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BBC News radar

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 15:30 UK time, Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Would you want to see which stories we are publishing, in chronological order, as soon as they are published, but without any prioritisation of the most urgent or important?

Screengrab news radar

We have just such a list here. Our developers have been working on it, and we're interested to know what you make of it. This is a test version, so there may still be a few loose ends - for example it doesn't appear perfectly in Internet Explorer 6.

The point is that it shows all the latest stories published anywhere on the BBC News site, both new stories and updates to existing ones. How useful is this in its current form? Would you use it? We'd be keen to hear what you think.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    The radar is very good, but there is a lot of information going across the screen (at busy points it only shows the last 20-30 mins of news). If you could have some form of tick-box filter so you could filter by news source or sources that would improve the functionality. So you could only see say "world”, “business” and “technology" stories that would be handy (if there was a search box as well so you could filter by the above plus "G20" that would be impressive).

  • Comment number 2.

    Please include the label showing in what section it has been filed. ie. world / UK / regional / etc.

  • Comment number 3.

    This is a good way to counter accusations of bias in terms of selection of the stories which make the front page and which ones stay there for days on end. My only criticisms are, firstly, that it's not possible to filter by section (ie I can't just see all the Health stories arranged in this fashion) and secondly, that there's no distinction made between text and video pieces (not everyone has a quick enough computer to watch the latter, or access to speakers, particularly those who use a work PC to view the site).

  • Comment number 4.

    Looks great with CSS disabled, looks horrid with the BBC style sheet applied! Again another triumph of design over substance (most text is far to faint and there is to much white space, yet again...), the BBC have missed the plot on this, all that is required for this sort of service is a basic, easy to read, list of raw data.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks all for your comments so far. I'm the developer who has worked on this 'Beta' version of News Radar. I really appreciate that you're taking the time to try it out and share your thoughts with us.

    One of the main reasons that we've released this as a 'Beta' (or test version) is to find out the sort of features that you'd most like to see so that we can make sure any time we spend working on this application is well spent working on the things you'd most like to see. I think the idea of providing some way of 'filtering' the list is very good idea - either based on the section of the site a story was published in or based on the 'type' of story it is (eg. text or video).

    var42605: We are actually displaying the section each story has been filed in - have a look at the grey text in the top right-hand corner of each story 'item'. Is this what you were after? Or would you like even more information?

    Thanks again for taking the time to look at the site.

  • Comment number 6.

    #2

    "Please include the label showing in what section it has been filed"

    It is there, justified to the right of the main story heading, unfortunately it's so faint many could well miss it!

  • Comment number 7.

    #3

    [ re advising of included Audio / Video content ]

    Very good point.

    Oh and on that point, can the BBC stop providing audio/video content that is set to auto-play when there is other text on the page that needs reading before the audio/video is played.

  • Comment number 8.

    Can you please make the layout truly fluid so that when the browser window is resized the Div's etc. wrap to the new window size, there really is no need for this service to hog a whole screen. Also why are you making access to this service dependent on having JavaScript enabled, more than a few people have no access to JS (for web pages) on their work computers!

  • Comment number 9.

    Boilerplated: Thanks for all your suggestions. I agree that it is really important that we present information in a clear, informative way and that we cater for the widest audience possible. The things you have suggested (flexible layout, support for browsers without javascript, etc) are the sort of improvements we'll look at making if we decide to progress beyond a 'Beta'.

    At the moment we'd really like to know what you think of the *idea*. Do you think it is worthwhile having a page that displays an updated list of the most recent stories? What functionality do you think is required for such a page to be useful?

    Based on the feedback we get from this 'Beta' we'll be able to think about:
    1) whether or not we should offer this sort of 'feed'
    2) what features it should/shouldn't have
    3) how we can improve the user experience

    Thanks again for your feedback - it is appreciated.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'll back the comments about some text being too indistinct and suggest that the "update" tag be made more visible too.

    Could we self-select the real-time 'river of news' topic sections via tickboxes and then generate an RSS feed for the output? That really would be impressive...

