Here are all of the posts tagged ‘BBC’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #18

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Today’s Monday Mashup coming at you with the help of Melina Hägglund. Let’s get to it.

Hot off the press: Twitter announces @anywhere platform
In his keynote at the South by Southwest festival in Austin today, Evan William (@ev) has announced a new platform, called @Anywhere:

The service will add a range of functionality, such as allowing users to login to third-party websites using their Twitter account – similar to Facebook Connect – and to follow a columnist on Twitter, for example, by clicking on their byline.

Over on the official Twitter blog, they describe the move as adding the Twitter experience anywhere on the web:

Soon, sites many of us visit every day will be able to recreate these open, engaging interactions providing a new layer of value for visitors without sending them to… Rather than implementing APIs, site owners need only drop in a few lines of javascript. This new set of frameworks is called @anywhere.

Twitter will be launching @anywhere with several major websites, including Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo,, The New York Times,, Yahoo!, and YouTube.

CNN says Facebook is its biggest rival
Although Fox News is currently beating CNN as the most-watched cable news network in the US, CNN’s president Jonathan Klein considers its main challengers not to be rival TV news stations, but social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Speaking at the 2010 Media Summit in New York, Klein said:

I’m more worried about the 500m people on Facebook versus the 2m on Fox. The people you’re friends with on Facebook or the people you follow on Twitter are trusted sources of information. Well, we want to be the most trusted name in news. That’s a challenge and we have to rise to that challenge.

Though the average number of primetime viewers has shrunk for CNN over the years, they maintain a very strong online presence.

With recent data from Hitwise showing that Facebook is the fourth-biggest source of US traffic to news sites (behind Google, MSN and Yahoo!), it’s easy its easy to see why Facebook might be keeping CNN up at night.

Twitter, Facebook and Geolocation
The big thing at SXSW this year has been geolocation, and sure enough, Twitter rolled out their geolocation function on ahead of this year’s conference. While it’s been possible to access geolocation through Twitter’s API since November last year, only now is it being integrated into for tweets tagged with a location. That said, the integration doesn’t appear to have lasted too long, and it looks like Twitter has just turned off the location functionality. Hopefully we will see it back up again soon.

Meanwhile, Facebook seems to be moving in the same direction. An anonymous source said to be involved in their geolocation project claims that the functionality will be launched at f8, Facebooks’ yearly developer conference.  An update to Facebook’s privacy policy late last year, seems to support this claim:

When you share your location with others or add a location to something you post, we treat that like any other content you post.

According to the source, Facebook is not out to compete with services like Foursquare or Gowalla, but with Google in the fight for small-business advertising. As ever, we’ll be watching this closely.

Facebook vs. The Daily Mail
The Daily Mail and Facebook are at war, with new media accused of failing to protect children – and old media in the dock for shoddy journalism”. So read the opening paragraph written by Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC where he recapped a high profile battle between one of Britain’s most influential daily newspapers and the world’s most popular social network.

Last week The Daily Mail featured a ‘ghosted’ article by a child-protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas with the headline “I posed as a girl of 14 on Facebook. What followed will sicken you.” In the article, it was claimed that Williams-Thomas attracted sexually motivated messages from series of men when he posed as a teenager on Facebook.

The only problem, however, was that this experiment was not actually conducted on Facebook at all but another unnamed social networking site.

The Daily Mail has since amended the web article, and made a rare concession by printing an apology on page 4 of the paper. It remains to be seen whether Facebook will take legal action for the “false and defamatory statements in the article”, which it had threatened to do when this story first broke.

Sky creates first head of social media position
In a move that demonstrates its social media savvy, Britain’s biggest spender on digital advertsing, Sky, has announced that it is seeking its first head of social media in its marketing team.

The lucky person who steps into the job will be responsible for all social media activity in its brand marketing department and encouraging audience engagement. A Sky spokesman said: “The aim of this position is to offer an in-house specialist to develop digital strategies alongside above-the-line planning”.

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Social media: threat or opportunity?

by Chris Applegate in News Google+

Paul Bradshaw has a really interesting post on the Online Journalism Blog, focusing on the interaction between ‘traditional’ and ‘social’ media. In short, BBC News’ education section published a piece on the threat of “tech addiction” to learning. As it turned out, the paper the article was based on contained no academic references or detailing of research methodology, and had been written by a pair of management lecturers rather than psychologists or education experts. This cast a certain degree of doubt on the claims in the BBC story, but it took a GP, AnneMarie Cunningham, to bring the matter to light.

Although AnneMarie’s blog post has been widely circulated, there’s been no opportunity for these comments to be fed back into the original article, as like nearly all BBC News stories, there are no means to comment on stories.

Paul takes the BBC to task on not allowing user comments and writes up his email conversation with Gary Eason, the BBC website’s education editor. What piques my interest most was this quote from Paul:

Speaking to Gary further, he said that he was aware of some of the criticisms but does not tend to address online discussion unless they were libellous towards his journalists, “otherwise I’d spend all day doing something else”.

