Archives for July 2009

Blogs and boards: getting the balance right

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 18:44 UK time, Friday, 31 July 2009

Last week I gave a presentation to a BBC meeting about the moderation budget.

This is the money that we spend every year on moderating the BBC's social media services: message boards, blogs and communities.

Just in case you need a reminder, this is what moderation is (and it's important, always to distinguish it from hosting).

The details of the presentation are confidential. The independent company who do moderation for the BBC wouldn't thank me if I gave you financial data which might prevent them running a successful business.

But there is one slide from the power point which I thought I could share safely.


As you can see from the pie chart above the vast majority of the money we spent on moderation last year was spent on message boards and other communities with a very small slice spent on blogs.

Now blogs sometimes attract a lower rate of commenting (and therefore moderation spend) than a board would. Most of our blogs are reactively moderated. This can be less expensive - as long as the community behaves itself and as a result the numbers of comments alerted is low. Some topics are more likely to be premoderated because they are controversial. If we had a blog about religion as we do a set of message boards, then that blog might turn out to be an expensive proposition.

And moderation is only one part of the picture. Blogs and boards need to be hosted which also costs money.

But even with all those caveats, the pie chart gave me pause for thought.

Blogs last year (April 08 - 09) were getting around 20% of the traffic every month of the total traffic (page impressions) to the BBC's social media services (communities, blogs, message boards). In other words in terms of traffic to moderation spend blogs are out performing boards.

I've said before that in my opinion BBC blogs present a nice combination of editorial and conversation. And to be clear, I'm not saying that all boards should be closed and be replaced by blogs (and it's not in my power to do that anyway). I'm simply thinking aloud about what the right balance could be.

So what do you think should be the balance between blogs, boards and communities?
How valuable to you are the different things they do?

Is the BBC missing a trick anywhere? Are there forms of social media we should be doing as well as - or even instead of - the current stuff?

Nick Reynolds is editor, Social Media, Central Editorial Team, BBC Online

Thanks to Brett for the pie chart and his help in preparing the presentatiion

N.B. Comments about the changes to the Points of View message boards will be deemed off topic for this post and removed.

Facebook on Radio 4

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Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick | 15:22 UK time, Thursday, 30 July 2009

Book of the Week on Radio 4 this week is Ben Mezrich's Accidental Billionaires, a book whose subtitle (at least in the American edition) is: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Perfect Radio 4 material then. As you'd expect, the book has its own Facebook profile.

Radio 4, like all the top media brands, is on Facebook too, but in a fairly haphazard way, although the Corporation's social media guidelines encourage staff and programme makers to get involved. There's no formal Radio 4 presence but a number of individual programmes have profiles. Only one Radio 4 programme makes systematic use of Facebook to interact with listeners and to solicit contributions: Saturday Live.

Read more and comment at the Radio 4 blog

Steve Bowbrick is editor, Radio 4 blog

Interactive TV Today interview with BBC Red Button's John Denton

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John Denton John Denton | 13:01 UK time, Wednesday, 29 July 2009

One of the many pleasurable tasks I have to undertake is to promote the BBC Red Button service, and sometimes this means talking to journalists based overseas.

It is always a challenge to ensure that they understand the breadth of coverage and number of viewers using the service seeing as often there is no comparable service in their own country.

One such interview was with Tracy Swedlow of Tracy has covered interactive TV for many years and her newsletter is read by people working in the industry, across the world.

You can find the interview on, or listen to it using the embedded player below. There's also a MP3 version for download.

Read more, comment and listen at Press Red blog

John Denton is Managing Editor, BBC Red Button

BBC News widget becomes default news provider on iGoogle UK

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Olaf Geuer | 12:08 UK time, Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Google has just launched a new version of their iGoogle UK portal and any user signing up for the first time will now get a new optimised BBC News widget as a pre-installed feature on their portal page. Users with existing iGoogle accounts can find and install the widget from iGoogle listings by searching for 'BBC official news' or similar terms.

