Winding up the BBC blogging experiment

Robin Hamman and Richard Fair’s BBC Manchester Blog has just been officially wound up as an experiment.

When I first wrote about this I and others were arguing that a culture change needs to come too – and that is what Robin is setting our more explicitly in the key things they have learnt:

1 Being part of the community by participating as equals, as opposed to participating as a broadcasting organisation keen for new content but not interested in the community, brings with it many editorial and personal rewards.
2 People don’t necessarily blog or post content about the topics, stories and events that media organisations might hope they would – and, in our experience anyway, rarely post about news and current affairs.
3 As a stand-alone proposition, the amount of staff time and effort spent was high in comparison to the quantity of content generated and size of audience served. But, when we were able to use the contacts and content we found through the blog on-air that equation immediately changed. That is, in resource terms, the blog was costly as just a blog but much more efficient as a driver of radio content.
4 The best way to get noticed online is links and the best way to get links is to give good links yourself. That is, you have to play by the established rules of engagement and, online, that means linking prolifically.

I think a lot of people in the BBC now know this and understand this. The BBC guidelines on staff using social media (here and here on blogging) strike me as realistic and relaxed. Let us hope the new public interest test and governance structures don’t delay those folk making the most of their understanding of the social web.

See also:

Manchizzle “but they did good”.