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BBC Online: improving partnerships

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Andy Conroy | 17:59 UK time, Thursday, 16 June 2011

Improving BBC Online for audiences is the job of everyone who works here. Given the nature of the web, which is built on connections and partnerships, improving how we work with partners - the wider digital media industry - is going to be critical if this goal is going to be met.

It's with this in mind that we host today what will be the first of two annual engagement days with partners. Over 175 people from a cross-section of digital media companies will convene at BAFTA in London this afternoon for a session of talks and workshops. Delegates have been invited to tweet using the hashtag #BBCOnline. BBC Online has far more partners than that (we are oversubscribed for this event), so we're going to open this event up to others by sharing material from it here on the Internet Blog over the next few days.

The hashtag is bbconline - a graphic

Today is another important step in our continuing attempts to create a new, more open engagement with the digital media industry: the second of these events will take place in the BBC's new Salford base, MediaCityUK, in October. I wrote yesterday at /commissioning to give some context to the event and explain about the various process reviews we've undertaken to improve our relationship with partners.

Clearly this event takes place at a particularly important time for BBC Online. The event builds on the announcements we made in January as part of BBC's Delivering Quality First strategy. We made a number of significant commitments; to do fewer things better, be clear on boundaries, set out the areas we were not going to enter, and to introduce Product Management as a common way of working across the BBC.

The BBC Online logo

This afternoon we want to put a little more detail to that bigger ambition. And we want to share our plans for this financial year 2011/12. So it's a broad agenda this afternoon, and for those who can't make it, here's a summary of this afternoon's presentations - most of which we'll be making available on this blog throughout next week:

Ralph Rivera - Connected Storytelling. The new director of BBC Future Media, Ralph Rivera, will open the day. He'll be talking about how BBC Online is being re-shaped as one service, comprising ten products and delivered seamlessly across four screens - PCs, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs. He'll be posting later today on the About The BBC blog with more detail.

Holly Goodier who leads one of our audience teams will talk about how audience behaviour is changing in a digital world.

Jane McCloskey - Making it easier to work with the BBC. The audience today will include many of our hundreds of suppliers. We have a special session devoted to some of the practical changes we're proposing to make it easier to work with us.

Simon Lucy, Building on our technical platform. If you're a regular reader of this blog you may have noticed the occasional tantalising mention of BBC Online's new technical platform. Simon will be giving a technical presentation on what partners need to know, as well share details of an event we're planning for later in the Summer for developers.

Chris Russell, Integrating Product Management. Chris blogged about the BBC's new approach to product management in April. Chris will give an update on how integrated Product Management is evolving.

Daniel Danker, TV & iPlayer. Daniel will share his thinking about how the product will evolve over the next two years.

Sinead Rocks and Phil Fearnley, Knowledge & Learning. Phil and Sinead will be sharing some early thoughts on how the current diverse set of Knowledge and Learning websites will be knitted together into a new product.

We are keen to make sure this stuff is discussed by as many people as possible so the presentations from the event will made available here on the blog throughout next week. And I'd like to know what you think, whether you were at the event or not, so please add your thoughts below or Tweet using #BBCOnline.

Andy Conroy is General Manager BBC Online

Update 6.30 p.m.

As part of the Briefing today we have shared BBC Online's 11/12 Workplan with the delegates.

So as promised I'm also sharing it here (as a PDF).

This follows the same style as the BBC's overall Workplan which was published a couple of weeks ago.

I'd welcome your comments.

Update: more material about the BBC Online Industry Briefing

BBC News for Connected TV's Blog Posts

BBC Online Industry Briefing Video Blogs

BBC Online Industry Briefing Blog Posts


  • Comment number 1.

    The most important partnership is with what used to be called your audience. Please do not forget this.

    The obsession by the BBC regarding Twitter is a concern. Are you just on a bandwagon?

    I think you should let us know why no mention can be made about BBC Online without invitations to tweet. Many of us would rather have an article or two a day rather than a load of headlines and links.

  • Comment number 2.

    Kit has a real point.
    In fact, what's all this blogging nonsense? Just because you heard it was cool. Pah.
    BBC ONLINE you should really think about your core values and stop following these FADS. FOOLS!

    What in heavens was wrong with CEEFAX? Many of us would rather wade through those slow page loads of block text than have to choose iplayer content to watch whilst being fed timely news headlines in a simple digestible format via tweet updates. FOOLS!

  • Comment number 3.

    It does look more and more like the BBC 'keeping up with the jones' rather than being independaant and different. This obsession with Twitter and Facebook is bad news frankly. It seems BBC policy is to continue to reduce the ability of licence fee payers to interact anywhere on BBC Online. All the messageboards are being closed/restricted, sites such as H2G2 being dumped, even Have Your Say on the news site is going. I don't know who is in overall control of what goes on in the BBC Online enviroment but it seems to me they have no idea about what licence fee payers want. For those in charge at the beeb, have you not seen latest figures on facebook use? 5 million american and some 100,00 UK users have deleted their accounts and the continuing trend is downward. Twitter is frankly, going on current content, just fodder for the braindead. You can't have a meaningful debate with a limit of 140 characters can you? Its true what they say, you don't miss something until its gone, when the BBC realise that closing out message boards and other user generated content across their site it'll be too late, in the meantime those of us that pay the licence fee are ignored by the arrogance of a few managers who think they know best at the beeb.


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