August 28th, 2003

breaking bad

Sharing

The Tories have announced that they would close down the BBC website if they win the next general election.

I am interested in the BBC site, because it is so very good. The Tories culture spokesman John Whittingdale says:

"The BBC site is fantastic but that's because it's had a lot of money thrown at it."

I have been directly or indirectly involved with many publicly funded websites, many of which have had a massive amount of money thrown at them. And none of them have achieved a quality of content or format which begins to approach that of the BBC site. I'm not posting any links to these counter-examples, in case anyone tracks this blog down to me.

I cherish the BBC as a national institution, with an international profile. I hate the current moves to destabilise or weaken it. I am also interested in what the hell they are doing that enables them to get it right so often. And why are the public institutions I have worked with so rubbish at folowing suit?

Also worth a read - BBC opens up Napster-style file sharing. This is the kind of thing that makes them so hated by the fogies. Like that guy I posted about a few weeks ago who thought Linux might be satanic.

The BBC's mission is to distribute its work as widely and as cheaply as possible. Unlike other media companies, it doesn't depend on controlling that distribution to obtain its revenue. Quite the opposite: if the BBC doesn't get its media out to as many people as possible, it's failing its charter requirements.


That's a prescription for the future. That's what my organisation ought to be doing too.

Update - good blog entry celebrating this news.

http://www.oblomovka.com/entries/2003/08/24#1061749500