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Points Of View Message Board 3: Football or Rugby?

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 12:25 UK time, Thursday, 18 December 2008

So niclaramartin got annoyed when she discovered that Danelle Nagler had been talking to people about DOGS on BBC HD on the Internet blog:

Heads of Department at BBC, should get their butts over to the messageboards and talk to US too"

So why aren't BBC executives eagerly piling on to the Points of View message boards and talking to people there?

Firstly this is not some kind of conflict between bloggers and people who use message boards (the functionality of both of which we will be improving). And if there's two conversations going on about the same thing and people can't move from one to the other easily, then that sounds like some improvement in navigation is needed.

But I think the key question is: what's the best way for BBC people to talk to licence fee payers online?

BBC people should talk more to the people who pay their wages. But I also think they should have a choice about how they do it. Answering letters or emails quickly may be just as good (if not better) than posting on a blog or commenting on a message board.

If, as niclaramartin again puts it

Blogging is for footballers, messageboarding is for rugby players"

... then people should have a choice about what game they play. Some don't want to play rugby. Some want to play golf.

behindtheplay.jpgSome people want to play Australian rules football. Photo "Behind The Play" from vapours on flickr.

And the mention of rugby brings us on neatly to what Bill McLaren would call the "argy bargy" of messageboards.

Since I started participating in blogs and message boards I've attracted abuse both on BBC Online and elsewhere. Indeed I got some only a few weeks ago.

So either I have a particularly repellent personality or there's something about blogs and message boards that makes people SHOUT.

I've got used to it. But you could understand why a BBC executive (someone more important than me) might think twice before going somewhere where they are likely to be accused of "blatant lies" and given a "black eye". Especially as (unlike me) anything they say in public is likely to be scrutinised by eager (and perhaps hostile) journalists. You could forgive them for wanting, if not a armour plated tank when they go out in public, then perhaps a bullet proof vest.

(And incidentally this kind of argy bargy can also annoy and alienate other licence fee payers)

And you can also forgive them for asking "why should I do this? Am I going to get anything useful out of it?"

I believe you can use this kind of conversation to help make better decisions (among many other things). But a conversation online is likely to be just one element in a decision. Other kinds of audience feedback, research, financial information and creative instincts will all play a part. While I'm sure that Danielle Nagler read all the comments about DOGS on the Internet blog, I would guess that didn't she make her decision about them simply on the basis of what people were saying in comments.

So in order to get something useful you want the conversation to be as focused and efficient as possible. As I've said previously, so far on the POV boards the amount of time I've spent deleting off topic threads has outweighed the times I think I've started a useful conversation.

On the Internet blog by contrast its much easier to keep a conversation focused. I spend less time clearing out the rubbish and more time trying to get answers. Even if comments turn into something which feels more like a message board thread it's much easier to keep on top of it.

So to answer the question which some of you have asked: "why do you prefer blogs?". This is not about my personal preferences. It's about my assessment of where licence fee payers are more likely to get meaningful answers or good information.

And I do think a blog like this one is a better way than the POV boards to get BBC people to talk to you for the following reasons:

1. People complain that the BBC is "faceless". At least on a blog you get a name, an up to date job title and a photograph.

2. People complain that the BBC doesn't respond to comments. BBC people are more likely to respond to comments on a blog, particularly if its one they've written themselves. I'd single out Andy Quested as one good example, but there are others here, here and here.

3. It's precisely the fact that BBC people can start and control the topics on a blog that makes them more likely to participate. It feels like a safer space where they have more "editorial control" (rather important to BBC people). They are less likely to be ambushed and dragged into places they don't want to go. If it works they may become more relaxed and participate more. And so there's a trade off. People who comment have less freedom on a blog than the blog owner. But in return there's more chance of a useful result, of the blog owner participating and actually giving you answers.

One of the questions I am asking is "what are the Points of View boards supposed to do?"

I'm trying to keep an open mind. But at the moment I'm afraid I rather agree with WombatDeath who says:

...there are much better tools (blogs, market research etc) which can - and presumably are - employed to gather feedback in a more focussed and less chaotic manner

Just one final point. Just in case you didn't know we have a new host for the Television part of the POV boards.

This is my last post about the POV boards before Xmas but there will be more next year as we continue to talk to each other. Your comments are welcome.

Nick Reynolds is editor, BBC Internet Blog, BBC Online, BBC Future Media & Technology

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I've NEVER let any discussion I've had on the POV messagboards get personal. But I HAVE to say this.

    Do you get paid for this? Is this really your main role, or is it just an add on, to something which is more constructive?

    These blogs just seem like a waste of space and time, they achieve little (if anything) and just seem like a place for you to post any particular musings that you may have at any point in time.

    You ask questions and don't give answers. For example

    "So why aren't BBC executives eagerly piling on to the Points of View message boards and talking to people there?"

    That question is then left to hang there, not discussed not answered, not addressed in any way.

    You then state

    "But I think the key question is: what's the best way for BBC people to talk to licence fee payers online?"

    Now this sounds like you want answers from us.

    Well Nic we have given you answers to many of the questions you have asked, but we just get more questions, no suggestions of how/if those answers will be listened to and/or addressed.

    You also state

    "Since I started participating in blogs and message boards I've attracted abuse both on BBC Online and elsewhere. Indeed I got some only a few weeks ago.

    So either I have a particularly repellent personality or there's something about blogs and message boards that makes people SHOUT."

    Well I do not KNOW you so I cannot comment on your personnality, but as I stated at the beginning, I have never let conversations become personal. But the tone YOU have taken with certain message boarders, whom I KNOW to be reasonable and polite with everyone, has been a disgrace. And yes to a certain degree YOUR approach has garnered these negative responses.

    Lastly you say

    "As I've said previously, so far on the POV boards the amount of time I've spent deleting off topic threads has outweighed the times I think I've started a useful conversation."

    The messageboard is not for YOU to start conversations YOU find useful. It is for US to start conversations that WE find interesting, in the hope that the BBC will read them and action ideas.

    The fact that you typed the above sentence shows precisely your lack of understanding of messageboards. And highlights exactly why many messageboarders prefer them to blogs.

    Nic you're just not GETTING it are you?!

    P.S. CAPITALS are used in this case for EMPHASIS not shouting. Unfortunately we have no italics on this blog.




  • Comment number 2.

    The BBC messageboards are so poor as to be almost unusable. There's no search facility, poor moderation, dozens of threads about the same subjects.

    The blogs system seems so much more... civilised.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well I do get paid. And I did try to answer the question - an answer is in the tenth paragraph down.

  • Comment number 4.

    Did "deck the halls..." just read the same post as I did? He/she seems to have read the post as some sort of personal attack, and from the comment "That question is then left to hang there, not discussed not answered, not addressed in any way" I can only assume that s/he cannot have read any further down the page than the question in question.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Nick,

    I am most disappointed at your approach to the issue of communicating with the public. You say Blogs have so many advantages, yet most them can apply to MBs if only the BBC had enabled features. (one click to a posters profile and photo for example - routine on professional boards). Blogs can't handle the volume of debate we see on MBs.

    You say more BBC will participate in Blogs - again volume dictates they won't, or they will do a bit and then leave us all hanging for two weeks...or three.

    You say you spend so much time deleting off topic threads... why not off topic threads on blogs? -because the volume on blogs is so low...which leads to the assumption that the analogy should really be - message boards are like Rugby, Blogs are like Chess (minority and exclusive).

    The POV board is particularly popular as it is a visible replacement for the Complaints proceedure. Few have a good word for that system, and so people resort to venting somewhere with a BBC logo on top. Yes, many understand that it has no impact whatsoever on the BBC policy.. but it is the best we have got.

    The HD blog was significant (I only found it because someone linked it from the POV MB). You may poo poo it's validity about DOGs, but the Blogger Nadine did ask for our comments on HD- and the vast majority used the opportunity to tell her what was most important in a HD channel -no DOGs. One could say "Durrr?!" because it is quite obvious to anyone reading the message boards what concerns the public most...ignore at your peril ---well not really because the BBC doesn't care what we think -"it's what you do".

    Curiously Nadine set the agenda but it was legitimately directed by the posters...they want to talk about what is important -not respond to a BBC knows best agenda. (especially as we see that the BBC does not know best, repeatedly)


    When you can show me the legions of your customers clamouring for blogs then I might understand your attitude... but currently your audience/customers/paymasters want Message Boards with the functionality of professional boards. No-one else is calling for Twitters, Blogs, or video diaries.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nic please could you quote which paragraph you believe is paragraph ten. As with the insertion of quotes in fancy font, photographs, and other asides which are seperated by lines above and below (normally a sign of a new paragraph) I count this

    "(And incidentally this kind of argy bargy can also annoy and alienate other licence fee payers)"

    as paragraph ten. I'm certain you don't mean that one.

    Quoting would help.

    Ta.

  • Comment number 7.

    Nick's quote:I'm trying to keep an open mind. But at the moment I'm afraid I rather agree with WombatDeath who says:

    ...there are much better tools (blogs, market research etc) which can - and presumably are - employed to gather feedback in a more focussed and less chaotic manner.




    I think you have missed this point too. The chaos that is the POV board (and all other BBC boards) is all caused by the BBC design. Without a search you get multiple posts on the same subject. With such a restricted layout of the topics page you get less inclination to look at near-recent posts - hence multiple posts. The quoting system is disabled - a mess ensues. There is no off-topic area. There is no profile option, so we all hide behind blank profiles.

    There is a wealth of feedback on the POV board, if only you could be bothered to take time to look (within the design inadequacies).

