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Radio 5 live and our use of Twitter

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Nigel Smith Nigel Smith | 17:10 UK time, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

One of the things that sets 5 live apart from many other radio stations is that we're engaged in a constant conversation with our listeners. That usually means via text message, email or over the phone but recently another form of communication has gained popularity among the 5 live audience and our presenters... Twitter.

In this video 5 live controller Adrian Van Klaveren and Drive presenter Peter Allen discuss the ways our audience get in touch.

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We know that not everyone is a fan of 140-character updates - just a few weeks ago Janet Street-Porter berated Richard Bacon and his "club" of followers. But on the whole Twitter is a boon for 5 live for the following reasons.

Engaging with our audience

As Adrian says in the video above, alongside text messages and emails Twitter is another way that listeners can tell us what they think of what's on air. What's different of course is that when using Twitter they do so publicly. Sometimes this can be positive:

Other times less so:

Often our listeners do our marketing for us via Twitter too. On Tuesday afternoon there was a raft of tweets from Misfits fans telling each other that the cast of the Channel 4 series were Richard Bacon's guest in the studio.

Perhaps an even more important function that Twitter allows is instant and direct engagement with listeners. As well as looking at people replying to @bbc5live we also keep an eye on the various search permutations of "5 live" "radio 5" etc to see what people are saying about us. It's always satisfying to reply to someone like @Locko8668 with an immediate answer to their question.

What's brilliant about Twitter and the way we can instantly connect with people is that listeners evidently really appreciate it when we reply to their comments:

Promoting our content

Outside of the main search engines we now get more referrals to the 5 live website from Twitter and Facebook than any other non-BBC site. The main 5 live Twitter feed @bbc5live has nearly 30,000 followers and we do our best to share the best audio and video clips, tweets from our presenters and correspondents and details about upcoming programmes.

Thirty thousand is obviously a small proportion of our 6 million plus total listeners but there are a range of other 5 live related Twitter accounts that engage with the audience in different ways. Because Twitter is by its nature a social network we also benefit from our followers re-tweeting our links to their followers so Twitter can be a way of bringing brand new audiences to 5 live.

Greater access to presenters

You'll have noticed that many of our presenters are on Twitter and a lot of them use it to get contributions to their programmes. Today Twitter was used to find eye-witnesses at the student protests at Millbank. Even if you don't have a Twitter account you can still see any public Twitter feed in a web browser and all @bbc5live tweets are visible on our homepage. Each morning on the 5 live Connect page we publish the best tweets we see during Your Call. You also only have to look at Nicky Campbell or Victoria Derbyshire's feeds to see how listeners welcome the personal interaction they enjoy with presenters.

It's still early days for Twitter and how 5 live makes best use of it. There are obvious drawbacks: it's not as democratic as email or text and contributions we receive via Twitter are obviously restricted to those who use it. But an important part of my job is keeping aware of new technology and working out what scales and what works. I see Twitter as something else that's now part of our toolbox alongside other established forms of communication - this blog included of course.

On a recent Radio Academy podcast Simon Mayo said that Twitter is a "fantastic resource for making programmes" and that's something we should certainly keep in the forefront of our minds.

Whether you're a Twitter addict or can't see what all the fuss is about I'd be interested to hear your views on what's certainly a phenomenon.

Related links

@bbc5live - follow us on Twitter!
@bbc5live/lists - links to all 5 live related Twitter accounts
BBC Editorial Guidelines - notes on personal use of microblogging and social networks
Why Twitter matters for media organisations - Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger enthuses


  • Comment number 1.

    I think the views of JSP while shared with many who don't understand (or want to understand) the platform are a little outdated.

    I have been using twitter for over two years and I use it mainly for work. It's become the defacto way I find the latest tech and trends within interactive design and a fair number of amazing articles and content. I have met more people in my local industry since I started using it and attending the same events than I ever did prior to Twitter. I also use it when popular shows are on like Question Time etc to view reaction to what I am seeing on screen. When YouView is released it will be so good to be able to view this reaction on screen along with the content.

    Same goes with lively debates and I used it a lot during the elections. The best thing with serious news is you can quickly find opposing views instead of simply what is being broadcast. You will often find supporters from both sides of an argument not only posting their views but links to very interesting articles around a subject. I think this is the point Richard made the other week that JSP dismissed out of hand and I have to agree with him, Twitter rather than RSS is where I now get the majority of my links and direction to interesting content on the web.

    Sure for many users it might have no use but for those whose social or work network are active on twitter it's become a great tool for keeping in the loop.

    From a 5 Live perspective and other news/media organisations I am interested with it is also really handy for me to get the nod to new content, new clips or events. News travels so fast now due to these kinds of networks. I found JSP's views to be a little outdated, suprising for someone who used to be all over new media avenues, and she completely lost me when she started commenting she even has a problem with online news as opposed to a proper paper. Good job you didn't ask her what she thought of smart phones or iPads I am sure she would rather we use telegrams.

