April 2007 Archives

April 30, 2007

Peter from Spalding is not impressed by the BBC Trust's iPlayer approval

The torturous path to the BBC actually launching the long-awaited iPlayer got a little shorter with the announcement that the BBC Trust has approved the plans. This hasn't impressed everybody though. Faced with the ability to download TV programmes from the last 7 days over the internet for free, with 30 days to watch the files, Peter from Spalding was less than happy. He had the honour of being the first, and at the time of writing this, so...
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Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Daily Mail?

Last week I started a survey looking at the extent to which British newspaper websites have incorporated the technologies of Web 2.0 into their sites. I've been looking for things like RSS feeds, buttons to add stories to social bookmarking sites, blogging, and the incorporation of user comments into the site. So far I have looked at the Daily Express, The Times, The Mirror and The Telegraph. This week I wanted to start with an analysis of The Daily Mail's...
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April 27, 2007

"This Is Not My Country" blogger outed by racists and nationalists in Greece

The furore around the unpleasant things written about A-list blogger Kathy Sierra sparked a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided attempt by the great and the good of blogging to frame a code of ethics for the online world. The inevitable failure of this initiative stems from the fact that regardless of how many sheriff badges you can stick on your blog, the kind of people who don't want to play by the normal rules of social interchange are going to ignore...
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April 26, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Telegraph?

I've been looking at the extent to which different newspapers in the UK have adopted so-called "Web 2.0" technologies in their web sites. So far I've covered The Mirror, The Times and The Express. Today I want to look at the online version of The Telegraph. The Telegraph has been quite bullish in recent months over their internet performance, boasting of being "Britain's No.1 quality newspaper website". Unlike the laughable claim of The Daily Express to be the world's best...
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April 25, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Mirror?

I've been looking at the extent to which the online versions of British newspapers have adopted the technologies of web 2.0 - things like RSS feeds, blogging and social bookmarking. So far I've looked at The Express and The Times, and today I'm looking at The Mirror. The Mirror's most recent redesign on the web has been without doubt one of the ugliest attempts yet to spray-paint a little web 2.0 gloss on a postively web 1.0 user experience....
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April 24, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Times?

I've been doing a survey of British newspaper websites, looking at the extent to which they have incorporated and promote the clutch of technologies that power the Web 2.0 concept - things like RSS feeds, social bookmarking widgets, and blogging platforms. Yesterday I started the series with a look at the Daily Express, and today I want to look at another newspaper that recently redesigned their online presence, The Times. RSS feeds The Times, like the Daily Express, is...
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April 23, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is the Daily Express?

The Web 2.0 new media buzz-word has penetrated the mainstream media as a short-hand for all sorts of new internet-enabled technologies. I was curious to see how many of the British Press have actually themselves adopted any of the kinds of functionailty and services bracketed under the Web 2.0 "concept". I have therefore done a survey of the main British newspaper websites, looking at the extent to which they include or promote things like RSS feeds, blogging, user-generated content...
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April 20, 2007

The Rhino Hi-Fives reinvent the 'Greatest Hits EP' for the digital era

When I was writing last week about the relaunch of the Sony Connect music download store in Europe, I mentioned a promotion for "Rhino Hi-Fives", and I wanted to look at the content of that promotion in a little more detail, and examine the way it represents a reaction to some changes in the consumption of music. The Rhino Hi-Fives are a series of five-track downloads from a particular artist. Rhino Hi-Fives are the first ever product line created exclusively...
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April 19, 2007

One of my Flickr photographs inspires a stinky Ficlet

I only discovered Ficlets via a comment on one of my Flickr photos saying it had been the inspiration for a short story. Robotech_Master wrote Territorial based on this picture of mine from Salzburg Zoo Ficlets allows you to post a prequel or sequel to somebody else's short story, so maybe I should write something adjoining the story based around the fact that the lion in Salzburg Zoo actually rejoices in the name "Stinki"?...
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April 18, 2007

Add nothing to your basket at MyDailyMirror.com

When The Mirror recently redesigned their website, it looked like someone had just broken out the crayons in a box marked "Crazy Web 2.0 Photoshop Gradients". As you can see, the effect has also spread to MyDailyMirror.com. This is the Mirror's site where customers can purchase copies of famous Daily Mirror front pages from throughout the paper's history. Or not, in the case of recent titles. Despite the fact that you'd expect it to be easier to lay your...
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April 17, 2007

