BBC Getting into Blogging

    December 9, 2005

The BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, started a blog last week, called Nick Robinson’s Newslog.

His first post includes this text:

[…] The BBC is about to start a trial series of blogs, each of which will be built using the kind of software employed by millions of weblogs around the world. This is the first of that trial.

The ‘kind of software’ Robinson refers to presumably means TypePad as his blog is a TypePad blog (so a very nice coup for Six Apart Europe in getting this deal with the BBC).

I find it interesting that the BBC has chosen to go with an outside commercial service provider rather than developing a blog structure within the organization using their own IT infrastructure. Perhaps part of their experimentation where using an outside provider in this stage of development is simply easier to execute. Robinson’s blog isn’t the first one the BBC has done – earlier this year, there was Newsnig8t by BBC journalist Paul Mason. That, too, was (and still is) hosted on TypePad.

One major difference between the two blogs – Mason’s was very much a personal blog with a look-and-feel that was far from a BBC standard. Unlike Robinson’s, which has the complete BBC branding in its presentation and clearly is a formal part of the overall BBC web presence. Indeed, its root URL ( indicates that.

First podcasting, and now blogging. It looks like the BBC is beginning to embrace new media in a big way as a means of engaging with its viewers/listeners/readers in a variety of different ways, traditional and non-traditional.

Will we see a blog portal, an offering to those viewers/listeners/readers to create their own blogs as part of the BBC blog domain? I think it would make total sense in the engagement process.

Now that would be a very inetersting move indeed and, apart from anything else, could be the tipping point for broadening out the world of blogging in the UK. Tie it in with the calls for people to send in their photos and you have the makings of a great connection between the broadcaster and a ready source of information.

Further blurring of that gap between traditional news creators and citizen journalism.

(Hat tip: DrewB)

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

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