    Blogs are so niche and unrepresentative that they contribute little in establishing trends or tone.

    I presume that your post above was it? Is this the one we have been waiting for since early December? Are we to deduce that you wish to scrap POV MBs in favour of blogs? Are you trying to break it to us gently or are you being particularly vague?

    Perhaps you can Twitter an answer? (some us do use other technology - but only the right ones for the job).

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Nick

    Nice to see you.

    I'm going to start with a comment part way down your blog...

    -------------------------

    "It's precisely the fact that BBC people can start and control the topics on a blog that makes them more likely to participate. It feels like a safer space where they have more "editorial control" (rather important to BBC people). "

    --------------------------

    ALMOST a throwaway comment, but important to posters. ARE these blogs/messageboards/twitters/flickrs there for YOU or US? Once we get that straight we'll ALL know where we stand.

    Now, to address SOME of your other comments (I think it may take more than ONE comment)

    ---------------------

    "So niclaramartin got annoyed when she discovered that Danelle Nagler had been talking to people about DOGS on BBC HD on the Internet blog:"

    Yes, I got angry, and I put the reason on one of your OTHER blogs. Danielle communicated on her blog to bloggers and received 140ish comments. At the same time, (as I told you, there were numerous threads on messageboards covering the same topic - DOGs). The one I linked you to had OVER ONE THOUSAND comments (and that was only the FIRST thread on that topic I found) - and YET, NO-ONE from BBC popped a head in to "chat" with us. It is THIS uneven handling of bloggers and messageboarders which is the crux of the problem. Why should 140 bloggers receive an Editorial from Danielle, whilst literally THOUSANDS of postings on messageboards receive NO INPUT from BBC.

    -------------------------

    "And if there's two conversations going on about the same thing and people can't move from one to the other easily, then that sounds like some improvement in navigation is needed."

    --------------------------

    In other words, over to blogs, where BBC staff "like a safer space where they have more "editorial control" (rather important to BBC people). "

    SO STILL NO INPUT ON THE MESSAGEBOARDS (where the posters are in bulk) - Capital letters to differentiate from the comments above - one of the downers about blogging - Comments do not stand out. Have you visited Matt Cutt's blog yet to see how this CAN be achieved?

    ---------------------------------

    "BBC people should talk more to the people who pay their wages. But I also think they should have a choice about how they do it. Answering letters or emails quickly may be just as good (if not better) than posting on a blog or commenting on a message board."

    -------------------------------

    In other words, instead of "chatting" with a captive audience on the boards, let's divide them all up and respond to emails, letters, blogs, twitters, flickrs, messenger (in fact ANYTHING other than venture onto the messageboards) (doh smiley) As to answering letters or emails quickly, HOW could BBC cope with sending emails to people. Would that be a "one size fits all" mailshot, or would that be an actual response to a direct complaint/compliment? IF, individual responses to ALL queries/comments/compliment/complaints, then you would need a rise in the TV licence to cover the cost. So, I think the answer would be - NO THANK you, just come onto the blogs AND the messageboards and talk to bloggers/posters on threads/blogs. If you receive emails/letters then reply separately to them, but, you could do an en masse response to bloggers/posters.

    ------------------------

    "If, as niclaramartin again puts it

    Blogging is for footballers, messageboarding is for rugby players"
    ... then people should have a choice about what game they play. Some don't want to play rugby. Some want to play golf."

    ----------------------------------

    AND some people want to play tiddlywinks, with padded suits, rubber gloves, goggles (just in case a "tiddly" or is it "wink" hits you in the eye). In other words Nick, if you want to communicate with the public, be it on a blog/messageboard or a call centre/shop/airport, you develop a thick skin for the odd occasions when it gets hairy.

    Most people are patient, IF, they are treated with respect. What they don't like is evasiveness.

    Am I missing something? Or, did you REALLY link the two words "Argy Bargy" to a lengthy prose on Bill McLaren's use of the words? I think most of us know what an "Argy Bargy" is, and who Bill McLaren is. Is this what blogs are for - sending readers round and round, reading nonsense/triviality?

    You say yourself that you are receiving abuse on messageboards AND blogs. Does that tell you anything? A few of us have pointed out your curt use of the English language which does not help, BUT, to be perfectly honest, you fought your corner and THAT is what messageboards (in particular) are about. Taking your position, defending with all your wits and ability and hopefully enlightening/converting your "opponent" OR, changing YOUR mind, and agreeing with them in the end (EVEN I have been known to do this) (wink smiley)


    Going to post next part in a different comment, to avoid novel proportions.



  • Comment number 14.

    OK. Rolls sleeves up.

    To take your points in order:

    - BBC executives may indeed not want, as you say, to come onto one of their own messageboards. I'd say that's an opportunity missed, but their choice. However, the main functions of the messageboards are to provide feedback which can be read by the BBC whenever's convenient, and also to allow discussion of programmes between viewers. So if execs choose not to participate in actual chat, I can't see that devalues the boards in any way. They might well still be taking note and responding, through decisions taken later.

    Argy bargy - it cuts both ways, you know, Nick. Three months ago I had a host accuse me publicly of something I didn't do, and then fail to offer any sort of apology after I'd explained the mix-up. I just had to shrug and move on. In any community, there'll be disagreements and clashes. You're in a position to remove any post you think is abusive (and ultimately remove posters, too): it happens all the time.

    "so far on the POV boards the amount of time I've spent deleting off topic threads has outweighed the times I think I've started a useful conversation."

    - How much time have you spent on the POV forum, Nick? It's looking pretty on-topic to me, especially now we have Rowan the Host around. A much-appreciated presence!

    "I spend less time"

    - Well, yes, but that's kind of self-evident, isn't it? Obviously it's much easier running a blog than a five-tier forum. But (unless I'm missing something) that shouldn't be the overriding factor here. It's easier for me to go down the supermarket than to support local business and farm shops. It's easier for me to chuck my litter on the floor than stick it in the bin. Just because something takes more effort isn't at all to its discredit. Often, rather the reverse.

    "At least on a blog you get a name, an up to date job title and a photograph"

    - Well, yes, but that doesn't guarantee you any sort of a response, Nick!!! As for your points 2 and 3, blogs which complement message boards sound fine, but they're no replacement for them, as we've discussed elswhere.

    "One of the questions I am asking is "what are the Points of View boards supposed to do?""

    - I think this might be the third time I've answered this, but I'm happy to pile in again. The POV board provides a BBC-centred *community*, which no blog could ever hope to emulate. Every other mainstream channel has forums where its programmes can be discussed, ideas exchanged and information shared between fans. If the BBC got rid of theirs, it would look (and this is the very best complexion I can put on it) as though they were frightened of criticism or had no respect for their viewers. So many organizations now have forums where interested parties and meet and swap news. If the BBC disbanded theirs it would be a retrograde step, and out of line with general trends.


  • Comment number 15.

    This blog has failed. Excuse the multiple posts...I press "Post" and it responds with an error saying I can't quote (but in the meantime it does submit my post, and every attempt I make to correct it despite returning error codes).

    I think you need to redesign this Blog!

  • Comment number 16.

    deck the halls - it's the paragraph above.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just a wee thought Nick

    YOU seem to have formed an opinion about messageboards, and I am just wondering, if, this is co-incidental with the timing of you first looking at messageboards?

    HONESTLY, most of the time, messageboards run reasonably smoothly (apart from the multiple threads because of lack of search facility, and a few other techie remedies). BUT, I am NOW beginning to wonder if your FIRST impression of messageboards was somewhat clouded by an unfortunate incident a few weeks ago, when there was a rather nasty skirmish on the boards. As I say, quite rare on that sort of scale. Generally, posters abide by "board etiquette" apart from the odd WUM, nasty poster, and THAT particular incident was NOT representative of the boards at all. Also, it should be noted that THE POSTERS themselves waded in to try to defend the Host.

    I genuinely hope that THAT was not your first taste of messageboarding, because it was NOT nice.

    Sorry, if I am totally off-base, but I am trying to fathom why you are so ANTI-messageboards.

    I'll get back with volume 2 of my response to THIS blog later.

    Get your tin helmet at the ready. (wink smiley)

  • Comment number 18.

    What do YOU think the messageboards are for, Nick? Because I don't think I've EVER thought they were a place to get feedback from the folk actually involved in making BBC programmes!

    They are what they claim to be - a place to air our Points of Views. Mostly to each other, sometimes on the POV programme too.

    I agree with riverbank, they are a community. And there is no way ANY blog could adequately replace them because by their very nature blogs are directed by just the one person.

    I find it strange that you highlight the fact that you have spent more time removing off-topic content on the boards than contributing to them. What do you think a Host's role is on the boards? I would have thought that was the right way round for a Host's tasks, to be honest!

    Cheers.

  • Comment number 19.

    Thanks Nic

    So the answer to this

    "So why aren't BBC executives eagerly piling on to the Points of View message boards and talking to people there?"

    is this

    "I've got used to it. But you could understand why a BBC executive (someone more important than me) might think twice before going somewhere where they are likely to be accused of "blatant lies" and given a "black eye". Especially as (unlike me) anything they say in public is likely to be scrutinised by eager (and perhaps hostile) journalists. You could forgive them for wanting, if not a armour plated tank when they go out in public, then perhaps a bullet proof vest"

    I'm sorry, that is not an answer.

    That's your musings on the possibilities.

    You haven't actually quoted any feedback that you have gleened from BBC executives. Did you ask any? (we all know how much you love asking questions) wink smiley. For the executives to claim a hostile response is their worry, they would have had to visit the boards. Have they? (you've got me doing it now) wink smiley again.

