Archives for February 2009

Sharable and Remixable video on Backstage

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 18:07 UK time, Thursday, 26 February 2009

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Some people have noticed there has been a huge increase in the amount of Video content coming out of Backstage.

Why is this?

Surely Backstage only deals with data, apis, feeds not video and audio right? We still do but were also here to inspire people to try new things. Maybe try building a prototype, build your next app into a little business or just go out and meet other interesting people. This is part of the reason why we use to put on big events like Mashed and Over the Air. However everyone is doing events now which is great but we're moving onwards and upwards.

We would like to reach the people who don't go to events like Mashed and Over the Air. And what's even better, you guys are going to help us. Your enthusiasm for what you do and love is very infectious. So if we can capture even a part of your enthusiasm and show it to others across the world, that would be a good thing for you, us and the others trying to make the UK dev landscape exciting and special.

Because this is backstage, sharing the video by putting it under a creative commons licence is a no brainier. We're not duplicating the creative archive, just doing what comes natural to the Backstage team. Actually we've been doing this for some time via blip.tv now but are planning to do a lot more with our video in the very near future.

Keep an eye out for much more video including exclusive interviews with people you know, met and would love to meet. Fear not, we are working on more data and apis

To get you all warmed up, here's a selection of videos from Northern Startup 2.0 which took place in Manchester on Tuesday 24th February. There under a creative commons licence so sharable and most of time re-mixable.

Enjoy...

What should the BBC do with twitter.com slash bbc

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 00:35 UK time, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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Jem and Aaron
This was one of the sessions from BeebCamp which happened recently within the BBC. It was announced that we now own the account on twitter.com, BBC but there's a real dilemma about what exactly we do with it?
We are very interested in what ideas you may have for the dilemma and so have setup the idea on ideastore. We look forward to seeing your solutions soon.

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Mashed 2009?

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 16:09 UK time, Monday, 23 February 2009

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Mashed 2008
We aren't planning to run large scale events at this time for a couple of reasons.
In 2009 we are looking at the entire Research & Development function in addition to using this period to consider fresh ideas. Also events like Mashed are extremely costly so this decision has been taken in part as one of the BBC's Future Media & Technology division's contributions to the efficiencies effort that is being undertaken across the entire corporation.
We are also looking to better support smaller grass-root events such as BarCamps and Geek Events across the country. We actually have a calendar which you can follow in iCal format here or RSS here. There's a calendar here too.

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All the fun of the Maker Faire

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 11:45 UK time, Monday, 9 February 2009

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Over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of March the Backstage team will be at the Newcastle Centre for Life for the inaugural UK Maker Faire, joining in as a Maker Team. We think it's a great opportunity for us and the wider Backstage community to join in with a movement that pulls in up to 60,000 people over a weekend in the US, and celebrates the whole hacking and making culture. We'll be doing our own hacks (current ideas are around having little robots explore a map and show live(sih) weather data) and we'll also be on hand to chat to about other Backstage activities, BBC APIs and the rest of the Backstage effort. It's a family day out, so we'll try and ensure there's something for everyone- help us design weather logo's for our robots to display, or give us a hand on the soldering irons! Let us know if you're in the area and would like to help with the hack; even if it's only for a couple of hours we'd appreciate the help, and there may even be a t-shirt in it for you. (Ian, do we have any of those T-shorts left?)
If you fancy getting your own team together you've missed your chance! - deadline for Maker Team application was this Sunday the 8th of Feb! Hopefully see you there though, and keep track of our team progress at BBCWeatherbot.com

How we make websites by Radio Labs

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 13:10 UK time, Saturday, 7 February 2009

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Such a good post went up on the Radio Labs site about how they create websites. Too good not to share with the rest of the Backstage community.

Twitter usage in the UK

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 15:20 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009

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Hitwise stats
UK Internet traffic to Twitter has increased 10-fold over past last 12 months, according to Hitwise. For the week ending 17/01/09 Twitter ranked as the 291st most visited website in the UK. And this is before that Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross moment on BBC one, when there was a almost a complete minute when Stephen and Jonathan discuss twitter and what it is. Outside of the technorati and alpha geeks, Twitter is starting to attract celebs including John Cleese, Britiney Spears and Bobby Llewellyn among many others. On Backstage we're also seeing much more projects using Twitter as the network. This is certainly a trend to watch for the future.

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Disruption alerts for UK train services by Twitter

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 15:02 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009

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This is perfect while the snowy weather grips the UK in a blanket of white.

Inspired by this tweet from MP Tom Watson and enabled by the excellent BBC Backstage's travel feeds, this prototype service tweets disruption alerts for 25 UK train operators. The original data is processed and shortened to less than 140 characters (in most cases) by Yahoo Pipes and tweeted via Twitterfeed which also adds a short-link back to the original BBC report. Tweetlater provides the automated welcome DM.

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