Night Thoughts

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Night Thoughts

30 years since the start of Operation Desert Storm

Funny to think that UK channels used to use CNN like an agency feed back then.

It was a very, very unsettling time - we've become used to prime ministerial broadcasts recently but that Major one was the first one for many years and it was a real jolt.

Can't help thinking the BBC's special logo/set and those overwrought Breakfast News titles helped inspire a certain sketch on The Day Today a few years later.

ITN had their own special look and music too - bulletins every night at 8pm if I remember rightly:

(31:51 if it doesn't start, plus a Daily Telegraph ad with some sand at 30:13 that looks a bit like the ancient Fry's Turkish Delight ad...)

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Night Thoughts

New BBC social media guidelines

I think Twitter has cheapened BBC News somewhat. I get that there is a huge audience there, but I don’t think it should be used as a channel for the delivery of news by the BBC, either directly or indirectly through individual reporters’ tweets. It’s poisonous, and I think it would be better if the BBC focussed on its own app, channels and shows rather than trying to be everywhere.

I've got some sympathy with this. I think Twitter has a purpose for pointing people to the BBC News website and other BBC products; it has a use during breaking news stories too. But beyond that it's just feeding a monster.

I don't think people appreciate how Twitter has changed in the 12 or so years since the BBC started using it, and how the architecture of the site has encouraged different (arguably more harmful) behaviour to encourage heavier interaction and to keep people on Twitter without going elsewhere - just as Facebook has done.

Back then, it was 140 characters - short, snappy updates. Little room for ambiguity in messages that short.

Now it's flabby 280 character updates, with the ability to thread tweets so you can drone on to your heart's content. Why craft a 1,000-word blog post for your employer (that someone can check for you and give you some feedback on) when you can give all that content to Twitter for free?

The introduction of the "like" button, which so many are addicted to, even though it is asking for trouble. Even this month, we've seen the retweet function change so it automatically gives you a dialogue box to add your own half-witted comment. And people are successfully nudged into doing it.

Twitter's become a very clammy, cramped and unpleasant place. It's also one with very little regard for the welfare of its

I think it would be harmful for the BBC to pull out entirely, but it should certainly do less there and think what it gets out of it, rather than feeding a rival's platform.