Monthly Archives: December 2007

Blog feeds right to the new beta front page

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! blog network feeds front page


Filed under bbc blog network

Annniversaries everywhere….and the birth of new research projects too

While I was away in KL back at base at the BBC we were marking the 10th Anniversary of The Internet Blog is hosting a nice series of articles looking back as we move forwards into the next ten years. Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society is also marking its 10 year anniversary . I’m looking forward to following their News Re:public study. It’s going to look at how people who are not professional journalists are changing the information landscape and civic life as well as how traditional media outlets are using new sources and interactive tool to engage their readers, listeners, and viewers. They’ve got a conference coming up in March 2008 to bring researchers and practitioners together on their way through the research programme. Colleagues Rowena Goldman and Brendan Crowther are doing their bit for our research effort on this front. Check out the details of the new research projects their Arts and Humanities Research Council/BBC Knowledge Transfer project Meanwhile it’s Creative Commons 5th Birthday this weekend too.

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DiploFoundation in Second Life at GK3

According to Rita J. King of DancingInk Productions, Gartner predicts that by 2011 80% internet users will have avatars. Jean Miller, Head of International Initiatives for Linden Labs introduced herself and Second Life in world to a group of global conference delegates at GK3 – her prediction for the next five years was all wrapped up in one word “interoperability”. She talked about their work with IBM and how many companies were now trying to bridge the gap into Second Life. We heard from Stefan Geens about the House of Sweden in Second Life , and Jovan Maldives Embassy and Embassy of the Philippines . Joshua Fouts of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy in answer to my question about new research said much more research is on the way coming out to time with a conference next Autumn. What’s more the questions and chat from Second Life, the contributions and quality of the sound for Jean Miller’s contribution and linking with the real world crowd in Kuala Lumpur worked really well – no mean feat. Congratulations to session producers DiploFoundation.

KL_GK3 040_Diplomacy_Panel

Originally uploaded by seriousgamesinstitute

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I’m just back from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I was speaking on two panels. The first was at the World Electronic Media Forum WEMF and the second at GK3. It’s a long story but when I worked for a while earlier this year at the World Service Trust, a GKP partner organisation, I was asked to organise and produce a panel to look at how participatory media and citizens’ journalism could and did impact Development issues. The original line up featured Dan Gillmor, Ory Okolloh, Sina Motalebi and Ethan Zuckerman with yours truly as moderator.

In the end the conference asked us to merge our panel with another panel being organised by YATV so Ethan and I volunteered to step down. In a strange turn of events I was later (months later) invited to speak myself on another panel that coincided with the my original offering – and happily Nancy White liveblogged it!

My own panel on the future of innovation took place in a ball room . The speakers were high up on a podium and the audience down below in the hall – it’s been a while since I have been that removed from the audience but happily everyone muddled around each other at the end.

My fellow panelists were all fascinating and we only had a few minutes each to talk about the future of innovation in our field. The organisers wanted to draw lessons from science futures, media futures, Asian futures and grassroots network futures – a tall order in one panel session. Ged Davies,Co-President of Global Energy Assessment, Futurist, and Former Managing Director, World Economic Forum, Kamal Jeet, representing Prof Anil K. Gupta, Co-ordinator, SRISTI and Honey Bee Network, and Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation, Markus Mettler, Chair Brainstore IdeaFactory, Sohail Inayatullah, Visiting Professor at Tamkang University, Taipei and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Q&A from the audience focussed on how to match innovation and futures thinking with the development agenda and particularly a grassroots approach. Kristine Pearson, Chief Executive of Freeplay Foundation (fellow panelist on my WEMF panel) pointed out that I was the only woman on this panel and made a wider point about women or lack of them in key Innovation roles which sparked some interest. It does seem to be true as I begin to go to more conferences in this role and I am struck, for the second time in my career by this phenomenon. but as I said from the panel creativity is not dependent on wealth or lack of it or gender come to that. It’s simply human. It’s how we organise it, rate it and value it that becomes divisive in this respect. What I liked about this conference was the global mix – everyone was from somewhere else.

But the question from the audience that took the biscuit on this issue came at DiploFoundation’s session on Diplomacy in Second Life when it was claimed that Second Life is 50/50 men and women. “So, you’re saying that’s real gender or virtual gender?”

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Filed under conferences, Development, GK3, innovation, WEMF