Wednesday 10 March 2010

The SuperPower season and the BBC's love for blogs

BBC SuperPower Season

The BBC will team up with Global Voices for a 'SuperPower' season on the Internet. Steve Herrmann reveals all in this blog post.
"As part of the BBC's SuperPower season - a special series on the internet - we will be teaming up with Global Voices, a non-profit blogging network of citizen journalists, to present a different range of perspectives and commentary from around the world."
It's a move described by one former BBC journalist as "long overdue". (And I know someone else at the Corporation who has been banging on about this sort of thing for some time.)

Meanwhile, BBC presenter Mishal Husain has been twittering away on the Superpower project asking whether the Internet is the greatest superpower the world has ever seen and the like.

The BBC's love for blogs...

Last week, the BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson described comments on his blog as "a waste of time" prompting to ask whether the BBC was "falling out of love with blogging". might have pointed out that Nick is still blogging away long after he started his first blog for the BBC way back in 2001. And that the BBC has started a new Arts blog recently, got this one and this one running properly at the back end of last year. Then there's this TV blog that started in February. And did I mention that Have Your Say has been turned into a blog too?

OK, so maybe there is not the 'first love' excitement of Paul Mason dodging behind the BBC's bike sheds to set up his Newsnight blog in the early days but the BBC and blogs appear to have settled down into a pretty committed long term relationship.

In any case, Nick was going after comments rather than blogging per se. I might have some sympathy with him if I attracted his level of comments on any blog I wrote. As it is I think I can say: "you don't know what you've got til it's gone".

But on a serious note it seems to me that comments remain a serious issue for the BBC and other media organisations. What to do with them? How to display them? Do you allow quantity to the detriment of quality? And if you go for 'quality' - whatever you decide that to mean - are you willing to suffer the inevitable accusations of censorship, bias etc (especially problematic when you're funded by a licence fee)?

To be honest, I'm glad it's somebody else's problem. In the meantime, I'll publish every comment I get. Unless it's spam. (Don't get any ideas, spammers.)

Totally free bonus interesting stuff section:
  • Match of the Day: Plaut/Whitehead/Horrocks/BBC World Service vs Geldoff/BandAid/NGOs/Ethiopia
  • What the BBC's Strategy Review really says about online.
  • The BBC have hired some consulting people to "work with them looking at the overlap between their enthusiastic entry into the world of social media (especially blogs) and their responsibility to be accountable to the people who pay their licence fee."


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