  • Comment number 2.

    Firstly, Thank you for actually using one of my Tweets as part of this actual Blog. It was a fail tweet but the reply i got from 5 Live gave me the information i was missing.
    Social networking sites such as Facebook (which i no longer use) and Twitter which i do use (a lot) keep myself and many other in touch with people and events all over the world. They provide an open forum for all of us to comment on these evenyts or jsut read them and move on.
    I totally agree with RayM above who points out that people like JSP who criticise a medium they appear to know very little about are akin to the same people who said that the Internet would mean the end of books and library's.
    Being a luddite is no excuse for mocking other people who do choose to embrace technology. I am myself one of Richard Bacon's group of followers so am a little insulted that someone who plays a background role in the media these days classes me as some kind of disciple hanging on Richards every word.
    As you have pointed out in your blog Twitter and Facebook allow mass media organisations such as yours to have genuine contact with there audience. Gone are the days of writing to Anne Robinson (Adn Terry Wogan before her) to get some kind of response from what is still, for the moment, a public funded body.
    I love the fact that i can comment instantly, without it costing me a penny by the way, on any subject being discussed. I know that not every reply can be read or mentioned but the very fact that one of my tweets appear in this actual blog shows, for me at least, that you are listening.
    I doubt you will get many responses on here from people who are against the idea as they are probably not able to work out how to respond on such a high technology medium such as the Internet :)
    I heard a little of the discussion on Peter Allen's show last night and it was in the main positive.
    As someone who listens to 5 Live throughout the day and sometimes at night i salute you all for the coverage you provide.

  • Comment number 3.

    Radio on the cheap.
    The more listeners' contributions you use the less your presenters have to do and the fewer items you have to cover in your programmes.

  • Comment number 4.

    Funny also how two people who have never contributed to these blogs make their first posts in favour of Twitter.

  • Comment number 5.

    How extraordinary, two contributions in half an hour of one another from persons who have never posted on here before and informing the rest of us the value of some communication system that is becoming increasingly hard to sell.Since when did the BBC become this gigantic publicity machine for twitter ?Is this now in their remit ? I'm bored to death hearing about it every 5 minutes on 5live.

  • Comment number 6.

    Twitter has acclerated the trivialisation of 5Live. It is now the favourite crutch of many of the lazy presenters. This is indisputable.

    The best programme on 5Live -- Rhod Sharp's Up All Night -- make no use of Twitter... remarkably he sustains a four hour programme with interviews and debate. Remarkable! He invests his time doing his research and asking intelligent questions and boy does it show!

    Major problems with Twitter as used by 5Live include:

    1. The banal contributions solicited -- Twitter seems to have only increased the trivial trash
    2. The self-promotion of the talent's own Twitter pages, dilluting the value of official (an alledgedly non-partisan) BBC channels.
    3. Twitter is becoming the defacto platform and the first platform for communication (witness the interactive staff ignoring the blog for weeks on end -- a blog network they are paid to maintain and that they spent thousands of our money investing in developing).
    4. The arrogance of some presenters that think everyone is either on twitter, or cares about twitter.
    5. The clear use of twitter as a substitute for research by lazy presenters.

    It's also interesting to see how many BBC staff spend hours on Twitter when they should be working.

    I would agree thought that Twitter does provide an insight into their thinking though as these tweets reveal: https://bit.ly/dlnbCf

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes it has its uses as a method for listeners to contribute but it is the constant mention of Twitter that irritates and it is over used by 5 Live. I do get the impression that Twitter and text contributions are at times used as filler with the same contribution sometimes read out more than once and some presenters seem to rely on them as a crutch and subsitute to research and preparation.

    Also I don’t agree with the fact the likes of Richard Bacon and George Riley can promote their personal accounts on air each day. If 5 Live wants to use Twitter contributions then @5live should be used in the same way as the text number 85058, not presenter’s personal accounts.

    5 Live needs to accept that a lot of listeners do not have any interest in Twitter and are totally fed up of hearing about it and should not simply be dismissed as some type of luddite.

  • Comment number 9.

    Imagine going to the cinema and the film being stopped every few minutes and tweets from the audience shown on the screen.
    That's 5live.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    Honestly I am a little stunned at how ridiculous comments like Sarnia are. Forecasting there is conspiracy and it's a silly byproduct of today's 24 hour media circus.

    I am not a fact account and nor am I someone who works in the BBC. I listen to the Richard bacon show, didn't follow 5live twitter until the jsp interview, when I commented (on twitter) I was followed by the 5live account. Since then following back that account I now see a link to a subject that I am interested in and chose to comment. In fact it wasn't my first comment here just my first since my account got upgraded from the old login system to the new one.

    I find it a little astonishing how people can't put forward their opinion that isn't BBC bashing here and be made out you are some kind of mole posting under a fake account, it's very childish really but if it helps you get through the day good luck to you.