    Nice one, Jake and Steve!

  • Comment number 11.

    My thought is that NEWS FRONT PAGE has it about right

    Who are you to tell me what I should be interested in?

    News Front Page offers one the opportunity to select news by region of interest- I suspect that this is better than an unstructured list,

  • Comment number 12.

    @luosquery, did you miss the opening line of the post?

    "Would you want to see which stories we are publishing, in chronological order, as soon as they are published, but without any prioritisation of the most urgent or important?"

  • Comment number 13.

    Steve:

    How useful is this in its current form? I think it is very useful (the newest News Radar....

    Would you use it? Yes, I would use the News Radar...


    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 14.

    Hymagumba, you seem to have missed the point, @luosquery's point is valid, Mr Herrmann asked for opinions, @luosquery gave his opinion, nothing wrong with that.

    I would prefer that the rest of the BBC website also follows the logic of the News section.

    Mr Herrmann, the changes look good, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 15.

    "Would you want to see which stories we are publishing, in chronological order, as soon as they are published, but without any prioritisation of the most urgent or important?"

    yes, however, I'd also like to know which stories which will not be published; perhaps a stub with some kind of code attached that shows why the editor made the decision.

  • Comment number 16.

    @Rustigjongens, I appreciate he was giving his opinion and fo course that is necessary however by the tone of his post it appeared he had misread the post and was under the impression that this was based on "most important" rather than "most recent"

    If anything I found it rather odd as surely the news fromt page is far more guilty of this than the prototype highlighted.

    (Having said that my post does seem rather snippy, for once it wasn't meant to be)

  • Comment number 17.

    This is a good idea

  • Comment number 18.

    #9

    [ re requests for feedback ]

    Yes this is very much the sort of service I would use, not only that but could even make it my home page or at least a frequently used browser tab but it needs to be a no frills page that can be resized - this would require links to be opened in a new window rather than a new tab/same window I guess, so along with user defined options for what is displayed there probably needs to be options on how it's displayed, I would also like to see the subject/area information made into a URL short-cut to that area of the BBC news web site.

    Also could this be developed into a raw data feed, that is confirmed stories that might not get developed further into full BBC news articles, it might even be possible to offer links to the source (such as Reuters) via a BBC redirect that could measure the interest (if any) in stories that are not getting developed by the BBC if you see what I mean? As such this could really become a valuable two way service in my opinion, but please, don't let the graphic designers to close...

  • Comment number 19.

    This is a good idea - somewhat like a news aggregator like Fark

    Just please don't replace the main homepage with it - I like the idea of having both available

    Also could you do the same thing for all BBC blogs - updates as they come in on one page across the whole blog network would be better than the current RSS system

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.

    tarquin: Thanks for your comment. I just want to clarify something you mentioned. We have no plans to replace the BBC front page (or any other part of the site) with something like this trial News Radar. This is something we're trying out as an additional way of viewing the news.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Our developers have been working on it."

    "Would you use it? We'd be keen to hear what you think."

    Hm. Just think for a moment about the order of those events. Given that you've set your developers to work on it already, does it really matter what we think?

    Anyway, let's be charitable and assume that you really do care what we think (unlike your colleagues who look after the BBC Weather website, who have made it abundantly clear with their latest redesign that they really couldn't give a stuff what the punters think). For me, it would depend on how often new stories appear on it. I'm a bit worried it would get so swamped with new stories it could become unusable. I wouldn't use it if new stories appeared every few minutes. If it's a good few hours since I last looked at the news, there would be so many new stories I wouldn't know where to start. But if the stories came through at the rate of 3 or 4 every hour or less often, then I think it could indeed be a very useful feature. But I'm definitely with #19: don't whatever you do use this to replace what's already there.

  • Comment number 23.

    #22

    "If it's a good few hours since I last looked at the news, there would be so many new stories I wouldn't know where to start. But if the stories came through at the rate of 3 or 4 every hour or less often, then I think it could indeed be a very useful feature."

