Social media and www.bbc.co.uk
Yesterday I wrote about the disappointing performance of the UK's terrestrial broadcasters on social media sites. During the course of my recent month long study, aside from the BBC, I only spotted one URL from Channel 4 become popular. There was no content at all from ITV or Five.
However, the BBC figure is, of course, distorted by the inclusion of BBC News stories in the figure of 341 popular social media URLs. Indeed, if I excluded content that was served on the news.bbc.co.uk domain, I found that only 5 items from the rest of the BBC were popular.
BBC Monitoring on Newsvine
These 5 popular social media links included a sample story from the BBC Monitoring service on Newsvine. Hosted on the www.monitor.bbc.co.uk domain, this became a seed on Newsvine.
Non-news content on Digg
3 of the www.bbc.co.uk URLs I recorded became popular on Digg. However, two of these were from the dot.life technology blog, which is essentially also BBC News output, but which does not have a news.bbc.co.uk URL for infrastructure reasons. Posts from Darren Waters about vintage gaming and the Electronic Arts gaming software house were the items that caught the Digger's collective eye.
The third article to become popular on Digg was a feature on the BBC's Birmingham website. This was an article about the existence of aliens and UFOs based upon an interview on BBC West Midlands local radio with Timothy Good.
BBC Music Beta on Delicious
The remaining non-news URL that became prominent was on the Delicious service, which saw a lot of bookmarks for the launch of the BBC's Music Beta website.
All of the other 341 BBC URLs that became popular on the front pages of social bookmarking services during the month I was monitoring them were on the news.bbc.co.uk domain. Now, of course, the content on the BBC News site is the most likely to lend itself to the kind of social sharing site like Reddit or Newsvine, but it is astonishingly dominant over content appearing on www.bbc.co.uk - by a factor of 67 to 1.
It is notable, for example, that no URL for the iPlayer service became individually popular on any service. Nor did any content belonging directly to one of the BBC's TV channels or radio stations. Local news and reporting was only represented by content on the news.bbc.co.uk site, and not by any content from the vast number of local sites the BBC operates much to the annoyance of the local newspaper industry. There is, it seems, an incredible amount of licence fee money being spent on producing content for www.bbc.co.uk that simply isn't appealing to the web 'influencers' who drive the popularity of links on social bookmarking services.