Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mysterious BBC Buzz


When I post here about a BBC programme my traffic logs show a visitor with this URL prefix arriving on my site -
www.live.bbc.co.uk/buzztracker/buzz/moderation/.... Tracing that link back leads me to the BBC Buzz website, which I must confess I have not heard of and which doesn't appear on search engine results, although an earlier similar service (which also monitored this blog) does. But once you have found BBC Buzz there is this quite clear explanation of its purpose, although there is no mention as to whether the service has links to the oddly similarly named Google Buzz:
Buzz is what's being said about a programme. We've built a tool that finds where on blogs, Twitter and other online communities people are discussing BBC programmes, and presents links to them on the relevant programme page. If people are talking about a programme, a section called 'Buzz about this programme' appears on its programme page. Clicking on the links in that section will take you to online conversations about that programme. If you want to see more buzz about that programme, you can do so by visiting the programme's dedicated buzz page by clicking on the 'See all buzz for this programme' link in the buzz section.
The BBC Buzz website also clearly explains:
These pages aren't about creating hype around BBC programmes, however; they're about reflecting what people are already saying. We don't even mind if they don't like our programmes; both positive and negative views will appear on these pages ... Are the links moderated? Yes, all blogs and messageboards are checked against our guidelines before they appear on bbc.co.uk. We're just checking for unsuitable content though; most sites are fine and pass our criteria easily.
Which all sounds like a very good idea to someone who blogs and uses Twitter and Facebook. But one thing puzzles me. Last week I published a post quoting an email from a reader pointing out a factual error by presenter Rob Cowan on BBC Radio 3's Breakfast programme on Aug 18, an error which was repeated on the station's website; the reader's email, coincidentally, also referred to Radio 3 as "a simpering, dumbed down station."

Here is the link to the programme page and, despite On An Overgrown Path being tracked, I can't see a 'Buzz about the programme' section. Have I missed something? Or is BBC Buzz not yet operational (and if not why is it tracking my blog?)? Or....?

Explanations are very welcome - and have now been received.

Also on Facebook and Twitter @overgrownpath, but perhaps not BBC Buzz. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk V1.1 23/08

3 comments:

Roo Reynolds said...

I wondered when someone would notice. Congratulations for being the first.

As you've spotted, we've been developing a tool that finds where people are discussing BBC programmes so we can link back to them from the relevant programme page. It shows where the 'buzz' is around our programmes, and helps people find relevant and interesting blog posts about that programme. As you've also seen, there was previously a prototype of this same idea called Shownar, which BERG built for us at http://shownar.com/. That prototype has closed down now, but we've been busy taking what we learned from it and building something which integrates directly with our programme pages.

Although the new system it still not quite live yet, we recently started using it to find some relevant blog posts that refer to BBC Radio and TV programmes. While we're ironing out the last few wrinkles, it's useful to test out the processes and get some links in the system ready for when we launch. That's why you've spotted a visit from our moderation tool but the link back to your site hasn't (yet) appeared on the programme page. Sorry for any confusion.

Thanks for being interested, and I hope you'll like the system when it does launch in a few weeks.

Roo Reynolds - BBC

Pliable said...

Thanks Roo. BBC Buzz now seems to be working and linking to On An Overgrown Path -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007v097/buzz

Pliable said...

http://mediatingconflict.blogspot.com/2010/08/bbc-buzz-to-track-conversations-about.html