proms pages. David Thair of the relevant BBC team told us:

    There have been a number of problems, initially with our data supplier and now at our end (although likely related) which mean that the system was not picking up any new buzz last week, and after an initial fix, only a very limited amount this week. The technical team who manage the project has been working very hard to fully recover the service - it isn't only the Proms page that has been affected.

  5. On Monday 15th, Paul Sawyers at the Next Web blogged about the sucessors to the 5Live 606 messageboards. The BBC's DQF strategy for social media has meant several BBC messageboards shutting down in favour of more integrated social media. Some have been vocally against the closures.

    In the case of Ouch, members of the community set up Ouch Too. Paul charted the new range of football websites:

    We’ve seen a wave of copycat forum-style websites pop up, not to mention more dynamic social network style sites, some inspired by 606, others not.

 

Ian McDonald is the Content Producer, BBC Internet Blog

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The BBC confirmed that 1,983 people registered on the BBC system across the period in which the F1 blog was live.

    Ian, can you put that number of BBC IDs in perspective and compare it to an average week and the total number of IDs.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Piet,

    you're off topic.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 3.

    Ian,
    The internet is a vast place and it is true that sometimes tracking down a certain image is difficult, if not impossible.
    I understand that, in the rush of the events, BBC used a picture from Twitter. They did not claim as their own, giving twitter as the source, as they could not figure out who was the rightful owner.
    But when Andy Mabbett (as this is his real name, not Andrew Mabbet) sent an email to BBC informing them of the copyright issue, the BBC should have simply apologized to him and gave proper credits for the photography.
    Instead they emailed him saying that "Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain."
    After another reply from Andy, they realized their error and apologized to him, claiming it was a "human error".
    This comes at a very bad time for BBC, after their story about the "Oslo attacks" where BBC, again, used copyrighted photos, without the owner's permission.
    I understand that, being about informing people as fast as possible, BBC sometimes uses photos before they can have the time to check the copyrights, but they also have to understand that they have a reputation to maintain.
    Unlike other small, anonymous entities that use photographs from the depths of the internet, BBC is a large corporation, and has a certain degree of professionalism.
    That being said, I am sure everything could have been easily solved if BBC would have chosen to give proper credits and be more communicative. And I am sure that Andy Mabbett wouldn't have made a big deal out of it, if BBC wouldn't have treated him with indifference in their first email response.
    I know this is a minor incident and BBC is doing everything in its power to bring the hottest news to their audience. I have great confidence in BBC and its staff and I trust their professionalism and I hope this comment is not treated as an attack on the BBC's ethics, rather an honest feedback from a concerned reader. I am sure they already regret the incident and that Andy did not hold any grudges.
    Yours truly loyal reader,
    Anola from [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • 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.

    Is this personal now? Please help me put the numbers I stated in comment 1 in perspective.

  • Comment number 7.

    Piet - this is not personal but you are off topic and have been told so. Your comments on this subject are off topic and have been removed.

    No more of this please.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 8.

    On the DVB stand at IBC 2011, BBC Research & Development will conduct its first public demonstration of DVB-T2-Lite, the new T2 profile set to transform audience's experience of watching programmes on the move.

    The latest version of the DVB-T2 specification, the technology standard that enabled High Definition on Freeview, introduces DVB-T2-Lite as a new profile which will allow cost reduced receiver implementations for applications such as mobile broadcasting. The profile can be mixed with conventional T2 signals in a single multiplex, to allow separate optimisation of the individual components and also to reuse the existing broadcast transmitter infrastructure. This means that in the future the T2-Lite component could provide audiences with a reliable live "broadcast" TV or radio experience on their handheld devices. Using this new profile live broadcasts can be delivered to multiple audience members without major investment in the already existing infrastructure.

    BBC Research & Development started transmissions of DVB-T2-Lite from the roof of BBC R&D's South Lab on 7 July. For these transmissions BBC R&D have developed their own T2-lite modulator and demodulator. These devices have been used intensively to validate the new standard. BBC R&D would be interested to license this technology to other parties.

  • Comment number 9.

    Piet - you are off topic again. The topic is the stories in the blog post.

    Please stay on topic.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 10.

    @Nick, I'm assuming that the off topic posts by Piet are regarding the Formula 1.

    In another blog you write that we must "accept that some conversations are not going to run on and on forever."

    A conversation implies that both parties are providing input and listening. After 4 weeks of searching, you are the first person on the BBC who appears to be reading and responding to blog comments, thank you.

    My experience however has been mostly negative on the BBC boards, especially with regards to Ben Gallops blog.

    We don't want to post off-topic comments, but the blog which is most suited to the topic we want to discuss, namely the revolting F1 decision, has been closed, and we fully accept that "some conversations are not going to run on and on forever.", we simply want a conversation with the BBC, full stop.

    So before you remove this comment as just another annoying F1 fan, can you please reflect on how the BBC are actually censoring, ignoring and avoiding us. All we want is an open conversation about a decision which tens of thousands of license fee payers do not agree is "in the best interest of the license fee payer".

    Thank you for your time.

  • Comment number 11.

    HCumber - your comment (#10) is off topic. F1 is off topic on this post and in general on this blog as it's nothing to do with what the BBC does on the Internet.

    Please stay on topic.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 12.

    HCumber - To address your (off topic) point it is not "censorship" for the BBC to close a blog for comments after more than 8000 comments have been made (particularly when some of those comments seem to be me to be veering into abusive territory). There’s a response by those running the Sports Editors blog as the final comment on the Ben Gallop blog post you mention.

