Popular Links in print

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 27 May 2003

I was delighted today when it was pointed out to me that the 'Popular Links' feature on the BBCi homepage that I helped develop had made it into print - even if it was only Matthew Norman's diary column in The Guardian -

A reader who logged on to the BBC website last week was intrigued to note that the most popular searches currently include Princess Anne. "Having an inquisitive mind, I clicked on the link to find that the BBC search engine lists, in order, the princess's own site followed by an anagram creator," he writes, "which gives the example that 'Princess Anne' creates the anagram 'penis scanner'. Who says that the BBC doesn't show suitable deference to this country's leading family?"

The Guardian, Page 16, Tuesday May 27 2003

It is always good to get empirical usability evidence that nobody is reading the large disclaimer about the BBC not being responsible for the content of external websites, or finding the link to complain about offensive sites directly to us. Mind you, we don't usually carry out our user testing in the national press :-)

...and at least it is not as bad as the last time one of my search reporting products made it into The Guardian, when Media Monkey reported that as Mike Smartt was unveiling the unfiltered real-time search monitor I developed for BBC News Online it proudly proclaimed "Max Gadney is a cunt" in, as The Guardian was happy to point out, a touching reference to one of our top web designers.

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