And yes, I'm old and cranky, and maybe a bit sleep deprived, so strap in.

1. Video, not a story.

2. Video is 1:45. Short, but OK, I'll give you this. So does this short video add to the story? NO.


4. The video is completely not necessary. Text rotating on a dynamic background does not need to be a mother fucking video.

5. AUTOPLAY VIDEO AT FULL VOLUME. My hate of autoplay is scattered about this website.

6. The launch posted in the video, with shitty music, and rotating text with no narration, is the Apollo 12 launch and has no a goddamdable fucking thing to do with the story promised.

7. There is nothing newsworthy in the article. Nothing of value was presented to the viewer.

8. The video is a total waste of bandwidth that presents nothing newsworthy to the viewer.

So now I'm angry. The article is a part of the BBC Future. Their mission?

    What is BBC Future? Well, for starters we are about so much more than making predictions.

    Our mission statement is simple:

    "Making you smarter every day."

This "article" is shit and comes off as something thrown together with the cheapest "How do you do, fellow kids" stock music they could find on a topic likely to generate a few clicks, but the deadline is in 20 minutes. The article offers nothing that would leave a normal visitor to the site with a hook to go discover more about how images were taken in space before CCD cameras. Or about Spy Satellites. Or anything of note. No interview with the people that made it happen, not even a launch video of the fucking satellite in question.

The people on the about page? They all have qualifications and are not, at least at first glance, Buzzfeed style "New Media" types. And I expect better from the mother fucking BBC. Here, for example is a BBC Future article from two years ago. Good story, not clickbait, has images that tie to the the story. With the resources that the BBC has to offer, I was hoping for something new about a neat and fascinating brief period in the history of the Cold War, of space travel, of engineering. Instead I get a 1:45 Instagram/snapchat/fuckery piece that made me post here to rant and be angry.

Want to know some more about HEXAGON? Here is a real article from back in 2011 when they started to interview the engineers and declassify parts of the program. When even the fucking Verge puts out a better article than you do it is time for deep introspection and self reflection.

Man, this pissed me off today.


Here's all you need to know:

I counted two public-domain videos, one BBC stock video, five public domain photos that have been pan-scanned and a text crawl. The music is from a stock library; BBC probably buys into it for $500 a month all they want. I'm no editor but I could put that piece together in about 20 minutes.

And because it's video, their time-on-site is higher, which means they get more advertising revenue.

And because it's video, it's ranked higher by Google.

And because it's video, it will auto-play on Facebook.

Is it everything that's wrong with the Internet? Well, yeah. The only way anyone has figured out how to make money on the Internet is to slather it in ads and hope the advertisers will keep paying. Retelling the MiG-25 story probably took a copy editor all day while the guy who cut that shit video probably made a dozen or more that day. I'll bet he's got a clip database that lets him drop shit into the timeline simply by searching; I've got that for sound design and I ain't the BBC.

Look at it this way: most people aren't even seeing it on desktop. They're seeing it in their feed.

posted by francopoli: 194 days ago