Tag Archives: Have Your Say

Why the BBC is scrapping its Have Your Say discussion board

The BBC is scrapping Have Your Say, a discussion board on the BBC News website. It is moving to an integrated system of comments within its stories, according to a post on the BBC’s Editors blog today.

Most discussion topics on Have Your Say, such as one today which asks “will a no-fly zone resolve the crisis in Libya?”, gather hundreds of comments, but Alex Gubbay, BBC News’ social media editor, writes that it is time to change the place where readers comment as Have Your Say is “something of a silo away from the rest of the content”.

It is a reflection of the changing online landscape and the advent of social media that we feel the time is now right to move on from Have Your Say.

This process is essentially about us online focusing more now on encouraging discussion around our content itself, rather than looking to host or manage a community.

According to the Editors blog post, BBC News is planning to introduce editors’ picks and a ‘recommend’ option to its new comments system to “showcase interesting additional insight and perspective”.

Editors’ picks will be the default view once any comments have been selected, but users will be able to then tab to see all comments and also rate them, functionality I know has been sorely missed since we had to remove it in last year’s transition phase.

Gubbay explains comments, which have been tried out on a number of stories recently, will only be enabled on selection of content each day and that moderation will work as it does now.

New ‘share’ options for Twitter and Facebook are due to appear on BBC News’s stories shortly to show total ‘shares’ and a breakdown by site, plus and an option of short URLs.

Have Your Say is due to shut next month.

Full post on the BBC Editors blog at this link.

Social Media Journalist: ‘You have to be selective, keeping across all sites dilutes the value of the good ones’ Vicky Taylor, editor BBC Interactivity

Journalism.co.uk talks to journalists across the globe about social media and how they see it changing their industry.

image of Vicky Taylor, BBC Interactivity editor

1. Who are you and what do you do?
Vicky Taylor, editor of Interactivity for BBC News. I run the team which produces the Have Your Say section of the website and the UGC hub which takes all the fantastic content the public send us and passes it on to all other BBC programmes and sites – internationally and in UK.

2. Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?
Apart from Have You Say on BBC news website (on my pc but also on my phone as read only) I get news email alerts on my phone and on my PC about upcoming BBC programmes.

I’m also on Facebook, but use that mainly to contact old friends now in Australia (not from BBC of course), and LinkedIn, which is more useful for business contacts.

Your net worth is your network as the guy who set it up said recently! I started off using del.icio.us to bookmark interesting articles but never have enough time to do it justice. As a team we look at Youtube, Shozu, Seesmic, MySpace and some team members are on twitter so we monitor that too.

3. Of the thousands social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news, either as a publishing or newsgathering tool?
Facebook has been fantastically helpful to our team in finding people with specialist interest.

When the Burma uprising was happening, a colleague found the Friends of Burma group and through them got in touch with many who had recently left the country and had amazing tales to tell.

Journalists now have to know how to seek out information and contact from all sorts of sources and social network sites are key to this.

4. And the most overrated?
I wouldn’t pick out one as overrated as they all have different uses for different audiences. I think though you have to be fairly selective, as keeping across all the sites and emails you may get if you go into everything is just not possible and dilutes the value of the really good ones.