“A Fifth Of BBC Sites Are Already Dead”

The Paid:Content:UK blog has recently published an article which informs us that “A Fifth Of BBC Sites Are Already Dead“. The article begins by annocing that “Nearly half of the websites most likely to be closed as part of its big Strategic Review have already long been shut, some for as much as eight years“.

A list of a number of the sites which have been ‘mothballed’ is given in the article. Some of the sites are for programmes that have ceased broadcasting (eg. On The Record) and others are for events which are now over (e.g. Politics ‘97).

I was particularly interested to read about the BBC policies regarding the decommissioning of such Web sites. The article provide a link to the BBC’s policy which describes that inactive pages are left online for reference as “We don’t want to delete pages which users may have bookmarked or linked to in other ways. In general, our policy is only to remove pages where the information provided has become so outdated that it may lead to actual harm or damage.”

With the promises of large cuts for public sector organisations in the offing after the general election I suspect that we will find Web sites in many higher education origanisation being decommissioned.  But will  content be simply deleted, will the content be left ‘as is’ or will a more manged approach to such decommissioning take place? 

I feel there will be a renewed interest in the decommisioning of Web sites.  I hope the JISC PoWR’s Handbook on the Preservation of Web Resources will be of interest to organisations which find themselves  in this position.