New BBC blog hints at killing off email service

The latest member of the BBC blogging club is Radio 4’s PM programme. The editor, Peter Ribbon tells the BBC Editors blog:

‘We’ve decided to do a blog because I strongly believe the intimate relationship PM listeners have with the programme is similar to the sense of belonging successful online communities have.’

He’s not kidding; the numbers of comments on the early posts are approaching three figures. But he continues:

The massive take up of the PM Newsletter has reinforced that view for me. The newsletter will continue, for now, but the blog allows listeners to talk to each other without us getting in the way and not just when we are on air.

The interesting words there are ‘for now’. There’s little doubt in my mind that blogs (and by extension, RSS feeds) are replacing email as the one-to-many communication channel of choice. I find it much more convenient to read feeds than email newsletters or alerts; and from a producer’s perspective, the overheads involved in creating and maintaining a blog/feed are much lower. Certainly all my professional focus is on RSS; when we do our big migration to a new platform, we’ll only be continuing with existing email alert functions.