Discuss The Archers  permalink

Actual cost of the MB

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 22 of 22
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by RAFromSw (U14574822) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    OK so apparently the real cost of the MB is confidential. I thought it may be worth estimating the real cost which will consist of the cost of supporting the servers plus the labour cost for moderation.

    Servers - well a big corporation will pay support costs to cover networks, printers, backup, support lines etc. Could easily be 2K a year, so two servers, 4k a year.

    Swamped by labour costs. Again estimating. Tayler an hour a day. I have no idea what costs the moderators incur, but assuming a few reported posts every day plus all new members posts having to be moderated may come to 2 hours a day, so that's 3 hours a day labour. 200 working days a year, 600 hours a year.

    Labour costs? Assuming they are all BBC employees which means they need somewhere to work, heat, light, HR, Salaries, management, training, holidays. The cost of employment for lower paid staff for a big corporation can easily be £50 / hour.

    Therefore the cost per year on those estimates is around £35k which, if true, is untenable for a 1000 contributors, it would be hard to imagine any BBC service or programme which cost as much as £1/head per viewer or listener per year, let alone £35/head.

    Just an observation - that taking emotion out of it- the argument that the decision was financial seems to hold water.

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by wildwomanwonga (U14597111) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    from the BBC annual report

    An open BBC Trust

    The BBC Trust is directly accountable to licence fee payers; this is essential to maintaining the BBC's independence.

    With direct accountability comes a responsibility to operate transparently.

    We consult licence fee payers and industry on important decisions, we conduct audience research and we use our network of Audience Councils to help keep us informed on the views of licence fee payers across the UK.

    When we make a decision, we publish evidence and explain our conclusions. We publish the findings of editorial appeal decisions, the outcomes of value-for-money and service licence reviews and the minutes of our monthly Trust meetings. All of this information is available on our website.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    >Assuming they are all BBC employees <

    But they're not. Hosting and moderating is outsourced. So it will probably cost more than your estimate.

    And because those services are outsourced I very much doubt the BBC will release information about them, citing commercial confidentiality.

    I'm sure the cost is the reason for the closure. And the 1000 posters business is a bit of a red herring. The BBC couldn't justify spending money on non-relevant material and a lot of those posters will not even be listeners to TA let alone post about TA in DTA/N&Q/AmEx.

    I'm clearing my posting history at the moment and I came upon this thread from last year which makes for interesting reading knowing that the end is finally here.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by wildwomanwonga (U14597111) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    actually outsourcing would cost less since RA has included costs of premises and employment in his estimate.

    An outsourced contract would be costed by service fees not as a specific overhead resource.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by saffronlily (U14435783) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    off-topic - please, how do you clear posting history?

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Mister Legs (U15599971) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    off-topic - please, how do you clear posting history?  It's a long drawn out process if you've never done it before and have contributed to many threads ....

    open your 'my discussions' page - which you'll find a link to at the side of the page on the left - (I do it in a new tab with a right click etc) then open each thread (again I do it in a new tab) and at the top of each, click 'unsubscribe from this discussion)

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Slowly, wishing you hadn't been quite so gabby over the years.

    Go to my discussions and open each thread one by one, preferably in a new tab, hit the unsubscribe link at the top RH corner and it will go off and come back saying subscribe. Close tab and go to next thread in my discussions. You have to remember which one you last did as you'll only see the threads disappear when you refresh the my discussions page.

    I've just come across the YMB thread.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...





    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by wildwomanwonga (U14597111) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    running a forum involves a tiny amount of money - there is no way that this is going to save any more than getting rid of a staff vending machine

    hosting, bandwidth, admin and moderators - quite probably outsourced and can be done for a very small amount which is why it's easy for anyone to set up a messageboard. You do not need much money.

    So the budget argument and Nige's reluctance to provide figures add up to the fact that this is not about money.

    Ask Peet - am sure you'd get some idea of running costs.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Mister Legs (U15599971) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Slowly, wishing you hadn't been quite so gabby over the years.

    Go to my discussions and open each thread one by one, preferably in a new tab, hit the unsubscribe link at the top RH corner and it will go off and come back saying subscribe. Close tab and go to next thread in my discussions. You have to remember which one you last did as you'll only see the threads disappear when you refresh the my discussions page.

    I've just come across the YMB thread.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...





     
    When I last had a big tidy up (about 6 pages of threads in the 'My Discussions' page) I opened up a whole page worth in new tabs, did the 'unsubscribe' and close tab routine - then once that load was cleared, refreshed the MD page and repeated the process until it was cleared.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Oh thanks Mr L I'll try that as I've another 5 or 6 years to go I think. (And it's nice to see you back in your rightful colours.)

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    >hosting, bandwidth, admin and moderators - quite probably outsourced and can be done for a very small amount which is why it's easy for anyone to set up a messageboard. You do not need much money. <

    Maybe for independent MBs that rely on volunteers, like Peet's, but not when it's owned by the BBC.

    I don't suppose most MBs worry about what's being posted during a general election for example. But the BBC is required by law to worry. So their costs of keeping things squeaky clean are going to be much higher. And they don't use volunteers.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by wildwomanwonga (U14597111) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    >hosting, bandwidth, admin and moderators - quite probably outsourced and can be done for a very small amount which is why it's easy for anyone to set up a messageboard. You do not need much money. <

    Maybe for independent MBs that rely on volunteers, like Peet's, but not when it's owned by the BBC.