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree totally with ryanw. Even Mayo's show was going rapidly down hill with endless Twitter references. Please can someone realise that the massive majority of people who want to listen to Radio 5 have no interest whatsoever in this medium.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Once again another 5live bashing blog by the usual suspects, like it or lump it, Twitter is here to stay, and i welcome it with open arms.

    Post 12 you state "massive majority of people who want to listen to Radio 5 have no interest whatsoever in this medium" wheres your evidence for this? As far as i can see Twitter is extremly popular with Radio listeners, thats why 5live get endless Twits.

    How can people allege that shows are going downhill because of Twitter when listening figures suggest otherwise?

  • Comment number 15.

    Nice to see the ' usual suspect ' being supportive of the BBC while berating others for having an opinion on the most democratic of radio stations as the controller himself put it.

    Could someone give us some idea of the aproximate percentage 5live gets in emails,texts and tweets ?

  • Comment number 16.

    Locko8668 (post 14) wrote:

    //Twitter is extremely popular with Radio Listeners, thats why 5Live get endless Twits//.

    Enuf said.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Twitter is extremely popular with Radio Listeners, thats why 5Live get endless Twits"

    Is that why @5Live only has 29,640 followers?

  • Comment number 18.

    Just another step on the way to 5live becoming a virtual radio station, hived off from the main BBC and stuck in a provincial backwater.

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    Are we going to get any answers about what percentage of tweets 5live gets in comparison to e mails and texts.Its quite a reasonable question to ask is it not Nigel ?

  • Comment number 21.

    I saw 19 - nothing to justify that being removed.

  • Comment number 22.

    Agreed.No justification at all for my post ( 19 ) being removed.Aren't we allowed to ask questions to the BBC now ?

  • Comment number 23.

    Don't know why my post (No.16) has been removed for 'consideration'. It was a direct quote from another post //Twitter is extremely popular with Radio Listeners, thats why 5Live get endless Twits// and in fact, Dom posted the same quote directly below in post. 17.

    If comments are 'removed for consideration' as a consequence of the 'complain about this comment' button being employed; then an explanation via email would be appreciated.


  • Comment number 24.

    This really is becoming a very poor show. The removal of posts is completely uneccessary,heavy handed and unwarranted.To be given notice by Nigel firstly that our questions will not be ignored but are then removed is pretty disgraceful.

  • Comment number 25.

    Agree, Binkie although if you click on 'explain' just after the bit that says 'this comment has been referred for consideration' (as I just did) it appears that comments are removed because because someone has complained :

    //On a reactive blog, comments are usually only checked if they are complained about.//

    So - our comments have been removed for 'consideration' as someone has complained (whether the complaint is justified or not).

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks Sarnia for the info.Can't think who the time waster could be and is that touchy about inoffensive comments on a simple blog.Its hardly Guido Fawkes on here.

  • Comment number 28.

    That's it.

    I'm dumbstruck that this post opens with the ludicrously hollow ''One of the things that sets 5 live apart from many other radio stations is that we're engaged in a constant conversation with our listeners''
    Check ''Your Questions Answered'' for a true indication of the negligence and contempt afforded to long time listeners.

    No message board, no veto whatsoever save for the largely exclusive option of a 140 character or less tweet which unless sycophantic will be ignored.

    I will no longer listen, I expect nothing from this station anymore. I will vote with my feet even if it means missing Rhod.

    Insulting is not the word.

  • Comment number 29.

    "the negligence and contempt afforded to long time listeners"

    Yes but equally so there are other long time listeners, who dont post self centered posts on blogs, who are quite happy with the direction 5live is going, just because they dont shout the loudest, doesnt make them wrong, and the more vocal people on this blog right.

    I have said it before and will say it again, it defies logic for 5live to use tools like Twitter, and presenters such as Nolan and Derbyshire, if people didnt enjoy using and listening to them.

    On the subject of the 5live station board,that was closed down because there was only a clique of people who posted regulary, and mostly they posted repetitve,cynical jibberish,how is that a good use of license fee money?

  • Comment number 30.

    ''how is that a good use of license fee money?'' What would you prefer? This blog is paid for by said money and what exactly is the point of it if all feedback is ignored?

    I have no axe to grind with you Fedster and thus I will continue to comment on the station that I was loyal to from it's very inception as is my wont.

    If you are happy with the output then merrily post away and be assured I will offer no challenge to your listening pleasure.

    I'm new to posting here and am only doing so as a last throw of the dice but I'm on the verge of conceding defeat if truth be told.

  • Comment number 31.


    Fedster in polite reply... The Questions Answered post has been left to rot by any standards. That's my main issue here not your good self and your listening habits.

  • Comment number 32.

    Lest we forget, 5Live is the country's most democratic station.

  • Comment number 33.

    If I had at least Nigel Smith honouring his pledge to discuss our issues we would have someome acknowledging our concerns but that seems pie in the sky, I will take other steps now,

  • Comment number 34.

