Archive for April 25th, 2006

The BBC’s Creative Future

So it’s half time here at the BBC Creative Future debate. This morning was spent huddled round the TV screens watching Mark and the Creative team talk about, well, our creative future. I always find this things (the big conversation etc.) slightly scary. It’s weird watching TV about your job, they always have a strange visual grammar too, part corporate video – part propaganda.

The other thing I find strange is that I’m in probably the most progressive bit of the BBC. So when you hear, “we should consider 360deg commissioning, and involve areas like online from the start”. You sort of feel like shouting “I’ve been saying that for ages!”.

So what’s been said? Well, lot’s of no brainers for us in the online ‘tail’, but that might come as a shock or confusing to the rest of the ‘dog’. We’re now head to head with companies like Google and Yahoo! Who are ‘already global, rich and fit for the digital age”. Interestingly Microsoft wasn’t mentioned… It’s not (just) ITV, Channel4 and Five anymore.

There was also a short vox pop from someone from UKNova, who’s name I didn’t catch, who said something along the lines of “people are sharing your content, and if you don’t start doing it, we will”. Which I thought was odd, but brave. I reckon if I walked into TVC canteen and ‘vox popped’ our own staff less than half would know what UKNova was, maybe less…

So the temptation is perhaps to go something like this.
New Media: ‘ha ha telly people, your time has come! Stand aside and make way for the digital revolution”
TVC people: “sigh, not this again, didn’t we do all this six years ago?”
New Media: “Ahh, but this time, we mean it!”

I guess that’s what part of today was about, in some ways it’s a classic internal comms exercise. It takes a lot of repeated consistent messages to affect a step change. From a technology point of view though I wonder if it was ever like this when they introduced colour TV? People bemoaning about the loss of chiariscuro?

And the iMP a.k.a The Player internally, now becomes the BBC iPlayer. I’m sure about the product, not sure about the name.

Some other Mr T soundbites.. “Ultimately the internet’s going to be the most important medium we operate in and an important way of delivering TV and radio”
“The four big themes: creative, digital, simple, open….will be central to our work over the next 12 months”

Some other things I picked up on..

UGC – you on us: This is going to move out of just News, and coincidentally today we launched comedy soup, it’s not b3ta taken away and force bred with youtube, honest!

Metadata is like, um, important: Ashley’s talked about this ages ago, it was true then, tis true now.

For God’s sake get the kids in man!
One in four teens doesn’t watch ANY BBC tv. That’s really bad. Why? ‘Well there’s so much other competing media these days like playstation’s and DVDs’ goes the line… crap. When I was a young there were Commodores and Spectrums and ghostbusters on VHS, and I watched almost every broom cupboard transmission… So it’s got to be the internet then, can’t just be that? The programmes have to share some of the blame.

And finally…. that we’re launching a competition to redesign the BBC homepage.
Send us your designs here more on that in a bit….

This blog is no longer being updated

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


These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
April 2006
« Mar   May »