Archive for September 12th, 2005

The Ashes: A long historic day

Well we won ’em. It was an interesting day at work, keeping an eye on the wires, and planning our response. As Martin details on, we’ve been making greater use of the sport feeds over the past weekend, to keep users up to date on what was happening on each day of the final test. I think the nation’s new found zeal for cricket warranted this, I doubt we’d do it every weekend, as we’d probably get a lot of ‘I hate sport’ mails. As I’ve seen before, some people just aren’t interested. Also during the build up, we dropped in a couple of picture promo’s at lunchtime just to catch the sandwich surfers. These took the form of ‘tension’ and build up, offering fans some form of sport/cricket distraction countdown as they waited for the first day of the final test. 3 days to go [html] [jpg], 2 days to go [html] [jpg], 1 day to go [html] [jpg]

Anyway, the ‘win’ treatment, (and believe me these plans were nearly thrown out of the window at lunchtime as it looked like Australia might actually make a comeback) went live the second the umpires lifted the bails, and I’m really pleased with it. I picked Pietersen as the main focus as he’d produced an astounding century, and more than made up for 6 dropped catches.

However, here’s some of the other options I’d prepared over the course of the day.
1. Ashes_agony

2. Ashes_balcony

3. Ashes_flintoff

Also the tweak of the ‘m’ in home to a set of wickets was quite fun, originally I’d made the ‘o’ a cricket ball, but felt this a bit to obvious and googley, changing the ‘m’ is probably still a bit googley, but is much more subtle and somehow nicer, calmer almost. Plus the ‘m’ lends itself so well to wickets that the temptation was too much. Here’s the ‘o’ versions Bbc_logo_ashes

So in all, a good Ashes, we’ve yet to see the customer feedback, but from my point of view the use off the sports feeds has been a great help, it’s taken so much pressure of my team so that we can concentrate on stuff like the treatment this evening, rather than using generic style promos over the weekend. Now moving forward we need to remember that sport has it’s own box on the homepage, and how can we make that work harder on a Saturday to Saturday basis?

And well done England!

citizen journalism – the debate rages on

As you may know my thoughts on the whole Citizen Journalist debate were recently published in the BJP letters page (see below). It prompted a pompous and sarcastic response by Barry Beattie, Chairman, Freelance Division, Chartered Institute of Journalists.

He begins by quoting my comments, then goes on
One almost hears the combined shrieks of amazement from [his] executives [at] White City HQ (or is it Haight Ashbury these days?) at anyone who actually has the temerity to expect payment for material used.

(Haight Ashbury – ho ho ho!) He continues… The BBC’s latest website ‘scam’ is to try to get amateurs to send in their mobile phone pictures of the Notting Hill Carnival! Nevertheless, in the atmosphere of the BBC’s new age of enlightenment, I’m thinking of applying for the position of ‘Citizen Online picture editor. Of course in the sprit of ‘sharing experiences’ I would not wish to be paid for my efforts, and I’m sure Mr Webb would gracefully step aside confident in the knowledge that the BBC is a ‘porous institution’ and would soon find him something else to do. He then describes some recent case where two girls took phone pictures in court and were found in contempt, before rounding off with a final dig at me…

Oooh, hangbags at dawn! Well, here’s what I’m planning to do… in the sprit of openness and transparency, I’m going to contact Barry today and see if he’s up for meeting me for a drink and discuss the subject further in a calm professional manner… Stay tuned to find out what happens.

This blog is no longer being updated

I've left it here for historical purposes. Please visit my new blog at


These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
September 2005
« Aug   Oct »