Sunday, 7 September 2014

How the BBC have a major problem linking to YouTube videos like David Holmes and Aysha King

clicking this image will open all in the lightbox
On the 4th Sep 2014, +Norfolk Police and +Suffolk Police posted a video on youtube called David's Story: Road Safety Campaign

Two days later, it's had over five million views (6.2 million as I publish this post, 7.3m as Sun 7 Sep 2pm uk, 9m on Mon 8 Sep at 12 noon uk, 12m 11 Sep.).

The previous highest viewed video was by +Essex Police for a murder appeal (Nahid Almanea) with 726,000 views. 

On 30 Aug 14, the BBC (and others) posted Ashya King: European arrest warrant issued for parents.

Later that day, Naveed King uploaded a video to YouTube called Update on Ashya King! Brett King,

(Ashya and Naveed's father) was sat on a hospital bed with Ashya and spoke for ten minutes. That video now has 994,712 views.

This post is the story of those two videos and how the BBC were severely lacking in linking to each one. It's not only the BBC, other mainstream news orgs were not that great either.

From the BBC Editorial Guidelines, we have
Links and Feeds, Scope - Linking is the essence of the web. BBC strategy is to turn BBC Online into a window on the web and to double monthly clickthroughs to external sites ... This Guidance Note is designed to help you select and manage suitable external links to other sites from BBC Online. 
Links to External Sites - Part of the BBC's role is to act as a Trusted Guide on the web. Whenever producers are creating content on a BBC site, they should actively consider which external websites it may be editorially justifiable to link to.
Editorial Justification for Linking to External Sites - Producers may wish to offer links to external sites for a number of reasons, including:
for further relevant information
for further background information or other key source material
for useful practical information
for further informed comment 
A link must never be included on the public service site or within the editorial content of a commercial site in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.
All links on the BBC public service site or on the editorial pages of a commercial site must be editorially justifiable. Links are not acceptable as a form of credit.

youtube trends map uk
Let's take the David Holmes example first. You can read the Norfolk and Suffolk Police press release Hard hitting bike video launched (Norfolk) and Suffolk (text is the same for both).

You also need to watch how the story has been covered at There are hundreds of links, but let's stick with the BBC for now.

There are three stories. BBC News, BBC News Norfolk and BBC Newsbeat.

In the first, David Holmes: Head-cam footage of motorcyclist's fatal crash we have a two minute BBC video, youtube is not mentioned, all we get is ''Police have released footage.'' There are no links to anything - not even Norfolk Police.

In the second, and this is where it gets interesting, the headline claims David Holmes: Three million hits for motorcyclist's crash film. On reading, it's the same two minute video, text of ''(the video)... has been viewed online more than three million times ... Norfolk Police posted a video of the crash.''

 There were three additional photos, no mention of youtube at all, but we did get five links to other news sites (one being Suffolk Constabulary). Norfolk Constabulary was offered as a related internet link - which is useless as it was The BBC do this all the time, link to a company or org like

It's not until we see the BBC Newsbeat post that we can vaguely find a link at Rider's fatal crash shown in police safety video, with ''This link takes you to the police video which shows the graphic details of the motorbike crash. Some people have found it upsetting''.

YouTube in not mentioned in the post, but there are two images showing YOUTUBE.COM/NORFOLKCONSTABULARY as annotations.

That's it, you could argue the BBC are a Radio and TV Station and not a newspaper. That may of had some truth before the internet, but BBC Online has been here since first launched on December 1997.

My Conclusion The BBC way of reporting news like this is outdated. In this example, Norfolk Police is an Official Source and should of been linked to immediately. The video was not UGC (user generated content) and therefore needed verification. The message was simple after all - to save a life.

+Jeff Jarvis wrote in 2009, Do what you do best. Link to the rest - I think he's still quoting that today, as am I (What Would Google Do, page 26).

