Ben Metcalfe brings news of an interesting development over at the BBC. It seems that they always get way more reader input than the can do anything useful with on their own.

The issue for this part of the BBC News website is that it has always been too damn popular. Ask the public what they think on anything from “who should be the next Tory leader?” through to “we are buying enough British-grown food?” and the response is tremendous. Too tremendous in fact – with quite often over 10,000 comments send in per day. That’s a totally unmanageable amount for the team who are on the receiving end of that day in and day out.

So why not let the community help manage the influx of opinions?

As editor of the site Pete Clifton announced yesterday, the BBC News website will be moving to a Slashdot/Kuro5hin style rating system. Gone is the pre-moderation and in comes a level playing field where everyone’s comment is posted (unless it is rude or slanderous). Now, it’s up the community to decide what’s hot and what’s not by using a standard rating system.

The BBC continues to set a good example for so many other "old media" operations.

Posted by jzawodn at October 10, 2005 10:38 AM

Reader Comments
# billg said:

>>"’s up the community to decide. "

Just to be pedantic, I think we're talking about an audience here, not a community. We really should try to avoid using "community" to describe a random bunch of people who just happen to look at the same web site.

on October 10, 2005 05:31 PM
# RandomLoser said:

That is the community being talked about. The community isn't some overall audience of the news world or whatever. The community in this case -is- the random bunch of readers, on the same site.

Your comments are a tad confusing, but if you would like to clarify what you're saying so I can make further progress on this topic, that would be swell, swish, [insert smug word]

on October 10, 2005 05:51 PM
# Ben Metcalfe said:

I believe there is a community. There are many people who post comments to Have Your Say regularly, it's just that their comments don't always get published.

Going forward, those users will have all of their comments posted to thie site and will be able to interact with each other (HYS doesn't currently allow dialogue, just single one-off comments).

I therefore think we have a community forming, but I'm interested to hear the opinions of others.


on October 11, 2005 09:41 AM
# billg said:

I suppose it depends on your definition of a community. My definition doesn't include people whose only shared activity is visiting the same site. Pre-web, we didn't speak of everyone who read the morning paper as a "community". So, why should we speak of people who visit the BBC news site in the morning as a "community"? We shouldn't, because people whose only common activity is consuming the same content are an audience, nothing more. Taking advantage of the chance to send content back to a web site is the direct paralllel of sending a letter to a newspaper editor. They don't represent a community. People who send snippets to "Have Your Say" are no more a community than people who post comments to Zawodny's blog.

A bunch of otherwise random people who happen to sometimes engage in the same activity is not a community. No one used the word in that sense until web marketeers and hype artists trotted it out.

Real communities are too important to allow the meaning of the word to be distorted and weakened.

on October 11, 2005 02:00 PM
# duncan said:

So that's why they're raising the license fee!

on October 12, 2005 06:49 AM
# sarchi said:

I was thinking you might like to know about - this it applies to #1
I hope I have'nt broken the golden rule?

on October 12, 2005 11:51 AM
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