    The fact that people don't like a decision that the BBC has made does not mean they have the right to break the house rules by disrupting the BBC's services. And when the BBC's position has been clearly stated then allowing conversations to run on and on is not good value for money, or a good experience for other licence fee payers.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 13.

    Sorry Ian, I've missed the context of your blog. Are these the most accessed on the BBC's web site or the ones that follow concerns of most people in the community?

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Comment 13 - the stories in this post are selected by Ian using his editorial judgement, based on the remit and target audience of this blog. They are neither "most accessed" nor do they "follow the concerns of people in the community".

    As I said above comments about the F1 deal are off topic and will be removed.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    @22 Nick Reynolds

    "the stories in this post are selected by Ian using his editorial judgement, based on the remit and target audience of this blog"

    Nick,

    could you clarify who is the "target audience of this blog" as I'm unclear as to what is meant by that and whether or not I fall into that category.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    I'll try and keep all of this on topic even if I don't feel that I am the target audience for such a bland blog.

    1. It's about time. The old BBC iPlayer on the PS3 was very annoying and not the most user friendly experience I have ever had. The look of the new one seems better and I hope the design isn't simply a case of fur coat no knickers. The streaming still has buffering issues though and the sound quality is worse than the old version (and I have a good internet speed). Take note BBC sound is important. Also I have a Sony Bravia TV with internet connection yet in the past I have never been able to access iPlayer using it - yet I can view ITV player and 4oD. Has that been fixed yet as it would save me powering the PS3 and the TV at the same time?

    2. Seriously? Most interesting? Well if you say so.

    3. Don't get me started on copyright. But yet again - interesting, really? I can think of the type of people who may find riots interesting but who would find copyright interesting?

    4. I haven't a clue what this is about but it sounds very similar to a problem I will discuss afterward.

    5. Meh. Always thought the the use of the term social networking to describe online forums was a bit of an oxymoron. You know like Microsoft Works, military intelligence and BBC Sport.

    Well I hope I have remained on topic so far. Now for the main reason why I am posting (other than the PS3/SOny TV iPlayer issue) - I would like to talk about the BBC Online service. If I am viewing some recorded video content on the BBC pages it
    seems to get so far through the footage, start to buffer again, before starting from the start again. Very annoying. And it's not just through my own connection it happens when I use other connections (friends and family). As I said very annoying. So what's going on there then? Only letting me see part of the content over and over again is a bit like groundhog day and only letting me see half of the content is a bit like the new F1 deal. Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? Or is it all a natural problem with streaming video content on the BBC website?

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    Ian,

    I can't find any open blogs to comment on. You said that you would consider opening the open blog sometime.... Are your open blogs now considered a failure? If not, can you open them? There is no-where for your "target audience" to engage.... although clearly there seems a lot of intention to engage.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi Dibble,

    Thank you for your comment. It's off-topic, but I'll try to answer it anyway.

    I just checked what I said on the June Open Post. It ends with me closing it but saying I'd re-open it to post any answers I discovered - and then, weeks later, I posted the answers I discovered. I didn't say I might re-open it.

    There are lots of BBC Internet blog posts where you can comment about the topic of the post. This does lead to a more focussed discussion, but I appreciate that you would prefer a permanently open post.

    So I take on board your request for another open post.

    Thanks,

    Ian

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

    Ian, you stated:

  • Comment number 39.

    Ian, (I will try again but using arrows deletes the text after preview!)

    You stated above:
    {On Monday 15th, Paul Sawyers at the Next Web blogged about the sucessors to the 5Live 606 messageboards. The BBC's DQF strategy for social media has meant several BBC messageboards shutting down in favour of more integrated social media. Some have been vocally against the closures.

    In the case of Ouch, members of the community set up Ouch Too. Paul charted the new range of football websites:}


    Can you explain which BBC Integrated Social media has replaced those messageboards now closed? Can you provide links? and to those external clones that have grown to satisfy those in the audience left out in the cold by messageboard closures? Can you supply comparative figures to show the popularity of that BBC Integrated Social media?

  • Comment number 40.

    PS. What is integrated social media? To me it sounds like replacing a public meeting with an overhead motorway sign covered in grafitti.

  • Comment number 41.

    OfficerDibble - I think 'integrated social media' now means anything external to the BBC. Apart from the blogs, which have been provided with external social media links, anything internal to the BBC should now be regarded as disintegrated. (You'll remember that the BBC refused to provide external linkages from MBs because the policy now is not to provide any internal social media functions - the relevant quote of what Erik Huggers said the BBC would not do being "Standalone forums, communities, message-boards and blogs to be reduced and replaced with integrated social tools".)

    Interestingly, since the 25% reduction of BBC Online budget was announed, the number of BBC blogs has actually increased by 25%.

    Russ

  • Comment number 42.

    @OfficerDibble

    I did link through to the blog post by Ian Hunter which I was summarising. To be clear, by "integrated" I meant integrating the discussion with BBC content - such as a news story.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi Russ. Thanks. So My motorway overhead sign analogy was pretty accurate. Anyone care to link to an example? If they have been using integrated social media for a while it has certainly had zero impact on me. Personally speaking, twitter and facebook requires trust for it to work or be relevant. Corporations with their own disconnected agendas are the last thing I would trust. In which case, with the BBCs brand trusted less than it has ever been the F&M mandarins should shut up shop and go and do something that has more tangible benefit and maybe appreciated more by their audience.

 

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