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Sunday, Sunday

I’m at work again today .. on a Sunday! Which is a bit crap when I can see out the window that it’s a gorgeous day outside. Having to get up at 6 in the morning as well to be here at 7am is never good either when you know that 90% of the population are still tucked up in bed. So seeing as I’m at work, you’re going to get a Geoff-work-orientated blog entry …

Peter SnowI know I’m biased, but I can’t help but admire how good our Election site is, in terms of design and content – as if you want just some simple facts, or more in depth information about any of the issues from any of the political parties – you’ll find it on there.

They’ve also taken the Minny Motty idea (the on-screen character that brings you the football scores as they happen), and created a BBC News alert service with the help of a mini Peter Snow as well. He’ll pop up on screen and tell you election news as well as general news headlines, oh and you get to play in his swingometer game as well.

For another “Here’s what I do at work moment” (for everyone that asks me) here’s an example of something that I had to fix just now.

Look at the Poll Tracker page on the election website. A guy in our development team [ There are five main areas – The designers (who do the graphics), the developers (who write the programs which code the site), the database and live site team, the journo’s themselves who write the content (including an audio/visual team who do the streaming media), and us – the tech support team ] has written an application where the journalist of the day just types in the figures from the latest polls and hits ‘update’, and then a script takes that information, creates an XML page out of it and FTP’s itself up to the live page.

Well today it didn’t work … I get a call being told that it’s still showing the poll information for 28th April and not the 1st May, and could I fix it please?

So I then had to delve into the depths of the systems and see what process has stopped working and kick it .. or perhaps the journo has not done their job correctly and I have to spoon-feed them, or perhaps it’s something else. Anyway, without going into detail, I get it working. And election day is this Thursday is case you’d forgotten people! (Duh…)

Some stats for you too (can you tell It’s quiet at work today?), as I was clearing out my mailbox and found a folder which contains the daily stats that we get sent round on what pages are getting how many hits, etc.

What do you think the most viewed webpage of the year has been so far? I reckoned it would be the announcement that the pope was officially deeeed, but when you think about it, because of the slow build up to it all – and the fact that it happened on the weekend meant that we didn’t get as many hits as you would have thought. So instead, the top story of the year was in fact the announcement that Charles was to marry Camilla.

The ‘Top 5’ news website stories so far this year:

Charles to Marry Camilla – 1,463,043 hits
Ratzinger is elected as new pope – 1,072,775 hits
Key points of the Budget – 873,009 hits
Nine dead in Minnesota school – 815,135 hits
Pope’s funeral – 685,496 hits

Also, on average – the news website gets just over three millions (3,000,000) hits a day .. during the week .. as at weekends it drops to almost only half that at 1,500,000 hits. So now we know what over a million people at work do during the week – they surf the BBC news webpages!

Oh, and browsing on the comments section of the Doctor Who website this morning, I appear to have aged 15 years overnight and got a proper job.

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