    Fionn, they don't care.

    An arrogant post by Jonathan Wall a few months ago that many will remember, which treated contributors here with complete contempt, and the near complete failure of the "interactive team" to contribute regularly or engage meaningfully after setting the expectation that we wouldnt be ignored or left in the lurch (Nigel Smith's hollow 'promise') is disgraceful.

  • Comment number 35.

    As usual Fedster misses the point and finds himself writing jibberish.I can only direct him to Nigels original introductory blog when ( as Fionn rightly says )that our concerns would not be ignored.We haven't had anykind of a reply on various issues for weeks on the nations most democratic station.As the recent Rajar figures showed up, 5live is losing listeners and that should be a concern for all involved.If this is now not acceptable to be discussed and points raised by long time loyal listeners and licence payers on blogs then it is a pretty poor response by the BBC.Btw long live Rhod Sharpe and the Up all Night team.The only shining light I can find now on 5live.

  • Comment number 36.

    I have been returning to this thread over the last 24 hours to see how crazy some of you regulars are, I find it really funny if you are not "in the club" then you are obviously a ringer.

    The irony is I have seen these kinds of behaviours before back when I was at university and played a little online gaming. There you would get the passionate fans of games occupying official and un-official communities and spending a lot of time deriding the game they loved, usually around patches or upgrades needed on the game mechanics. Games companies would employ people full time to be "Community managers" who would listen and feedback on what they could and couldn't implement. The problem was none of this hardcore group were ever happy, but they couldn't simply walk away because they actually still loved that game. Same as here, people would post at 8pm at night and then get annoyed when at 8am the next day there was no official response. Pretty unreasonable really. The difference here is those people were usually teenagers or young adults yet to grow up and mature properly. I also see it if I sit with the hardcore fans at old trafford, they have been going for years and will continue but they do nothing but criticise throughout the matches and usually about unreasonable things.

    That's what is suprising here. Though I expect everyone who is a regular poster is of a decent level of maturity some of the posts are pretty unreasonable, and some even pretty paranoid. I am nothing to do with the BBC and yet because I saw a post on twitter moments after it got posted entitled "five live's use of twitter" and I listened to Bacon and JSP last week and was still wound up about her opinions I decided to post. The speed at which I responded and the fact I thought it was a good thing that radio stations, newspapers etc use twitter instantly put me in the "He must be a plant" category with you regulars. Get a grip seriously.

    I think if you voice a complaint maybe someone on production can help by telling you the best ways to voice concerns, Are blog comments a good idea for this? If they are going to monitor blog comments then what timeframe should you expect a response. To say it's "Disgusting" because you have heard nothing in 24 hours is a bit of a stretch. Secondly anyone who knows anything about building blogs or systems like this which have a "complain" button or link will probably see that comments get pushed into a hidden mode. If you push the complain link it does in fact say it's quite a serious procedure and I expect if the BBC weren't to take any link that is complained about seriously that would further fuel the fire.

    I know you will all dismiss me yet again as some plant or whatever, I couldn't really care as I find it amusing the dillusion of some people who find the most complex explanation for anything that doesn't support their view.

    The facts are I am a user, who does interactive design, who rates the use of twitter highly as a heavy user of it myself to get uptodate information, who also believes that the BBC on the whole is a great thing and I don't see everything they do as a negative. I do understand everyone has an opinion and is free to express it and I am not telling anyone they are wrong simply that in my opinion some more reasonable and relaxed discussion might be more constructive. I made my first post under my old account using the new BBC login system because I saw a post, via twitter, at the end of a work day, on a subject I am quite passionate about. Believe what you want and do what you want, if anything I do respect the passion you guys obviously show for the station but maybe not everyone is "out to get you".

    Stay happy!

  • Comment number 37.

    This is a blog about 5live's use of Twitter, not Twitter.

  • Comment number 38.

    Agree lunchtime - although one could be mistaken for seeing it as some sort of one poster campaign/paranoia against some imagined 'club' or ' clique', which is off-topic.

    To get back ON topic; I do think that if 5 Live persist in using Twitter (as filler) then users such as Bacon & Campbell should use BBC accounts (as in one for their show) and not personal accounts.

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks for the post RayM.After reading your obviously well meaning but slighty weird, amazingly condescending and rather long winded analogies and you choosing to insult the ' regulars ' who have a more than justifiable concerns about the present state of 5live with reducing it to a few childish ' cutting ' observations which add absolutely nothing to the debate,by the sounds of it ' crazy ' and ' pretty paranoid ' might well be also applied to your goodself but hey if it floats your boat go for it.Thankfully we are all very much more mature on here than that but thanks for the comments.I would have thought going to university and your online gaming activity might have opened your mind up a bit more and helped you understand that others different opinions and observations are just as valid as yours and should be respected as such.

  • Comment number 40.

