As Richard Titus over at the BBC Internet blog explains the BBC Homepage is undergoing a small change… Well it’s not that small – Richard describes it as a lick of paint but actually it’s fundamentally shifting the way we think about how people interact with the BBC Online – and it’s about time.
For a start the BBC have released the new page to the public before it’s going live – just go over to the new page and take a look. Click on the tabs under the main promotion window and watch in awe as the colours change…. yes so what?
Well, actually the big changes start to become apparent when you spot the Customise Homepage link – like me you may think this is just about changing colours or some such frivolity – but no – this is about actually changing the content you see – hardly ground breaking (think myBBC). But when you consider that in order to have your content on the homepage you now need to start thinking about at least creating internal data feeds to push out… then you start to see the pure genius behind the new page.
In order to get on the front page you have to be producing your content in a way that the new page can digest – and that means pure data – from the start that may just be some internal data feeds – but once they’re in place what’s the problem publishing them? As Ian Forrester is working hard on getting the new backstage.bbc.co.uk API Gateway live and working properly there are fewer and fewer excuses for BBC Departments to not make their content available in a workable format.
The UK leads the use of Social Media Platforms (sorry about the site but it’s got the best explanation). The British user is neither naive or unable to comprehend the concept of getting what they want when they want. Being able to drag boxes around on the new homepage to re-order your content around your preferences is hardly ground breaking – and it’s not going to push UK users over the edge.
I do suspect many people will just leave the boxes where they are (if they even work out they can be moved) but I suspect a much greater number of people will be messing with the actual content that they see – and for the first time that I can remember I see a reason to set the BBC homepage as my homepage.
(disclaimer – I work for the BBC and am a sometimes poster on the BBC Internet Blog)