Weinberger on the BBC / Are presentations redundant?

05/07/2005

So this is nice – via my boss I’m directed to a brief piece by David Weinberger on some of the work going on around the BBC at the moment and featuring some of the stuff we’ve been doing in BBC Radio and Music Interactive:

“My goodness but the BBC is up to lots of interesting things! I don’t even know where to start. Every episode of every program is getting its own URL and will be intensely metadated. An experiment lets you phone in to bookmark songs you hear on the radio. They’re putting RSS all over the place. They’re handing out video cameras to people who can’t afford them and posting the results. The BBC is showing us what mainstream media might be like if its mandate were simply to make our lives better.”

I’ve written quite a lot around the edges of the work we’ve done on making a page and identifier for every episode of every programme – New Radio 3 Site Launches, Developing a URL structure for broadcast radio sites, In which my mind starts to settle after ETech 2005 and The Age of Point-at-Things are all good places to start if you’re interested in that stuff. My personal opinion is that it’s pretty integral to the future media landscape and that although it doesn’t seem like a terribly interesting project, the stuff that falls out from having it implemented is absolutely enormous.

The project to do with tagging and bookmarking songs you hear on the radio came directly out of the R&D team that Matt Webb and I ran until he ponced off and abandoned me (working with the irrepressible Gavin Bell who I also worked with on the PIPs stuff above). We learned a hell of a lot of interesting things during that piece of work about some of the potential uses for fauxonomic tagging which I fully intend to drag out into the open as quickly as possible. On the subject of tagging, there’s a new weblog on the subject featuring Peter Merholz and David Weinberger which looks like it could be interesting.

At the moment the best representations on the web of the work that we’ve been doing in both of these areas are the two papers that we delivered at ETech: Reinventing Radio: Supplemented One-to-Many with Many-to-Many and On Programme Information Pages. Which brings me to another thing that’s slowly started to dawn on me – when I do a paper at a conference I expect the industry repercussions and the interest in the work we are doing to escalate enormously. But what I’ve recently begun to notice is that the stuff that captures people’s attention isn’t at the conferences at all – it’s the weblog posts that create linkable pages that people can talk and converse around that get people interested. Without something written in the medium of the industry, the work might as well not have happened at all. With this in mind, expect to see transcribed versions of the various papers appearing online either in a complete form or broken up into more digestible chunks over the next few days/weeks. It’s all in the public domain now anyway so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t talk about it.