BBC R&D

Posted by Kat Sommers on , last updated

A few of us are a little shocked by how fast last week passed. So shocked, in fact, I'm only just updating our weeknotes now.

Monday saw Tristan and Chris N making the final changes to Programme List - as Watch Later is now called - before it is sent round the team for testing. Chris N also gets started on the next stage of LIMO work for P2P-Next, and catches up with the work our partners at Norut are doing.

With Watch Later and RadioTAG wrapping up, most of the team are now starting work on projects with News. Olivier, Joanne, Vicky, Tristan and I are going through all the research we can find, with Chris L analysing and visualising the data samples sent from the news online team. A few passionate discussions about statistics have started to delve into quantum physics territory, which Olivier assures me is the right track.

A couple of Twitter projects caught our eye, both of which focus on trends as a way of finding out information. The first - Twitter Music Trends - is the result of a recent Music Hack Day, and spots music trends using Echo Nest's knowledge of artists. The other project is a research project to understand how memes spread online. Both seem to point to how Twitter is increasingly becoming a source of new and constantly updating information, rather than a social network.

Which is handy, because Google's most recent launch demonstrates how powerful adding a social layer to information finding can be. A few of us have a play with Google+ on Thursday, interested to see where some of the social network thinking in The Real Life Social Network by Paul Adams, user research lead at Google, has led.

Back to the office: work continued on finalising the RadioTAG prototype for a bout of audience research in August. Chris L and Sean have finished work on the tag service, and are aiming to publish the code and their findings soon, while Joanne takes a look at interfaces for the radio and website.

On Wednesday Chris L and George got a paired version of the RadioTAG prototype working, which means we can demonstrate how pressing a button on a registered radio stores the network and time you were listening on an online account. We took this to the A&M Blue Room, a two-day internal demo of the latest in technology and innovation in the radio industry, and took it in turns to show it to people from around the radio department. They were interested, and asked lots of useful questions, which helped us get an understanding how technology such as this might be used by producers and programme teams.

Picture showing the statue of Prospero and Ariel at Broadcasting House.

A few of us also got a tour of the new Broadcasting House, where apparently there's something very interesting carved on Prospero's back. That's him, above. Any idea what it is? The first commenter to know the answer gets absolutely nothing, except perhaps a warm fuzzy glow of satisfaction.