    Well sorry, that would be worse that useless, more chance of a breaking story appearing on the main front page or the RSS feed before this suggested 'raw news-feed' service! If you've missed it here it's probably on the main site already!

  • Comment number 24.

    Like and use it

  • Comment number 25.

    I think it's a great idea. On boring afternoons at work it'd be nice not to have to search for something new to read - but to have new articles given to me.

    DisgustedOfMitcham2:

    I work for an agency building websites, ("solutions" if you are in marketing,) and it's always worth building a quick functional prototype of something before explaining it fully to a client. (The client in this case would be you and I, I guess.) That way the developer will be given significantly more useful feedback on what is liked and not liked - because the client has something in front of them to actually play with.

  • Comment number 26.

    #25:

    Fair point. I guess I'm just still traumatised by what they did with the weather website and have assumed that everyone at the BBC just plays with websites purely for their own gratification. I acknowledge, however, that that's probably a bit uncharitable.

  • Comment number 27.

    Yep, I like it, but would prefer if it was somehow incorporated on the main news front page - maybe to the right of the main story - and also would like some of its features (such as the published and/or first published time, whether it's an update or not etc) used on ALL stories on the BBC News website.

    I like the idea of being able to switch on/off which feeds appear. I'm not interested in England/Devon news!

    It sometimes seems to miss things. I've seen breaking news on the main news website, but it's not been mentioned on the Radar.

  • Comment number 28.

    #27

    "...if it was somehow incorporated on the main news front page..."

    About as much integration I would want to see with the main front page is a link to this proposed service, half of the appeal is that it could and should be a stand alone service, if I need to have the main front page (or any page for that matter) open to see these feeds I probably wouldn't bother but use an RSS feed instead or indeed just do a quick 'click-around' of the main news site in the areas of interest - as I tend to do now.

    On the other hand if the service can be both a stand alone service and integrated with the main web pages...

  • Comment number 29.

    I think the Radar needs to provide a basic list of sorts for non-JavaScript users, even if it's only using the RSS or cached feed. At present accessibility is rather poor if JavaScript is disabled.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jake/Steve

    I think the idea is great, and in terms of additional functionality all I can suggest is what others have said here - a filtering option would be good. If not - well, even if released "as is", this will be a useful (and interesting) addition to the site.

    I know you're not looking for opinions on the design per se, but can I just counter some of the other opinions by telling you that I think it looks fine as it is. (Never been a fan of fluid layouts myself, and the horizontal white space on stories with a shorter description really isn't a problem for me). Possibly darken the category text for the sake of those on monitors that display it too light, but other than that, I think you're in the right direction.

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes, this is a good idea. Keep it and see if it flies.

  • Comment number 32.

    This has been one of my home pages since it was first released, and I check it throughout the day. A fascinating and valuable way of keeping completely up-to-date with what's happening.

  • Comment number 33.

    I have to say I think it's a fantastic page, something I've wanted to see for years. I've had it favourited since I first read about it ages ago and I've been going back to it nearly every day.

    I've discovered loads of regional stories that are of interest to me and I never would have read given the fact that most are aimed at people in other regions.

    I would be great if one day we could see a mini version to the right of the BBC News homepage displaying 3 stories rather than having that ticker at the top of the homepage which only displays select stories.

    One little bug (or at least I think it's a bug) I've noticed is that every so often a BBC Newsline box comes up but there's nothing in it. When I click on it it usually comes up with the latest Newsline programme or weather report, but you can't tell this from the radar.

  • Comment number 34.

    gottago: Thanks for your feedback and 'bug report'.

    The fact you use this site to "discover loads of regional stories that are of interest" that you mightn't have otherwise read is one of the main things that interests me in this sort of continuous list of news from across the whole site. It is why we called it the 'News Radar'. It helps you keep track of stories that might've otherwise slipped 'under the radar'.

    I'll have a look in to the 'Newsline' bug - thanks for pointing it out. I'm sure everyone has noticed a few bugs from time to time. Whilst we certainly don't want to release 'fragile' code, the idea of releasing this as a 'Beta' or trial version is so that we can test out the idea and find out what people think before investing our time in getting it completely perfect - so I'm sure there may be a few other bugs from time to time too. Please let us know about them via the 'feedback' link at the top of the News Radar page.

