Robert Hampton

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15th April 2006

New Media

Hanging around online — unloved, unnoticed and seemingly forgotten about — is the BBC Politics 97 web site, replete with slanty Beeb logo, misused <h6> tags and animated GIFs. Anyone else remember the half-arsed BBC site that existed around then, before the “proper” site came along a bit later?

Finding this has reminded me of two events from the mid-to-late 90s, as broadcasters took their first, faltering steps onto the net. The first was on Live & Kicking when they made a huge deal out of the fact that the programme now had an e-mail address — live& — only to have to do it again next week when someone pointed out that ampersands are not legal in e-mail addresses.

Then there was the presenter on The Children’s Channel around 1996 who gave out their web site address in the purist-pleasing but child-confusing form: “aitch tee tee pee colon double forward slash double-u double-u double-u full stop tee see see full stop see oh full stop you kay forward slash”.

It’s still all much better than the current situation with TV and the Internet, where not a day goes by without a hand-wringing article in Media Guardian, pondering what future traditional broadcasters have in the Internet age.

2 Responses
  1. Comment by Seb
    2nd May 2006 at 12:07 pm

    I know this entry is old, but sod it.

    The first email I ever sent (from those old MTS Acorns back in first year) was to, because it was the first address I knew (they used to mention it all the blimmin’ time when they got it). I sent them an email saying “I dunno why I’m writing this” to which – to my surprise – someone replied “I don’t know why I’m replying, either!” Marvellous.

  2. Comment by Robert
    3rd May 2006 at 7:29 pm

    I wonder if you’d get a similarly jovial reply if you tried that today? My guess is no.