homechoice screams and dies…

I came home pissed from works drinks last Thursday to find my Homechoice box screaming and it’s blue light flashing slowly … like the last Dalek when it crashed to Earth. So, that’s no broadband and no digital TV. I’m back to being an ‘Anna’ according to the massively generalising presentation I was given at work the other day. Anna’s are ‘Analogues’ people without digital TV. Next there’s ‘Andy’s’ – ANalogue and DIgital, who are a mixture of the two, and last but not least ‘DJ’s’ who lives sound like Nathan Barley’s.

So this is how some people think of our audience? I ask this because today was a bit of a funny day at work for finding out what people thing. First off an massive pop-up/floating thing appeared on front of the homepage. It was a questionnaire, aimed at UK users, and asking them if the wanted to take part. I guess it was a way to try and find out more about our audience, but it just came across as cheap and nasty. It was also wrong on a number of other levels, the main one being it’s non-compliance with the new accessibility laws.

The main problem for me is just the concept of online survey’s. In this age of keeping your online life exposure to a minimum lest an Eastern European gang steal your identity, how honest can the results ever be? I sometimes think that where companies go wrong is that they base their entire business strategy on the sort of people who fill out surveys, who don’t tend to be that interesting. Mrs e works in market research, it’s bloody hard getting access to, and truth from, your customers, and a pop up isn’t really the best way to do it I reckon.

We could have done this as a promo, no doubt called The Big Feedback (everything in the BBC is prefixed ‘the big’, 40 something TV people think it’s street). We could have actually offered it up front, as editorial, without being ashamed of it.

Another thing that launced today asking what people think of the BBC wasbackstage, the We’re offering up our feeds, APIs and assets for developers to play with ala googlelabs. I’m all ready loving this as an idea. Here’s mine: I’ve been thinking of a promo construction kit… taking the functionality of snippet maker and offering it to our users, so maybe you could make bespoke promos to either enjoy yourself or give away as little sort of functional e-cards… i.e. “I surfed bbc.co.uk and thought of you”. It’s a bit like ‘send it to a friend’ but would we personal the homepage to them… or something.. end stream of consciousness. I need to draw it.

Other things, the ballot result is in… STRIKE!!! Scabs, flying pickets, ‘I’ve met the Met’ stickers, burning oil drums, rubbish on the streets, the dead not buried, 3 day week, black outs…. Hardly. Most people I spoke to, who voted yes, were more annoyed at loosing a days pay, and yet still having to commute in to protest. I’m still unsure as to the whole strike thing, I know a lot of people who want the voluntary redundancy, and who are so bored waiting for a decision that, to quote one “I can feel my life force leaking out through the wheels of my chair”. I’ve written about my thoughts on the strike a few posts down, so read up more there if you want.

And finally, last weekend I went to Scotland on a stag night with 21 other blokes and it was total and utter carnage. We stayed in a castle in the boarders, which had lots of real weapons on the walls… stuff got broken, the stags genitals were exposed, lots of beer was drunk, but I survived. I managed to flee the battle field on Saturday morning and take some landscapes, it’s beautiful up there. Will post to Flickr, as soon as my Homechoice is back.

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I've left it here for historical purposes. Please visit my new blog at www.foodjournalist.co.uk

DISCLAIMER

These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
May 2005
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