Links for 2005-05-19

2 replies on “Links for 2005-05-19”

It’s nice that Cory is bigging up the BBC in his Wired article, but I’ve posted him a message to correct a few of his facts:
Quote “[the BBC’s] internet offerings have always been forward-looking, but paranoia over its public image has led it to restrictive policies on things like outbound linking. Until recently, the otherwise stellar BBC News site hardly linked to anything apart from other BBC pages.”
The BBC News website has *always* extensively linked to external websites, particularly where they relate to the story. Here’s some examples of articles from the early days of BBC News Online, which feature plenty of weblinks down the right-hand side to external organisations:
Story from 1998 which links to the Labour party:
Story about big corporations, from 1998, which links to dozens of commercial websites:
A quick search on the News site will produce thousands of examples like those two above.
Quote 2: “Stef Magdalinski, a hacker-agitator-entrepreneur, responded with a guerrilla project called Wikiproxy, which rips all the news stories coming off the BBC news wire and mixes them by linking every proper noun to its corresponding Wikipedia entry. Of course, this burns to a crisp the old BBC policy against linking to external sites.”
The BBC policy on external linking has *never* been against the practice – but it has always been rightly cautious. The BBC Online Producer’s guidelines have always said that all external links on the BBC public service website must be editorially justifiable. Criteria for linking to third party websites naturally varies, depending on the reason for offering the link, but the guidelines state that it should always be relevant and meet the needs/expectations of the likely audience.
The BBC would not normally link to an external site if it was inappropriate to do so or could potentially damage the BBC’s reputation for editorial integrity, and a link would never be used in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.
I’ve worked as a web producer at the BBC for six years, and this has always been the case as I understood it.
Certainly, I’ve produced dozens of websites on which I regularly linked off to commercial and non-commercial websites alike without any major editorial problems.

Flickr to BBC is a little bit apples and oranges isn’t it?
More interesting to compare to somewhere (something?) like myspace, which had even more freaky expansion soon after its launch.

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