Your thoughts on our 2012 coverage
There's a common response when we talk about audience research: "nobody asked me!" But I thought it would be useful to give some headlines about what we're doing to try to find out what people want in 2012, and also give everyone on this blog a chance to comment on some of the early findings.
Our researchers have been carrying out qualitative research ahead of London 2012, travelling all over the UK to talk to people individually and in small groups about their expectations for the big year - and how they want the BBC to cover it. Another key question we asked was what events people believe fit within the 2012 story.
The main thing audience research reminds you about is that this is a vigorous, diverse nation with a multitude of different interests and attitudes. Your view of London 2012 is shaped by where you live, your age, your gender, your ethnicity and very basic things like whether you love sport or whether you intend to lock yourself in a cupboard for the 17 days of the Games.
But some intriguing themes are emerging about what binds all audiences and how 2012 can be a unifying force.
The Olympics can provide a feelgood factor
First, people do feel these are glum times with economic difficulties and a lot of struggles in their daily lives. So they look forward to a series of events that could bring some fun and cheer. Related to this, they want a better Britain not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren; and they want something that restores a sense of community, a better connection with other people.
Key then to the success of 2012, and how we cover it, is whether we can help foster that hope of being a more united nation. Above all, they want new heroes: there's the example of recent Olympic greats like Hoy, Redgrave and Holmes, and people want others who can inspire themselves and younger generations.
The striking thing is how this works for almost everybody. So older, traditional audiences say they want a stronger feeling of community and they worry that younger people don't; but actually younger audiences have just as powerful a wish to connect with their fellow Britons and to be inspired. And if the Olympics can't do that, it's difficult to see what else can.
For all that, there are still some worries. Our research groups in the English regions found suspicion about how London-centric this was all going to be, though curiously there was less worry about this in Glasgow or Belfast.
Part of that, though, can be allayed by finding out more about what will be happening near you: so some people in Newcastle didn't yet know that Olympic football would be in the city or that the Torch Relay would come to the North East of England.
Other groups were concerned that we shouldn't start banging the 2012 drum too early, or try to shoehorn everything that moves into a "BBC 2012" banner. The Olympics, the Torch relay and Festival 2012 (at least as free popular events) might fit inside, but some of our other national landmarks, especially the ones seen as "not for everyone", don't.
So all of this is appetising food for thought. It helps inform our planning, and we'll keep going back to audiences in all forms of research - and on this blog - to find out more.
There will still be some who feel they haven't been asked, but if we get it right they should be happy with what's on their screens and radios when 2012 is underway.