BBC watching what others are saying

Imp (her name not a nickname) has an extremely detailed post about the BBC iPlayer. I'm going to reserve all judgment till the final thing comes out, plus I shouldn't really be blogging about work things I guess? Some people have asked if I'm on the trial, well I'm not because to tell the truth, I honestly don't need a PVR like service like this.

Seeing how were talking about the BBC, I thought I'd also mention Ben Metcalfe's post about BBC Future Media and Technology (what use to be BBC New Media). I'm officially part of BBC Innovation and Development (I hope thats the correct name) which is slightly different but not far remove. Its sad whats happened to the BBC, but honestly there is no point crying over the dropped beer now. Its what we do in the future which matters now.

I also do not feel trapped in the BBC, I choose to work for the BBC and although I could maybe go somewhere else and earn tons more money. Its not about that for me. Me and Ben have had this debate many times. He wants to run a successful business, while I'm not interested in running my own business or even being a freelancer. Currently Ben and others seem to think the only way this will happen is if they go to America. Fair enough, but I think there in for a shock as the internet becomes truly more global. And this is not me being bitter, if I wanted to go to the states tomorrow, I could get up and leave (if I can convince Sarah to go back). I was never in the industry to be a rockstar, I find rockstars and popularity very boring. My aim is to only change the world one step at a time.

Next month sees my 1 year anniversary since leaving the BBC. In that time I’ve had a turbulent time – moving to a new country, helping to start a business that I later left because it wasn’t heading in the direction I wanted to see myself go. But in that time I’ve felt a sense of freedom and opportunity that I never felt within the BBC – even when I was given the ‘greenlight’ to do pretty much what I wanted… the constraints placed upon the BBC were always still there.

Funny enough, I found out that Paul Hammond also joined the Yahoo Flickr team recently. Congrats to him, honestly. I actually wanted to get on video why he felt the need to go to the states.Most of the guys I followed into the BBC including Paul, Ben, MattB, Kim, Matt Jones, Plasticbag, etc. Have all gone off and worked for other great companies. They have all remarked on how different things are outside of the BBC. Well currently this is more negative that positive. But mark my words, in a few years that will change and the BBC will be where everyone will want to work.

Lastly while talking about the BBC ( I really need to change the title of this blog post from BBC iPlayer covered like no one else to BBC watching what others are saying) Miles Metcalfe (not related to Ben Metcalfe in anyway) wrote a short entry which I meant to cover a while ago.

informitv reports BBC appoints Microsoft man to control future media. I am reminded of DEC and AltaVista, and why you will have heard of Google, but not AltaVista

In the same story, news that James Cridland will become head of BBC future media for audio and music. I've met James, and he's a nice guy. But he thinks the iPod is a closed platform. Possibly not the sort of person you'd want taking long-term decisions about DRM and BBC audio content, then.

Well technically the iPod is a open platform but its got elements of closedness which makes it not as open as others. I think James will make a great head. The fact he actually reads the debate which happens on Backstage and was trying to setup a backstage like project at Virgin Radio is huge. I know people with large pay packets who still don't understand backstage. I for one will be looking forward to seeing him around and working with him in the near future. I would be lying if the other comment about DEC didn't give me a chill, well observed Miles.

meta-technorati-tags=tv, bbc, catchuptv, pvr, trial, beta, iplayer, imp, benmetcalfe, jamescridland, milesmetcalfe

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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