    You have received a hostile response and so you assume that everyone would. This is obviously untrue as a look at Rowan's welcome thread would prove. She has had a warm and positive welcome to the board. Almost certainly due the friendly and inclusive way in which she introduced herself, and answered the questions aimed at her. (something to learn there Nic) Gosh this wink smiley is working overtime.

    And quite frankly if a BBC executive is too scared to communicate with the viewers, because some might be nasty, they are in the wrong job.

    By thinking that the above quoted paragraph answers the original question shows the narcissistic attitude of blogging.

    Not everything is about what you think.

    Surely the best response to the original question was to ask said executives, and tell us what they said.

  • Comment number 20.

    I do understand that POV people like the sense of community on the boards.

    But if you're just talking to each other - well why does the BBC have to provide a space for you to do it?

    And is the effort put in to maintain it as a good space worth the result?

  • Comment number 21.

    Quote

    "I do understand that POV people like the sense of community on the boards.

    But if you're just talking to each other - well why does the BBC have to provide a space for you to do it?

    And is the effort put in to maintain it as a good space worth the result?"

    It is not our fault that we are only talking to each other. We would love for "The BBC" to join in. Threads are often started, asking the question "do the BBC read these boards" and the response is mainly "no, but we wish they would"

    As I said on a previous blog

    The BBC has a useful tool, if it's not working, don't throw it away. Learn to use it better.

  • Comment number 22.

    Right, a short response to this blog.


    Your whole blog seems to be based upon the fact that blogs are easier to control thus less frightening to BBC employees and better for achieving targetted responses to specific questions.

    That may well be. But the problem is... How do you know what questions to ask?

    BBC staff firing out blogs from their ivory towers may be interesting and useful to the bloggers themselves, but they leave very little leeway for your customers to express what _they_ consider important.

    Messageboards, on the other hand, give your customers the ability to bring subjects to your attention that you may not otherwise have considered.

    ----------------
    ----------------

    On a few of the specific points you made in your blog...

    "so far on the POV boards the amount of time I've spent deleting off topic threads has outweighed the times I think I've started a useful conversation."

    A little rich considering that in the five weeks you've been using the POV messageboards the only conversations I've seen you start are to point people towards blogs you've written...

    Condemning us before the trial?

    -------------
    -------------


    "People complain that the BBC is "faceless". At least on a blog you get a name, an up to date job title and a photograph."

    I'm slightly disappointed that you're unaware of the capabilities of the software you're using... The messageboard software used by the BBC is fully capable of providing exactly that functionality... It's just that it has been turned off for some reason.

    -------------
    -------------

    Then there is a series of comments...

    ----
    "2. People complain that the BBC doesn't respond to comments. BBC people are more likely to respond to comments on a blog, particularly if its one they've written themselves. I'd single out Andy Quested as one good example, but there are others here, here and here."

    "...the fact that BBC people can start and control the topics on a blog that makes them more likely to participate. "

    "People who comment have less freedom on a blog than the blog owner. But in return there's more chance of a useful result, of the blog owner participating and actually giving you answers."

    and

    "One of the questions I am asking is "what are the Points of View boards supposed to do?""

    ---


    To answer your last question with regard to the previous statements...

    The PoV boards are an excellent method of gathering information on what your customers actually want you to ask questions about...

    Ask your questions on a blog if you want to... But without something like the messageboards, there's no practical way of judging what your customers actually want to discuss.

    You need one for the other to have any real relevance to your customer base.

    ------------------------
    ------------------------

    Next, a question for you...

    Why on earth are you a host on the PoV messageboards?

    What I've said in this post has been said to you many times over the last fortnight or so.
    I myself have posted similar explanations several times but have never had an acknowledgement, and all I can draw from the tone and content of this final blog is that you've totally disregarded/ignored everything I've said to date.


    If you, and the hierarchy of the BBC, feel safer within the protected confines of your blogs, so-be-it... But unless you want those blogs to remain completely divorced from the reality of what your customers want, you need some practical method of interacting with them on the subjects _they_ wish to have discussed. The perfect medium for that is the messageboard system.

    By all means - operate a two-tier system where the BBC garners information via the messageboards to feedback into the hierarchy who can then explore issues in-depth from the safety their blogs.

    Unfortunately, this means that _someone_ within the BBC has to read the messageboards and feed that information back to the people who can deal with it. Someone within the BBC has to point the customers asking these questions towards the appropriate blog (if it exists)... Someone has to manage the board on a day to day basis.

    All these tasks are the work of a messageboard host, and quite frankly, given that your comments have been completely negative towards the boards and the job of running them, complaining about having to spend time deleting threads, etc., then I find myself questioning whether you should have taken on the role yourself at all...

    ----

    If the BBC wants to provide an effective way for their customers to ask questions, the messageboard is the perfect medium.

    Messageboards require management.

    If you are unwilling to do that work, give the job to someone else!

  • Comment number 23.

    Well said, gizmomoo.

    "I do understand that POV people like the sense of community on the boards. But if you're just talking to each other - well why does the BBC have to provide a space for you to do it?"

    - Because it's BBC-centred discussion, Nick, between BBC fans and viewers. I could go join another forum, but I want to talk about the BBC, and have figures from the BBC occasionally popping up and giving us their input (and they do, you know).

  • Comment number 24.

    Excellent post, Whisky.

  • Comment number 25.

    Grr! This board is NOT user-friendly! I've just tried to post and my message has gone!

    Attempt 2:

    Excellent post, giz!

    She's completely right, Nick.

    You may have received a cool welcome on the boards, Nick (winksmiley), but that's because you chose to discuss our beloved boards here rather than engage with the whole community, you promised responses then did not deliver, and you have been a little brusque on occasion!

    There are a few WUMs, idiots and argumentalists on the boards - but they are in the VAST minority.

    If BBC peeps want to engage with posters on the boards they will be welcomed and engaged with. They may also be argued with - but I'm sure y'all can handle that!

  • Comment number 26.

    I do try and visit the three parts of the POV boards that I host every day. These are the Digital, bbc.couk and The BBC boards.

    So far these boards have not brought me as much good information which is relevant to my job as my automated blog searches and other feeds and aggregators.

  • Comment number 27.

    If the POV forums are anything like the Broadcasting forums on DigitalSpy I'm not surprised few official staff want to wade in. They only end up getting jumped on, just like Nick is here.

    Then again I don't like the BBC forums for reasons already mentioned, I assume we still have 'opening hours' a ludicrous thing in this day and age, plus the design is alien compared to all the major Message Board providers.

    I like the blogs, because I'm subbed to them all in Google Reader and can read them if they are interesting or scroll on by if they aren't, I don't have to go out of my way to find them.

  • Comment number 28.

    Nic,

    I feel that for the first time we (everyone) are having a "discussion". And that's good for you and us.

    I just wanted to add something to my earlier post about the BBC joining in the message board.

    Cricket Angel suggested in her post that it is not the hosts job to start discussions (I agree).

    You then comment about us talking amongst ourselves.

    I reply that we want the BBC involved.

    This may seem the opposite of Cricket's statement about hosts not starting conversation.

    But it's not. I think, and others have stated the same, many times, that we want the viewers to start the conversation, and someone from the BBC to join in and answer the queries, or pass on the feed back to the right people.

    I'm saying this nicely, and not as an attack on you personnally; we don't necessarily want to talk to you, or know what you think. If you are a host we want you to monitor the boards, and signpost threads to the relevant BBC executive.

    Thumbs up smiley.


  • Comment number 29.

    Quick point to "PR1811"

    Were you aware that the messageboard software used across the BBC already has the facility to let you subscribe to boards, forums, etc. and view them via RSS feeds?

    And whilst I agree that blogs can be interesting, where do you go if you want to make a specific point at a specific time if there's no appropriate blog to post to?

  • Comment number 30.

    You're right, giz.

    The boards should be for EVERYONE - us fans and viewers, and the BBC employees.

    All users should be able to start and contribute to threads so that questions from both sides can be answered.

    Whisky mentioned in his excellent posts that the messageboarders raise queries, comments, complaints and questions that BBC-ran blogs could NEVER do. Surely that is the best market research/customer interaction you could wish for as a giant corporation?

  • Comment number 31.

    Well said Cricket.

    We really are all having a love in today arn't we. wink smiley.

    "Whisky mentioned in his excellent posts that the messageboarders raise queries, comments, complaints and questions that BBC-ran blogs could NEVER do. Surely that is the best market research/customer interaction you could wish for as a giant corporation?"

    And that is the point that we have been making over and over again. Everytime Nick asks why the BBC should pay for the boards. Other companies would pay us for this feedback.

    ( I indeed do get paid for completeing on line surveys about TV, shopping, and other consumer topics)

  • Comment number 32.


    "We really are all having a love in today arn't we. wink smiley."

    Should we mention Merlin ...? :-D

  • Comment number 33.

    I don't think Nick could cope with Merlin talk.

  • Comment number 34.

    Merlin was great. But it's also off topic.

  • Comment number 35.

    Sorry Nick. (No wink smiley, I'm being sincere)


    I'm going to attempt to make it on topic. Bear with me.


    At the moment on POV Me, cricket, and others are involved in a Merlin thread. Yes much of that thread has involved lusting over it's stars, and if a host had come on and told us to keep a bit more on topic it would have been fair.

    However, we are currently discussing the direction we wish the series to go in. We have laid out future hopes for plot lines, and specific characters. We are currently bouncing around ideas as to the future madness/evilness of Morgana. Each new comment has produced an extension of the idea from another poster.