    No I totally agree, you have more than enough valid points here and as I said not aiming to be condescending at all or say your opinions are wrong. Accusing me of being a mole or production staff I found offending as you were just dismissing anything I had to say.

    The points are all valid though and I have never said they were not. Accusing me of not being a geniune user however were out of line with passing opinion on how the show operates, as long as you take that on board and concentrate instead on just commenting on whether or not 5 Live use the service etc I am more than happy to try and not be condescending to the well meaning community in future ;)

    As I was saying in post 1 I think Five Live using twitter is a good thing, some of you don't and all are valid opinions.

  • Comment number 41.

    RayM, welcome. I think if read the comments on this thread in isolation your comments are not that surprising, however you have if you were a regular contributor to these pages over the past 18 months you will have seen ongoing requests by 5Live staff to contribute but every time we asked we are ignored. This has warn very thin. Regarding the length of time to reply, everyone is rational and fair here, I don't think anyone except immediate replies or answers to all questions, but when the expectations are set (by 5Live staff!!) that posts or answers will be forthcoming and for months (yes months) I think we all have a right to be disappointed and raise these issues.

    In my opinion Twitter is overused and has done little to enhance the quality of the programming. I would agree it makes talent more accessible.

    I am deeply concerned thousands of pounds of our money has been spent building these blogs and paying for staff, but they are largely ignored for these trendy new platforms.

  • Comment number 42.

    Twitter has its place, along side Fb, texts, emails and even this blog! I think what annoys people is that they see a lack of enthusiasm for this blog compared to say twitter and also that vast chucks of certain inept presenters programmes are filled with not very interesting texts and twitters to the exclusion of other forms of contact and even presenter content formed from research...you know, that stuff that good presenters and broadcasters do!

    If only Five Live put as much enthusiasm into its own resources as it does into that generated by others.....

    If only Five Live bothered with this blog....I rather think that they are hoping that if they fail to respond to posts for long enough, it will all become irrelevant and they need not bother at all then.

    I am also concerned that the reason Five's own content and blogs etc are being ignored is because this is all a precursor to these services being axed when the licence fee freeze starts to bite. Is is it fair to wonder if Five will rely solely on other outlets in the future, hence the mass advertisements for the services of Fb and twitter?

  • Comment number 43.

    First of all, I assure you that no one apart from me that has commented here works for 5 live.

    @Binkie Hackaback - 5 live receives about 2,000 text messages a day. It's not easy to say how many incoming tweets there are to the station because there are a variety of accounts (i.e. someone replying to @nickyaacampbell might not be replying specifically about 5 live). But as an indicator I've totted up the replies to Twitter accounts related to weekday daytime programmes in the last seven days and there were 3,846. I've not been able to count the emails.

    @Sarnia Why don't you think 5 live presenters should use personal accounts to talk about their programmes? Here's the clip of Simon Mayo talking about his Twitter use on the Radio Academy podcast I mentioned which is interesting on the subject - Simon Mayo talks about Twitter.

  • Comment number 44.

    I've kept my powder dry on this one but Linda's very well presented comments have actioned a post.

    First, its good that earlier posters here and on other subjects have acknowledged that we 'regular' posters are not a bunch of nutters but people who actually care.

    I am very bemused by the new posters coming in so early with very detailed reponses (and there less than credible follow up's). Fedster must have called in all his friends.

    But notwithstanding, as a non Twitterer - it is the most irritating form of communication and the fact that Five Live uses it as such a major part of communication I find very worrying for a national broadcaster. They are REALLY not that short of resources - nothing that could not be sorted by a fairly major sort out of back room people in favour of proper presenters (end of George Reilly then) and some decent journalists prepared to put in a shift.

    Some of us care AVK. You appear to be the one who doesn't. I met a friend the other day who said to me - 'keep up the campaign to get rid of Colin Murray. I love my football but now listen to TalkSport. I just can't stand him. He thinks he's funny, he's not'. Lady in her 60's.

    How many more AVK from the silent majority?

  • Comment number 45.

    Nigel, I don't think presenters' personal accounts should be used on their (BBC) programmes. Potential for accusations of: unprofessionalism; partiality etc. I'm at a loss as to why you had to ask. The email contact address for presenters is a BBC account NOT the presenters' personal accounts.

    I'm not on twitter btw so you can address me without the @ prefix!

  • Comment number 46.

    Nigel: As I pay my taxes and I pay my BBC licence fee would it be unreasonable to ask what you actually do?

    You are not Fedster are you?

  • Comment number 47.

    I appreciate you taking the time to supply some figures Nigel.I'm sorry but I know its your job to talk up such things but I still can't see why Twitter is so deserving of such much attention on 5live.It does seem a rather overblown but under used form of medium from your figures.Btw its Binkie Huckaback not Hackaback.Named after a character in the Round the Horne radio show but I should imagine that you are too young to remember that one.

  • Comment number 48.

    ”Why don't you think 5 live presenters should use personal accounts to talk about their programmes?”

