Chipwrapper and the Ofcom PSB review

 by Martin Belam, 26 April 2008

It seems that quite a lot of people I'm connected to via teh interwebz over the last couple of weeks have been slowly making their way through the mountain of documents that Ofcom have issued as part of their second review into Public Service Broadcasting.

Martin Moore, whilst praising the PSB blog, has been thoroughly bogged down in the detail:

" The wonderful thing about the internet is that OFCOM can publish as much as it likes without worrying about killing lots and lots of trees. The terrible thing about the internet is that OFCOM can publish as much as it likes without worrying about killing lots and lots of trees. You could spend days, weeks down here and never see the light of day. "

On Twitter, Nick Reynolds was approaching the documentation with trepidation. And Adrian Monck tipped me off that one of the supplement Ofcom documents mentioned Chipwrapper, my set of search tools for British newspapers and news sources.


Annex 8 is a "Review of availability of public service content online" carried out by MTM London from November last year.

Mention of Chipwrapper comes in the section about public service 'News and Comment' sites online:

" News provision comes from a mix of domestic and international sources, with overseas sites providing some of the best international coverage (Newsweek, New York Times) while British sites offer some of the most innovative debating platforms and tools ( and Chipwrapper). Obviously, the primary demand of the UK citizen will be for UK-centric content, and so most UK residents will rely on UK provision for the majority of the time. "

The MTM report commissioned by Ofcom goes on to put Chipwrapper in the category of 'Scrapers, aggregators and tools' and says that:

" This category contains a range of news capturing, searching and presentational tools that allow users to find, rearrange and receive their news in a format of their choosing. Some of these sites are advertising-funded commercial enterprises (e.g. Google News) while others are smaller, individual sites with no clear funding models (e.g. SaysWho, Chipwrapper). "

The report includes a graph of the relative traffic of the public service sites that MTM identified. The source of the figures was Nielsen NetRatings, and they didn't have any data for Chipwrapper.

Ofcom graph showing Chipwrapper at zero users

I'm happy to be able to confirm that the graph would not have looked significantly different if the number had been available to them. It is very nice to see that the work has been noticed though.

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