New features available from the homepage

 by Martin Belam, 9 December 2004

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.

The search box on the homepage with today's newly added link to popular and new content on the 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

Screenshot of the 'Popular and new' page on

This is pulling together displays of user activity around the site, and so lists amongst other things the most listened to shows from the Radio Player, the news stories that have been most 'emailed to a friend', and has an expanded display of popular searches.

At the foot of the Browse section on the homepage you'll also now find some links to guides.

Links through to guides on the BBC homepage

These are pages which pull together from around the BBC and the web links to information about a subject for which the BBC has a lot of content, but no content owner. Christmas is a classic example of where will produce a great deal of content, but we do not have

Screenshot of the guide to Christmas

These pages also allow us to promote some of the user generated content from Video Nation and h2g2, as well as provide links through to the web in context.

Screenshot of the guide to Tobacco and Smoking

The content currently covered also includes Games, India, Maths, Harry Potter, Romans, Soaps and Travel.


All this stuff is very interesting . . . obviously it's being piloted at the moment, and I think such pages could prove very useful to visitors of a site as huge and varied as (although, of course, how long it remains as huge and varied is another matter *cough*).


- the 'what's popular and new on' link is a bit clunky, although it does what it says on the tin. How has the content on that page been decided? (i.e. things like the BBC News Magazine having such priority?) The bottom six panels also seem a bit arbitrary (films? have your say? what's on?) In the future, if that page was somehow customisable to allow the visitor to select from particular areas . . . ?

- the guides have a hell of a lot of potential, I think. But again, interested in how the content is selected. Is it automatic? I think from what both users to our site (Ouch) and those elsewhere in the BBC have told us, a 'disability' guide would be useful, as we know there are bits and pieces out there on apart from just us.

- and a final facetious comment :-) We've got to get some new Christmas stock photos in ELVIS. I've used that bauble god knows how many times, and I keep seeing it everywhere else too . . .

It's recycling. Helps the earth :)

I think these are great, it'll save me a lot of clicking around. Although how much I'll care to read the bbc site after next week I don't know. Probably about the level of 'don't'.

commendable yes but am i not mistaken in thinking that reently closed its games portal in response to philip graf review of the site.

what is different between the two? i can't see it - both help navigation, both do not create games... classic bbc then - close one site on friday launch exactly the same in a different corner on the monday.

just how different are these guides from things that already exist? replication is very different to recycling - these are not automated sites are they - more manpower required to build them - make it easier for user yes but not efficient is it?

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