    Nigel the likes of Richard Bacon, Rachel Burden and George Riley shouldn’t be able to promote their personal Twitter accounts on air each day. @5live should be used in the same way as the text number 85058, not presenter’s personal accounts. You don’t use presenters personal mobile numbers for texts, it is the same principal.

    I think the fact @5Live only has 29,640 followers out of over 6 million listeners says it all. It really does not justify the attention 5 live gives Twitter.

  • Comment number 49.

    Nigel, your 5Live colleague Alex Murray has asserted unambigiously that "I [Alex Murray] was very clear that we put the content on the 5 live site first and then push it out to our social media platforms and partner sites" (read: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2010/10/putting-together-a-live-video.shtml

    This is clearly absurd isn't it Nigel?

    I am beginning to wonder if others in the BBC bubble think this actually happens too.

    There are countless example of exclusive Twitter comments or information shared first with your paltry Twitter audience.

    He also said, "In every case this is done with the aim of driving traffic back to the 5 live site from these platforms."

    This is also a spurious claim. If this was true, "in every case" you would have a link back to the 5Live site from "these platforms". You dont.

    The rhethoric and the reality are miles apart.

    Just like with the Rajars: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2010/10/5-lives-rajar-figures-quarter.shtml

  • Comment number 50.

    Binkie - apologies for the typo - I'm well aware of the origins of your user name. You're right - I am too young to have heard Round the Horne when it was first broadcast but listened to many hours on tape during car journeys as a child and was a big fan of Rambling Syd Rumpo.

    Sarnia/Dom - We'll have to agree to disagree on the use of personal Twitter accounts. I think one of the things that our listeners who use Twitter most enjoy is the very personal connection they have with presenters (see this Tweet in reply to Phil Williams from an hour ago). That said, I think there's scope for using the #5live hash tag on Twitter (and referring to it on air) as a way of getting in touch with the station no matter who you follow.

    ryanw - what Alex Murray said in his previous comment was spot on. The aim of all of our social media activity is to drive reach to 5 live. I disagree that exclusive information is shared on the 5 live Twitter feed that's not available on bbc.co.uk/5live or the BBC press office site. If you look at the 5 live Twitter feed the vast majority of tweets include a link back to this website.

    Jackstumps - I am quite surprised that there's so much conjecture about whether commenters here who seem to like what we're doing are actually ringers. I can confirm that I am not Fedster, nor do I know him. I am the Interactive Editor at 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra. That means I am in charge of this website, video steaming, our use of social media, podcasts, red button (TV), mobile etc. When I applied for the job this was the list of key duties on the job description. I attempt to do all of those things.

  • Comment number 51.

    "We'll have to agree to disagree on the use of personal Twitter accounts. I think one of the things that our listeners who use Twitter most enjoy is the very personal connection they have with presenters "

    Do you know this for fact? Why so much focus on listeners who use Twitter? What do the rest of your listeners think about hearing about Twitter every few minutes?

    It is the excessive prominence given to Twitter by 5 Live which is unwarranted considering the very small percentage of the 6 million listeners who are followers, and many of these followers are duplicated between presenters. Ok people involved in the media might love Twitter and can’t understand why other people don’t agree but the majority of people are not Twitter users and probably couldn’t care less about Twitter and are just sick of hearing about it.

    Nigel I know it is your job to promote social media but considering the fact a link to this blog post has been tweeted and yet you only get two posters in favour should make you question whether listeners really care about Twitter? Also as acknowledged by Bacon the vast majority of texts supported JSP comments about Twitter.

  • Comment number 52.

    Dom - Thanks for your comments. Semantics perhaps but I'd say that part of my job is to promote 5 live using social media rather than to "promote social media" as an end in itself. In answer to your question, "Do I know this for a fact?" - Looking at replies on Twitter to both the @bbc5live profile and presenters' accounts I'd certainly say that listeners who use Twitter absolutely enjoy the personal connection.

    As to whether Twitter is given "excessive prominence" on air that's really a judgement call for the editors of our programmes rather than me but I take your point that it's not for everyone. That's true of presenters as well as listeners - compare Nicky's enthusiasm versus Shelagh's ambivalence. Perhaps 'To Tweet or Not to Tweet' could be the subject of a future blog post. Ultimately though I am sure many 5 live presenters will continue to use and talk about Twitter if it generates worthwhile contributions to their programmes (in essence Peter Allen's point in the video above).

    If you've never used Twitter I would recommend giving it a go. It's not just about navel-gazing and what's for lunch. This blog post by former San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman relates to slightly different subject matter but is an interesting take by a prior Twitter-refusenik on why he embraced it: Why you should be on Twitter if you love TV (and sports, etc.).

  • Comment number 53.

    Jackstumps your paranoia about the identities of posters on here is nothing short of laughable, this type of behaviour just puts you and others in a bad light, and just goes to show how inept your arguments really are.