On looking back at those BBC Editorial Guidelines, Criteria for Linking to External Sites or Other Content, namely ''meet the needs of a UK-based audience.''

For me anyway, a Police video about saving lives ticks that box. As there are 3,452 words on that BBC Links and Feeds, Part 1: Links page alone - I will stop listing reasons why BBC News could do better and just move on.

In the Aysha King example, there are many issues to consider (most of them legal, as everyone knows I'm a former teacher, not a legal expert - that does make me someone who can consider what maybe considered fair, as much as anyone else (reading this).

Before we even start, there are a few worrying details (if I were the BBC). First, on searching there is just one result and that's Newsbeat.

Thankfully, on a google search aysha king we do get 187 results. Moral there, search Google, not the BBC.

As a timeline, one of the BBC's first posts is Ashya King: European arrest warrant issued for parents where, in my view, this was a short post that had text added as the day unfolded.

At this stage, there was speculation and most mainstream news ran with the search until Ashya King: Missing boy with brain tumour found in Spain where Tom Burridge reported to camera with, ''the family have put out some images on social media tonight, showing Aysha with his father ... one other development tonight, we are expecting Aysha's older brother to release a video on YouTube, in his words, to explain the situation, he praised some people and was critical of others...''

At this stage, we have YouTube (and an older brother) mentioned to BBC camera until the mext morning with Ashya King found in Spain as father speaks in video. On the page is a label, ''A video clip posted on YouTube showed Mr King explaining why they had travelled to Spain.''

In the BBC video clip (of 2:23m), two video clips were shown from the Naved King YouTube channel. The reporter talked of, and over the ''internet video'' (as he called it).

The two original NaveedKingvlogs clips were 10:27 and 2:55 in length (that's 13:22m in total) - of that, just 35 secs were shown on screen, 11 secs with Brett or Naveed's voice - the reporter talked over them both.

No links were made back to the original channel - is this fair and reasonable?

As a preempt, the video Update on Ashya King had this message in the description (my bold highlights),
This is an update video on the progress of Ashya, he was taken away by police around 1 hour ago at 20:30 on the 30th of August. This video will explain what my father did and why.
I give permission for all to use this video as long as the full video is shown or only if a link is given to this video. Only reason if people and companies twist stories for their benefit to make it sound better or more interesting to watch.
Just received word that hundreds of people wanted to send money to him, I think thats okay, but if its not then I will remove it from the description.
As of Sat 6 Sep 2014 (9:50pm UK time), this video has 995,650 views, 4,098 comments and 2,616 shares. My own comment/share had 91 google +1s/likes and fourteen comments.

It's widely accepted without this video upload (featuring the father Brett King) was critical in turning this story from runaway monster to caring parent.

What should the BBC have done? Linked to youtube, shown the full video or just as they did, mention it vaguely?

The test maybe to compare. +The Guardian did eventually embed fully with Parents arrested as missing Ashya King found by police in Spain. The Mirror did embed the full video, yet later replaced it with an edited three minute clip (30 Aug 14).

We also know the Aysha King story is far from over. There were two more uploads by Naveed King - one of thanks and the latest giving details of an official fundraising account.

The real reason I written this post is to make sense of what happens next and where to go.


How much can we rely on mainstream media to deliver anything sensible (as a story breaks) and how do we compare versions rapidly?

For with the BBC, I find myself reading what they say and then checking other sources to see if what they say is anyway accurate - or where they sourced the story from.

Realtime Coverage for David's Story
And with that, as the people have the tools to report the news ie the police with David Holmes Road Safety and the Aysha King family - who really needs mainstream media?

Of course, without media cooperation - an issue would not get shared. As I write this at 11.05pm uk
time, Sat 6 Sep 14, the David Holmes is at 6.2 million views - it was 5.1m when I started on this post.

There is another serious side that's developing rapidly too - and that's terrorist videos and how they are fast to get blocked and removed. As The Guardian notes, Police warn sharing James Foley killing video is a crime.

