BBC blog feeds go full-text

Credit where it’s due. By popular demand – and contrary to the implication of Jem Stone’s piece, I can’t claim to have started it  – the BBC has switched from sending (very short) summaries in the RSS feeds from its various blogs, to sending the full text of the blog postings in question. ‘Sorry that it’s taken so long,’ Jem writes; no apology needed, sir. Thank you.
Full-text feeds on the blogs was always The Right Thing To Do. There are basically two types of BBC blog: the senior journalist, offering instant analysis or adding background; and the ‘behind the scenes’ staff commentary, aimed at engaging / assuaging the community.
In both cases, we’re already paying for the work these people are doing through the Licence Fee, so it was arguable we were entitled to getting the item however we wanted. The excuse of stat tracking via click-throughs didn’t go far, as we’d already paid for it all anyway. It wasn’t for BBC management to judge a business case; it was our content, to receive however we might want.
The growth of mobile internet usage is perhaps the greatest user-centric justification for the move. I can speak from experience; I’ve got several BBC blogs in my Bloglines account, which I frequently read on my mobile phone. The inconvenience factor – reconnecting to the data network, pulling the page, and hoping the mobile browser doesn’t destroy it – was often enough to stop me clicking through.
But it also reflects the reality of the blogosphere, where most ‘normal’ bloggers are happy to share their full-text feeds. The Beeb’s bloggers are playing by the standard rules, joining the community rather than putting themselves above it. Again, it’s just The Right Thing To Do.
So will be see full-text RSS of news items? I doubt it; it would open up all sorts of anti-competitive arguments, and would make it just too easy for the Beeb’s content to be republished by others for profit. Mind you, since we’ve paid for it already… etc etc. 😉

One thought on “BBC blog feeds go full-text”

  1. Thanks for the positive words Simon, as ever. But there are many more than two types of BBC blog…

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