November’s talking points and feedback

Posted by Laura

November 2007 will be remembered as the 21st Century nadir of English football, the month of Heather Mills’  rant about the media – to the media – on live TV, and as the political turning point when the Brown bounce began to level and plummet, with lost data discs and donations rows making for dismal opinion polls. Here’s a look back at what issues and topics encouraged you to get clicking or get in touch this month.

What got you clicking

Top 5 most popular headlines on the homepage:

1) What we learned in the last seven days
2) The Football Association have confirmed the departure of  England coach Steve McClaren
3) X Factor singer quits in happy slap storm
4) We look at the truth behind some common statements about water
5) Striking images from around the world this week

What got you talking

Top 5 most popular message boards on the homepage:

1) Billie returning to Doctor Who
2) Are curvy women cleverer?
3) Who should replace McClaren as England coach? Your views
4) World cup 2010 qualifying draw: post your reaction
5) Have your say on England failing to qualify for Euro 2008

What got your backs up

The fickle world of celebrity, as ever, attracted a weighty response from you, our users. Many of you jumped to defend the likes of Britney Spears – ‘I think she should get our support and (you should) publish good things about her instead of dragging her down’ – and Amy Winehouse, both of whom it was widely felt were going through crises in life and should be treated with more sensitivity. The good news is here on the editorial team we feel the same, and are looking into running a story on how celebrities seek help and the efficacy of solutions such as rehab.

Sympathy for maligned celebrities went so far last month to extend even towards Heather Mills, who made that unforgettable emotional outburst on GMTV in which she launched a vitriolic attack on the press. One user commented: ‘Please remove the photo of Heather Mills. I find it very unpleasant. She is obviously distressed… Are you just like the media catering to the lowest common denominator?’

Our celebrity editor also felt Heather’s side of the story needed to be aired to redress the balance in the media. You can find the resulting article here. You can also read an insight into other big names fighting back against the media.

Others among you felt we had been a little overly scathing in our critique of the new blunt fringe hair trend. It was supposed to be a lighthearted look at the way celebrities are quick to follow a particular fashion, however, it was good to see so many felt strong enough about it to tell us your thoughts.

Finally, we received some comments about us not effectively representing Remembrance Day on the homepage. We did run a message board, asking you, our users, to submit your thoughts and comments. However, some called for us to incorporate it more on the page: ‘A simple red poppy would have been a small, but very significant gesture’. As some of you may have noticed with our new Christmas design (see below), a new element to the homepage means we can theme the header to represent events. Remembrance Day is something we can definitely look to incorporate in this way next year.

Little rays of sunshine

‘What a great site!! It’s so cool!’

– ‘I have just read your article on Brad Pitt and his upbringing.  This is the first time in years I have read such a candid and honest account of his roots.  I grew up with Brad in Springfield Missouri and went to Church and School with him…  The last time I saw Brad was on a tennis court across from him playing a doubles match together’

Oops! The bloopers we hold our hands up to

– ‘I’m writing to point and a error in your article ‘Soap cheats in Christmas trouble’. You say ‘Max gets thrown out by his enraged wife Tracey.’  Her name in actual fact is Tanya!’ Quite correct. Apologies to all EastEnders fans.

–  ‘In your Daily Quiz you the answer should say the sperm whale has the largest brain. Look it up. Blue whale is wrong.’ We stand corrected. Thanks, as ever, for letting us know and giving us feedback.

… and the blooper that never was

– ‘I have just finished reading the article about soaps and the watershed.  One thing about it really annoyed me and that was ‘censured’ and it was typed this way more than once. Some people may pronounce it that way but it sure isn’t the correct spelling and this is being broadcasted across the entire internet. Perhaps checking spelling etc. more thoroughly before posting an article.’ Sorry, we can’t give you that one. Our columnist used the correct spelling of the word censured – meaning to be severely criticised for something. See the word in its correct context here.

Well, that finishes off November. Thanks for all your comments and keep them coming in. We really do appreciate the feedback.

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