    I don't suppose most MBs worry about what's being posted during a general election for example. But the BBC is required by law to worry. So their costs of keeping things squeaky clean are going to be much higher. And they don't use volunteers.

     
    most of those costs will already be covered - they're not extraneous to the messageboard

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by wildwomanwonga (U14597111) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    and the bbc being squeaky clean - ermm

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    The hosting and the moderation aren't covered, so they'll save on that. No more catpeed messages and appeals to Tayler for reinstatement.

    And there must be server costs because we were asked to clear our posting histories to save on memory (I wish I'd been more compliant).

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by annarina (U4017189) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    The hosting and the moderation aren't covered, so they'll save on that. No more catpeed messages and appeals to Tayler for reinstatement.

    And there must be server costs because we were asked to clear our posting histories to save on memory (I wish I'd been more compliant).
     
    I don't remember being asked to clear history. . . If they wanted that it would have made sense to make the task easier. You lose the will to live after wiping a dozen or so one-by-painful-one.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by PollyGlot (U4652497) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    OK so apparently the real cost of the MB is confidential. I thought it may be worth estimating the real cost which will consist of the cost of supporting the servers plus the labour cost for moderation.

    Servers - well a big corporation will pay support costs to cover networks, printers, backup, support lines etc. Could easily be 2K a year, so two servers, 4k a year.

    Swamped by labour costs. Again estimating. Tayler an hour a day. I have no idea what costs the moderators incur, but assuming a few reported posts every day plus all new members posts having to be moderated may come to 2 hours a day, so that's 3 hours a day labour. 200 working days a year, 600 hours a year.

    Labour costs? Assuming they are all BBC employees which means they need somewhere to work, heat, light, HR, Salaries, management, training, holidays. The cost of employment for lower paid staff for a big corporation can easily be £50 / hour.

    Therefore the cost per year on those estimates is around £35k which, if true, is untenable for a 1000 contributors, it would be hard to imagine any BBC service or programme which cost as much as £1/head per viewer or listener per year, let alone £35/head.

    Just an observation - that taking emotion out of it- the argument that the decision was financial seems to hold water. 
    'Therefore the cost per year on those estimates is around £35k '

    Come now RAF - do you think that if the costs were as high as you say they might be, Mr Smith and others wouldn't have been falling over themselves to give us as precise and verifiable a figure as possible?

    Saving as large a sum as you suggest would have added hugely to their case. And they would have let us know. But they didn't, did they?

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Chris Ghoti (U10794176) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Tayler Cresswell has told us (and Feedback) that she will continue to be subcontracted by the BBC to be the host on Twitter and Facebook, so I assume that thje cost of employing her will continue; the moderation team will still be moderating all other attempts to communicate with the BBC: they do not only moderate the Archers board.

    So that is two costs that are not being saved; they will continue. Alternatively the costs of those two things are shared between The Archers and the rest of the BBC internet use.

    I think myself that the large cost of this board cannot be mentioned or given in any detail because it is all being paid to sub-contracteors: Ms Tayler's company and the IT company which supplies the moderators are not part of the BBC, and I think (going by Private Eye over the past four or five years) we can safely assume that since the BBC royally fouled up on the contract with their previous IT suppliers, Seimens, they may well have fouled up again. IT companies have been made greedy by the incredible incompetence of the government as employers.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by mistynetty (U15299324) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Thanks for the link Cath - need to keep this one

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    >the moderation team will still be moderating all other attempts to communicate with the BBC: they do not only moderate the Archers board.

    So that is two costs that are not being saved; they will continue. <

    Erm maybe I should point out that less work = less resource = less cost.

    So yes the BBC will still be using the company but they'll be paying less because they'll require fewer people to do the moderating. There are always break clauses in contracts and presumably the BBC will have had to have given notice of its reduced requirements in advance.

    We don't know about Tayler's company contract - whether they'll be offering fewer hours or using the same amount of time for other areas of work.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by RAFromSw (U14574822) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    .........'Therefore the cost per year on those estimates is around £35k '

    Come now RAF - do you think that if the costs were as high as you say they might be, Mr Smith and others wouldn't have been falling over themselves to give us as precise and verifiable a figure as possible?.........

    i have no idea as to the motivation of any of those involved, however I do stand by the numbers (for example my local garage is now charging £85.00 per hour labour). I think the questionable basis is that of the number of hours required to moderate and the commercial basis of the moderators - we never know if they are volunteer, or sub-contract, or members of the production team, or Tayler and Keri at lunch time !

    For those who question the savings, I would hope that the BBC records hours spent on projects by a time booking system, those who had been recording times to the board will have to spend their time elsewhere so there will be clear saving shown in the Internet budget.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Janluke (U14743200) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Slowly, wishing you hadn't been quite so gabby over the years.

    Go to my discussions and open each thread one by one, preferably in a new tab, hit the unsubscribe link at the top RH corner and it will go off and come back saying subscribe. Close tab and go to next thread in my discussions. You have to remember which one you last did as you'll only see the threads disappear when you refresh the my discussions page.

    I've just come across the YMB thread.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...





     
    As far as I can tell this doesnt remove your posts you just stop subscribing to it.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    >As far as I can tell this doesnt remove your posts you just stop subscribing to it.<

    Yes that's right. It means that it's not quite so easy to find a person's posts.

    Report message22

Back to top

About this Board

Welcome to the Archers Messageboard.

or register to take part in a discussion.


The message board is currently closed for posting.

This messageboard is now closed.

This messageboard is reactively moderated.

Find out more about this board's House Rules

Search this Board

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.