    Now wouldn't the bods in charge of Merlin find this useful? Believe me we are avid (some would say obsessive and slightly scary) fans, this feedback would surely be gold to the BBC.

    And believe you me we would LOVE IT, if someone from the show came on the thread and communicated with us (especially Arthur) (love smiley)!!!

    That would be a dream scenario for many threads on those boards.

  • Comment number 36.

    RE: "Whisky"

    I am aware you can subscribe to them but I think there would be way too many to keep up with on a daily basis, and quite a few would be of (no offence) no interest to me.

    I mostly read DigitalSpy, while not exactly official BBC forums, the blogs here often reference their forums, so clearly they read what's posted there. Sky also read and post occasionally. Also I like the fact that if I've just watched a great episode of a TV show on Sky+ or iPlayer at 3am I can jump on the DS forums and hit out a reply and get instant feedback I don't have to wait around for a moderator to come in to work in the morning.

    I don't think I'd feel any closer to the BBCs beating heart by posting on the BBC Forums than I would on DS, or anywhere else.

  • Comment number 37.

    Oh, well wrangled, giz! (laugh)

    I don't think lusting over stars of the show is off-topic for a thread about said show ...

    Anyhoo, back to blogs 'n' stuff! ;-)

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Nick,

    OK -it is easy to answer with one liners...

    so can you answer the fundamentals:

    1 Have you made a decision?
    2 are you minded to scrap the POV MBs?


    PS Do you want to create a pilot POV blog to see if it can handle the volume of posts that we see on the MBs? Then the volume will determine if it a success. (the BBC loves ratings don't they!)

  • Comment number 39.

    Lusting after stars may not be strictly off topic - but what use a thread filled with that kind of material be to the makers of Merlin?

  • Comment number 40.

    OfficerDibble - no decision has been made.

    I'm still thinking (and talking)

  • Comment number 41.

    "Lusting after stars may not be strictly off topic - but what use a thread filled with that kind of material be to the makers of Merlin?"

    You're being selective there Nick.

    I explained to you in my post about the current conversation about the future of the show.

  • Comment number 42.

    I still don't see the problem, myself. Blogs are good for announcements and conversations with the public. Forums/boards are more like a pub conversation. And not as well suited for official announcements.

    I summed it up, pretty much, in https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/12/iplayer_day_update.html earlier.

  • Comment number 43.

    "Lusting after stars may not be strictly off topic - but what use a thread filled with that kind of material be to the makers of Merlin?"

    So should every single post be relevant/of interest to programme makers?

    Like I sais above - the boards should be for EVERYONE - BBC employees and viewers alike.

  • Comment number 44.

    -------------------
    So far these boards have not brought me as much good information which is relevant to my job as my automated blog searches and other feeds and aggregators.
    -------------------

    Two points there.... Firstly, information you get from blogs, feeds and aggregators is going to be skewed by the fact that the people blogging, using twitter, etc. are in generally going to be more technically minded.

    Yes, you will get information from them (and, on average, it'll be written with more technical acumen). But, are users of those media really a representative sample of the BBC's client base?

    When you've a TV programme called Points of View, and a messageboard clearly visible to the public, with the same name, it could be the perfect tool for attracting the 'general public' who have something to say.

    Second point...

    No, it won't return as much 'useful information per word posted' as your twitter feeds and blogs, but considering the information on there is from a wider range of posters than you'll ever get using Twitter or a Blog then you'll get a far more representative sample of 'non-technical' opinions...

    Of course now we run into Catch 22 - as in order to get this information from a messageboard, it needs to be managed and hosted effectively.

    Both sources of information have their uses, by dismissing one completely you are effectively ignoring what has the potential to be an excellent source of information...

    Your call - the easy way out - look at your existing sources or put the effort in to developing what could be a far more representative source.

    Feeling lazy or feeling ambitious?

  • Comment number 45.

    at 4:36pm on 18 Dec 2008, NickReynolds wrote:

    OfficerDibble - no decision has been made.

    I'm still thinking (and talking)>>


    But are you listening? Surely there is no point in any of your blogs if you ignore our feedback and see this merely as a challenge to convince us of the merits of your personal preference for communication?

    What would you write if your superior asked you to summarize the feedback gleaned sofar from the users/stakeholders/etc. (ignoring your own preferences)

  • Comment number 46.

    Nick makes a point about the "clear feedback" being lost in the Message Boards because of the off topic rubbish.

    Most of us post knowing it will never be seen by the BBC - so why would we write in succinct terms as if it will be seen by management?

    Secondly if the BBC had a proper complaints and Info system for comments and complaints we would not need such feedback mechanisms as Blogs.

    Thirdly, any idiot can see the trends in the messageboards - despite the crummy design and associated clutter.

    Surely there is role for a contractor or BBC employee to provide proper summation of trends and themes on the boards. This would flag up for management what was hot and what engages their audience. This needs an enthusiast rather than an ambivalent "working from home" host. Judging by the BBCs responses to current hot issues their existing system of monitoring trends is woefully inadequate -or the BBC is complacent and unaccountable.

  • Comment number 47.

    Nick let me give you an example using a thread with no lusting.

    Two weeks ago after an episode of Survivors they showed a trailer with the female Dr talking about sex with the male prisoner.

    This prompted a discussion on the messageboards, as some of us thought that it had been made clear in the first episode that she was gay, and others not seeing it that way at all, and suggesting that we had jumped to conclusions, and she just had a female flat mate.

    It turned out in this week's episode that she was gay.

    Now if the writers wanted us to know she was gay from the start, they failed, as some on the messageboards had not realised. If they wanted us NOT to know she was gay, they also failed, as some of us assumed that was obvious. If they had wanted it to be ambiguous, they kind of succeeded, although it was not so much that none of us were sure, it was that both sides believed they were correct, so not a total success.

    Would it not be handy for the writers of the show to know whether they had succeeded in their aim, and whether their writing had conveyed the message how they envisaged?

    Would anyone at the BBC have ever started a blog asking whether we realised that a character had been written in a certain way?

  • Comment number 48.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=5828556

    Taking the long Merlin thread as an example again:this community feel, almost chatty posting that has developed over the series is a good thing, isn't it? This programme has brought together fans who only know each other through the messageboard. It is good-natured, fun, and it shows that we all really love the show.

    This probably would not happen on a blog because a) they're difficult to find, b) there's a sense of ownership about an individual's blog that means others feel a little inhibited about freely speaking, and c) this thread has benefited from being on a messageboard where there is already a community.

    Would the programme -makers not want to knoew that they had brought us together through their work?

    (And it's not ALL lust ...!;-))

  • Comment number 49.

    What happens with the Merlin thread is this;

    It was shown Saturday, so Sunday and Monday you'd get posts about that week's episode. Tuesdays and Wednesdays there was little posting. Round about Thursday afternoon the excitment for Saturdays episode would start to build, but we had nothing to talk about. So the lusting would start.

    If someone from the production team came onto the board and left a message saying,"this is where we were going with that episode, did it work?" or "was that cgi believable" or "did you believe that characterisation" we would have plenty of feedback for them.

    So it would be the best of both worlds. We would have the discussions we wanted, but the BBC would get it's specific, focused points that it is trying to obtain through blogging.

    That would be my dream scenario.

  • Comment number 50.

    Cricket Angel makes a good point.

    We often hear the lament that TV watching is no longer a family affair, that discussing TV at the water cooler the next morning is rare these days because of the diversity of choice and timeshifting - so it is unlikely our work colleagues see the same as ourselves.

    So what have we got to replace it? A virtual community (courtesy of the BBC) where we can congregate around the POV Water Cooler and discuss TV with people who did see what we saw. Isn't this worth preserving?

    Indeed, the BBCs successful efforts to alienate me from being a live viewer - mainly because of hype, trailers, dumb presentation, IPPs etc, has meant that all the BBC marketing misses me... but what makes me seek out a BBC programme I have never seen? The POV board. I am sure you have been on course that stress the importance of peer testimonials being the marketing tool of the future - especially in a climate where trust in marketing has been so debased. Which brings us back to trust...something the BBC seems to be making a ham fist of lately.

  • Comment number 51.

    Nick, the reason you think the POV boards are somewhere us posters just talk amongst ourselves, is that NO ONE from the BBC every bothers to come on and talk to us !

    Julian Worricker used to come on the old radio 5 message boards, and chat very charmingly with us, but he's the only one.

    When I spoke to one of the Editors of Feedback on the phone ,(about Radio 5, my thoughts were broadcast on Feedback) he said one of the reasons no -one from the Programmes ever comes on the POV boards, is that they always think they're right, and don't want to hear anything to the contrary .

    I think that speaks volumes for how the BBC is run !

  • Comment number 52.

    "If someone from the production team came onto the board and left a message saying,"this is where we were going with that episode, did it work?" or "was that cgi believable" or "did you believe that characterisation" we would have plenty of feedback for them.

    So it would be the best of both worlds. We would have the discussions we wanted, but the BBC would get it's specific, focused points that it is trying to obtain through blogging.

    That would be my dream scenario."

    Ooh yes - mine too!

    And Officer Dibble makes a good point too. The POV boards often bring programmes to my attention that I otherwise might not have watched.

  • Comment number 53.

    No need for the tin helmet Nick.

    We REALLY are trying to be as helpful as we can, and as I said, defend OUR point of view, (which is that messageboards COULD be a great place for BBC employees to canvas opinions/garner which programmes are popular AND WHY/talk over what FUTURE style of programmes we would like to see/why we feel BBC is dumbing down it's programmes/DOGs/End Credit Squeezing/voiceovers/newsbongs/background music/IPPs etc (all topics which HAVE been discussed AT LENGTH on the boards)

    As the previous excellent postings have said, all we need is for BBC to pull up a chair, and get involved with THEIR OWN boards.

