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BBC iPlayer Flickr group

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Ashley Stewart-Noble Ashley Stewart-Noble | 14:06 UK time, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I manage a Flickr pool for BBC staff to submit their images for use on all the network TV and Radio stations that appear in iPlayer (around 20 channels). These images appear, through syndication, on BBC iPlayer, the BBC homepage, our programme sites as well as the other portals we run here.

Our images come from a variety of sources. BBC Pictures supply us with the professionally shot imagery for the BBC's highest marketing priorities, we have our internal archive of images stretching back to the beginning of our broadcasting history (though the majority of this has yet to be digitised) and we use photo agencies.

The BBC has an ongoing commitment to commissioning professional photographers to illustrate its output and that will never change. However, digital cameras and the internet have created a new generation of amateur photographers and the Flickr group is one way for me to harness this amateur potential, enhance the BBC's professional offering and give people the chance to engage with the BBC.

We use the Flickr group to send out requests and notifications - due to the nature of iPlayer, we can't credit images, but I like to let contributors know where their images will be used so they can share the bragging rights and enjoy the small amount of kudos it brings.

After only four months, the pool has passed the 1000 image mark and to date my team have used around 100 images from it to illustrate our sites - a drop in the ocean of the 3000hrs of programming per week that need illustrating.

I've been asked why the Flickr pool is for BBC staff only:

1) I need to ensure that the people submitting images are who they say they are - so if there is a copyright issue I can address it with them directly.

2) I am one man who leads a busy team and I currently don't have as much time as I'd like to open the group out to a wider audience.

Having said that, I am researching ways and means to open the group up to a wider, more public audience, so watch this space.

Images used so far from the pool include:

(click to enlarge)

A Passage to India

Used on this page. Supplied by Kahmac.

Iain Burnside - Venice

Used on this page. Supplied by polkadotsoph.

The Essay

Used on this page. Supplied by phil-jackson.

Ashley Stewart Noble is Senior Content Producer, BBC Online, BBC Future Media & Technology.

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