Whats been going on recently at work?

Well if I tell you I may have to kill you… No but seriously, too much stuff to blog about. Anyway let me try and explain.

Monday I did a presentation with Paul on Podcasting for the World service, I used the meyer's S5 Xhtml format which worked really well up to the point when xmlspy converted my javascript import into a compact one.

From this < script src="myjs.js" >< /script > to this < script src="myjs.js" />

Which is right but Opera and IE 6 would not load the Javascript and so the presentation could only be shown on Firefox, which was fine as I was using the tabs to show different sites. I learn afterwards that the compact script element was the problem. Anyhow the presentation went well except a discussion about bandwidth costs and licencing issues. Which was to be expected I guess, but some people seemed unmoveable to even a trial with one programme. Paul's presentation consisted of reasons why the world service should provide content in downloadable form and was very well thought-out. I kinda of wish I could put it online with mine, a bit of transparency couldnt go a miss here. Theres also talk about presentating to language services and higher managers. I'm also on the side trying to get Adam Curry to give a talk about podcasting from a radio broadcaster point of view, but alas he's a very busy man.

Tuesday and Wednesday were normal day pretty much except I recieved a very late email from Creative R&D outlining a project which I could be involved in next year. Details are a secret of course and still being worked out. Oh my, How on earth could I forget about the BBC Shake up on Tuesday?!
Ok first up, friends and people reading these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone (do not read into them as leaked BBC infomation). I am effected by the changes but not to the extent of moving to Manchester in 5 years. There will be cut backs but unlikely to be job losses.

The World Service, too, will be asked to make significant savings, said Mr Thompson, through investment, efficiency and reprioritisation as part of a separate review. But, he added, the World Service was not subject to the 15% cuts being applied to other departments.

So generally we will need to think and develop in more effective ways which provide the same benefit but using less resources. Now personally I think the whole announcement was quite strong sign in my eyes that the BBC must not only keep up but lead using the innovations of technology. Maybe this is where I could talk about BBC Backstage and innovations like the creative archive but no need as its been blogged else where. Anyway my final thought on the shakeup are… Moving out to Manchester is a brave move and a good one I think, too long have we treated anything past birmmingham as another country. The cuts are quite steep but the BBC can work towards those figures, without hurting programming specially if we stop copying successful content like bigbrother. Anyway I've said my bit and you can read lots of comments from others here

Thursday was a very early start, as I had to fly to Glasgow on Easyjet to meet the people of BBC Scotland interactive. Which created the system for Island blogging. Let me first start by saying how wonderful and open these people are. I mean wow, it such a difference from the usual London meetings which tend to be a little edgy sometimes. Anyway, I'm sure its public knowledge that there going to extend the island blogging with a better backend system and consider rolling it out futher in to scotland. How? well thats to be decided still. I showed the scotblog team my blojsom world service test which sends out html as ssi includes instead of html, and it seemed to go down quite well. But most of discussion took place around taking apart what exactly is blogging and where should the BBC be in the blogosphere? All I can say is that we had a good friendly discussion and it was just a shame we had a flight leaving so early as we could have spent much time talking futher. By the way Glasgow was different from what I'd imagined and it seemed quite nice actually, need to go up there for a holiday sometime soon.

Friday was all about Paul's idea… which I shouldnt talk about too much and some would say why mention it at all? Well agreed, but some of the experiements I'll be doing in my own time will be related to the idea. For example I'm using Flock as a http caching proxy for webservices. The bookmarks you see now are from del.icio.us but via Flock which only makes requests every 30 – 60mins. It has a XSL backend so I can rewrite or add templates as need. I've also been checking out blogwave alot recently and considering another way to do the idea. Here's a clue, take RSS dump it upside down and got what the idea is…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.