    Market researchers would love to be able to see what viewers/customers are saying "unprompted", surely a better measure of opinion than someone posting a blog, giving THEIR opinion. Nick, as you know Faye and I have posted often about how FEW responses blogs seem to receive. Some blogs obviously take a lot of time (this one just b(l)oggles the mind...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/12/a_christmas_present_from_the_h.html

    and ALL that for 20 comments.

    YOU would JUST have had to put FOUR words (no more) "POV MESSAGE BOARDS 3", and you would get DOZENS of responses from messageboarders. For the simple reason that we are desperate for someone (anyone) at BBC to talk to us, and treat us as if we have a brain cell between us.

    As I pointed out to The Phazer on another of your blogs - hobbies/likes are NO indicator of intelligence. There are some very technically astute posters on the boards, who just happen to like messageboards.

    ----------------------------------

    "(And incidentally this kind of argy bargy can also annoy and alienate other licence fee payers)"

    ------------------------------

    And I'm afraid that the blame for that lies at your own door, for the simple reason that we ASK you questions/make points, and you DO NOT answer. You simply blog and run. We're then chasing around the boards trying to find you to get an answer.

    An example of this, is, that TWICE on TWO separate blogs (at least), AND on the POV board, I've asked you to explain clearly and without ambiguity, exactly what your power/position is with regard to the POV messageboards. As I said, we ORIGINALLY thought from your FIRST blog when you said that you were "IN CHARGE" that you were THE BIG BOSS of POV messageboards. STILL in the second blog we thought you were "IN CHARGE" of the POV boards. BUT, you posted to me that you are in fact Editor of blogs, and hosting three boards (The BBC, bbc.co.uk and Digital), which begs the obvious questions, "ARE YOU THE BIG BOSS, or are you "simply" a HOST (like Rowan), on the three boards you named?" If you are "simply" a Host, why would you say that you are "IN CHARGE". If you are THE BIG BOSS (can't put it more simply than that), and are RESPONSIBLE for decision making about YOUR 3 boards (not just at Host level), do you have ANY input/responsiblity for TELEVISION/RADIO boards?

    Right, that now makes at least THREE times I have asked THOSE questions, and I really would appreciate a reply.

    Sorry, that came out more snippy than I intend, but, I genuinely would like an answer to what is a very simple set of questions. What power do you have over messageboards?

    The reason I ask, is, that IF you HAVE power (above Host level), then I WILL continue to debate with you, BUT, if you are a HOST who has LIMITED remit, then, I would be as well debating with Rowan on the TELEVISION board (where you say you have no remit).

  • Comment number 54.

    "OfficerDibble - no decision has been made.

    I'm still thinking (and talking)"

    --------------

    Roughly, what areas are you "thinking and talking about"?

    We don't even know, whether it is to scrap the boards, (if you have the power to), to link them to blogs - when relevant topics are raised there, or BBC ONLY starting threads, or closing multiple threads, or closing some boards and keeping others open etc.

    We have no more idea today, about ANYTHING, than we did when you wrote your first blog on messageboards. Is that a STRENGTH of blogs? Contributers other than the autor have no more idea at the end of ONE, TWO, THREE ........ TEN blogs than they did when the first blog was posted. At least with messageboards, there is an Original Post, contributions from various posters, and usually a feeling that the topic has been discussed fully, with frank/informative input from everyone.

  • Comment number 55.

    "So either I have a particularly repellent personality or there's something about blogs and message boards that makes people SHOUT."

    I just do not believe that you wrote that statement. We have been repeating OVER and OVER, that YOU ask us questions, we respond, and wait for answers/feedback, and the anti-climax is thunderous. WE ask you questions, and YOU evade. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five...... but dozens of posters (who normally wouldn't say boo to a goose) are telling you that you are NOT communicating with us, so I would say, "YES, there IS a failing in yourself, (you did pose the question) and that is your inability to interact with YOUR community. And then you wonder why people on BOTH messageboards AND blogs are getting angry with your input. (Thank you for the link to the angry blog by the way, interesting reading).

    I am not saying that you have a "particularly" repellent personality, but I am saying that you reap what you sow, and, as I have said to you before, what you are effectively doing, is what is called WUMing. You are winding people up, and hiding behind a vague position of power (if you are "merely" a Host on the messageboards, to say you are IN CHARGE is bigging yourself up a bit). IF you ARE the BIG BOSS who decides to close BOARDS, as opposed to THREADS/POSTS, then you should make this very clear.

    This has now reached a stage, I think, of either walking away and leaving you "bumpin' yer gums" (this link seems as relevant as your link to Bill McLaren/rugby/skirmishes/bloody noses on messageboards). Happy four hours reading trying to decipher Doric (Scottish language), till you find the three words "bumpin' yer gums" (argy bargy - shakes head smiley - what was the point of that link)

    https://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/kist/search/display.php?bbuc03.dat

    OR,

    Something I have never, in all the years that I have been posting to BBC boards - an official complaint to the High Heidjins at BBC about the run-around you are giving posters, in what appears to be simply churning out blogs, so that you look as if you are busy, whilst winding up and antagonising posters to messageboards.


  • Comment number 56.

    Morning Nick.

    Just re reading your blog I noted this paragraph

    "And if there's two conversations going on about the same thing and people can't move from one to the other easily, then that sounds like some improvement in navigation is needed."

    Isn't having the same conversation going on in two different places a waste of resources? No matter how good the navigation is. It is a bit like this blog and this thread
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=6069478

    It does not really work, (as things will be said on one and then mentioned on the other) unless everyone is involved on both mediums, which then begs the question why have two when one would do?

    I know you visit the messageboard thread as you have posted there, and quoted it here. But would a producer or such like want to flick betweeen blogs and messageboards to gleen all the information they wanted, with the issues of duplicated comments and sheer volume?

  • Comment number 57.

    There is am important issue to consider when thinking about blogs vs message boards as this seems to have turned in to.

    The BBC, as with all organisations have finite resources available to their staff. A structured, focused blog allows the BBC to concentrate on areas where they have resources available. A free flowing message board is much harder for an organisation with limited resources to follow. Are you all seriously expecting the BBC to dedicate their limited resources to monitoring every single post with the hope of being able to respond?

    Take Merlin for an example. First and foremost, isn't the programme made by a 3rd party and not the BBC itself? Should the BBC be stipulating to external programme makers to monitor message boards in order to gauge feedback on a programme they probably filmed months ago? Secondly, assuming the programme was made months ago (which for the likes of Drama is almost a certainty), the people that made said programme will be working on other projects by the time the episode goes to air. It then becomes increasingly difficult to dedicate relevant resources that posters on message boards might expect.

    Blogs allow the BBC to focus on a particular topic that they have resources to support. Take BBC HD, the people involved are actually able to dedicate time to respond to feedback precisely because they have an element of control over the discussion, of the same points randomly appeared on a message board, who is to say there would be anyone available at that particular time to read them?

    Don't get me wrong, I think message boards have a crucial role to play in gauging public opinion, but from an organisational role they are incredibly difficult to manage and from that respect blogs have an increasingly useful role to play.

  • Comment number 58.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

    A blog is a tool with which to garner comments and opinion about a specific topic. It is BBC-led and ordered. Very useful if a BBC employee has a particular question they wish to ask the audience.

    Messageboards are audience-led. The comments and opinions here are not in response to a directed question. They are free-flowing and independent of the organisation. And, I would suggest, invaluable to the BBC as a result.

    Blogs and messageboards do different things. They are both useful. What WOULD be helpful is if both facilities were closer together, so messageboarders and bloggers were aware of each other and could easily link to each other's resource. At the moment I think they're quite separate things.

  • Comment number 59.

    I am very poorly and am having a sick day.

    I suspect this will be my last message before the new year.

    However just to be clear. I don't think I have avoided any of your questions. I keep repeating that no decisions have been made and that I am thinking about the boards. Your feedback is very useful in my thinking.

    For example, its clear from what you have said that the Television board is the board which is most valuable to you.

    And to be clear I am hosting the Digital, BBC and bbc.co.uk boards. Rowan is hosting the TV boards

    In addition I am the executive who is in charge of the boards as a whole. As far as I know they are something I have ultimate editorial responsibility for.

    I promise you that in the new year I will give you even more insight, including (if I can get agreement) some data.

    Merry Xmas!

  • Comment number 60.

    Sorry to hear you're not well Nick.

    Just one quick comment.

    How about making a New Year's resolution to communicate with messageboarders, about message boards, ON the messageboards.

    I think the use of the blog to discuss the future of messageboards is at the root of much of the "bad feeling" going around.

    After all if the government decided to discuss the future of the Royal Mail in the offices of DHL, then I don't think the postmen would be very happy!

    Merry Xmas.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Nick,

    I am looking forward to some data!

    Exilis states that blogs are better for hosts to get focussed and efficient feedback. That is wrong.

    If a host poses identical questions on a blog and equivalent MB they are likely to get 5% of the response on a blog as they will on a MB because 1 -people like MBs, 2 - people already use MBs, 3 - MBs are better at dialogue. This makes the blog for a research tool because of the small sample.

    If the blog did get the same volume of comments as the MB it would become unweildy and require to be closed and a new one started (just like this blog).

    Most of the blogs are unattractive to the customer as the agenda is set- it is more likely to be hijacked if the agenda is irrelevant - (see the HD blog). That had a unusually huge response because it unwittingly hit on an agenda that was relevant (DOGs) - hardly anyone wanted to talk within the BBC bloggers agenda.

