Tag Archives: portfolio executive

BBC offers aggregation service with Topics pages

Following the review of bbc.co.uk in which the BBC Trust criticised the lack of internal navigation on the site, the Beeb has launched a beta aggregation service.

BBC Topics, which will have automatically updated pages, will cover people, countries or subjects.

“So topics uses a variety of search techniques to create feeds of the latest BBC content from news articles, programmes available to watch on iPlayer, weather forecasts, news videos, country profiles and information from the TV and radio schedules. BBC editors then add in hand-picked articles and features from around the BBC and other websites,” said Matthew McDonnell, portfolio executive, search and navigation, internet group, BBC Future Media and Technology, on the BBC Internet Blog.

The pages will present everything the BBC has on a certain topic, whether it is in or out of the news, McDonnell added.

Topics covered will be partly chosen in relation to the site’s search logs, as well as by what content is available.

Feeds to the pages from external sources are also in development, according to the blog post, which will please the Trust, who said the site should also be acting as a guide for users to outside content.

Only a few topics are being trialled so far, including China, David Cameron, NATO and dogs, but more will be added in the coming months, as will more forms of BBC content.

BBC joins OpenID Foundation

The BBC is to join the OpenID foundation – the body behind the system where website users can have one username across different participating sites.

The decision, announced by Jem Stone, portfolio executive for the BBC Future Media and Technology (FM&T) department’s social media group, on the BBC Internet blog, puts the corporation alongside Google and Yahoo, who have already adopted the scheme.

Similarly Telegraph.co.uk announced plans to introduce OpenID at the beginning of the year.

However, the system will not be immediately available on bbc.co.uk, Stone explained.

“However, at this stage, and wary of being named and shamed here, this doesn’t mean that we are going to immediately be offering OpenIDs on bbc.co.uk or even promising to do so. We would want to make absolutely sure that this is right for users, is secure and can be implemented properly across all the BBC’s many services.”

Stone’s thoughts are backed up by Ian Forrester, senior producer with the FM&T, who said in an email:

“If we were to do OpenID it would have to be pretty joined up, otherwise people would loose faith in the technology and have bad experiences. This is something I hear about some of the other (can anyone say on the bandwagon) OpenID providers.”