    Thanks once more to everyone for your thoughtful contributions.

  • Comment number 35.

    I like the idea, only just found it and it fills a need.

    Perhaps a greater number of stories before they scroll off the bottom, a time limited list rather than the last 30 stories might be more useful at busy news times while retaining the last 30/50 as a fall back minimum.

    However please resist the temptation to add too many bells and whistles, I still can't fathom the new weather site.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    @18 /7 /4 - generally agree on a number of aspects - 'section' certainly needs to be darker (I see a number of places where contrast is limited and despite my reasonable sight, find it a nuisance how light the text is here, while the iPlayer has limited contrast where the playing 'time' is shown - too dark there, in my view)

    "links to be opened in a new window rather than a new tab"

    that's surely down to your choice of browser - I use Firefox and Opera more than others, and settings can be made in both for default action.

    @7 /3 - yes marking something as Video would automatically allow me to skip it

    (I'm using a mobile network and 1 GB over the limit is over 100 quid so don't waste it on unwanted video... also use blocker add on to Firefox to stop Flash from starting by itself - stops most adverts on other sites, too, and leaves me with no unwanted noises at 3am waking the household!)

  • Comment number 38.

    Ooops - meant to say *please* make the window resize sensibly - fixed width can be a real pain when it is hardly necessary - we don't all have 21" widescreen laptops to use, supplied by the BBC... (joking - but some portion of users want several windows open and it's surely not hard to be a bit more flexible than requiring a minimum of 1000 pixels in width)

  • Comment number 39.

    This will at least start the BBC on the road to impartiality. It has a long way to go. On the Ten O’clock News tonight on BBC1, the BBC attacked the Afghanistan government in an angry report about its imminent Family Law. This clearly breaks the BBC’s agreement as so many other reports do on a daily basis.

    Specifically, the BBC agreement states:

    The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output. …The UK Public Services must not contain any output which expresses the opinion of the BBC … on current affairs or matters of public policy other than broadcasting or the provision of online services.

    How this organisation can make an agreement with a democratic government and flout it on national tv, radio and on line – and get away with it - I will never understand. Whatever anyone thinks of the situation in Afghanistan or anywhere else, this SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

  • Comment number 40.

    It could be useful. More so for other news agencies I think(!) An RSS feed would be useful, since it would be nice to have this on a Gadget or Sidebar.

  • Comment number 41.

    #39

    I think you need the following web page, you seem to have been directed to the blogs and not the complaints section;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

    Might I also suggest that it's difficult to ask searching, revealing questions without taking the opposite point of view to the position(s) being held by the interviewee(s) - some would call it being the 'devils advocate'...

    Now can we try and get this (and other) editors blogs back on topic, how about it mods?

  • Comment number 42.

    The beta radar service is great, but I would like to be able to see more news if I've been out for a while - can you add a second page?

    Just one problem -the feedback link doesn't work with my set-up (firefox and webmail).

  • Comment number 43.

    Yea ,I think the idea is great, and in terms of additional functionality all I can suggest is what others have said here - a filtering option would be good. If not - well, even if released "as is", this will be a useful (and interesting) addition to the site.

    I know you're not looking for opinions on the design per se, but can I just counter some of the other opinions by telling you that I think it looks fine as it is. (Never been a fan of fluid layouts myself, and the horizontal white space on stories with a shorter description really isn't a problem for me). Possibly darken the category text for the sake of those on monitors that display it too light, but other than that, I think you're in the right direction.

  • Comment number 44.

    Having now had a day or so of using it I still think it is a good idea, but I have two gripes.

    The first was immediately apparent, in busy news periods stories have disappeared from the bottom in the time it takes to (fill in blank).

    Second, because there is no way of knowing what type of content is behind a headline I find myself clicking on news items that open up with an automatic video and/or a video that uses all my bandwidth/processor power to prepare itself and which prevents closing of the page/scrolling to the text till it has done its thing.

