The BBC-o-Gram: How the BBC spends money

It puts all the discussions about 6 Music in to perspective just how little they are squabbling over. You have to look pretty hard to find them on the infographic in the first place.

My take on Snow Leopard for the BBC.

I was asked by the nice people over at the Beeb what my thoughts were on Snow Leopard after getting a copy on release. In a nutshell, I alluded to the fact that it’s an evolutionary but not revolutionary step forward. If the wheel ain’t broke then there’s no point in majorly fixing it. They’ve further refined the already nicely oiled and fully functioning wheel I should say, with some good old fashioned elbow grease.

You can check out the article here.

Excerpt below screen grabbed.

BBC News

BBC iPlayer is mobile’s most wanted

According to recent research by analyst house CCS Insight, the BBC’s iPlayer came out on top in a poll of what the most desired mobile service is with users saying that they want to get access to the TV and radio programmes on their phone.

BBC iPlayerThere are a handful of handsets out there which currently have the ability to play programmes from the iPlayer through 3G and Wifi, for example, a whole host of Nokia’s like the N85, N96 and N97 phone, Samsung’s, Sony-Ericsson’s and the iPhone. The iPhone can however, only stream over Wifi. Considering the amount of storage available on the iPhone, I’d love to to be able to download a programme in an evening and watch it while travelling in to work in the morning. I’d like to think over time, it will be possible!

Consumers’ mobile internet usage is on the increase due to phones like the iPhone coming with ‘all you can eat’ data packages. I use my phone more for web browsing and emailing than I do for actual phone calls. That’s something the telco’s will have noticed as a growing trend and it represents an opportunity for mobile operators to revitalise their ARPU (average revenue per user) and create new data-oriented business models as voice revenues continue to decline.

iPlayeriPhone

In the poll as mentioned above, navigation/maps and unlimited music are the next most desired mobile services after iPlayer, according to the analyst’s report, with around 20% of the votes on each. Maps have been ever present on the more top end of phones for the last few years, I was using an N95 and it’s ‘Maps’ programme about 2 years ago now but it’s becoming more commonplace and a standard feature.

Voda 2005Multiplayer games and other mobile TV were desired by four per cent of the vote apiece, with video calling being requested by just three per cent. Video calling was once a key feature for some top end phones on Vodafone a few years back in 2005. It was expensive, you were prohibited by others needing a front facing camera and well, it never did catch on did it. Picture to the left is Vodafone’s Christmas 2005 handsets which were heavily pushing the 3G technology, increased download speeds and mobile TV.

Interestingly, the respondents of the survey showed that gender informs hardware choice, with Samsung mobiles being twice as popular with women than men – but the reverse being true for the iPhone and BlackBerry. 90% of the users questioned had visited Facebook on their mobile with only 14% having visited Twitter. This for me would be a clear indication of the age of the large majority of users polled, where it was said that 18-35 year olds were polled. I’d think they were mostly of the younger age bracket as it’s well known that Twitter is more widely used by 35+.

Glastonbury goes social.

The BBC have implemented some pretty cool stuff on site along with providing the usual brilliant Glastonbury coverage. It’s almost as if I’m there! Without getting muddy or wet. Last year they got 600,000 visitors in the week of Glastonbury to their page and I firmly believe with the harnessing of the social web they can double that.

Picture 36

Along with using wireless video cameras which overlook different parts of the festival site to give us, the people who aren’t there, a taste of the atmosphere, the site also includes an aggregation of Twitter feeds from various BBC presenters and journalists and will also be experimenting with Audioboo, the audio blogging service.

It looks to have everything you could possibly need to know about Glastonbury, all in one place and all integrated very nicely. You’ve got the weather forecast, BBC blogs, radio and TV listings, some stunning photography, videos of performances, webcams, a dedicated page for each artist and the ability for fans to comment on their performances on site. All relevant, useful and social.

They have a presence also on Flickr allowing you to comment on each individual image and share further. It will be interesting to see if it’s updated with the best of this years imagery as currently the images shown are from 2008.

Flickr

What I probably found most interesting was almost an active encouragement to share the site content on your site, blog or social networking profile so you can embed the content with ease by simply copying the embed code and adding it to a post. They have a page on site listing all the embeddable content available here. I only chose not embed in this instance because it’s fairly image heavy already.

Similarly you can add a widget to see some live webcam footage, the weather etc. The red button plays a much more prominent role this year also, providing the user the opportunity to watch exactly what they want to, personalised TV.

Another nice little feature I thought was seeing who were the most popular artist pages on site. In a sense this could be seen as a barometer of how successful their performances have been in the real world, at Glastonbury. I’ve watched some of the footage from Lady Gaga’s performance and am not surprised it’s the most viewed, such an eccentric and entertaining performer.

