BBC tackle social video. Sort of.

For the past 2 weeks BBC Have Your Say have been using Seesmic, Qik, Phreadz and 12seconds to invite viewer opinions. It’s clearly a slow learning process, as they try to crowbar broadcast styles into a more conversational medium. Here’s a recent post on Seesmic:

BBC Have Your Say – President Obama

Here they are on Phreadz:

On Qik:

And here’s their somewhat rushed post to (video is limited to 12 seconds):

BBC Have Your Say: A big thank you to everyone! on

The Qik channel seems to be the most effective, with some refreshingly rough material and a reasonable feeling of community. The Seesmic clip seems so staid, staged and scripted when placed in the informal and intimate context of that community, that it makes me think of 1950s news clips when seen from a modern perspective.

The main thing that occurred to me was: who were these people? (The correspondents never give their name, they are simply ‘BBC Have You Say’); why do they not respond to the conversation to help it go somewhere (because it’s not a conversation, it’s a vox pops).

I posted a response asking ‘BBC Have Your Say’ some questions of my own. I’ve yet to have a response.

Meanwhile, I posted a question to Seesmic on how people felt about organisations using Seesmic in this way. The conversation that resulted (below) threw up some interesting points – Miranda McCurlie’s view (reply #13) is particularly interesting:

Re: What do you think of broadcast orgs using Seesmic for vox pops?A few rambly scraps here … intimate, close-up presentation vs ‘objective’ perspective of current broadcast style. Individual vs corporate style?

What do you think of how news organisations use social video?

3 thoughts on “BBC tackle social video. Sort of.

  1. CharlieO

    I completely agree with you about the rough material on Qik working best – as is alluded to in your Seesmic thread, when broadcast organisations remove the artificial constructs of studio and auto-q they start to regain the sincerity that for many they have lost, and their expert opinions and unique insights shine through as they should.

  2. Kate Foy

    Paul, I enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing conversation about the medium on your Seesmic thread. I use Seesmic pretty much exclusively for video posts, though Phreadz has it at the moment in terms of flexibility … channeling of conversations. 12Secs doesn't suit my posting style. Seesmic has been promising 'rooms' for a while to enable focus in conversation. Whilst it can be irritating sometimes, I quite like the way threads can ramble and even 'hijack' a topic. We're still exploring how the medium can be used … it's a tool and shouldn't define us. The various communities will, in time, shape it to their various needs. PS Like you, I use Seesmic (as well as the slew of social networks I'm on) as pre-blogpost tools.


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