For me, the place to go is Google News and Realtime Coverage. Remember Google News has this note, ''The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer programme.

The time or date displayed reflects when an article was expanded or updated in Google News''.

You may want to look at some raw news lists like the Associated Press or Reuters Live Events. What's fascinating to see, how a raw feed press release from AP spreads over the web. For example see this headline, ''CHINA SAYS 2 PILOTS DIED IN AIRCRAFT CARRIER TESTS'' with this opening text, ''Two Chinese test pilots were killed during development of the country's first aircraft carrier fighter wing, state media said''

The text of the title is found 23,100 times on the web and that identical first sentence is found on the web 1,900 times.

I will be posting more on Realtime Coverage as it's an important topic to look into - it's been available for over two years.

From +Norfolk Police ..

From +Naveed King .. Official Ashya King Family Videos

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Top 10 Most Viewed UK Police Videos as 12 Aug 14

6 Sep 14 edit, You will see there are now 11 videos as +Norfolk Police released David's story: Road Safety Campaign. This video has 4.7 million views since posting on 4 Sep 2014.

12 Aug 14 To understand what's going on with the official UK Police YouTube Channels, it's worth looking at the views.

This list is compiled from the official uk police youtube channels, not police viral clips from all users.

In other words, searching youtube for ''police'' will return up sorts of clips - I'm interested in what the police themselves are uploading.

You will see +West Midlands Police have 5 videos, +Essex Police  have 4 and the British Transport Police (as +British Transport Police ) have 1 video. That's where the 10 come from.

This list accompanies the posts at this blog like: UK Police on YouTube 50 Forces Compared for Aug 2014 and the search label ''police''.

As of 3pm, 12 Aug 2014, the views were: 1: 722,050 - 2: 695,816 - 3: 664,670 - 4: 513,335 - 5:
413,969 - 6: 399,630 - 7: 392,763 - 8: 383,001 - 9: 364,684 - 10: 341,433

I will check back in one month and see what has changed.

36-49 of the most watched videos at youtube
With over 12,000 videos uploaded by ~50 UK Police forces, it's only really valuable (for me anyway) to look at the qualitative data. That's to say - watch the darn videos.

Too much these days is made of data scrapes and clumping to make fast charts and visualizations.

Of these ten, most are Public Interest (6) then comes Appeals (2) and then Interesting (2). I will need to look at the top 100 for a better sample.

In the slide above, you can see how (top left) we have Essex with a video at 722k followed by West Mids with three videos (695, 664 & 512k). In other words, 36 videos have 100,000 views or more. See the sheet in docs.

A thinking point for me, is if a force like the British Transport release a near miss at a level crossing, then that's a message for everyone in the UK, if not the world. There are about 8,200 level crossings in the UK.

As a contrast to that, the video of a Teen "2mm" from being shot...all over a toy gun is quite alarming (if you watch closely) when the officer sees the gun and quickly draws his own gun in defence.

Without using video, it would have been impossible to show what happened - and how close the teen came to being shot. I've included the clip below.

Video Clip 7 ..

Monday, 11 August 2014

UK Police on YouTube 50 Forces Compared for Aug 2014

to view this playlist - see below
This is Part Two of the UK Police on Social Media Survey for Aug 2014. The focus of this post will be video at YouTube and video editing.

Method Public data has been collected from fifty UK Police official force YouTube Channels.

I've used a second site, vidstatsx for collating the list of most recent videos. This site was useful for delivering the average watch time and view count.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

UK Police Social Media Survey Aug 2014 twitter facebook youtube The #SMILECon Edition

Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman of WMP
Next month will see +West Midlands Police host the first ever #SMILECon in the UK - Social Media, the internet and Law Enforcement (9 - 11 Sept 2014, Tally Ho Conference Centre, Birmingham, UK).