There are, of course, already quite a few BBC News widgets out there - mostly simple feed readers created by users. However, the 'BBC News - Official UK Edition' widget has been specially built, and is maintained by the BBC, to meet strict standards and offer an optimised user experience for those who subscribe to this service. Features in the first version of the widget include the top stories from News, the latest video and audio, a 'canvas view' for additional headlines, and share functionality.

As this first version of the widget is optimised for iGoogle, users will need an iGoogle account for it to work properly. To sign up or add the widget to an existing account, just select this link and follow the on screen instructions.

Read more and comment at Journalism Labs blog

Olaf Geuer is Senior Product Manager, FM&T Journalism

Introducing Maestro Cam

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Rhonagh O'Donnell | 11:37 UK time, Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Greetings! We did our first Maestro Cam Prom on Saturday. It was great fun. Maestro Cam is a new red button delight, which we're trying for five TV Proms this year.

You can press red to watch a close up camera on the conductor during the Prom. There are two audio options: Music + Comment, or Music Only. Live commentary is from a conducting mentor from BBC2's 2008 Maestro TV series. The gregarious Matthew Rowe is doing our first two dates, with Peter Stark and Jason Lai joining later in August. They'll be commentating on conductors Vasily Petrenko, Ilan Volkov, Daniel Barenboim and David Robertson. There's also the option to watch the main Prom TV coverage under the red button, if you fancy just the multi-camera action.


Read more and comment at Press Red

BBC HD Summer Fixtures

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 10:56 UK time, Monday, 27 July 2009


Yes - I share the frustration on The Open this year.

I keep asking the question and getting the same answer from the various parties involved, so it is safe to confirm to you that it will be in HD starting from next year.

But I also want to bring you news of programmes coming to BBC HD rather sooner.

Knowing the enjoyment that many of you get from the US series Heroes, which we've shown over three series now together with BBC Two, we're going to be offering those of you who didn't have HD at the time - or just hadn't caught up with the programme - another chance to watch series one of Heroes on Saturday nights. We'll be running a double bill of Heroes at 11.30 every weekend, starting with this, ahead of the start of series 4 (again on BBC Two and BBC HD) which should be in October.


Other summer fixtures include our Music Festival season with sets from across the country on Thursday nights at 10.30. The range will be pretty broad and while I'm sure not to everyone's taste, I hope you'll find something in there to enjoy. We've also got Friday night films, running at 10.30, through to the Autumn when Jonathan Ross will be back for another series.

If you are going away this summer, I hope the separation from your HD set won't be too painful - and there's always BBC iPlayer. And for those of you that are at home I do hope you'll sample what we have to offer.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HD, BBC Vision

All Danielle's HD posts

Danielle's post Sport on HD

"BBC Open Golf Coverage" from Digital Spy Forums

Interesting Stuff 2009-07-24: BBC Trust publishes additional information on Project Canvas

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 20:19 UK time, Friday, 24 July 2009

Earlier today the BBC Trust published some additional information from the BBC Executive about Project Canvas.

The press release states the additional information covers the following areas:

The choice of technical standards to be adopted by Canvas;

The proposed way in which the BBC would work with industry bodies;

Control of the Electronic Programme Guide;

Governance arrangements for the joint venture;

The use of editorial controls.

More details on the Trust's website.

Nick Reynolds is editor, Social Media, Central Editorial Team, BBC Online, BBC FM&T.

Searching for places on the BBC

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Tristan Ferne | 10:17 UK time, Wednesday, 22 July 2009


We were wondering the other day how much people search for local information from the BBC, so as a quick hack we got hold of the top 10,000 search terms from the search logs for one day, July 9th. Then using the Yahoo! Placemaker API we extracted any UK place names from the search terms, counted them up and plotted them on a map*. It's just a little thing but we thought it might be interesting.