    So as said previously a greater number of stories before they scroll off the bottom, a time limited list rather than the last 30 stories might be more useful at busy news times while retaining the last 30/50 as a fall back minimum.

    With some sort of icon to show if a story is video only, video with text or text only to allow people to decide what they wish to skip.

    Gripes aside it is still a useful extra, thank you very much.

  • Comment number 45.

    'genesisigbokwe', are you my Nigerian doppelganger? ;)

    Yours: #43
    Mine: #30

  • Comment number 46.

    I like the 'river of news' idea of the News Radar, where news junkies can get their fix in real-time of the latest news. check boxes to select certain areas to follow might be a good idea, but then if you want a specific subject, you would go to that section anyway.

    The original publication time and last update time are good features - this information should appear in this way on the actual story page itself.

    On the design/layout: page width far too wide (which I assume would have a sidebar in a finished release) which is partly why the feint grey section text appears visually adrift of the headline/abstract.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    I don't really know much about the technical side of things, but could this be used on Twitter? It is a bit like it I think. I think I would use it but only if I could filter it so it only shows the topics I am interested in otherwise it's too much information.

  • Comment number 49.

    It's a good idea - but I'd lose the pictures and opening sentence, and just have the headline (in a smaller font), date and location. That's all we need really, and we could do with more to a page.

  • Comment number 50.

    Whilst you are so busy "improving" can you also find a few moments to iron out the faults in the HYS log out procedures?

  • Comment number 51.

    Appropriate tagging, including user-generated ones, are going to be key to this. Oh, and RSS/ATOM containing said tags. Finally make sure it's XHTML so MACHINES can parse it.


    All the above are probably true already, of course. :-) Except perhaps the tagging aspects.

  • Comment number 52.

    Great idea, it's like a featureless Digg homepage just for BBC News. It's great how all the BBC pages are starting catch up and use web technology that's been available for a while. What's next on your list to Ajax up? I think in the future, I'll be checking the news radar for my morning news catchup. Great work!

  • Comment number 53.

    The ongoing twitterization of the web I don't think is a bad thing. It would be quite good actually if we could follow various sections as on twitter and and also mark favourites for later. Integration enabling stories to be tweeted to twitter would be good as well, creating human filters of information and a means through which the important and interesting stories keep circulating.

  • Comment number 54.

    Like it. A really useful feature for those of us who like to keep checking the site throughout the day to see what's been happening.

    But there's too much white space, and the wide columns make it difficult to read. Make the columns narrower (perhaps split into 2 columns, or put some other stuff down the side). And make the headline font smaller, in order to fit more stories on the screen.

    Would also be nice to have a feature that would email this content to me, perhaps after every 10 new stories.

  • Comment number 55.

    YES PLEASE! And the design, I think, is fine for what it is. Perhaps an RSS feed would be a good idea, too? Does a non-prioritised RSS feed already exist? I never thought to look for one.

    Again, great idea. Hope this gets the green light =]

  • Comment number 56.

    As somebody who checkes ths news quite regularly, this will actually be very useful.

    I agree with some of the comments posted here already: It'd be great if the headlines were shorter, so you'd be able to get a quick snapshot of the latest ones and it was somehow clear what 'news categories' they belonged too.

  • Comment number 57.

    It is really useful but would be better if:

    - The content fitted in a narrower window
    - The header was smaller

    It would be good to keep as a small window in the corner but at the moment it's too big for that. Maybe have a collapsible header.

  • Comment number 58.

    Add an RSS feed to that and it'd be fantastic!

  • Comment number 59.

    Very nice - very Twitter-esque. I agree with the filter idea - could be enhanced with a filter based on user selected keywords, hence you get the latest news on a particular topic of interest (e.g. recession) Perhaps a way of integrating it into a Twitter style architecture - so they get updates in their Twitter client?

  • Comment number 60.

    I like it and would use it. Faster than RSS (which is way to slow now compared to Twitter etc..) and allows me to see all news as it happens.
    By all means add an RSS feed but I think that kind of defeats the purpose - you already have RSS for all news. This new service is an instant news hit without the time lag of RSS polling, pickup etc..

