FM&T Journalism | 15:33 UK time, Thursday, 27 May 2010

Comments (1)

Journalism Labs, launched at the end of 2008, was a six month experiment to share the work of the technical and design teams behind the BBC News, Sport and Weather websites.

The experiment is now over and we've decided to close the blog. We will continue to share our work on the BBC Internet Blog and on The Editors Blog. Watch out for some exciting developments this year.

Thank-you for all your contributions.

As Gene Hunt said when all was said and done... "Pub?"

The scheduled sporting calendar

James Howard | 17:33 UK time, Thursday, 13 August 2009

Comments (17)

Back in March when we relaunched the F1 section of the sport site we ran a small trial around making the broadcast data available for people to download into their online calendars.

We had many positive feedback emails around this - people were planning their weekends around the F1 coverage - and so I did a little digging around to see what other people were up to around the BBC.

Tom Scott and Duncan Robertson wrote about the work that they did over a year ago on schedules. Duncan wrote on the radio labs blog:

"iCalendar is a standard for calendar data exchange. It is most notably used by Apple's iCal application, Microsoft's Outlook and Google Calendar, to import and export calendar information."

The one that caught my eye though was the athletics schedule that has been created - ideal with the world athletics just round the corner.

As Duncan suggested in his post, I had a play around with the URLs to see what I could get specifically for sport.

This is what I managed to get for football:

Be warned, this is all football on the BBC, TV and radio. It's a lot.

Then (with some advice from my colleague Alex) managed to break the feed down by platform:

which is a lot more manageable

Here are few others I found:

I subscribed (don't use import!) to these feeds using the 'add by URL' function in Google calender

Other calendars are available! Not every format or bowser is suported at the moment but please feel free to have a play.


BBC schedules are published up to 7 days in advance so these don't show the whole football or F1 season. And it is TV and radio information. No additional red button or online only broadcasts.

The version we did for the F1 site has all the races and sessions that were being broadcast in for the season, which judging by the feedback, was what people wanted.

Let me know if you find this a useful feature. We already have feeds of programme and iplayer information on the sport site but having the broadcast information updated into an online version - and then maybe onto your mobile - seems like a good way to help avoid clashes with other commitments. Like holidays or work.

Major events like the Winter Olympics and the World Cup are ideal opportunities, although maybe the information being available a bit further in advance would be useful.

This is BBC broadcast data and not fixture data - I have already had requests in the office for full 6 nations fixtures and individual files for every football club. Not to mention motoGP and all major golf tournaments.

Maybe next season.

James Howard
Executive Product Manager, Sport

A slightly different ball game

James Howard | 17:31 UK time, Friday, 7 August 2009

Comments (16)

Almost as soon as the F1 season had started and had settled down, minds were refocussed on what we needed to achieve on the sport site for the new football season.

When the deal was signed for BBC Sport to have Football League and Carling Cup highlights on the site, we saw it as an excellent opportunity to revisit the club pages and the divisional indexes - as well as revisiting the way we do live coverage of each match.

Lewis Wiltshire on the sport site has explained some of the restrictions (we only have the highlights for 7 days and can only be put up 24 hours after matches).

There will be goals from every match and a round up of action from the Championship, League 1 and League 2 . Highlights will be on the site for 7 days and available to watch 24 hours after matches finish. The SPL pages have also been updated.

We knew that some of our club pages still hadn't been worked on since or last design iteration of teh Sport site and weren't doing a great job of showing off all the content that we had for fans.

The basic rule of thumb that we are using is that club specific information - stories, video, audio, data - goes into the main central column and information that was more generally about football on the site - The Gossip column, blog posts, broadcast information, iplayer details - goes into the right hand column.programmes.gif

All of these pages (over 100) have now been redesigned to accomodate video and more data that is specific to the clubs. We still have a few more modules to roll out once we have that data.

Our live coverage of all matches in the Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2 as well as the SPL also needed looking at. In the past we had a few pages where match data appeared and some of it was overwritten on a weekly basis.

The concept we worked to was known as 'one page/URL per match'. A single, permanent 'match page' for every game in the major league and cup competitions. Hopefully something that fans can use a reference to see who really did get that assist in that crucial midweek match.live_scores.gif

As a process we start with the preview of the match, maybe written a couple of days previous to the game, and then the live data - the score, live text, team line ups and substitutions, goal scorers, bookings, possession, corners etc - gets added to the page just before kick off. And finally the match report, reaction and video highlights are added. next3.gif

Live video will be added when relevant and there will be a "live as it happens" table that allows users to see the latest positions of clubs as goals are scored.

Work has also been done to improve the mobile offering so from today we are offering the option of customising your homepage. You can opt for club News, Results and fixtures on a per club basis (as opposed to divisional). Further roll outs will include the live text per match as well. No video on mobile though.

With fixtures coming thick and fast across these divisions - there are 36 in the Championship in the first 11 days and 30 odd Carling Cup matches - there should be a wealth of goals for you to watch.

Next big event for sport: Winter Olympics from Vancouver.

James Howard
Executive Product Manager, Sport

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