For the press release, visit Bringing local policing to a living room near you (5 Aug 14). The list of #SMILECon event speakers includes Chief Simon Cole from +Leicestershire Police UK and Deputy Chief Peter Sloly of the +Toronto Police Service.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Message to YouTube Creators to Use Audience Retention Every Single Day

How Zoella uses a hand to focus the camera
Twenty years ago I started teaching, and if I had Audience retention back then - I would have been a million times more effective.

In a regular lesson, I had to position myself in the classroom so I could always see every child. It's called risk management - you may stop children throwing stuff, fighting or even falling asleep.

But if I was at the board with marker in hand talking fractions, there was a tiny chance some learning may break out.

Teachers, and don't they know it, get embroiled in assessment - it's a nightmare. Marking books, adding comments, planning the next lesson and guessing (if they the teacher) have been effective.

That's why YouTube Audience Retention is genius. It's let's you see immediately what percentage of a video has been watched along with a realtime scrub bar as the video plays.

For my videos, I can tell which parts appeal to my viewers. usually, this is when I show a data slide. I compare this to map directions. Put simply, you want to know what road you need and when to turn.

I'm a modest creator who wants to appeal to as wider an audience as I can. Which means cutting back on bloatware like unnecessary words (or even any spoken words at all), wasted seconds anywhere in the clip, my face (who needs that!?) and certainly any begging for subscribers or likes.

My content should stand on it's own two feet and that means taking a strategy you would expect from a military briefing. I want the viewer to turn up, learning something as fast as possible in easy steps, then leave.

I need to do this in as shorter time as possible, use the simplest route (cutting back on wasted graphics) and most importantly, provide the viewer with something they can remember (and therefore action immediately).

+YouTube Creators and +YouTube Creator Academy and pumping out more help than will fit on a small island, but I really think far too many creators pass this information by. That's a real shame.

But the good news is YouTube is changing for the better. +Susan Wojcicki's now in charge and I'm so impressed. You have to be living under a rock not see see how the planet is lighting up with +Michelle Phan, +Bethany Mota+Rosanna Pansino and from the UK, +Zoella & +Tanya Burr.

These five creators I've just mentioned are their own TV Corporation. And I'm already cringing as to link these five to TV is not a really compliment, it's a stab at the old school guard, who have no real clue what YouTube even is (or how powerful it has become).

For example, in the UK +ITV have a new breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, that's losing viewers by the day. They employ a bus load of people and pay the talent tons of money. Then we have +Zoella making one upload (all by herself by the looks of it) and getting 1.1 million views.

What's for sure, Creator Analytics are a closely guarded secret. I would love to know what the Audience Retention (and watched minutes) is on any top creator. One recently told me, he gets 3.3 million watched minutes per month (and with that comes Adsense revenue shovelled into your bank account).

Friday, 18 April 2014

To the ITV Daybreak/Good Morning Britain Team, Suggestions for the Show

see the Vive animation
Sunday 27 April update Here's more info on the social media streams for gmb.

Hashtag: #GMB 
(at google, at twitter, at facebook)
Twitter: @gmb (224,243)
Facebook: /GMB (234k)
Instagram: goodmorningbritain (139)
Vine: GMB (26)
Web: (54 indexed pages)
Google+    ?
YouTube   ?

I also hear the gmb team have visited +Good Morning America in the US, presumably to learn from them. So where is google+ or youtube?

I will just repeat a few ITV facts. Britains Got Talent, also an ITV show has a youtube channel that has 2.1 million subs and 1.7 billion views (and google+ page with 28.5 millions views). The X Factor Uk also has a youtube channel (with 2.7m subs and 2 billion views and a g+ page with 13.5 million views).
Topsy Twitter @daybreak v @gmb

In case you are wondering, the main ITV youtube channel as 73,246 subs, 24.5 million views. +ITV News has a g+ page with 5.6 million views. Even +ITV Football has 2.8 million views. There is also an +ITV Press Centre (which I particularly like).

So there you are - I am just one simple voice in a million.