  • Comment number 61.

    Very nice indeed! Reminds me of ENPS (news gathering software) with its newsflash box.

    Maybe you could also look at google maps integration, this would allow location pins to be updated on a map where appropriate.

    I'd also recommend including some kind of animation to highlight the fact that the page dynamically updates and a nice story 'fade in' would look great!

    Paul

  • Comment number 62.

    I think it's a great idea. What I would like however is the ability to filter out certain categories that I have absolutely no interest in (i.e. I'm not particularly interested in Scottish news since I live in London.)
    Otherwise it's a great idea :o)

  • Comment number 63.

    I would not use it all the time, preferring the current BBC News front page, but for occasional browsing it is an interesting and entertaining way of getting rapid access to a wide variety of stories.

  • Comment number 64.

    I think this is a good idea, I read the site a lot and get fed up with finding repeat links to priority stories everywhere and not finding new ones, but definitely add filtering so that we can see the most recent stories in particular areas if we want. And also if there were filters for video/normal news, for those times when you can't/don't want to watch a video, which is quite often for me.

    I have just made these comments based comments above, as unfortunately my work computer is a bit behind the times and (as stated) IE6 doesn't work with it, but I can't wait to use it properly.

  • Comment number 65.

    Really useful idea.

    My suggestions;

    As many suggest it would be enhanced by adding filtering but I'd like a filter that highlighted content rather than removed content. This way it would still keep me aware of all stories but allow me to focus in, if I wanted, on my selection. I think by removing stories all together a valuable opportunity to widen peoples horizons and scope would be lost.

    Along similar lines you could use colour to identify things like the category, page views and editors view on importance.

    I also think that having some saved filters would be good, so as some suggest you could filter by keyword, subject, category and media type and then save your filter and quickly apply saved filters to create, in affect, your own sections. These could be areas of interest or specific wide ranging stories as the develop.

    Finally I think all the points about wasted space, resizing, more on a page or links to previous pages and viewing contrast are good points for further development.

  • Comment number 66.

    When I said (comment 51) tagging I think that spoke to infrastructure. People can use tagging to do filtering, highlighting or whatever. That's down to the client (which might ALSO be a BBC web page).

    And now I'm wondering how this is different from a tweet stream on Twitter.

  • Comment number 67.

    I guess would be ok if I was awaiting breaking news/developments. However, with the exception of a Champion's League Draw or two, I don't remember ever doing that.
    Really, I'm not that much of a football fanatic, so I guess that I wouldn't ever use it.

  • Comment number 68.

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

  • Comment number 69.

    @44 - agree - want to know if video/audio link before visiting...

    also on more items on page....
    newsnow.co.uk has umpteen pages of them - don't expect that from this 'beta' but it would surely be useful to BBC staff too if it went to 100/150 items (page 1/2/3 - 150 max in list is surely possible)

    @57 - smaller header - yes, that'd be nice or perhaps it could work with just an anchor like http://radar.journalismlabs.com/radar-0.1/#news to
    have the first headline at the top of the visible window... (though it probably cannot work like that if it refreshes by mechanisms I am unfamiliar with)

  • Comment number 70.

    re #50

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 71.

    This is a superb service. On both my computers, laptop and desktop, I could read all the text without a problem, none of it was too faint. I can see the attraction of the filtering suggestions people have made, and I'd like to see a link to the main BBC News website at the top of the page. One of the reasons I like the Radar concept is because of the tendency to News 'overkill.' Last week's coverage of the G20 was a case in point, it was an important event, but seeing past it was difficult at times, I'd read most of the main story and I wanted to move on to other stories, I got a bit fed up with how omnipresent it was. So this is a good idea and well worth pursuing.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm afraid that I can't see myself using it much: when I check the news, it's of more interest to see what's most significant, not what's most recent.

    That said, I agree with many other people that filters would make it considerably more useful if I did ever find myself using it.

