ONE of the criticisms levelled at the BBC website is that it doesn't return enough to the wider internet, be that by just linking out more to other sites.
Well its new BBC Topics offering could be the perfect vehicle for doing just that.
Internet consultant Simon Dickson describes it as the the ‘holy grail’ of every taxonomy project, but worries that others might try to replicate it and ultimately come up short.
Well done to the BBC for actually making it happen; although it’s likely to encourage others to attempt to follow suit. And most will fail. (Yes they will.)
The BBC has said that it will look to draw in outside content to these pages and considering that the main body of the pages are automatically generated they should have the time to pick the best sites ;-)
Seriously though, the BBC has been seriously lacking when it comes to linking to other websites, for example, on Monday they covered the story of a man who was stopped at Heathrow Airport for wearing a Transformers t-shirt where one of the characters was holding a gun.
Aside from the stupidity of the airport authorities the article featured a link to BAA, but didn't link to the site of Brad Jayakody the guy concerned and who naturally wrote all about the story.
Of course the BBC has got to be careful about who they link to, but that's part of the job and anyone who runs a website takes great care about who they link to because ultimately you want to enrich your readers not repulse them.
So here is hoping that the BBC's Topics pages become a useful resource for people as well as a jumping off point for readers to other interesting destinations on the web.
PS - I've not even mentioned the search engine potential for these pages - regularly updated content from a trusted source on tightly focussed subjects, offering links to relevant websites - a spider magnet if you ask me.