It was twenty years ago today...The Beatles CD reissues from 1987

  Download a print version of this article in Word format ...well, not twenty years ago today exactly to be honest, but bear with me. Over recent months there has been a lot of focus on the digital availability, or lack of, of The Beatles back catalogue. There has been endless speculation that the settling of lawsuits between Apple the computer company and Apple the Beatles music company might herald the iTunes exclusive availability of The Beatles music. EMI's announcement of...
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April 16, 2007

BBC Trust abolished not just the BBC Governors, but their URLs as well

When I was writing my post about the BBC's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, I was researching the history of the Balen and Quentin Thomas reports into the subject. Whilst I was doing so I came across the rather depressing fact that at the start of the year the BBC Trust didn't just replace the abolished Board of BBC Governors, they abolished their URLs as well. The results of the Quentin Thomas report were announced by the BBC on...
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April 13, 2007

Sony Connect music download store relaunches in Europe - part two

Yesterday I was writing about the new design of Sony's European 'Connect' music download store. Before Christmas I worked on the information architecture and wireframes for the relaunch of the service. As ever, during the course of a web site launch some compromises have to be made between design and implementation, and there are some areas of the new version of the site which I don't think are yet working to their optimum, or quite as they were designed. Some...
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April 12, 2007

Sony Connect relaunches with improved information architecture for browsing

One of the projects I worked on before Christmas at Sony NetServices in Austria was the information architecture and wireframes for a redesign of Sony's European music download service - Sony Connect. The service allows users to buy music for upload onto their digital Sony Walkman devices. This is handled by Sony's SonicStage music management software, and the Connect store acts as a web interface into the service over the internet, and then as an embedded store when you are...
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April 11, 2007

The Sun's MY Sun registration systems and odd date range behaviour

When I was looking at The Sun's online registration functionality to research my Easter Bunnies competition post, I noticed something odd about the date range they offered, which is a mistake commonly made across the web. In the wireframes I've made for Sony NetServices, I've always specified the date-range to be displayed, and the order in which it should be displayed. Not everybody seems to think this through though. The Sun's registration process asks for a birthdate, and gets...
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April 10, 2007

DirectGov's indirect use of Google Ads

When I was researching my recent post about the Biased BBC blog on global warming, I was looking for some information on CO2 emissions. Naturally my research started at the Google search box, and when I got my results I was surprised to see that a link to DirectGov was one of the sponsored results for that search - how very pro-active I thought. But I was even more surprised when I clicked it, and was taken through to...
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April 9, 2007

Print versions now available for some currybetdotnet articles

Some time ago a student emailed me to say that a couple of my articles about search had been very useful to them in their studies, but to complain that there wasn't an easy way to print out entire articles from this site. About a year later I've finally got around to producing downloadable and printable versions of the articles on the site, so if you ever fancied your own cut-out-and-keep guide to a day in the life of BBCi...
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April 5, 2007

Will virtual representations of sporting events become part of the online rights economy?

Having been in Austria at the start of the tournament, and in Greece for the conclusion, neither of which are renowned for their love of the game, following the Cricket World Cup has been somewhat problematic. The BBC's Test Match Special podcast is available to me, but sadly the live commentary is firmly locked behind the BBC's GeoIP firewall. So I've been casting my eye around the rest of the web for coverage. Like the BBC, the Guardian has been...
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April 4, 2007

Vodafone relaunches their web music store in the UK

Whilst working at Sony over the last 6 months I haven't really been able to write about it very much on currybetdotnet - in stark contrast to the way I used to blog the absolute minutiae of working at the BBC. This was mostly due to the fact that the part of Sony I was working in, Sony NetServices, acts as a service provider for other parts of the Sony empire and other large European brands like Vodafone and I...
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April 3, 2007

The ten things most likely to be on The Daily Express front page

Download a print version of this article What is the Daily Express actually for? It is a question that has plagued me for some time. I mean, there are some papers whose purpose is clear. The Guardian is there as a recruiting tool for the BBC. The Daily Mail is there to channel the seething disapproval of the English middle classes. And The Sunday Sport is there so short people and poor people can get their grubby paws on lots...
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April 2, 2007

backstage.bbc.co.uk discussion about my old BBC homepage stats article

Last week the delightful and ever-entertaining[1] Kim Plowright published a couple of stats breakdowns of browser and OS usage on the BBC's site on the backstage.bbc.co.uk mailing list. Although the page impression figures were stripped out, she gave percentage breakdowns for the use of browsers across the whole of the site. In the course of the debate reference was made to my own article from the end of 2005 about the user-agent strings that visited the BBC homepage. Whilst...
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