This is the blog of Ant Miller, senior research manager and dilettante geek at large at the BBC.
I wail moan and cuss about the challenges and fun to be found here.
These are my personal opinions, and not those of my employer. Or anyone else here for that matter.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A BBC Micro for the 21st Century?

Wow, just done my first flying solo Barcamp session, and I'm relatively please with how it went. It was a pretty loose exploration of the last BBC Micro (late 80's, hugely influencial, but with a gestation and reasoning behind it which might not agree with your preconceptions!), and an exploration of whether and what the BBC could or ought to do along the same lines some 25 years later.

Thanks a gazzilion to Rain for blogging it. That's actually rather more structured and complete than anything I had written down about it!

I'd also like to thank the audience, who not only seemed really attentive, but at the end everyone engaged in a really spirited discussion of the potential avanues in which this could develop. I hope to continue this dialogue in Backstage, keep eyes peeled for a blog post there.

Ask the BBC Anything!

Just done a session at BarcampBrighton3 (for which Adactio has just produced a delightful Schedule) on' Ask the BBC Anything' alongside Ian Forrester and Rain Ashford of the BBC Backstage team. Not a huge turnout (which was probably for the best) and the questions were all sensible and managable:

There was one about the slight flakeyness of a widget for Radio POP, a social netwpork radio beta from Radio Labs; apparently for one of the campers the widget stops running when minimised on his Mac. One to pass along I think.

There was also some interesting questioning regarding the way the bbc interacts with 3rd parties in developing it's web presence. It seems we're perceived as being entirely self sufficient, technically in this area, or at least we were, and it was interesting to discuss the sometimes conflicting dynamics toward efficient centralisation and adaptive, flexible local development, along with the complexity of dealing with potentially thousands of suppliers (and I didn't even touch on our finance system nightmare!).

We closed with a discussion on copyright, and the oft quoted Tom Loosemore tale of the orchestral work with difficult to clear rights came up again (twice). The feeling seemed to be hugelky sympathetic to our (the BBCs) plight, as opposed to the feeling of the long term copyright holders. The continuing copyright renewal of Mickey Mouse came up, and much grumbling was heard.

I hope that a few of the people there do come and join the Backstage community, and that we get some good input from them over the nextfew months- there was enough smarts around the table!