The Douglas Adams inspired H2G2 website is bidding farewell and saying “So long and thanks for all the fish!” as the BBC has announced it will be possibly be shutting down or selling the site alongside another 200+.
The H2G2 website had long been home to the Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy fan base which is routinely discussed on various USENET newsgroups.
Douglas Adams had been known to frequently post to the USENET newsgroup alt.fan.douglas-adams in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Now with the very possible closure the BBC website, it may be back to where he’ll be interacting with his fans.
BBC Online cuts have been in the pipeline since last summer, but come as the corporation gears up for far more sweeping job losses across the organisation in order to meet savings targets imposed following the licence fee deal negotiated with the government in October.
“Over the past year all areas of the site have been reviewed to see where, and if, they fit. Sadly … H2G2 does not fit in the new shape of BBC Online. However, H2G2 is unusual. It is a pre-existing community that the BBC brought into its fold, not a community that the BBC set up from scratch. So rather than closing it, we’ve decided to explore another option. This process has been referred to elsewhere as the “disposal” of H2G2. I’ll admit this is not a great choice of words, but what is means is that we’ll be looking for proposals from others to take on the running of H2G2.”
The BBc’s plan to close the websites are part of its cost cutting measurements in order to provide 20% saving due to the licence fee settlement.
There will be fewer news blogs while standalone forums, communities and message-boards will be reduced and replaced with integrated social tools.
There will also be a reduction in the overall amount of sports news, live sport and showbusiness news, but also more culture and arts coverage on the news website.
As the BBC sites begin to close down, it may push many users to find and discuss information on BBC programming on the many newsgroups related to the network. Whatever happens, we urge Hitchhiker fans to remember one thing: