It’s been a while. I am very grateful to a few people nudging away to get me back into writing. Even reading my own blogroll tells me a lot about how times have changed. I have been Professor of Digital Media and Innovation at WMG, University of Warwick for almost three years, albeit working part time. I’ll be blogging about my work and the digital media and innovation landscape from now on. But first the credits! First thanks to Daniel Bennett a PHD candidate at Kings College, London who asked me to review a chapter of his PHD thesis about War reporting and BBC Blogs. Second to Dr. Tim Jones, who asked me to step in a co-author a chapter in the forthcoming book “Growth Champions” to be published by John Wiley early in 2012. Third to the Berkman centre for Internet Studies whose blogpost round-ups keep me informed and excited by new work in this field all over the world. Why thanks? With time and money short there seem to be fewer and fewer people writing and blogging in depth with their thoughts. Facebook and Twitter have changed the day to day landscape of communications beyond the graphs of early analysis. So to review in depth work like a PHD chapter or two on the history of the BBC and Blogging or to contribute to a discussion about what makes certain companies excel in Innovation leadership forced me to step back from the everyday hurlyburly and think about the last five years , or 10 years or in the case on my chapter on Apple , 35 years! More of which to come in time.
Tag Archives: bbc
Am wondering how the predictions made last year in Kuala Lumpur are going – so taking a day out to visit the SGI and the Serious Virtual Worlds Conference in Coventry live streaming on their page. I got here late but my colleague , Rain Ashford, has written up the morning before coffee.
I am no live blogger but I am highlighting something of a theme in this session which is all about interoperability. And that theme s that interoperability is not simply a technology issue. I’ll put in some more links and pictures later.
He went on to say that it’s people who need to do trials and want to. So make it possible for them or teach them how. Beware of Lock out – dangers of single source solutions. Make sure you can move around. Interoperability needs to be driven by commercial forces. Necessity is the mother of invention = mash ups and native integration. Delays in pilots and implementations as a result of these issues.
What other elements need to be interoperable? This is the list that Forterra’s clients keep on coming back with.
Content = eg clothing. Answer – adopt industry standards eg 3d studio max, maya, sktechup instead of building modeling systems
Interchange formats – eg Collada = answer they developed native importer for collada
scripting and animations
legal issues and intellectual property – who owns the data? Cap off to Linden – if you make content in SL you own it and you can take it wherever you like.
beyond islands and fractals
learning management systems
avatars , log in s etc
In Second life you have always been able to upload content and take it away . He went through some examples of this, but dwelt longer on CarbonGoggles - more later, with a nice plug for the BBC and in particular that he did some work for this application at Mashed 08.
Images – James Au remix
Animation – standard motion caption
Streaming Video – is enabling us to have this conference in Second Life now- people go to Second Life for speakes but stay to talk to each other – there will be more of this in the future
Web = embedding web pages in SL – not static – seen as huge step for interoperability
Should web browsers be enbedded in virtual worlds or should virtual worlds be in web browser – Jim thinks former
Web services – objects built in SL have links to real world services to pull data in – making the invisible visible – eg carbon data . Can’t do it in real life , can do it in SL. Takin gexisting stuff in SL and overlaying with data – much deeper integration – can actually pull in data from real world by reaching out to the web LINK here to carbon emissions data – app built in 24 hours at MASHED, nice plug here. Real deep application bang for buck most important type of work CARBON GOGGLES.
Machinima – most important area for ip in SL
Economy – i need some chairs, here are some good ones, they are here for 20 linden dollars so I will buy soe of them for my virtual world who needs a 3d artist – that is becase the economy is interoperable
have been working with IBM and Virtual Sims – The Future
Virtual worlds to be operated by different people eg IBM, Forterra, Linden , Uni – and some screenshots of Open Sims being teleported into SL regions and elsewhere.
Early work, long way to go before it can support big applications and reliability but in other ways very interesting, building in modular ways , using phsyics engines etc not for the fainthearted.
Open Source and Open Sims means you never get stuck (never get stuck good title) can always download source code if necessary! so small scale is poss, and so is large scale – this sounds good to me as a layperson as it will allow lots and lots of people to experiment.
Second Life has always been interoperable – this is not new. It has had media upload streaming media web embedding, web services, but imperoperability is not just about technology and talking to the web is more than puting viewer in a browser.
As I pack my holiday reading I realise that the books I am taking might be considered to be “work”orientated but after a momentary hesitation in they go to the suitcase. It’s clear now that my work interests are very close to my own life interests, and that is a good thing So books I have dipped into are going to get the proper attention they deserve. And my big question is this : is the power of the network strong enough to overcome the advantages of proximity?
I am thinking about this again as people I work with regularly are all on the move.
I am sad to miss the Kingswood Warren 60th Birthday party however obscure that might soundKingswood Warren has been the home of BBC R&D for 60 years and there is a party to celebrate next week, and a day of demos. But I read in the Guardian yesterday that there may be strike action to coincide with that day. That was news to me and got me thinking about the relationship between innovation and place.
You may have read articles in the press about the closure of Kingswood Warren and what that means to the the BBC , and there is undoubtedly a lot to think about when you start a discussion about the relationship of innovation and creativity to a place, geographical location or to a building.
