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About Us

Find out more about the history of the Big Brother Online website and the team behind it (Warning: waffle alert!)

We're not usually keen on websites that go into too much detail in their 'About Us' section. We say that because it's often full of waffle, and we've even known some publishers use it to exaggerate their success, claiming they saw 2 million visitors when in reality their server had 2 million 'hits' (something you don't hear much about these days, but technically each page view can potentially result in 100 hits depending how much information it contains, so the figure has nothing to do with how many unique visitors the site had).

Anyway, now that Big Brother in the UK has been running for over ten years, we thought we'd better provide our loyal site visitors with an informal recap of this website's history. So, at the risk of being a tad hypocritical in respect of writing a book below, here goes...

Back in the year 2000 we registered our domain name, but you might be interested to know that the site was originally intended to be a fan site related to the Britpop band Oasis, the link being that they began releasing albums on their own record label Big Brother Recordings. Looking back, that was a bit tenuous and it probably wouldn't have gone anywhere, but luckily for Reality TV fans we scrapped the idea when Channel 4's exciting new TV show was announced, originally touted as something of a social experiment.

So, we set-up a fansite to cover Big Brother, the purpose being to give viewers a light-hearted and independent view of the proceedings – don't forget that in the early days there was a lot less TV/ website coverage, with no live feed available and just a ropey online feed for those prepared to stump-up for it (slow, 56k internet connections didn't help). Being independent, we were free to take the mickey out of the contestants if we felt like it, or to be honest about the goings-on when it was obvious that Channel 4 would try and brush-over things.

And we obviously did something right that first summer, as the Big Brother Online website had served around 200,000 pages by the end of series 1, something we were very chuffed about, even though that's nothing to shout about really.

The site grew from there as we became more established on the search engines, and within a few series we'd upgraded to our own dedicated servers, moved Web Hosts a couple of times, and found ourselves reaching over 1 million unique visitors during the summer; busy enough to attract the show's Main Sponsor O2 as our site Sponsor. Around that time we won the Silver award in Web User magazine's review of the various Big Brother UK websites. The huge entertainment portal DS, which has always had a lot more staff than us, received the Gold, but frankly Channel 4's offering – namely the official Big Brother UK website – wasn't all that great.

Conversely, the BBO site had gained a reputation for having a fantastically well-moderated discussion forum, running accurate Polls, publishing great content and releasing 'inside info' early, such as the names of the nominees each week, much to Channel 4's dismay. Indeed, because we were doing well and our website ranked higher-up than C4's on the first page of Google for key search terms, the legal letters duly arrived. However, to cut a long story short, we managed to sort things out and we're friends now... well, more like 'frenemies' to be honest!

Having got through that, we subsequently survived a devastating and sustained attack to our website when someone confused us with the official BB site. This required a special £15,000 gadget (yes, we did say 15 'grand) to fight it off. We managed to weather the storm though, and the protagonists eventually gave up after a few weeks, thanks to the efforts of a company called Webscreen Technology. Each year since, the BBO website has continued to attract Big Brother fans new and old, although we subsequently lost our discussion forum in an unrelated server crash a couple of series ago. For a number of reasons it never made a comeback, and that remains a huge shame because we'd built-up such a great community over the years. Hey ho.

Big Brother Online has always been run by a very small team of people, who often stay up half the night watching the show in-order to bring the fans unique news. We would like to have expanded the site over the years by implementing more sections (such as galleries, video clips and blogs) and employing more contributors, but unlike the aforementioned DS site, a wealthy buyer never came along. So, we remain a small outfit consisting of just a few people, and keep ourselves busy juggling the BBO site with other work throughout the summer. That can get very tiring!

Several staff have come-and-gone over the years, but our site Editor 'JD' – who has written much of the content – has stuck with it for the duration (the fool!) When not watching TV and covering Big Bro, Jay works as a freelance journalist and Web Editor, and has written for all sorts of websites and publications including the tabloid newspapers. However, he swore that he'd be hanging-up his pencil/ word processor in 2011 to pursue an acting career.

He's been saying that for years though, so in the meantime he is still available if you need some content written for your website, or could use an experienced Editor to work with your existing editorial staff, be it on an employed or freelance basis.

More info. about Big Brother Online below advert

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, BBO's own success is backed-up by the fact that online authority Hitwise once declared us 'the busiest independent website site dedicated to covering Big Brother UK', and we've always recorded our own legitimate traffic statistics, originally using the respected analytics provider Webtrends, but more recently using Google Analytics.

So, there you go; ten years of work condensed into as many paragraphs, which we hope gives you more of an idea of what the BBO website is all about. We have a good few people to thank, but above all we want to thank you for using the site and supporting us, whether this is your first visit or your thousandth*.

Lastly, if you've enjoyed using the Big Brother Online website over the years, we're inviting you to buy us a pint here. Seriously!

*Technically feasible, but it probably means that you've visited us at least once-a-day during every single series of BB. Wow, you are dedicated!

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