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BBC Online Industry Briefing: Ralph Rivera Keynote

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Ralph Rivera Ralph Rivera | 17:00 UK time, Friday, 18 November 2011

It was fantastic yesterday to welcome people to Salford, now that it's all set up - not just the BBC but a whole ecosystem of technical and media companies. Here is a video of my keynote:

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Ralph Rivera is the Director, BBC Future Media

There was substantial reaction to Ralph Rivera's keynote at the Thursday 17th November briefing. Paul Barwick of Fjord noted Ralph's congratulations to suppliers who made it through the supplier roster process:

@ralphrivera "salmon that successfully managed to swim upstream" & get onto BBC supplier roster - Glad to have made it #bbconline" @fjord

Ralph pointed to a gap between "product evolution" and long-term development. His announcement of an innovation fund drew comment. Paul summed it up as:

BBC to run hackathons next year to drive new product innovation from outside, investing £1m in this #BBCOnline"

Ralph said they had not come for a name for it yet. @TrendShed tweeted an idea:

#BBConline Name Suggestion gap between R&D + Product: "Tomorrow's World" I believe you might have some ownership of that term already ;-)

Alex Farber of Broadcast Now wrote about the innovation fund, giving an example:

A brief might feature a range of interactive API data about a show, before inviting both editorial and technical staff and third parties to develop ideas. Rivera hopes to see editorial and technical staff collaborating, along with those working in separate BBC products such as News and Knowledge & Learning.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Salford not Manchester: well said Ralph: now please get http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/buildings/north_west.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-12194759 and www.royalmail.com to all agree!

  • Comment number 2.

    I note Ralph was keen to quote a comment about the experience of the new Radio 1 Home page.

    Is he going to add to his keynote speech one of the 500+ comments on the new BBC Home page too? http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/11/bbc_online_homepage_launch.html?postid=111037563#comment_111037563

  • Comment number 3.

    If the BBC loses, say, 30% of people who previously bookmarked the home page but now never come back, does that negate the marginal improved click through rate to other BBC content? Ralph never explains why it is so important to get people to click on other content. Surely ratings can't be important to a public service broadcaster?

  • Comment number 4.

    Where is the contribution from your customers (licence fee payers) in all this mutual back slapping of IT professionals? Lose them at your peril as you will have nothing to be proud of. If you wish to be remembered in the industry as the person who ruined the BBC website you are certainly going the right way about it.

  • Comment number 5.

    From a logical point of view, I would be very surprised if you get a better click through rate to marginal content. There is less content on the homepage for starters; ~70 articles on the old version compared to ~30 now, without having to faff your way through a load of unnecessary scrolling. None of that content is actually marginal either, like the old section for "weird and wonderful" for example.

    I hope you don't use stats to try and justify the change, rather you need to look at ALL the stats objectively, when, I believe you will see increased use of the individual News / Sports / Money pages and a decreased use of the Homepage. Increased use of the individual pages should not be viewed as a success - those were the people using the homepage basically as a news aggregator, which surely should be the primary function. If you then wanted to increase features and push some new content, you should have just increased the size of that pane at the top from 3 to 5 or 7 stories and left all the good functionality of the old homepage below.

    I am a web designer and my feedback in beta was entirely negative, other than the design looked marginally newer. Functionality, SEO, customisation, content grouping, number of articles, easy of scanning stories.... all worse.

    There were noble intentions but it has gone horribly wrong. Everyone makes mistakes - the best people admit they have made them and do something about it.

 

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