So on Tuesday afternoon, I gave a lecture at Ravensbourne College to a mix of interaction design, broadcast and graphic design students. John told me, it just needed to be inspiring. So I was torn between my day job at BBC Backstage and things I think about daily. So I started with my presentation about what is backstage. I got to the 3rd slide before the whole lecture turned into a dynamic conversation about the BBC. It was fantastic, the students and staff wanted to know where the BBC was going in the future. Along that path we explorered the questions of advertising on the BBC's international facing website and the Microsoft BBC agreement. Miles did say this
I did find myself reminded of John Battelle's description of AltaVista as it was fucked over by DEC (just prior to the sale to Compaq): “a mammal chained to a dinosaur more likely than not will get trampled.
While I don't know the details of the agreement, there were lots of thoughts and worries about the future of non-DRM content coming out of the BBC. Someone mentioned Dirac and asked whats happened to that? There was also a serious debate about why we didn't write our own DRM? The suggestion was that DRM in understandable if we can't make up our mind between DRM and NoDRM at this point. And you know what thats actually a good question, even if we internally couldn't build it. Maybe someone else could have from a netrual position. I've heard good things about Open Source DRM but not seen any marjor adopters. This would be an ideal project for the BBC to trial. Hey maybe even a Backstage Project? Someone (i think miles) did ask what would happen if someone today created a videoplayer which looks and feels like the BBC player which is being worked on? I said we would certainly be interested in it from a prototype point of view and if it was that good, who knows what might happen.
Although most of this could sound like BBC bashing, it was far from that. It was concerned people wanting to understand why certain choices were being made without them and wondering what they could do to make sure the BBC values lives on in some form into the future.
For any students who might be reading, I uploaded the raw html from the cache of my desktop RSS reader. I hope to clean it up a little more in the near future.