    Yes there are people who are irritated by Twitter, i bet many people were irritated by texts when they were first brought in as a communication tool back in the day, the point is Twitter is gaining popularity, and after a certain period of time, i would hazard a guess that Twittering will be the norm.

    You Blog regulars will have to get used to it!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Nigel says ... "I disagree that exclusive information is shared on the 5 live Twitter feed that's not available on bbc.co.uk/5live or the BBC press office site."

    Well, just for starters are some examples of exclusive Twitter comments from the 5Live account from this week which don't drive people to bbc.co.uk/5live OR the BBC press office site.

    When are you continuing to purpetuate the myth that the 5Live website and the blog aren't overlooked for Twitter? And that all content there originates from the 5Live website? It's patently obviously you're neglecting the blog for starters and NOT using Twitter to drive people to the site on every occasion but supplanting it as the most up-to-date source of 5Live information.

    Insights and information which are not first posted on the 5Live website OR driving traffic to the 5Live website included...

    70th anniversary of Coventry Blitz https://bbc.in/9TlLql Weekend Breakfast with @radiophilw live from the city on Sunday 7:55 AM Nov 12th via web

    Eleanor Oldroyd on the suicide of the German international goalie Robert Enke, a year ago. 5 live Sport, 7pm tonight https://bbc.in/9YXSZB

    Danny Kelly wrote a lovely piece about his friend and colleague Danny Baker in yesterday's Observer. Here's the link > https://bit.ly/bhxcFk

    RT @5LInvestigates: Read Adrian Goldberg's article on how schools shop for easy exams to boost their performance: https://bbc.in/9reYpp #5LI

    Oh, and are you just going to ignore the Your Questions Answered thread completely?

  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    There is no need for the BBC to use 3rd party outlets such as Twitter/Facebook to allow listeners to contribute. The phone and this website are sufficient.

  • Comment number 57.

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

  • Comment number 58.

    Ryan - In the case of Weekend Breakfast and 5 live Investigates there are links to the BBC News Online stories that were tweeted on the 5 live website. I concede that we could do better in ensuring that all relevant links are also on the 5 live website. Still, sharing links is a logical thing to use Twitter for and we will continue to do so.

  • Comment number 59.

    Ridiculous of you to remove my post Nigel which was in no way offensive or broke any house rules. It merely reflected that I was enjotying the lively debate on this blog. Nice to see you work weekends though.

  • Comment number 60.

    I would much rather see an improvement in 5lives output than all this talk of twitter.Please address this first.

    Oh and Nigel would you please restore my post (19 ) that some barmpot complained about after I asked a perfectly reasonable and serious question.Can't think who that was who complained ?

    Could you also explain why Fedsters post 29 was removed for breaking the house rules but then miraculously reappeared a few hours later ? Not that I'm highlighting in anyway any bias in the moderating of posts on here.

  • Comment number 61.


    Well, well, how surprising, now we're rowing backwards...

    First we had Alex's ridiculous unequivocal comment that all material appearing on Twitter to first posted on the 5Live website, then Nigel wades in with "I disagree that exclusive information is shared on the 5 live Twitter feed that's not available on bbc.co.uk/5live or the BBC press office site."

    Then mea culpa, "I concede that we could do better in ensuring that all relevant links are also on the 5 live website." ... the concession that not all content appears on the 5Live website after all.

    No fair minded person would dispute that you shouldn't share links via twitter, but not at the expense of dilluting your other channels and neglecting the website and the blog.

    And why aren't you addressing the Your Questions Answered thread? You promised not to leave anyone in the lurch!

    By the way, we're still waiting for your promised Salford post. You wouldn't be writing content for BBC Music site before your own would you Nigel?

  • Comment number 62.

    Nigel you have failed us.

    You have closed the Your Questions Answered thread without facilitating a single answer.

    It's important, before people like Fedster wade in, to remember that Nigel himself, set the expectation here.

    Firstly, the Your Questions Answered thread.

    "There have been questions posted above since then that I will try to get answers"

    -- Nigel Smith, 26 Sepetember

    Answers received none. Fail.

    "I appreciate that it's frustrating when comments aren't acknowledged, questions not answered and people who you've got used to seeing writing posts disappear after a while. I can't guarantee that I'll meet all your expectations but I will endeavour to make sure no one is left in the lurch from now on."

    -- Nigel Smith, Monday, 6 September 2010

    Comments aren't acknowledged. Yes. Questioned aren't answered. Yes. People who you've got used to seeing writing disappear after a while. Yes.


    "I'll write a post about Salford once I've been there in mid-October."

    -- Nigel Smith, Monday, 30 September 2010

    Still waiting. Fail.

  • Comment number 63.

    Here we go again... why are these posts disappearing? Why does it take days for them to be considered? And why arent we notified by email?

    Anything mildly critical of the poor darlings get removed.

  • Comment number 64.