Click to see full-size image

A version of this was originally posted on my personal blog

* though I removed the map from the final rendering, I think it's prettier that way.

Tristan Ferne is Senior Development Producer, R&D, FM&T for Audio & Music Interactive.

Dragons' Den on HD

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 14:28 UK time, Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Thanks as ever for all your comments.

I just wanted to reflect on Dragons' Den, since I know that some of you took the view that this shouldn't be a priority programme for BBC HD, while others have written here about their enjoyment of it.

Thanks to my PVR I was able to catch up on the first HD episode last night. Watching it confirmed my view that HD brings real benefits to programming which is about people and their emotions, and where the viewing experience is about support and empathy.

The DenYes, at one level Dragons' Den is a business show, about projects, profts and margins. It's also of course a kind of poker game between the Dragons. But above all it is a blind dating show in which every blink and twitch and bead of sweat tells a story.

In SD of course you get the postures, the bravura, the studied casualness, the overall shape of each invention put forward. In HD I felt I got the sticking plaster on the flying machines, the slight tackiness of all that fake blood on the horror actors, every slight frown as the Dragons reviewed their position, the wild desperation that occasionally flickered through contestant's eyes, the blankness as they realised that they were cornered.

These are of course not the jaw dropping moments that natural history can offer, with thousands of birds filling a screen, or a tree slowly maturing before our eyes. But they do change my relationship to what is going on, they make me feel that I'm there in that slightly odd room with the polished floorboards and the distressed walls, the cheap polyester drapes and the expensive suits, and they make me care more about the people and the outcomes.

So I do still think that this kind of programming is an important part of the mix of what we make - of course it shouldn't be the only thing that we do, but I'm really glad that we decided to make the move into HD for this series on.

On another note, I do recommend Desperate Romantics which starts tonight on BBC HD, also simulcast with BBC Two. Yes it is costume drama, but trust me when I say it moves fast, is rich and funny in quite unexpected ways, and I really, really enjoyed it.

Lots of questions from you about other things - the Championship live matches will be in HD, starting from August 8th, although the round-up programme will not be. And Big Top will also be in HD when it broadcasts.

Not planning to resign just yet I'm afraid Wednesday83.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBCHD, BBC Vision.

Radio and Telly? That'd be Telio!

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Ben Chapman | 13:13 UK time, Monday, 20 July 2009

[Editor's note: While our coverage on the Blog of the radio visualisation trials to date have focused almost exclusively on Radio 4 the truth is that our colleagues at Radio 1 have been putting in the hours too. Here's how their listeners have responded.]

'Visualising Radio' is a clunky term.

Someone messaged the station this week saying "shouldn't this trial be called a mix of 'Radio' and 'Telly' that would be 'Telio'". 'Visualising Radio' isn't very sexy and when I hear Chris Moyles or Aled say it on the radio it feels horribly corporate.

But knowing what to call it, what we should call, it is interesting. The listener above felt the connection to telly - others understand radio with webcams, some are transfixed with the flow of texts that appear on the screen and their relationship with the studio.

Truth is I don't know what to call it. It's not really telly - mainly because we are not asking you directly to stare at the screen all the time, we are not constantly using the tricks of TV to keep you close. This is because everyone is busy doing radio. It is weird how addictive it is - this isn't just me feeling this - our audience are constantly telling us on the free messaging service that they are late for work/school because they are gripped by DJ's working.

It's funny as the same thing happened when we did ScottCam - voyeurism took a hold! This is probably the second most exciting thing we've realised at Radio 1 not the first.

The first most exciting thing is how engaged listeners are, how being able to see people, message them, then see your message pop up is simply brilliant. You know your message is arriving in front of your favourite DJ because you can see them reading them on the screen. This is our number 1 WIN.

We are putting as much effort into shoving as many texts back out to our listeners as we are worrying about our video. To be honest I'm struggling to see why we've never done this on such a scale before.

