launches into public beta

BBC Logo

So many things happen when you go away on Holiday for one week. Yep this is kinda of late news, but that secret project which I was not really able to talk about on my blog has gone live now. is the BBC's new developer network, providing content feeds for anyone to build with. Alternatively, share your ideas on new ways to use BBC content. This is your BBC. We want to help you play.

Taken from the about page.

Backstage is part of the BBC’s wider remit to “build public value” by sharing our content for others to use creatively. How do you “build public value”? One of the ways is through supporting innovation as the BBC Governors response to the Graf report of BBC online makes clear:

“The BBC will support social innovation by encouraging users’ efforts to build sites and projects that meet their needs and those of their communities … The BBC will also be committed to using open standards that will enable users to find and repurpose BBC content in more flexible ways”. aims to promote innovation amongst the design and developer community: if people are able to do interesting, productive things with the content then we’d like to support them. Finally and as a useful by-product of the above, is an opportunity to identify talent in the online community.

I have been aware of backstage for quite some time, but didnt take part in the closed beta due to work load. I urge everyone else to check it out and join the email discussion list which should be a friendly place for developers and designers to suggest ideas and team up with like minded people. I certainly will be on there with my designer/developer hats on.

I have to give a lot of credit to the backstage team. WELL DONE! Ben Metcalfe, James Boardwell and Tom Loosemore. Who all worked really hard to make this happen and without the concerns and conditions which could have been plagued the whole project and idea. I know lots more people were involved but these guys lived and died by this project.

Looking around so far, backstage got metioned on Channel9, Guardian Unlimited online Blog, The Oreilly Radar (cool!), Boingboing (double cool!), P2Pweblog (odd?) and even BBC News. The question still remains if they are ready for a slashdotting? Too late they already were via Stefan Magdalinski of course.

It time to crank out my Cocoon book and get working with the tons of open APIs and RSS feeds which now cover the web 2.0 landscape.

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Author: Ianforrester

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