Original text (18 April) A month ago, I sent an email to ITV with my suggestions for Good Morning Britain. I received a blanket reply five days later - and that was that. 

I cannot gauge how many suggestions the producers received or how much they listen (and wish to engage with an audience). But I do know I have something to give.

I've had my head in the US for the last few years (via Hangouts). Have a read, I wish the show success. What's not mentioned in my email: Good Morning America's Social Square

It seems the show will broadcast it's first episode on Monday, 28 April 2014 (wiki and ITV Press). Survey 18 Apr 14

The slide on the left shows an ITV Survey dated today, coincidence I guess.

Having just spent a few minutes answering the questions, I'm pretty disappointed. Same old, twitter, facebook - then, vine, instagram and pinterest, Not one mention of Google+ or YouTube. I will repeat ITV run Google Apps and have done since July 2011.

As a final thinking point, is my digital landscape a place I work with in Public or Private? I now feel I should have gone with my instinct and posted this note in public a month ago. We could have crowdsourced a solution.

What I sent by email: To Daybreak/Good Morning Britain Team, Suggestions for the Show (sent by email 13

Like most people, I wish GMB every success when they launch. I'm also fascinated what will make people watch breakfast TV, especially now we're in the age of mobiles/tablets on buses/trains early in the morning..

ITV are Google Apps already and have a brilliant App (for Catchup, but there is no Live broadcast[?]).. Is that coming soon?

I'm a power user at Google+, I've been in over 2,500 Hangouts, many of those LIVE at Youtube. One example that GMB could replicate is how my friend Maria Quiban of Good Day LA has used Hangouts On Air since 2011 (link to the youtube channel). Now, we have the news anchors (like Tony McEwing) dropping by the hangout for achat - they all get to know the g+ folks in there and call them friends, kinda cool).

The formula is very simple, a guest arrives at the studio, ready for On Air TV, a polite word was said to encourage the guest to say Hello to the people in a LIVE Google Hangout (of course g+ those users were vetted and trusted beforehand).

A few months later, guests where staying longer and longer - eventually we had stars like Mike Tyson, Kevin Bacon, Salman Rushdie and 100s more staying for a full 30 minute fun interview. The guests just love seeing the faces of people all over the world in realtime.

Google see me as an evangelist for google+, I test Hangout features for them, but I'm really working on making someone in the UK successful, we're getting there - but slowly. Manchester United will broadcast fans in the #MUfrontrow very soon, already 600,000+ views at youtube.

Sarah Hill was featured in a Google+ Stories (July 2012) -- I can imagine Susanna and Charlotte doing something like this. My vision, is GMB could be a hybrid of a regular Studio shows, but meets some elements of what The Big Breakfast gave us.

I have a bunch of other ideas.

1, ditch the warm studio and go light weight, on location ie public places or GMA style in Times Sq with a glass wall between you and the audience (Sure other Un Shows have a glass wall, but from a studio - not like in the centre of Liverpool Street etc)

2, get in guests houses -- take the broadcast to them

3, make it more radio show ie where you can listen rather than watch, v important for mobile users (limits on bandwidth etc -- could the App handle that?)

4, put Susannah in situations that brings out her best ie Where's Susannah/Charlotte (on location)? (there are a few videos on youtube of 600,000/925,000+ views usually about what she's wearing or how she is sitting) ..

5, Remember, Channel 4, Sky News and even the odd BBCWHYS have dabbled in Hangouts...

6, make a program that people will watch as Catch Up, my guess -- very hard to do as a breakfast show.

Thanks, Mike
18 March 2014
Dear Mike

Thank you for your email sending us your ideas for our new programme.

We have passed your message on to the editorial team and they will contact you if they are keen to discuss your ideas in greater detail.

Thank you for contacting us and do please get back in touch if you have other comments or enquiries in the future.

Best wishes
Duty Officer - Daybreak

West Midlands Police - Latest News


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