    Whichever format you use, MB or Blogs, if you get the volume of "data" to make it representative it will take time to assimilate (and I doubt blogs can handle the volume) - hence my suggestion that someone collates themes, trends - not difficult and many of the posters on this blog could do it without any faff.

  • Comment number 62.

    At 5:44pm on 18 Dec 2008, deck the halls with gizmomoo wrote:

    "If someone from the production team came onto the board and left a message saying,"this is where we were going with that episode, did it work?" or "was that cgi believable" or "did you believe that characterisation" we would have plenty of feedback for them."

    An interesting example of a television programme where that kind of thing does happen is The Fuselage (https://www.thefuselage.com/%29, which is an official forum for LOST where the cast and writers drop in to chat and get feedback.

  • Comment number 63.

    Personally I prefer blogs, they give you more of an offical message about whats going on, rather than speculation or gossip.

    I have occasionally popped over to some of the message boards (mainly the iplayer one, but others too). But usually I just get frustrated trying to work out how to post to them. I look around for a 'reply' button, but all I find is a link to "How to reply to messages". I click on this and am told to click on the "reply to message" button, which I cant find. I spend ages going round in circles, before finally finding out that the thing shuts at 10! Would it not be easy enough to have a greyed out button or replaced with a 'closed' pic, to let people (particularly newcomers) know that its closed.
    I still find it odd that I can reply to blogs whenever I want, watch tv programmes whenever I want, listen to radio progs whenever I want, but when it comes to something as fundamental to the web as a message board, I have to do it during predefined "opening hours".

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi Lucas42 - there would be less speculation and gossip if BBC executives used the messageboards. Earlier in the year the producer of the Culture Show started a thread asking for feedback on the POV boards. There was a good exchange of views. That's about the only BBC input I know of recently.

    Recently Danielle Nagler chose to talk to the public about DOGS via the blogs:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/10/dogs_on_the_blog.html

    Yet the debate had been going on previously on the messageboards, with many more responses:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=5439003

    * other threads are available

    So the problem with the boards aren't the boards themselves or the people who use them, it's the BBC ignoring a resource.

    It is frustrating the opening times, but the boards require moderation and really anything that needs to be said, can be said the next day.

    At least with the boards we have a preview button, and the ability to quote. Hopefully the boards and the blogs will have better facilities in the future.

  • Comment number 65.

    Both systems have clunky interfaces..own goals in design terms.

    I can't work out why blogs don't need moderation. Can Nick explain? We were always told that the silly design restrictions, no search, closing times and heavy modding were all because of the need for hands on moderation to protect the BBC.... yet I can post here in the wee hours and bad mouth anyone, organize a revolt and use a string of thinly disguised expletives without censure. What is the difference? and why are we paying for such an onerous moderation team...in more ways than one?

  • Comment number 66.

    Nick, on your page:

    https://nickreynoldsatwork.wordpress.com/

    which I assume as it's accessible to all, is 'up' for comment. Can you tell us what you meant by your twitter comment:

    "Annoyed - the forces of darkness have woken up. I feel a blog pos t coming on"

    Who are the 'forces of darkness'? What did they do to warrant such a description? Do they get a right of reply to such an accusation? Is this the 'blog pos t' you were talking about?

    The problem I see with twitter is that it leads to vagueness, maybe there are other groups of people who are 'the forces of darkness', who knows? It's hard to tell.

    regards
    Faye

  • Comment number 67.

    indeed... looking at the BBC blogs I get the impression that a Blog is the equivalent of a house party at which the public are allowed to peer in through a small window, and hear a few snatches of conversation whilst they try to mouth a few words through the glass to the staff inside having fun.

    A BBC message board is more like a street party where periodically some people come out from the house party and complain about all the noise, return inside and slam the door.

  • Comment number 68.

    The interactive problem isn't a technical/platform one - it's that the BBC in general doesn't like to meet its public in an open forum.

    You (the BBC) also seem to be uncomfortable with any situation where you don't have editorial control. A psychological habit that goes with the career, I suppose, but it does run counter to other stated objectives re empowerment/community building/interactivity with your audience.

    You need a cultural & psychological change. Treating it as principally an IT issue is a mistake.

  • Comment number 69.

    One thing I can't understand, please correct me if I'm barking up the wrong tree here, is that many, many sites that rely on very limited financing (eg Money Saving Expert, HotUKdeals etc etc) manage to maintain message boards that are far more usable that the rather pitiful BBC examples. With such unheard of advantages like search facilities, links to all previous posts by a user, that sort of stuff.

    Yet, with the huge IT budget of the Beeb, they can't achieve this level of user friendliness. Where is all the money going? Is it on paying a third party moderation company to carry out extensive reading and re-reading of the more embarrassing posts. Because most internet message boards seem to work quite successfully on a post moderation process, where the users of the board police themselves. Surely that is a more logical way to run them, rather than complain that the cost of the boards outweigh their advantages to the BBC.

    Blogs are a dead end. What's the point of a discussion when you have no control on what's being talked about? Or is that why they are so interesting to the hierarchy? Control.

  • Comment number 70.

    If someone can't survive in the virtual world they may have some difficulty in the real world.

    One person's intellect can't possibly compete with the collective perspective of a large virtual community. There has to be this pressure in the absence of direct commercial pressure. It is not a sign of weakness that the BBC is steered or influenced in this way. Often unreasonable or insulting postings reflect badly on the person posting it, rather
    than the person it is directed at - unless of course it is justified.

    There will always be stuff that's not reflected in message boards (no articulation of the need for a Google or a YouTube etc.)

    It is frustrating when questions aren't answered. There are various reasons for this but authenticity shines through - a basic effort to engage.

    At the moment, we're not really getting enough text about regular decisions, plans and changes by the top BBC people.
    Information tends to be scattered in newspaper interviews etc, one-way in nature, not expecting interaction.

    Actually having all the top execs with blogs would eliminate the need for intermediaries and show people acting in the best interests of the community. No need to shoot the messenger when there is no need for a messenger and you can go straight to the source and provide continuous feedback. If there are no regular changes to communicate and debate then you really have to question the validity of a particular role. There's still a need for a host.

    You have linked to some good blogs. Which areas are missing? They may be the areas of the BBC that aren't working so well.
    Blogs have been around for so long that you can interpret this as a decision not to use them.

    Is there a halfway house between the functions of message boards and blogs? Two different interfaces looking at the same
    core feed data? or is it all just converging to existing social media and top BBC staff should just register with Facebook in an official capacity as part of a POV group? What about an accurate summary of the message board comments running alongside the blog? (if everyone can agree on the summary!)

    I think BBC communication structure should be theme/programme/position centric (rather than blogs named after an individual person).




  • Comment number 71.

    I think I am now feeling even more sure, that, as I said a few weeks ago "Nick has been handed the poisoned chalice".

    As he said.............

    --------------

    "And to be clear I am hosting the Digital, BBC and bbc.co.uk boards. Rowan is hosting the TV boards

    In addition I am the executive who is in charge of the boards as a whole. As far as I know they are something I have ultimate editorial responsibility for."

    ------------------------

    He says "as far as I know...." (I think that is quite telling).....

    Now, my reading of this may be WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY off base, BUT, the impression I am getting, is, that Nick is responsible for HIS blogs, for hosting Digital/BBC and bbc.co.uk (the three more technical boards), AND for decision making regarding ALL POV boards. What he does not seem to want to be responsible for, is POV Television and Radio. A NEW Host has been brought in to deal with us on Television. If, I, had been put in charge of BBC boards, I would want to be, as Nick says "IN CHARGE" of ALL of them (better for his CV). This strikes me as a wee bit strange.

    My gut feeling is (and I have seen this done so often in my "real" life), that Nick has been given the job of doing his blogs, AND keeping the techie boards ticking over, BUT, to slowly marginalise the Television/Radio boards, before phasing them out.

    That is why I think Nick is SO keen for us to move over to his blogs, and why he really doesn't want to post on the messageboards (especially Television, which IS part of his remit). He wants nothing to do with, or leave any footprints, on a board, which he has been designated to run-down and out of BBC.

    This would also explain his somewhat vague comment "as far as I know..." Is this a way of not admitting that he KNOWS that he HAS and WILL have control of Digital/BBC/bbc.co.uk, BUT, that, although (at the moment) he HAS control of Television/Radio, his job is to do away with them.

    This would go some way to explaining his evasion of answering the questions regarding Television/Radio messageboards and what position/power he holds over them.

    I may be wrong, BUT............

  • Comment number 72.

    Merry Christmas and Good Health to all.

    (holly smiley)

  • Comment number 73.

    I am still very poorly but there are some good comments here which I will respond to after Xmas and when I get better.

    But just to reassure Faye Tsar my "forces of darkness" tweet was definitely NOT a reference to the POV community or this post.

    It was also intended to be ironic, and should just show me again that it's very difficult to use humour or irony online as it is difficult not to be misinterpreted.

    The only poisoned chalice I've got is the unpleasant stuff infecting my sinsuses.

    See you after Xmas.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ironic? Nick this is just compounding the ambiguity. irony works if everyone is in on the joke. We weren't, and we still are not.

    To extend my party metaphor.. your blogs are a private party with bouncers on the door.

  • Comment number 75.

    Nick asks

    "But I think the key question is: what's the best way for BBC people to talk to licence fee payers online?"

    My answer is to have them all talking in one central place, where it's easy for licence fee payers to find and easy to use.