    Thank you for your reply and the job description:

    One function is ...
    "To ensure the tone, look, feel and quality of the output reflects 5live/5live Sports Extra and is in line with BBC technical and editorial guidelines and standards."

    So where does the (over) use of Robbie Savage fit in here then?

  • Comment number 65.

    Ryan - we're in danger of blowing this issue out of all proportion. I'm sorry that you're not happy with how we're using Twitter. As I said previously we will endeavour to get more relevant links, internal and external, on the 5 live website. We will also continue to use Twitter in the same way we have been. It is worth noting that every tweet from the @bbc5live appears on the 5 live homepage.

    Binkie/Ryan - regarding moderation: the moderation team work independently of anyone who works directly on this blog so I am unable to restore posts etc. You might find it useful to look at this Moderation FAQ.

  • Comment number 66.

    Re. point 14. Fedster, what colour is the sky in your world? You got one thing right, Five Live does seem to attract endless Twits!
    Re. 50. The fact that the BBC employs an Interactive Editor is to me part of the problem, not the solution. I understand the concept of Twitter and can see why people like it. Why not set up a new station called Five Interactive (you could scrap 6, the Asian Network, or even the disaster that is the 'red button'). Bacon and George Riley could present it all day and can ask for Tweets all day everyday. Thus returning Five Live to normallity which the silent majority are craving. These blogs sometimes digress from the topic, so just to confirm, I hate Five Lives use of Twitter and I no longer listen to it.

  • Comment number 67.

    Firstly I totally agree with post 66 and secondly forgive me for being slightly cynical and suspicious of some of the moderating Nigel but my harmless post ( 19 ) has been up for consideration for 4 days whereas our 5live loving and obviously infuential friend ( Fedster )not only had a post removed completely for breaking the house rules, it was reinstated a couple of hours later !! I wonder if he himself could offer up an explanation instead of the constant, tedious and insulting carping he gets away with about people having an opinion different to his .

  • Comment number 68.

    Mayoismyleader i unlike most of the anti 5live posters on here, am being realistic, Twitter on 5live is here to stay,and my guessing is it will be used more often,further down the line.

    Once it becomes more popular, i would say it will play a major part in 5lives attempt to communicate with listeners.

    Onto post 67, there is no hidden conspiracy regarding moderation issues,if you break the house rules you get modded, as simple as that, i know sometimes it is more exciting to believe in a conspiracy, but believe me i think Nigel and the Moderation guys have more productive things to do with their lives.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yet again our friend Fedster misses the point.My post did not break any house rules and was a simple question that some time waster complained about but is still up for consideration after 4 days.Talk of conspiracy are your words not mine and yes your post was removed for and breaking the house rules and was modded and then miraculously was reinstated within a couple of hours.I note that you failed to offer up any explanation on that one.Perhaps you would like to try again.

  • Comment number 70.

    Fedster, Unlike most of the posters on here you fail to see the only realistic point worth noting. Twitter may be here to stay, but clearly a massive chunk of Five Lives audience isn't.

  • Comment number 71.

    Please also note that our good friend Fedster says about Twitter...'It will play a major part in 5lives attempt to communicate with listeners....' Please note the word ' attempt ' and also if the contributors on here who take the time to post and are a good cross section of listeners who are drifting away from 5live and they can't get their message through, then what hope is there of any communication with 5live whatsoever ?

  • Comment number 72.

    Nigel, can you please find out why these mysterious disappearing posts never reappear, why the poster is not notified when they disappear and why any rationale for their disappearance is seldom forthcoming and if it is, it is weeks later.

    It is not good enough.

    My post no. 62 asked some very pertinent questions about your time as Interactive Editor so it is little surprise that has disappeared.

  • Comment number 73.

    Well ryan if what Nigel says is right of the moderation being independent of this blog then the time waster who keeps complaining needs to have a severe reprimand.Good luck if you can get any answers,I have tried.

  • Comment number 74.

    Well, Your Questions Answered has been closed before a single question was answered.Maybe if I tweet the questions directly there will be a more positive response?

  • Comment number 75.

    On 26 Sep 2010, Nigel Smith gave another hollow promise.

    "I will try to get answers for you" and "Accountability and listening to our audience is extremely important to BBC."

  • Comment number 76.

    i read this blog more than i listen to five live now!

  • Comment number 77.

    I've just added an extra link in the Related links section of my post to an extract from Alan Rusbridger's Andrew Olle Media Lecture. In it the Guardian's editor-in-chief sets out 15 things Twitter does effectively. It's an interesting read:
    Alan Rusbridger: Why Twitter matters for media organisations

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    If you want to be sick, look at the tweets from Derbyshire, Logan and Riley regarding the World Cup bid.

  • Comment number 81.

    Oh how I laughed. On the day Russia is exposed as one of the most corrupt, mafia influenced countries FIFA gift them the World Cup. I'm now going to listen intently as how Peter Allen handles the nation in mourning


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