Artist Pages

Mobile also seems to be something that’s not been forgotten with the site being optimised to work on your iPhone’s and N97’s with a more limited service also on basic web enabled mobiles.

“We’re seeing a big difference in the number of people web browsing on phones this year. Call it the ‘iPhone effect’ or just cheap data tariffs, but there was no way we could let people have a poor experience on our festival sites,” Tim Clarke, a senior content producer for BBC Audio and Music online said.

To conclude, here are just a few ways the BBC have fully embraced old and new methods to reach out to a greater audience on a much more interactive level.

BBC Glastonbury

This is an example of how you can best capture the essence of what is typically a very real world physical event, online.

Track Swine Flu with Google Maps Mashup.

Via Shankrila

News channels have been completely taken over by the news on the H1N1 swine flu in the last few days. Swine flu is caused by a new flu virus strain, a mixture of various swine, bird and human viruses.

The US has declared a public health emergency on Sunday. Mexico where the virus seems to have first been found have their businesses, schools, etc shutdown for days together. The World Health Organization has activated its 24-hour war room command center.

With so many news outlets reporting various numbers, it is easy to get the wrong notion between the number of ’suspected cases’ vs ‘confirmed cases’.

It is important to stay informed with the right facts. At times like these misinformation can spread like a wildfire.

Swine Flu Google Maps Mashup

This Google Maps mashup shows the global swine flu cases with different colored markers.

swine-flu-google-map

  • Purple – Confirmed or probable
  • Pink – Suspected cases
  • Markers with no dots – Deaths
  • Yellow – negative

BBC Swine Flu Map

BBC also maintains a swine flu map showing the history of cases reported as the days progress. This is being updated everyday with number cases per country.

H1N1 Swine Flu FAQ

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has answered the most frequently asked questions on the h1n1 swine flu. And NDTV has a FAQ section as well.

In spite of it’s name, this virus now spreads among humans and eating pork doesn’t infect you. In fact, this virus spreads just like a common cold – when an infected person near you coughs or sneezes or if you come into contact with the virus via eyes, nose or mouth. Simple hygiene like washing hands could help protect yourself to a certain extent.

Stay informed. Stay healthy!

Facebook overtakes the BBC..

I was actually a bit surprised by this when I first heard about it, but Facebook has for the first time ever overtaken the monolith that is the BBC to become the fifth most visited site in the UK.

With an impressive 18.4m uniques in September it’s quite incredible, seeing an 80% YOY increase in traffic whilst BBC fell nearly 3% over the same period.

Although that looks negative, BBC has been hugely successful with it’s rollout of the iPlayer over Christmas last year and it’s subsequent updates improving on an already great platform with the ability to use the iPlayer on such devices like the iPhone / iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii and has definitely changed viewing habits for some, myself included. It’s always good to know if you miss a BBC programme it will more than likely be on there for downloading / streaming when convenient.

When it comes to Facebook, personally I started to see a downturn in my usage from June onwards this year, most likely due to graduating from University and getting on the job ladder. I presume due to the lack of free time it lost it’s stickyness for me as I wasn’t part of the University / Student bubble. For a period I stopped using it so much, as I didn’t have as much time and it wasn’t drawing me back on such a regular basis. I’d check it for a few minutes in the evening and that would be it.

What it lost in it’s stickyness it has gained more recently through it’s chat application. It’s by no means perfect, it’s horribly buggy and says you are offline when you are clearly not for example. It has however taken my time more away from MSN Messenger to using FB Chat. Anyone and everyone is on Facebook so it’s a lot more broad and diverse who you might chance upon talking to..

Back on track –

The top 5 most visited sites in the UK now look like so (over the same period, Oct 08) :-

1. Google 36m uniques

2. Microsoft 32m

3. Yahoo 21m

4. eBay 20m

5. Facebook 18m

It’s probably no surprise the names listed, predominantly search focussed. Facebook is impressively even gaining on eBay though, quite something when you think about it. eBay, the golden child of the dot com boom being caught up by the new kid on the block! Those that thought Facebook was starting to see it’s demise in recent months appear to have been silenced but the golden question still lies unanswered, how are investors going to see some real returns.

It would appear that the almighty Zuckerburg doesn’t have a direct answer to that either instead reiterating the value of building up the brand and the network of users. Nicely deflected! He did however recently mention that Facebook’s global userbase has risen to over 100 million and is also one of the top destinations online for photo sharing.

With that in mind, it would appear that there’s life in the old dog yet!

What do you think? Is Facebook here to stay?