This chimes with something I noted in another blog post I wrote on social v. traditional media, witnessing at least one journalist declaring the basic standards of a social media policy should be those of the libel or defamation laws. Here again, another journalist is only considering readers’ contributions with misinformation or abuse primarily in mind, rather than thinking that it can in any way enhance or improve their content.

The story in question still sits on the BBC News website, uncorrected and unimproved, damaging the BBC’s reputation. Which itself is unfair on much of the efforts in other departments – the BBC is a colossal organisation, with a wide variety of people and projects, and so while it may suffer in some areas, and in many others it’s been great at getting social media right – from getting its staff to blog from the shopfloor to pooling the buzz around its programmes. But by not being social across the board it risks further damage and ammunition for its detractors.

That said, merely adding user comments to news stories are not a panacea – free-for-all anonymous commenting can lead to stories being swamped with irrelevant content, endless groupthink or just plain trolling – examples of how bad conversation can drive out good (a Gresham’s law for the social web?) are outlined in an interesting post by Mark Pack, using the Daily Mail as a classic example.

Merely adding social functionality to your site is not enough to help you get the best out of social media. You need to find the venues where the constructive conversations are happening; you need the right tools to help filter through the chaff; you need to consider the right policies and interventions to ensure communities around you remain civil and constructive.

And to get all of these right you need to start from the right place to begin with – not with a negative mindset, worried that every comment or blog post is going to be libellous or a threat, but with one that is open to the ideas and opportunities that social media offers to improve your content and your brand.

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Watch and Tweet live

by Robin Grant in News Google+

This evening ITV are conducting an experiment in the combination of social media and TV watching. At 7:20pm, they’re broadcasting the first episode of the new series of Primeval live on their website, with a live Twitter feed of the #primeval hashtag underneath.

The idea being it allows people to react to and discuss the episode in real time and, I’m guessing, therefore driving enthusiasm for the show amongst those taking part and awareness and consideration of the show amongst their Twitter followers.

The presidential inauguration on Live

Now clearly it’s not going to be as successful as CNN’s much more sophisticated use of Facebook connect during the recent presidential inauguration, but still, an interesting step from the ailing broadcaster.

Just don’t forget to turn your lights off after taking part…

Update: Ben Ayers, Social Media and Online Engagement Manager at ITV was kind enough to share his thoughts on how the experiment went:

There were really high levels of interaction on Saturday, with use of the #Primeval tag generating a buzz around the show throughout transmission. Fans seemed to enjoy the sense of watching something together and sharing their thoughts and it became apparent that most people were doing this using Twitter or a Twitter client in conjunction with their televisions.

Some viewers were watching the simulcast while they tweeted but I suspect that these weren’t in huge numbers, with most probably opting to tweet while watching the TV. As bandwidth increases this may become rapidly more popular, especially for those in large families with more computers than TVs.

With such a healthy buzz around the show, there appear to be real advantages to hosting such conversations on our site, not least because they make fans more likely to explore related content, like Primeval Evolved for example, as an extension of the experience. There’s also the sense that fans feel that their thoughts are being listened to by ITV which is really important.

We’ll continue to explore using social media spaces like Twitter and Facebook to engage with fans of our shows. Project Penguin, the overhaul of key parts of, will make the site considerably more social and we’ll be looking at integrating social media functionality where it makes sense.

We realise now more than ever that we have to host, enable and join the conversation around our shows where appropriate (which is most of the time). After all, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not even being part of the conversation.

Update 2: So for episode 2 the experiment continued, with the writer of the epsisode live tweeting during the show and answering questions.

Update 3: Some related research and thinking from John Burbank of Nielsen Online.

Update 4: The BBC tries something similar with The Apprentice Predictor which not only allows you to view the show live along with a chat window (although it doesn’t use Twitter), but also allows you to have a go at predicting which contestant will be fired by the end of the show…

Update 5: Nick Burcher has a good post on Eurovision and Twitter – #Eurovision the ultimate in social TV?

Update 6: ITV are innovating again with a more refined live Twitter experiement during the FA Cup final.

Update 7: A nice post from FreshNetworks looking at how ITV with X Factor and the BBC with Strictly Come Dancing are handling realtime chat.

Update 8: ABC is introducing a new feature aimed at encouraging viewers who stream their favorite shows online to make the experience more social.

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Stephen Fry on the joys of Twitter

by Peter Parkes in News

Stephen Fry, who in his Twitter bio describes himself as a dancer, couturier, superheavyweight boxer, neo-plasticist and rapper is a constant source of wry amusement. Recommended, if we don’t say so ourselves (disclosure: Stephen is a client of ours and we helped get him going on Twitter).

We’re being sneaky and embedding the original video from the BBC website. They might break it. Don’t blame us.

Update: Stephen Fry spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme about Twitter, the web and other geekery (via).

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