So we get a lot of text from our listener base - I mean a lot - on a good month 500,000 texts. We've seen during this trial that around half of the messages that come in are from SMS messages and half from our visual console. It's an impressive conversion rate - and I have worked out - (really roughly with some initial data) that people are 60 times more likely to interact via the free messaging - we are getting roughly just under double the amount of texts than normal.

So, to recap, Visualising Radio has been brilliant so far because:
1. Engagement with our audience is fantastic.
2. Voyeurism is good and fun and can be done with out detracting from the radio.
3. It's the old favourite - track information.

Any ideas on what we should call a console of this type in the future are truly welcome.

Ben Chapman is Interactive Editor, Audio and Music Interactive.

Points of View Message Boards 8: More Numbers

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 10:18 UK time, Friday, 17 July 2009

In the comments on my last post about the Points of View message boards some of you asked to see some statistics or numbers for the boards since the changes in April of this year.

Similar requests have also been posted on the PoV boards themselves.

Page Impressions

In my previous post about the numbers from November last year you'll see that the TV board was getting from 267000 to 295000 page impressions per week back in November.

In May 09 the Television board was getting from 200000 to 260000 per week

Similarly in November the BBC board was getting from 4600 to 5600 page impressions per week.

In May of this year the BBC board was getting 13000 to 15000 page impressions per week.

As we closed three boards at the start of April I was expecting PIs to drop a little overall. I was also expecting the BBC board to increase as some of the conversation on the three boards closed would move to the BBC board.

As I said in this comment overall traffic numbers for the board have dropped a little since the changes. But the boards are still consistently getting more than a million PIs per month, which is healthy traffic.


Another interesting number is number of posts. In April 09 (the month immediately after three boards were closed) the boards were getting roughly the same posts as in April the previous year i.e.

Total posts April 08: 37K
Total posts April 09: 38K

"Active Users"

Rowan (who hosted the boards for a while) is cleverer than me and has managed to dig out some numbers for average "active users" in a week.

The definition of an "active user" is someone who has logged into the boards and therefore is more likely to start a thread or leave a comment, than someone who is not logged in and may be just reading the boards.

numbers.jpgDec 08 900
Jan 09 1200
Feb 09 1400
Mar 09 1000
April 09 1000
May 09 1000
June 09 1000

"Spiekermann House Numbers" picture from Stewf on Flickr.

Figures have been rounded up to the nearest hundred.

You can see that these figures for active users have stayed at roughly the same level since the start of the year.

People will draw different conclusions from the same set of numbers. However comments suggesting the boards have been "destroyed" seem like an exaggeration in the light of the numbers I can see.

This really is the last word on this subject I'm afraid.

I appreciate that some people don't like the changes that have been made to the boards. But as I said in this comment it is not a productive use of my time (or Sarah's) to keep answering the same questions again and again. Also the conversation around the changes to Points of View message boards is starting to disrupt both this blog and the boards themselves.

So I will keep this blog post open until 1 p.m. on Monday morning for any follow up comments and then close it. And I remind you that comments that are off topic, abusive or disruptive will be removed.

Source for stats: SageAnalytics

Nick Reynolds is Editor, Social Media, Central Editorial Team, BBC Online, BBC FM&T

BBC User Experience and Design working with D&AD

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Adam Powers | 14:25 UK time, Thursday, 16 July 2009

As one of the BBC's four 'Heads of UX&D', I am often asked to explain my job title and describe what I actually do.

'UX&D' is an acronym for User Experience and Design, and I lead a team of 30 out of the 100 or more UX&D staff within the BBC Future Media and Technology division.

UX&D is comprised of Information Architects, Interaction Designers, Visual Designers and Usability experts.

Our discipline group is essential to the success of the BBC's digital offerings because it defines the visual manifestation, the behaviour and the interconnectedness of BBC content and it's relationship with the rest of the web.