  • Comment number 76.

    Nick

    Sorry that you are still unwell.

    May I ask some very clear questions, to which, clear, unambiguous answers would be appreciated.

    1. Why has Points of View programme stopped "advertising" the POV messageboard?

    2. Is there a timescale to phase out POV Television and Radio messageboards?

    3. As "the Executive in charge of the boards as a whole", why, are you ONLY hosting bbc.co.uk/Digital/BBC messageboards, and somewhat distant from "Television" and "Radio"? And is that YOUR decision or that of your superiors?

    4. Has a decision been taken to "marginalise" the Television and Radio messageboards, with the ultimate aim of removing them from BBC?

    5. Why will you NOT talk to messageboarders on THEIR board? Your liking of blogs/control by author is NOT a reasonable argument to use, IF, you genuinely WANT to reach the largest number of messageboarders and receive the BEST input?

    6. Will BBC be trying to cut back on messageboards (including Television and Radio)?

    7. Do BBC want blogs/twitters and technical boards to be encouraged, whilst minimising the "pull" of POV Television and Radio messageboards?

    8. Do BBC want to be seen as censoring/marginalising viewers' comments, in preference to asking only the questions THEY WANT to hear the answers to?

    9. ITV (as you linked to) don't have a problem with viewers commenting on their programmes, will BBC (in future) be denying THEIR viewers that same freedom?

    10. Can you categorically confirm that POV Television and Radio messageboards WILL NOT be closing, and that there is no plan, which has been discussed to close them, or move them further to the edge of BBC, and eventually out/closed?

    11. Why do you like blogs - it appears not very many messageboarders like them at all, and we have been vocal about WHY? We still don't know what you see as the pluses to blogging (from the point of view of posters OTHER THAN the original author/blogger)?

    12. Are you genuinely trying to IMPROVE all POV messageboards, or, ONLY the three techie boards - seeing "Television" and "Radio" as frivolous, and serving no purpose, other than a meeting place for posters to meet and "chat"!


    Thank you in anticipation.

  • Comment number 77.

    i'd like to know what the point of a "points of view" message board is if people are afraid of strong but valid criticism.

    or is this view redundant now that Peta has left?

  • Comment number 78.

    You say that you don't like "off topic" threads on the messageboards, BUT, by simply googling the first six channels/programmes which I watch I found the following.....

    CHANNEL 4

    https://community.channel4.com/groupee/forums

    and by opening just one board "Family" you find the following "General" topics in THAT particular section - others have their own "broad"/off topic threads, (not relating to a specific programme).

    https://community.channel4.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/8280090101


    ITV

    https://forums.itv.com/

    if you ferret about a bit, there are various "general" discussions, in different sections. Not really my favourite site now that I have viewed it a few times, and obviously NOT that popular with the general public, as when I visited there were only 2 members online, with 291 guests.

    HALLMARK CHANNEL

    https://www.hallmarkchannel.co.uk/forums.aspx

    They seem to be quite strict about what topics can be discussed. I may be missing something, but they seem to open sections for each series, and then you post to that section. I haven't spent much time looking but they don't appear to have an "off topic" section.


    NCIS - Programme on FX/CBS

    The forum for my favourite programme NCIS, on CBS, has TWO "off Topic" sections. One where posters can go off topic about NCIS, and another section where they can talk about anything they want.

    https://www.cbs.com/forum/forums/byCategory/26.page

    It's a wonderful site. Everyone is especially friendly, and obviously fans.


    FX CHANNEL

    https://community.fxuk.com/forums/default.aspx

    Again fairly restrictive, BUT, it does allow the odd "off topic" thread. Again, not too many posters.


    SKY

    Having ferreted about on SKY you seem to be able to post your own blogs (on any subject), AND start your own threads on the messageboards on ANY topic you want.

    So, of the six sites I visited (didn't look at any others - just randomly picked the six channels/programmes which I view), I found that only ONE channel (Hallmark) seems to restrict it's viewers to talking about only programmes, and doesn't appear to have an "off topic" area.

    If BBC decide that they are going to restrict posters to THEIR board, by NOT allowing an "OFF topic" area, then they are not following the general trend.

    Hope this information is of some use, in showing you how other channels operate THEIR messageboards.







  • Comment number 79.

    I forgot to say, that I really like Sky's joined up view of "Community". They have "Our blogs", "Your blogs" and "Forums" ALL on the same access page, so you can read blogs AND forums very easily. I also forgot to post the link.

    https://community.sky.com/home;jsessionid=nv7urz1cuniw

    It is also noticeable that SKY has the same problem as BBC, in so far as people don't seem to post replies to blogs and yet, are very keen to respond to threads on their messageboards.

    SKY DO, HOWEVER, seem to have a very unfortunate situation, of allowing posters who don't like a particular thread to have them deleted. Posters can't keep track of threads as they keep being deleted (especially annoying when they have written a long, well-thought out response, only to have it wheeched off the board).

  • Comment number 80.

    niclaramartin - thanks for all your comments and helpful links and suggestions. You should start a blog! If you did I wouldn't definitely read it!

    I am on leave until Monday 5th. I will answer some of your questions when I get back to work.

    However I will just try and answer one now.

    You seem to think that I favour the bbc.co.uk./Digital/The BBC parts of the POV boards and don't like the television one.

    In fact my opinion at the moment is that the Television section of the boards is more useful (and certainly more popular) than the other parts of the POV boards.

    I think in one of your comments you said that the bbc.co.uk board was "moribund". Currently I tend to agree with you.

    Hope this helps.

  • Comment number 81.

    Sorry, that should read "I WOULD definitely read it. A slip of the keyboard.

  • Comment number 82.

    Good one Nick, that inadvertant mistake made me laugh!

    Maybe you should offer Niclara a job. As you can see, she's very good at research. That last post of hers was very interesting, thanks Niclara.

  • Comment number 83.

    "If BBC decide that they are going to restrict posters to THEIR board, by NOT allowing an "OFF topic" area, then they are not following the general trend."

    The difference being that your examples are all private companies which can spend their money however they like. I think we all agree that the BBC needs to be far more careful about how it spends our licence fee and ensure that it provides value for money in the areas specified in its charter.

    The question then becomes: are the POV boards worth the money? It's pretty clear (to me, at least) that they're not really useful to the BBC as research and feedback channels. So why are we collectively spending money on them?

    The common answer seems to be "because we enjoy them and find them useful". I argue that this may well be true but is not sufficient; I would love it if the BBC provided me with lots of free, high-quality computer games but must acknowledge that doing so would not represent a valid use of licence payers' cash.

    Imagine that the POV boards are removed. We would then have a situation where:

    * BBC staff gain feedback from whatever channels they deem appropriate.

    * Viewers can provide unsolicited feedback and complaints through the official channels.

    What of value has been lost that the BBC has a duty to provide? (And please imagine that the last eight words of that sentence are in italics, because they are important - I am not disputing anyone's enjoyment of the message boards).

  • Comment number 84.

    "In fact my opinion at the moment is that the Television section of the boards is more useful (and certainly more popular) than the other parts of the POV boards.

    I think in one of your comments you said that the bbc.co.uk board was "moribund". Currently I tend to agree with you."

    Older hands on the POV messageboards could have told you this already.

    The categories we have now were not writ in stone from time immemorial, as you may have thought. Categories have come and gone over the years.

    "The BBC" category was a bit of a dumping ground for postings from a persistent poster named "Campaign for public service TV", who preferred to discuss the £3,000,000,000,000 TV tax rather than specific programmes. So "The BBC" was formed to keep the TV board a little tidier and good-natured.

    The bbc.co.uk category appeared in a similar way to keep the POV on-topic. It was never a major part of the POV site, just another dumping ground for off-topic threads.

    Dunno why Digital apppeared, someone else might remember.

    So, POV has always been a TV board (ALL TV, as the BBC doesn't exist in a vacuum), with a bit of Radio, a smidgen of Dr Who and some "POV: The Programme" (plus others) thrown into the mix when it felt like a good idea at the time and no matter how immaterial to the actual POV programme they were.

    Seperate BBC messageboards for The BBC, Radio, Digital, and bbc.co.uk (and Science... and Film... and Drama... and Cult... and Dr Who) would always be preferable, but somehow they all ended up attached to the 13 minute Terry Wogan/Jeremy Vine light-and-fluffy BBC clips show, POV.

    So, until the BBC grow up enough to have a proper MESSAGEBOARD where programme makers and decision makers aren't scared to post on, then POV will have to do.

  • Comment number 85.

    "Sorry, that should read "I WOULD definitely read it. A slip of the keyboard."

    ---------------------

    (laugh smiley) Freudian slip Nick........ (erm smiley)

    Bet you wish you had an "edit" facility now. (wink smiley). That would be quite useful on the messageboards too.

    Enjoy the break.

    --------------------------------------------------------


    Wombat Death

    "The question then becomes: are the POV boards worth the money? It's pretty clear (to me, at least) that they're not really useful to the BBC as research and feedback channels. So why are we collectively spending money on them?"

    Ah, but that is exactly the point. BBC have always under-used, and under-appreciated the amount of research they could do, simply tapping into the messageboards.

    A simple answer would be to have BBC High Heidjins organise for someone to be responsible for posting "relevant" questions to a sub-section of the Television board (along the lines of what POV Production team did some time ago). They could ask things like, "What do you think of Panorama/Question Time/"? "Would you watch a programme like the old Tomorrow's World"? "What type of technology are you interested in, and how would you like a programme to present these new technologies"? Or, there could be simple "What were your favourite 3 programmes this week (any channel)/BBC?"

