23Oct

Quick accidental chat with Sophie Walpole…

posted by Steve Bowbrick

…about cataloguing the BBC’s efforts at openness—using something like the ‘programmes ontology‘ developed by Tom Scott? I want to leave behind something that might have some formal value: an organised catalogue of assets, content, code and activities that have been explicitly shared with the outside world would be handy wouldn’t it?

22Oct

What is this Common Platform then?

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Interesting chat in the Broadcast Centre cafeteria with Lucy Hooberman from BBC Research & Innovation (which is part of Future Media & Technology). She’s not an engineer: she’s one of the people in the organisation responsible for stimulating innovation and change. We talked about Common Platform. She’s been wondering what it is. Specifically, is it: [...]

21Oct

Now to rescue the print media

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Emily Bell in yesterday’s Media Guardian wonders why the print media should expect to escape the present unpleasantness unscathed, what with banks falling around our ears and all that. She thinks it’s quite likely we’ll lose a handful of national papers: The Mirror and The Express both being vulnerable. A conversation in a corridor here [...]

20Oct

From my notebook

posted by Steve Bowbrick

What stops the BBC from sharing content, technology and resources with the outside world? Actually, the number one obstacle, if the many conversations I’ve had here at the BBC over the last few weeks are anything to go by, is rights. Rights rights rights. Rights rights rights rights rights. The Gordian knot of multiple, overlapping [...]

20Oct

Openness at the BBC huge turn-off, survey shows

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Is openness at the BBC just boring? I’ve been asking people (random people) for the last couple of weeks: Should the BBC be more open? Should the BBC share its assets with other companies and with the general public? Should the BBC link to stuff created by outsiders? Should the BBC provide tools and support [...]

17Oct

The BBC’s open source rules

posted by Steve Bowbrick

In ten or fifteen years, when the BBC has finally been translated from a dark brown top-down industrial-era content funnel into a glittering archipelago composed of pure energy (you know what I mean) we’ll look back on this document as a kind of magna carta of openness, a foundation document for the new republic of [...]

15Oct

Proper open source at BBC Vision

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Rob Hardy who’s a software engineer team leader in BBC Vision (which used to be called Television) directs me to a couple of explicitly open source resources: a bunch of Perl libraries (handy software tools that can be lifted and freely used in assembling new applications) released by his own team under the GPL (the [...]

15Oct

Huggers yammers

posted by Steve Bowbrick

They’re trying out Yammer at the BBC. Yammer’s a kind of Twitter-clone for use within organisations. It runs secure (SSL) and provides a simple email-based authentication scheme to keep the outsiders out (if you can’t receive an email to your BBC address you can’t join). It’s growing like topsy here, not least because the Corporation’s [...]

15Oct

Should the BBC recapitalise British Culture?

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Is Mark Thompson a good proxy for Gordon Brown? Should the BBC move to rescue struggling media companies as the government is saving struggling banks? Should the BBC recapitalise British culture by taking stakes in bust public service providers? Call this a flight of fancy but consider the circumstances. 1 We’re at the beginning of [...]