The authorship of the label 'User Experience Design' is widely accredited to Don Norman during his tenure at Apple Computer in 1993 when he led their Advanced Technology Group.

In simplest terms, BBC UX&D teams design the look and feel, user interface and domain structures of the BBC's web and mobile sites, as well as the applications that inhabit them. Our approach is one that follows the principles of User Centred Design or UCD.

This is all really just a foreword to another piece of news that I have wanted to share.

This year, BBC UX&D has sponsored a brief in the D&AD Student awards.

The D&AD awards are widely regarded as the most prestigious of creative accolades for both professionals and students, often described as the 'Design Oscars', with the prizes being yellow pencils rather than golden statuettes.

We have wanted to get involved with D&AD for a while, recognising their charitable work in education for creative, design and advertising communities. Since 1962, D&AD has set industry standards, educated and inspired the next generation and, more recently, has demonstrated the impact of creativity and innovation on enhancing business performance.

Each year D&AD invests around £2 million running 18 different education programmes providing support for universities and colleges and their students and graduates, as well as working on behalf of the international creative community to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.

As part of the sponsorship deal, we set a creative brief for students to develop digital widgets that would make the most of BBC's content and present it in a compelling and engaging way. This was the first time that an 'interactive design' brief has been set in these awards, reflecting the importance of the web and digital platforms to the design world.

We see this as a unique way for the BBC to contribute to the outreach work that D&AD does in design education. Also, as sponsors we have the opportunity to engage with the D&AD academic network and release our staff to run workshops and portfolio surgeries for students.

Steve Gibbons, Head of Visual Design, and I led the judging panel at Olympia earlier this month with the help of some creative peers. We selected a shortlist to make it 'in book', as well as picking the very best entries to be awarded pencils. The prize winning four did not discover exactly where they had come until the awards ceremony on July 2, when I was delighted to join them on stage to award their yellow pencils.

All the prize winners and runners up in the interactive design brief can now be seen at on the D&AD site.

The first price was awarded to Christian Söderholm and Dennis Rosenqvistfor their innovative proposal for a tool that would enable audiences to tag video content and add layers of detail and links to these tags - and then share them. Their pacy and compelling video describes their concept, titled TAGPlayer, brilliantly.

Even though there are some questions about the technological feasibility, the energy and completeness of their vision led all the judges to select their entry as the overall winner.

Congratulations to all of those design students that have made it onto the D&AD website. There presence marks them out as the top 2% of the thousands who entered.

As a footnote to this, I have just been involved in short listing interaction designer trainee applications for the BBC Design trainee scheme and this year has seen a five fold increase in numbers.

It's a terrific initiative that enables designers of various disciplines including makeup, costume, digital etc to take up paid employ with the BBC for a year. This includes opportunities to move around the corporation experiencing life in it's various manifestations and divisions.

Adam Powers is the Head of User Experience & Design, BBC Audio & Music interactive and Mobile.

Visualising Material World: the ins and outs

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Richard Courtice | 17:10 UK time, Tuesday, 14 July 2009

[Editor's note: We've previously heard from Operations Manager Tony Ward about Material World and the visualisation trial. Now it's the turn of Radio 4's technical guru Richard Courtice to tell his side of the story.]

The BBC's Audio and Music Interactive department works in the clouds.

No really, it does. When I first got involved with Visualising Radio 4's Material World, I was presented with an A4 sheet of paper. On it was a diagram showing various fluffy looking clouds connected by arrows. The clouds had generic labels like "The Internet", "SMS Content", "Servers" and "The Studio". None of the arrows were labelled. It became clear that the cloud labelled "The Studio" and the arrow pointing towards "The Internet" was my bit to sort out.

