December 2004 Archives

December 29, 2004

Asian earthquake appeal

At short notice today we put together a homepage promo in support of the BBC television and radio appeals today for aid for the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Asia. I was very impressed with the way a fraction of our regular homepage team worked together to get it produced so quickly. I can only hope it encourages or reminds some people to donate the much needed money....
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Today's Listener's Lord

The Today programme's Listener's Lord vote is under way. The nomination list is slightly more eclectic than I was expecting - Camila Batmanghelidjh, James Dyson, Julia Higgins, Inderjit Singh and Bob Geldof are up for the honour. The vote closes on Friday - and I'm having fun this week as due to the number of people on holiday it is down to me to pick through and audit the voting data. It is nice to actually be getting my hands...
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December 27, 2004

Christmas Presents on Christmas Day from

On Christmas day this year the BBC homepage re-ran the 24 presents that had been the lunchtime "special" promotions, like an advent calender, in the run up to the holiday. Well, sort of. Some of the original presents, like that promoting the Five Live Sporting Year vote were time sensitive, and couldn't be repeated - they were replaced with promotions specific to some of the BBC One Christmas day television programming.          I was really impressed with the...
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December 26, 2004

The news doesn't stop at Christmas

Sadly the news doesn't go on holiday even when we are, and this morning the homepage is in Breaking News mode to reflect the terrible events in Asia where thousands of people have been killed in massive sea surges. Natural disasters have no respect for our festive calender - it is two years to the day since the devastating earthquake at Bam in Iran....
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December 23, 2004

Nominate your Listener's Lord

There is barely an hour and a half to go to get your nomination in for the Today programme's Listener's Lord vote - entries close at 9:30am this morning. After that the programme will be moving on to the second stage of the process, and you'll be able to vote online between Christmas and New year for who you think out of the shortlist most deserves to be enobled. The results are due to be announced on January 3rd....
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December 20, 2004

More site closures for

The BBC today announced further closures on, as a mixture of a response to the DCMS review and a response to the requirement to cut costs. US Sports and Legacies are to go, whilst Films and Cult are to be re-prioritised. The closure of "Get Writing" wasn't specifically mentioned in the press release today, although it has been trailed for some time to the community that use the service. One paragraph of today's press release naturally caught my eye:...
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December 17, 2004

The old Points Of View message board closes for good

And so it is goodbye to "Ol' Blue" as the previous Points of View message board incarnation slips slowly into the read-only night of being archived. Some of the community have jumped ship to form their own group on MSN, but most have safely made the transfer to the brave new world of a board hosted on the BBC's DNA platform. And so far only two hootoo regulars have barged in, which counts as a success in my book ;-)...
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December 13, 2004

Breaking Sports News on the BBC homepage

I've written before about how we developed the "Big Red Button" for the homepage, which displays News in the main promotional section of the page during major events. Well last night and this morning we used a new variation on this, putting the page into Breaking Sports News mode - which I am sure in time will be dubbed the "Big Yellow Button" due to BBC Sport's choice of branding colour. We used it to report on Kelly...
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December 9, 2004

New features available from the homepage

A couple of changes have been made to the homepage today, to link through to two new types of content that are being piloted on the web site. Under the "Other people are searching for" links in the Search area of the page, you'll now find a link to a page featuring "What's popular and new on This is pulling together displays of user activity around the site, and so lists amongst other things the most listened to...
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Voting prejudice

This week Woman's Hour announced that Pride and Prejudice was the winner in their Women's Watershed Fiction vote, which was run for Radio 4 by members of my team. The vote attracted over 14,000 users, which we were very pleased with. Still, there was an article in The Guardian's G2 section today about the result, which of course used images from the stunningly successful recent adaptation of the book for television - and of course, Colin Firth was featured...
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December 7, 2004

The more things change...

I hate the days when the BBC becomes the news rather than reports the news - and today has been one of them: BBC Boss Swings the Axe On Jobs screamed the headline of tonight's Evening Standard, which was obviously a comfort as I trudged away from a very long day at Bush House. Still it is nice to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Today's announcement from Director-General Mark Thompson was made...
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December 6, 2004 gets animated over Doctor Who

The homepage got all animated today in anticipation of the forthcoming series of Doctor Who - promoting the teaser trailer that is now available online. It was a visual approach the team first took to promote last years webcast - Scream Of The Shalka - which featured Richard E Grant as the Doctor. At the time I was so excited I downloaded and resized the animated TARDIS image to use as the screensaver on my T610...
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December 5, 2004

Top 100 of 2004 Vote on the BBC Asian Network

Today the BBC Asian Network have been promoting their Top 100 of 2004 Vote on their homepage. This is another in a series of end of year votes set up and produced by my team. The vote closes on December 24th, and the results will form a countdown chart programme for broadcast on New Years Eve....
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December 3, 2004

Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search - part 5

This is part 5 of a 5 part article - 1 2 3 4 5   Download a print version of this article Fine Tune The Way You Present Different Datasets Within any modern enterprise it is likely that you will have multiple datasets or potential sources of data available to your users when they search. To improve the efficiency of a search it is important that each of these datasets is displayed to the user in a useful way....
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Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search - part 4

This is part 4 of a 5 part article - 1 2 3 4 5   Download a print version of this article Fine Tune The Way You Handle Enterprise Specific Jargon & Acronyms The majority of enterprises develop their own short hand language - whether it is acronyms, nicknames, or code numbers to describe people, roles, departments or documents and data. It can be very difficult for a new employee, a customer, or your audience to understand what you...
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Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search - part 3

This is part 3 of a 5 part article - 1 2 3 4 5   Download a print version of this article Fine Tune Your Content If you are using software to search over an intranet, it is important to make sure that in your content production processes you are maximising the amount of assistance you are giving the software. Many years ago when I took my first programming steps with my trusty old ZX Spectrum I learnt the...
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Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search - part 2

This is part 2 of a 5 part article - 1 2 3 4 5   Download a print version of this article Fine Tune Your Presentation of Results At the BBC we have carried out considerable user testing over the last few years into the interfaces that our staff use to search across our intranet, and that our audience uses to search across The one message that has come across to us time and time again is that...
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Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search - part 1

This is part 1 of a 5 part article - 1 2 3 4 5   Download a print version of this article Introduction It is increasingly recognised in the modern enterprise that getting the processes of searching for and retrieving information right in a business can deliver a vital competitive edge. In a knowledge based economy employees who can't find vital internal information about their jobs are less productive, and with the advent of the web, potential customers who...
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December 2, 2004

Points Of View on

Today we launched a new version of the BBC's Points Of View message board. The BBC is in the process of migrating the heavily over-subscribed message boards on from our old bespoke howerd2 software to a new bespoke solution - the DNA platform the BBC acquired with the purchase of the h2g2 site back in 2001. Points of View is a pilot of the migration process, along with the boards for Radio 1Xtra and 6Music. I was impressed...
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Last chance to vote in Radio Five Live's Sporting Year

Radio Five Live's Sporting Year got today's Christmas Present promotional treatment on the homepage - you'll have to hurry though, voting closes on December 3rd. You get to pick what you think are the five most significant sporting moments of last year from a nomination list, and then rate them in order. The results will form part of Five Live's review of the year, broadcast over the holiday season....
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December 1, 2004

Christmas Presents from

If you were visiting the homepage today at lunchtime you may have got a nice surprise - a present......
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