    This would be a form of market research, and OK the opposition could also see this open forum, BUT, BBC as with the other channels would have input from viewers in the form of letters/emails/telephone calls etc. so, BBC would still retain some secrecy about the results. Staff could also read some of the threads where posters are voicing concerns about DOGs/IPPs/Voiceovers etc to see what is making viewers turn off. Or indeed read some of the very favourable threads about dramatisations on BBC (nice for the Director to get THAT sort of feedback). Even the threads on what programmes were our favourites from years ago, would show the strength of feeling for some "Golden Oldies"

    This would also, kill the second bird with the one stone, in that messageboarders would at long last feel that someone at BBC WAS paying attention to what they were posting.


    ------------------

    "ensure that it provides value for money in the areas specified in its charter"

    ------------------

    I would think from this experiment with messageboarders coming over to the blogs, we can patently see that a lot of time and effort goes into writing MOST of the blogs, but to be perfectly honest, the response to blogs (in comparison to any form of communication, and not just messageboards), is to be quite blunt, abysmal. Far too many blogs, have absolutely no comments, in response. So, blogs would appear to be a time-consuming, money-eating system which seem only to be of interest to BBC staff and a few bloggers. BBC's particular problem of style/layout and the fact that they are hidden away, (as opposed to Sky's very good "Community" layout), make BBC blogs very uncomfortable on the eye, difficult to read, and VERYYYYYYYYYYYYY time consuming scrolling up and down to read, and quote from various comments - all on the ONE page. (Note to Nick on this - well worth a look at Sky's layout of Community (blogs/forums), AND well worth a look at Matt Cutt's blog on the link I provided you with. Much easier on the eye, quote facility, alternate postings coming up in different colours and lots of other features, which make it so much more palatable than these blogs.

    In other words, BBC's messageboards are a lost opportunity and BBC blogs are very much "The emperor's new clothes". They absolutely are not fit for purpose, and are very consumer unfriendly.


    Nippie

    Thank you. Hope you find some interesting messageboards in the links.

  • Comment number 86.

    This link to a thread on the messageboards, shows just how useful some of the information from posters could be.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=5745294

    Lots of discussion of various books, reasons given why they would like to see "THEIR" favourite book adapted for television, and debate about why other posters don't like that particular choice. A very useful tool for research into viewer's reading habits, and what THEY want to see made into a programme/series. BUT, to date, these sorts of threads are being ignored, and that useful information disappears down the messageboard, unviewed by BBC staff.

  • Comment number 87.

    Some excellent posts ! Nick's blog is as clear as mud !

  • Comment number 88.

    Happy New Year everyone (well the three of us contributing to this blog - sorry Nick, not exactly setting the boards alight is it)

    You say.....

    "I'm trying to keep an open mind. But at the moment I'm afraid I rather agree with WombatDeath who says:

    ...there are much better tools (blogs, market research etc) which can - and presumably are - employed to gather feedback in a more focussed and less chaotic manner"

    I think, what we messageboards have said over and over, is that the response to the vast majority of blogs, is, unbelievable poor. A quick skim over previous blogs shows a HUGE number of blogs (which as I say, must have taken time to create), receiving NIL/NONE/ZERO/ZILCH/NADA/NOTHING in the way of comments. I would say that is a sign of a VERY VERY poor tool for receiving feedback.

    The problem is that BBC have NEVER developed a rapport with THEIR messageboarders, where they could tap in on the massive number of posters who visit the messageboards, as opposed to the far smaller number of posters to blogs.

    In other words, BBC are the ones who are NOT utilising the thoughts of their viewers properly.

    As you have seen from these blogs you simply had to say "Messageboards" and you had a huge influx of postings (I don't think you were prepared for that, given that you hid the link away on an obscure board).

    I think what you will now find is that the messageboarders WILL NOT be coming over to your blogs, as they have tasted it, and do not like it, much preferring their messageboards, so why would they wish to contribute to YOUR blog, when they can't stand blogs (I don't think I am exaggerating the hatred of blogs for messageboarders).

    So, BBC COULD, if they focused some threads, receive phenominal input from viewers/messageboarders (at minimal cost, unlike market research), and far more responses than you will EVER get to blogs.

    Therefore, I totally disagree with you and Wombatdeath. For the simple reason that the messageboards are where the viewers are/ receive massive input (too much for BBC to handle I think)/ they are very vocal in commenting/and BBC HAVE NOT worked out how to utilise this massive group of viewers to furnish information, seemingly determined to force messageboarders over to YOUR blogs and away from OUR messageboards.

    As I say, I think these three blogs have shown the strength of feeling/love of messageboards. The three blogs also show that messageboarders will not be coming over to talk to you on YOUR blogs (they hate the whole concept and layout). If BBC would set up a subsection on the messageboard and ask for focused responses to set questions (overseen by a staff member/market researcher, the way blogs have a single author, then I am certain BBC would receive amazingly good responses). Try it for a while and see how it goes.

    As for myself, this is my last posting to blogs, because, like the other messageboarders, I really DO NOT like them. I detest the layout, the scrolling up and down, the lack of definition between posters, the poor response - waiting for ONE person (the author to come back) meaning that the blog stalls (unlike messageboards which continually move along), and .......... well just EVERYTHING.

  • Comment number 89.

    Ditto the above.... this blog has healed up from lack of use and no visible signs of care from the owner.

    Over and out.

    Nick, if you'd like to join us, you know where we are...

  • Comment number 90.

    I'll join you (on the blog) when I get back to work tomorrow.

  • Comment number 91.

    Sorry Nick, you have mis-read me. You can join all of us on the Message boards...there is nothing for us here.

    Another analogy warning: We are talking amongst ourselves in a very busy party, and you are sitting outside alone in your car with a sticker in the window stating: "Tell me why the party is so good....PS I am calling the Police in a minute"

  • Comment number 92.

    The car door is open.

  • Comment number 93.

    It may be open but everytime we get in your backseat you ignore us... so eventually we all leave you as we get the feeling we would be better off going back to the party - to where everyone else is, where there is a dialogue... a response.

  • Comment number 94.

    Okay Nick, can I just pose some questions:

    If blogs are your (or the BBC's) view of the way forward with listener and viewer interaction, what amount of control will you allow to us, as the people who pay your salaries, to open up and start our own blogs on the site, to start discussions about what really concern us about the Beeb?

    Or are we supposed to conform to a rigid set of topics imposed by an unnamed entity within the Corporation. Let me give you an example - if you shoot over to the 6Music boards you will see a very active, very verbose discussion going on about the, how shall I put this, 'controversial' George Lamb show. Over 9000 messages in the last year. Can you honestly tell me, hand on heart, that there would be any appetite at the Beeb to open such a discussion via a 'blog'?

    I note that Channel 4, which is not a licence paid company and really are well within their rights to ignore viewer feedback, quite clearly promote the messageboards on their frontpage. Why does the BBC persist in burying them away on lower level pages, at the bottom of screens etc?

    Or is the car door closing again?

  • Comment number 95.

    In fact, Nick, as an addendum to my previous post, the 6Music community site is well worth looking at. You will find that there is a healthy interaction going on their with two of the most talented broadcasters, Marc Riley and Gideon Coe, who are more than happy to take part in the lively messageboard discussions going on.

    On the blog side of things, there's just Steve Lamaq's posts. 15 comments on the blogs in the last three months. That's about the hourly rate on the forums.

    So you can see where the 6Music listeners preferences are....

  • Comment number 96.

    loudGeoff. Nick has not said that blogs are the way ahead... that is talking ourselves out of the forums. He said he personally liked blogs and did not like the POV MBs. The case for MB has been re-itterated many times on here and clearly the evidence of the miniscule number of posts to BBC blogs shows where the majority of users' preferences lie.

    The BBC is ratings led, and on that policy alone, the blogs are a disaster.

  • Comment number 97.

    loudGeoffW - its very good if 6music presenters are engaging with listeners on the 6music message boards.

    The question is why isn't this happening on the POV boards?

    The answer to your question about George Lamb is I hope there would be an appetite for such a conversation on a blog.

  • Comment number 98.

    At 3:43pm on 05 Jan 2009, Nick_iPlayer_Host wrote:

    The question is why isn't this happening on the POV boards?>>


    Nick, we all know the reason... the POV board was set up as a place for the viewers to discuss amongst themselves. No where does it say it is a channel to feedback to the BBC - nowhere is there any implication that producers have access to the site. - clearly the complaints channel and info@BBC...are the only channels to contact the BBC (and let's not get into why they are futile for us).

    Yes, maybe in our minds there is a vain hope that someone of power reads our posts. .. and one of the reasons you will see such vitriol against the BBC as an institution is that the POV board (by it's name ) implies we should have a voice - but posters soon see that POV is nothing but a ring fenced enclave far distant from BBC Towers.

    If the POV Production team don't even respond to posts on a board that bears their name, there is clearly no confidence in their own abilities to fight the unfightable fight in defending an institution that is increasingly misaligned with their audience.

    2008 has been the worst of years for the BBC and they need to start being a little bit more open in communicating with their audience. Closing it down to corralled content on a few windswept blogs is exactly what we (and the BBC) do not need.

  • Comment number 99.

    Nick OD's talking a lot of sense, please listen to him .

  • Comment number 100.

    Message 97 Nick posted

    "loudGeoffW - its very good if 6music presenters are engaging with listeners on the 6music message boards.

    The question is why isn't this happening on the POV boards?"

    Well Nick, I don't know - I'm not a mind reader. Why don't you ask the powers that be why they don't want to get involved with the messageboards.

 

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