  • Comment number 73.

    #72

    "it's of more interest to see what's most significant, not what's most recent."

    One of the reasons I'm enthusiastic about this development, assuming that it doesn't just become a list of 'what we have published' so far today (see my other comments as to how I would like the service to develop), is because I would be choosing what I think is significant, not what some editor in the BBC thinks I should be interested in.

  • Comment number 74.

    A tailored news service would be useable. Either via content filtering based on web page options , or smart key word filtering or, as is teh way forward , personalised content delivery based on previous browsing history and web site viewing trends. Collected anonymously, and used only for this purpose, I would not mind my news reading activities tracked to provide me with a tailored solution.

    Either way, I think I can trust and predict the BBC Web Site to get it right. They have so far.

  • Comment number 75.

    I agree the layout needs adjusting. I'd suggest each story should be in a somewhat taller, but much narrower box. Those could be displayed in an appropriate number of columns to fill the width of the browser window.

    Some stories on the list are on there twice, with an original and updated version. This seems unnecessary to me.

    It'd be good to be able to get at more than the last 30 stories, with extra pages and / or more items on the one page.

    There's also a white semitransparent bar that goes over the top third of the images on Firefox 3.

    Some stories have a word or two of cut off text as the image. It would be better to just not use an image at all, or pick a generic image in those cases.

    It might be worth filtering out stories that were first published a long time ago like the market reports.

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    I think it should contain a bit more info because otherwise, other than the thumbnail pic; it's not much different from the twitter service. I also agree with the stylesheets comment, the page does display so much better with CSS disabled. The default stylesheet is not eye-friendly and the top page banners need to be slimmed down and that service MUST not contain any kind of adverts. If all those conditions are met, then yes, I'll definitely use it.

  • Comment number 78.

    How is this effectively different from using the RSS feed(s)? Though it's obviously a good thing to allow people to see what's going on right now without subscribing.

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm a big fan of iGoogle and have 3 BBC gadgets - Business, UK, and News Front Page - in place. I'd replace these with a News Radar gadget as soon as it was available as I regard my iGoogle page as a river of information - news, mail, stock market prices, TV schedules, weather - all of which changes moment by moment.

    I'd also find both RSS and Ticker feeds useful to embed in blogs and web sites.

    News Radar seems to meet a need. Focus on getting the delivery right first and then paying attention to style.

    Good start, Jake!

  • Comment number 80.

    Before anything else you need to review your guidelines for usability. Having the link to the list as just _here_ in a low contrast colour makes it very difficult to spot, it certainly took me 3 reads through the text before I spotted it. If you can't make it a more obvious colour then please use a more sensible construction, in this case the link would have made more sense and been more obvious if it had used the whole sentence such as: _We have just such a list here._

  • Comment number 81.

    Great idea. Regarding filtering the list I'd suggest using simple icons for the different categories so the user can filter it by eye. Obviously it's difficult to come up with icons that are immediately recognised for what they are but the user would quickly work it out. That said, I suggest a saucy nurse for the health stories :)

  • Comment number 82.

    re 69 - looks like my comment has been withheld as I mentioned the name of another website which has links (often to the BBC, but also worldwide) to news topics gathered every few minutes. I only included it because I was suggesting some higher number of news items (150) be kept available, in three pages of 50.

    The other service is very different as it pulls in items from thousands of websites, and categories are used for them by subject area (not always correct) and those links are available (via multiple pages) for days.

    It was used to illustrate a point - that only keeping the "top X" isn't always useful - and not to promote the other site (heck, didn't even give the web link - just a name).

    Sorry if getting news is such a competitive issue that mentioning some other site is a big "no no" - as indicated, many of the links come back to the BBC anyway (and some are not in English, so less accessible for me, at least) so please don't take umbrage.

    Never expected that just a mention would get a post hidden /wiped.

  • Comment number 83.

    Just checked it out. It is good. Someone gave the excellent idea of filtering the news based on the section i.e. world, business etc. Also, currently this information is available but on the left. If somehow it can be shifted towards the right side it will give a sort of human filtering until that feature comes thru. One can intuitively look at the section first and if it interests her can then have a look at the news. OR you can have color coding for various sections OR some distinctive icons for various sections to help filter them out.

