I think if the BBC had random polls on their website, it would devalue the site’s newsworthiness. Too many interactive elements could also distract the reader. While interactive multimedia news packages are fun, I haven’t found any on the BBC. I think its just not their style. As mentioned in the previous post, the BBC sticks to a simple and consistent web design. I like how the news stories are always positioned a certain way when you click on it, with only the text and one picture. It would be nice to for the BBC to have more fun with their articles but it might be confusing for the reader.

What might work for the BBC is to create a link just for interactive multimedia news packages. This way, the user doesn’t get confused when the web design of the news story changes. They’ll already know they’re being linked to a different page. Here the BBC can provide interactive elements for story packages like the earthquake in Haiti or stories about war. There could be timelines for the events and interactive maps.

Interactive maps would be great on the BBC, especially because it is are an international site (and since Americans are usually geographically challenged). There is a map on the upper left hand corner of the BBC page, which highlights certain geographical areas that the BBC covers. However, the map is very small and it doesn’t zoom. Neither does it show what countries are part of which area. An interactive map would also be a great addition to the country profiles. Country profiles show a small map of the country but it doesn’t show it in context. It would be nice to be able to scroll over a larger map to see where Haiti is relative to other countries or to zoom in on the cities in Haiti.

Instead of random polls I think the BBC found something that works better: the site’s ‘Have your say’ page.  The BBC throws out a question (similar to a poll), but instead of providing the reader answers to choose from, the BBC leaves the question open-ended. An example is their recent question ‘Should Mars be the main mission’ of Obama’s course for astronauts in the 2030s. This received 264 comments as of Friday night.

Another way the BBC provides interactive engagement is for users to submit their own stories. For instance, users were able to submit stories on the recent volcanic ash in the UK. Some stories came with pictures while others were on video. Some readers like to be heard and seen and this is a great way to get them involved. Also, when they see their stories on the site, they are more inclined to view it and tell their friends and families about it.

The BBC’s search bar at the top of their page is another interactive element on the BBC’s website. However, this should be, and probably already is, on every prominent news website.

One page where I did notice random polls is the page for the BBC’s sports radio station 606. This poll is just to rate articles but it isn’t very effective. For instance, this article on supermarkets selling Fifa tickets only had two people responding to the poll.

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