I’ll admit things have been a bit quite around here for a week or so but lots has been going on in the background and I’ve got some interesting blog posts queued up: one delayed while I wait for approval from its subject, which I suppose is the kind of thing you get at a place like the BBC!
In an hour or so I’m heading over to Television Centre to talk to Roly Keating who is the new Director of Archive Content. He and right-hand man Tony Ageh (Controller, Archive Development) are in the meeting-people-and-finding-out-what-they’ve-got phase of what I am pretty sure will be a fascinating period of change in the archives. Yesterday evening I asked my Twitter followers <waves> for some questions to ask Roly. They didn’t let me down:
- how’s he planning to licence all that data he can open up?
- Does he feel like he’s got to play catch up to where the BBC were in 2003 when Dyke announced the Creative Archive?
- How does he plan to balance commercial against public interest in his valuation of archive content and its exploitation?
- What lessons can the BBC learn from the French INA archive of public service broadcast content?
- How will he make use of Tony’s unique talents…
- Ask him about the roof at Windmill Road?
- Can we have BBC Archive digitized and either streamable on a 7 day to view from 1st view basis. I’d even buy bits if I could.
- for instance I’d buy old episodes of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue rather than the rubbish anthologies.
- I’d also love to be able to datamine all the metadata and the subtitle tracks. As long as the subtitles weren’t the live ones!
- “Are we archiving everything now that we’ll wish we’d archived in the future, and doing it in the right ways?”
- Could you ask Roly how the BBC is going to ‘guarantee’ that the archives are still available in 100 and 500 years time?
Sophie Walpole suggested (via the handy medium of speech) that I might ask Roly “is there any demand for archive content?”. Adrian Woolard suggested (via Yammer): “Does he have any money?” and Ant Miller “Has he any idea how big a potential user community exists in academia- and what a great test bed they would be for new services.”
This, incidentally, is why I love Twitter. The other day I went to James Cridland’s fascinating Radio at The Edge conference and, along with about a dozen others in the audience, Twittered away like mad. The resulting stream of updates (gathered together by the simple expedient of a #tag) constitutes the best coverage of the event (if you ask me) and, of course, many people followed the event through the day just by watching the #tag #rate.