  • Comment number 84.

    #82

    "and some are not in English, so less accessible for me, at least) so please don't take umbrage.

    Never expected that just a mention would get a post hidden /wiped."


    I suspect that it was nothing what so ever to do with mentioning another news organisation, I mentioned a well known international one @ #18 and the comment was accepted), the House Rules explicitly say that linked to sites must be in English and not require any form of registration (paid or otherwise) - also, 'careless', but unintentionally abusive or obscene language could well get comments rejected.

  • Comment number 85.

    Jake

    1) Thank you for asking for opinions - It is appreciated.

    2) Thank you for responding intelligently to the points made above.

    3) My comment is that I like the concept as an additional way of looking at the news. I would recommend a model similar to how the news is reported on pcpro.co.uk where there is a cronilogical order, but with the three biggest stories highlighted at the top (but also in the list). Sometimes headlines alone don't adequately state the relative importance of stories. I also like the idea of tags to say if the headline is a political or business story.

    Also to consider, will it also include new blog entries? And Magazine stories? This would be useful but would need to differeniate between them and actual news.

    4) It would be nice to have a similar discussion on layout/format/colours/fonts etc if this idea goes further.

  • Comment number 86.

    I love this news radar!!!

    Totally unfiltered, I can quickly stumble across a story I would never in a million years have read before.

    thanks,
    nick

  • Comment number 87.

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

  • Comment number 88.

    We like it. Good work.

  • Comment number 89.

    If this became live it would definitely become my home page, excellent work! As far as extra's go, it would be good to see each breadcrumb become a link to that section. I'd also like to see a cross next to each story name and each breadcrumb so we can hide the stories we have read and hide the sections we are not so interested in (saved in a cookie like the homepage remembers). I hope it makes it past beta!

  • Comment number 90.

    Boilerplated wrote,

    "because I would be choosing what I think is significant, not what some editor in the BBC thinks I should be interested in."

    100% agree with you, as long as we get the choice of what is interesting, then I will be a fully payed up supporter of this new approach.


  • Comment number 91.

    It seems that this site has a bug, I have been a member for over two years, yet I see that my posts are pre-moderated, that is not good for my ego!, ah well, such is life.

  • Comment number 92.

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

  • Comment number 93.

    #92

    I would say that a huge crowd does amount to a couple of hundred people considering the context, it was after all just a large (highway) roundabout, never mind the fact that it was also basically still a war zone.

    From what you quoted above, assuming it was a quote and not a summery of what was said, does fit what you say the events were and what I remember from the TV pictures. Nicely constructed rant though! :~)

    Now, back to the topic in hand, what do you think of this Beta test...

  • Comment number 94.

    Well, as one of the classic ITC dimwits who knows nothing and understands even less I cannot really comment!

    I don't know what your 'RADAR' is? and couldn't 'get' whatever it is you were trying to explain!?

    If I was supposed to click on something on this Blog Article to see what you were on about I didn't know where to click or what to click so.....


    Enjoy!

  • Comment number 95.

    #94

    "If I was supposed to click on something on this Blog Article to see what you were on about I didn't know where to click or what to click so....."

    Try this link;

    http://radar.journalismlabs.com/radar-0.1/

    The original embedded link was difficult to see within the text, the BBC really do need to revisit their accessibility guide-lines on this issue.

  • Comment number 96.

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

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

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

  • Comment number 99.

    why won't it work properly in IE6?

    good idea though. keep trying.

  • Comment number 100.

    I don't like the presently proposed format:

    (1) Why should I scan a list of items, most of which will be of no interest to me?

    (2) Are images necessary in such a list- does the present generation really require this?

    Organization by subject: international, local, financial, sports, etc. would be helpful.

    Organization by geographical region- Middle East, Asia, etc. would also be helpful.

    We suffer from information overload- screening and selection according to interest becomes necessary.

 

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