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Thursday, 16 August 2007


So now the BBC has joined the folly of putting 'dig' 'delicious' 'facebook' etc links at the bottom of most every article.

Bless them, they even have a 'what are these' link to help the hapless. These 'social' bookmarking links are a stain on the Internet. It is bad enough when the BBC technical articles are plainly wrong in whatever it is they are trying to write about and can be seen to plainly wrong by anyone but the socialite group who know nothing about technical things anyway.

But these social bookmarking links are the silliest of the silly. They totally distract from the main article content. The BBC web site designers are so desperate to be seen as hip, as far as the Internet goes anyway, anywhere else they fail miserably as well, that they will seemingly spoil an otherwise excellent web site with folly like this.

They were late to this particular party but even being late does not make it any less tacky. The BBC are playing catch up in many areas and this is one area I would prefer to have seen them avoid.

I know I am not alone in my dislike for these things.

Social bookmarking is all well and good but they are pervasive and because of that they are in ones face everywhere all of the time and because of that they are fast becoming annoying. No, scratch that. They are annoying.

If I want to bookmark something I will and I will bookmark it within my browser not on some external web site that may or may not be around in a few years time or some social bookmarking web site that is so slow to load one may as well have gone back to the web site one bookmarked on it and searched that for the link and still have it load within ones browser before these social bookmarking web sites have loaded.

To make matters worse. Just about all major, and some minor, news outlets on the Internet have these silly links. being so well used does not make it good however.

As one who has been on the Internet since before it was called the internet these things, along with many other things, just plain annoy. I have seen the Internet (or Interweb as some hapless people call it) grow up into something useful that anyone from anywhere who has an internet connection can enjoy. But these social web sites and worse, these links to social web sites are just plain and simply annoying and should have no place whatsoever on a fantastic web site like the BBC.

Aunty Beeb should know better. The problem with the BBC is that it has been infiltrated by 20-somethings who think they know what their readers want, whether they want it or not, and every now and again they do something that irks in the back of ones mind and these links to social bookmarking boxes simply distract from the main story. Because the social bookmarking box is so damn big it really does distract from the main story they are so desperate for you to link via these social bookmrking sites.

Sorry Beeb, you have got this one very very wrong. You annoyed a certain proportion of your user base when you made the Iplayer MS Windows XP only and you will annoy a large proportion of your user base with this madness.

I for one will be voting on my dismay by not using the BBC web site as my opening page in Firefox any more.

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