BBC 2.0

I met Jason DaPonte on Friday, who gave a presentation on the “BBC 2.0” strategy.

Wow. These guys get it. I wish I’d known him a year ago, when I was busily telling corporations about how they should get involved with Web 2.0. I could have saved a lot of time by saying “look, this is what the BBC is trying to do. Do that”.

First, they did their research. They wanted to determine the quality and impact of their websites, and were particularly interested in what they’ve been calling the ‘lovability’. In order to measure this Jason said they’d been calculating their Net Promoter score (which involves asking users how likely they would be to recommend to a friend or colleague and doing some maths to create a Net Promoter score). While CBeebies, Dr Who, Sport and News had great scores, some (I particularly noticed Newsround and Comedy Soup) fared pretty badly. Interesting question though: how likely is the average kid to recommend the Newsround website, and how likely am I to recommend the weather site? Some sites (like weather) have a big reach but are not well loved.

Second: they noticed something was going on out there. Jason showed this graph (or something very like it) to highlight the explosive reach of YouTube vs the relatively static reach of the BBC over the past few years. According to Jason (and he’s spot on here IMO), the sites that have been doing well have been straightforward, functional, gregarious (social), open, and evolving.

Next, they formed a response, which happens to be alliterative. The 5 Ps are..

  • Distinctive portfolio
  • Promise fulfilled
  • Participation
  • Part of the web
  • Personal experience

The two key points for me, and the ones for which Jason gave most examples, were participation and being part of the web. Some cool stuff already going on here. For John Peel day people were invited to upload their photos to a Flickr photo pool. He mentioned a demo of a “Radio 1 sucker” site (also mentioned in this presentation online), which demos what a Radio 1 website which purely aggregated existing content would look like (the answer: impressively rich). Best of all, the experimental Programme Catalogue that Matt Biddulph mentioned back in late ’05 is back online.

One amazing quote which had me reaching for my Moleskine: “don’t just build a website, be part of the web”. Some more principles (a discrete 6th P), some of which I also hastily scribbled down:

  • The very best websites do one thing really well
  • Use other peoples content and tools to enhance your site (and vice versa)
  • The web is a conversation… join in
  • Link to discussions, don’t host them
  • Make sure all your content can be linked to, forever [Which is of course to say that Cool URIs don’t change]
  • Let people paste your content on the walls of their virtual homes [yay!]

I hope the BBC listens to this good advice, and continues to act on this strategy. A BBC 2.0 web presence, and involvement, would raise the bar for everyone.

10 replies on “BBC 2.0”

  1. I’ve heard again and again for about six years that the BBC get it, and I’ve heard and see some wonderful stuff, but still we don’t seem to have something public that really does the trick. I still believe, but I’d like to see a release….

Comments are closed.