Friday, 10 March 2006

BBC Island Blogging: review

More as an experiment, I am playing with an unusual blogging system. It's on the BBC Scotland Island Blogging website, which lets residents of islands maintain blogs through the site.

The functionality is pretty basic, but the basics at least work. Updates take some time to filter through. Images are tricky to include, and there is an intermittent problem with images not appearing on any blogs. What little content I have produced can be seen here.

I'm reluctant to spend much time, and submit much content, to the blog as my previous experience of blogging for the BBC was mixed. This was during the run-up to the general election last year, when the BBC picked 10 or so people to blog from around the country, on how the election was affecting their area. They picked me (yay!) to be the only blogger from Scotland, and I had a few fun months of pseudo-reporting online. No money was involved - content for free for the BBC. The highlight of this was the BBC sending a reporter over for two days, to record a radio blog (basically me wittering on about Berneray for three minutes) which was played on the Today programme on Radio 4.

All very good. But. I went back a few months later to discover that the BBC had wiped all the blogs, pictures and whatnots from the Today website. No archiving, no warning that the content was going, just all gone. Very disappointing, and against my digital library and archiving principles (create it, catalogue it, publicise it, preserve and protect it).

Hence, I am a bit wary of blogging for the BBC in case the same happens again. I hope not, as some of the Island Blogs are witty - such as the Dell fank dating festival - and some are informative, such as the Arnish Lighthouse blog. And it is good that the BBC are providing this easy to use service that raises the profile of the islands around the shores of Scotland.

1 comment:

  1. Septuagent has the BBC Island Blogging Service as one of his feeds on "Bloglines". He enjoys the blogs and waxes nostalgic, sobs in his beard, and all sorts. He has also downloaded some of the excellent photos on the Berneay site (yours ?)offered as wallpapers.NB also that although down here we are not quite as isolated as you are - nevertheless a wireless broadband service such as that used by yourself went phut recently without warning. Residents of Bilsdale in the North York Moors had to revert to dial-up. The irony of that is that they live in the shadow of the enormously tall Bilsdale TV and Radio Transmitter mast !! There ain't no justice.