But the fact that this building looks so opulent and other worldly obscures a proper discussion about the relationship between a place and the work that goes on it it. When we talk about an “esprit de corps” in an organisation or team, it’s a body of people we are talking about and their spirit we are highlighting – but does the place in which they work together count in the equation and if so what does it count for? Or can we say that wherever teams who know each other well work it will be the same? Is the power of the network strong enough to beat the power and advantages of proximity?
At the BBC this is the first move for the Kingswood Warren staff to London and that is likely to be followed by a second for some of them and many others to Salford to the MediaCity Development. This is a very interesting and exiciting development and the opportunity to create a groundbreaking research and production centre – but it will be a few years until it is all up and running and lots of transition time is hard for even the most dedicated to handle while keeping productive .I say this as someone who has worked in an organisation for many years whose propensity for change is high, and whose need to change is great.
This is not only being debated at the BBC, but more generally by writers such as Clay Shirky and Charles Leadbeater writing about collaboration and the network. What can be done virtually and what has to be done face to face? My take on this has always been that innovation is a social process. The place can be a garage or indeed a dingy forgotten basement such as the birthplace of BBC Imagineering, but the spirit needs to be willing. Networks work well virtually when there is a common purpose and a vision or mission. They also work in real locations for the same reason – the key is in relationships, language, camaraderie and cooperation – in other words in the social.
esprit de corps (-də kôr′)
group spirit; sense of pride, honor, etc. shared by those in the same group or undertaking
Etymology: Fr, lit., spirit of a body (of persons)
esprit de corps
A while ago I attended the Convergence Think Tank second seminar organised by BERR and DCMS looking at convergence in the media, telcos, advertising, policy etc. There is a good write up here by Simon Waldman. The most interesting thing for me (and I wasn’t officially representing the BBC) was the momentary conversation about the need to try new models of distributing content. Dawn Airey talked about this briefly in terms of potential experimentation with content in the long tail.
While detail was elusive I was glad to hear the thought was there. I tried to make a point but was not called and the point I wanted to make was that while there were organisations there representing Artists creativity and rights there were no artists a this event. Why might that be important? Because Artists are doing it for themselves…last year Radiohead, this year Rezner.
It would be great to get some hard facts about this artist-lead distribution models. And see what it might bring by testing it with video or tv clips owned by talent/artiss rights holders online…
Ofcom has scrapped the PSP. This is very interesting. At the Oxford Media Convention in January this year, at the session about the PSP and ideas about the future of public service broadcasting I made a comment from the floor as the temperature rose on the panel. Perhaps I just do too much facilitation at the moment. But what I said was that it seemed to me that the PSP proposal had always been a carrot or a stick (rather than a real thing). What had happened in the last year was that the industry, in its criticism, had taken it to be a stick and tried to kill it but it could have been seen as a carrot. Am beginning to wonder having just listened to the new Channel Four Innovation Strategy online this morning whether Channel Four might have taken it to be a carrot. I think we should be told….
Whatever has been going on behind the scenes, the Channel 4 Innovation for the Public fund sounds interesting
“Designed to “kick start a wave of new investment in public service digital media for audiences around Britain” the £50m 4IP fund will launch in July as a collaboration between Channel 4 and a series of development and media agencies from around the UK”
as does some of their language around creating value for the public and a new public value framework.
What a week to miss back at base – check out the new bbc homepage beta version here.
The thing that leapt out at me was the prominence given to our blogs – and how you can customise which feeds you want to see right up on the front page. This is a bit of a landmark as I instigated the project in 2004, then a research project, to get the BBC into the blogosphere. We got our framework together in 2005, started the trial in 2006 and have just come to the end of an 18 month trial – you can see written about here and here. Martin Belam has been writing about the early days – but I really want to pay tribute to two or three key people. First I really have to thank Julie Adair , now Head of New Media in BBC Scotland soon to leave the BBC to work with Disney. It was Julie who pushed me hard to send her off to BlogerCon but also importantly to get some new development work commissioned for Scotblog and Island Blogging in Scotland. Julie is very persuasive (in this case though she was pushing at an open door) and she also went on relentlessly (as I recall) to push me to organise a pan-BBC blog event internally to push everyone forward a year before we did it. I also want to thank Richard Sambrook (the first BBC divisional boss to start blogging inside the BBC firewall) for agreeing to be the internal Champion for the project that launched the Blog Network. Kevin Anderson was lured over from the US by Nic Newman to help encourage BBC News to take the plunge, Ben Metcalfe (an actual blogger at the time…) helped advise – and even the people who argued vehemently that it was not the route for the BBC to go down helped us all move forward. Six divisions agreed to go forward for a trial and happily Jem Stone had some money to pay. We modelled ourselves on the BBC Podcast and Download Trial (now a service) and set out to try a few different things. I am sure there is more to be said about the research commissioned to look at the trial so far. What interests me is some of the softer metrics, harder to measure. How blogging has or hasn’t affected correspondent’s TV or radio styles? How examples of things tried with the audience on one blog may be transferring to other blogs or programmes. How the experience of blogging may be changing how we speak to our audiences and, indeed, each other?
Note to self: must go and thank Richard Titus for the icing on the cake!