The BBC Web team are guilty of creating meaningless URLs for resources and making it near impossible to find BBC output. It took me more than an hour to find a comprehensive list of BBC FOOC episodes.
For example the URL for From Our Own Correspondent from 2012-07-07 is:
Does b01kjgp3 make any sense to you for this BBC FOOC instalment?
It gets worse if you want to link to the individual dispatch, for example if you want to share it with a friend:
- Chapter 1: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw83p
- Chapter 2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw870
- Chapter 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw8bd
- Chapter 4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw8j9
- Chapter 5: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw8rw
- Chapter 6: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kjgp3#p00vw90k
Does p00vw83p mean Chapter 1 to you? No, it's senseless.
A good URL would be something like:
- bbc.co.uk - no www
- fooc is the abbreviation for BBC From Our Own Correspondent
- 2012-07-07 - simple standardised date representation
#1- for Chapter 1
I can't find subtitles or transcripts for any episodes of the BBC From Our Own Correspondent programme.
Confusingly http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/ links to stories in the BBC magazine like http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18828612 which are often enough article versions of the FOOC dispatch.
Discovery is inconsistent
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/?q=FOOC has poor results
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=FOOC does no work at all
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=From%20Our%20Own%20Correspondent does work, but for example the closest match I could find to the above on BBC Iplayer which is a different service to the BBC podcasts is:
Internet listeners have to think, do I listen to BBC FOOC on the Web, or Podcast or on Iplayer? Don't make people think! A single reliable URL to each dispatch with say HTML5 audio which is accessible to listen to and download is what we need!
Another inconsistent aspect to the way FOOC content is organised on the BBC is again how BBC News has magazine entries for example of a dispatch on the Mussolini's bunker that links to same programme of FOOC on the World Service at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsng and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/archive/default.stm. I'm aware there is a "World Service" version of FOOC for the Radio, but does it mean it has to make the Website confusing to navigate? There is no clear consistent canonical link to the Mussolini's bunker dispatch for example.
My favourite programme on the BBC is a mess on the Web and a great example of poor URL design.