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Ashley Highfield | 16:10 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Hello and welcome to the BBC Internet Blog. The aim of this blog is to have an open, direct, and hopefully lively conversation about everything we do, and plan to do, on and all our on-demand platforms (such as interactive TV and mobile).

BBC2The BBC has always had a commitment to engaging with our audience, and we now receive millions of inbound messages a day across email, message boards and blog postings, but I think we have been slow to embrace blogs as a way of discussing our strategy and direction. This often leads to the debate happening elsewhere, based often on only half the information, and without our being able fully to join in the debate. We've not done ourselves any favours, and we want to use this blog to re-engage with our friends and critics.

The passion with which people let us know their views shows that they care. We should be much more worried if one day the 'in-coming' fell away: this would mean we'd lost our relevance: what we do, and the decisions we make - from what content we publish over I.P., to how we distribute it, to how we enable our audiences to engage with it and share it - would have become of no interest.

This blog is a small step, a start towards a closer understanding and a deeper level of engagement with the people who pay for the BBC, and who care about the decisions we make. If we get it right, we can perhaps harness the wisdom of crowds (or the Delphi Technique as it used to be called) to arrive at better strategies, products, and services to help keep the BBC relevant in the digital age.

Ashley Highfield is Divisional Director, BBC Future Media and Technology Division

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  1. At 10:32 PM on 01 Nov 2007, Alan in Belfast wrote:

    Don't want to be a pain ... but is the owl in the banner not the wrong way around? It always had it's straight back to the right.

    Feels a shame to reuse the old Computer Literacy logo, and then get it wrong!!!

  2. At 11:32 AM on 02 Nov 2007, Nick Reynolds (editor) wrote:

    I've done a quick search Alan and it looks like the owl can be used both ways round. But I'll look into this.

  3. At 11:55 PM on 02 Nov 2007, Alan [another] wrote:

    The name could be better (or at the least the bbcInternetBlog ;) ), but it's great to finally have a BBC blog focused on the BBC's use and development of technology.


  4. At 02:00 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Nick Reynolds (editor) wrote:

    You were right about the owl Alan and we have now turned it round the right way. Thanks.

  5. At 10:56 AM on 06 Nov 2007, Adrian Midgley wrote:

    Thank you for setting up and appearing through this blog, these are good things.

    I'm pleased to read it using Firefox on Linux.

    I'm sorry that some people are notably rude about BBC policy with respect to DRM and the close relationship that Microsoft has been allowed to acquire. It isn't necessary to be rude to note that I regard it as wholly wrong and against the general interest of the species, State, Corporation, citizens and visitors.

    But the blog is a worthwhile exercise.

  6. At 06:31 PM on 23 Nov 2007, James wrote:

    Lesson #1 for the digital age:
    If your distribution technology is a greater hassle for users then established, easy to use, and illegal means users will continue to take the path of least resistance.

    In short, DRM should not even be in the options list. The choice is merely between delivering content to all users with commercials or having them download it illegally.

    By hindering content with DRM, bbc has only guaranteed that content providers will continue to lose profits for their digital content.

  7. At 01:42 AM on 27 Nov 2007, Rasky wrote:

    I agree with the last poster, in fact I think there is a good argument to say that Intellectual Monopoly has no place at all in the BBC.

    Anything that hinders the future retrieval of information should be incompatible with Public Service Broadcasting.

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