On a side note, I also noticed that the clouds are the fluffy, Cumulus kind. The ones that make you think of a blue sky, a refreshing breeze and clean air. The sort of clouds that the Orb wrote about. But, I've been around for a while and I often suspect that Cumulonimbus might be more appropriate - dark, thunderous and anvil shaped, ready to dump on you from a great height, like the endlessly doomed Wile E. Coyote of the Roadrunner cartoons. ..... But I digress.

cams-and-mics_300.jpgFor the viewer/listener (the "visualisee" perhaps? *shudders*), visualisation is a window that can be added to a webpage or TV screen. It contains a small rectangle for video or pictures, a section to the right for messages from the listeners or for bullet points of information about the programme. Along the bottom of this window runs automated data from either BBC News, or for the Pop Music stations, the "now playing..." information from the computer playout systems. All this is known as the "Visualisation Console". The purpose of the trial is to see if this Console works technically and if it works as an addition to the audience's "listening" experience.

The engineers and producers of the Interactive team in Audio and Music had already achieved a great deal. The Console had been designed and the IP distribution had already been worked out, so despite only being a small part of the console, creating the video was going to involve the most work.

That weekend I was telling my partner, Kate, about the Visualisation Console.
"Isn't this television?" she asked.
"I think the idea is that it's not TV, because the visual bit only adds to the audio. One mustn't do anything that leaves the radio audience feeling left out. The sound is in charge" I said.

"Oh I see," Kate said, "because what you've described sounds just like that stupid football programme you sometimes watch on Saturday afternoons. You know, the one with ex footballers wearing headphones watching TV screens and it has the latest scores displayed on the right and scrolling news stories along the bottom."
"Yes I suppose." I said, suddenly very unsure of whether I was working on radio, TV or some point in between.

Another digression: One of my pet theories is that in any broadcasting project, you will be tripped up by one tiny detail that you haven't thought of, so the trick is to think of it and it won't trip you up. Trouble is, you can't think of everything, therefore you will always be tripped up at least once .......... Anyway back to Visualisation.

Material World broadcasts from Studio 50B on the 5th floor of Broadcasting house. Next door is 50D and this seemed the best place to put the Visualisation equipment and people. They "won't get in the way then."

With me in the technical team, was Abdi Ismail, a project engineer; Chris Price from DV Solutions who supplied the video equipment, Terry O'Leary & Phil Watson, producers in the Interactive team; and Ilika Copeland, the Executive Producer for the Visualisation Project.

The plan was to put two remote control Sony Cameras on tripods in 2 adjacent corners of the studio. Also attached to these tripods would be two Sony A1 DV Cameras. These would be locked off on wide shots, thus leaving the two remote control cameras to pick up the single shots and close ups.

A Sony Anycast would be used to control the cameras, vision mix, add the sound and generate an AV feed in DV format. The AV stream would feed into a laptop via a Firewire cable. The laptop, running Windows XP, would use Adobe Flash Encoder to encode the AV. This laptop would then connect to the Internet via a SDSL link in the Basement to send the video to a distribution company.

The word laptop worries me. Radio and television works best on the basis of when one pushes the button, the desired outcome happens. The phrase "hang on - just need to reboot" is not what you want to hear when the producer says "Go". The rig is also full of single points of failure - another thing that gets us technical folk twitching. But on the other hand, this is only a trial and spending should be kept to a minimum.

So, Abdi had a list of engineering jobs: to rustle up 4 video tielines from 50C to 50D terminating in BNC connectors and a CAT5 tieline for the remote control unit. Then, find a CAT5 cabling route from 50D to the SDSL modem in the basement.

For the audio, I decided to use a feed of Radio 4 network for the digital platforms, post-processor. This is not normally available in the studios, but a quick chat with Control Room showed that it could easily be got and routed to an Outside Source in 50D. The reasoning behind this choice was a desire for the audio on the Visualisation Console to match as closely as possible the audio of the BBC iPlayer streams. These internet streams are fed with the same distribution as the Digital TV and DAB platforms and so it made sense to use this feed for the Visualisation Console.

The next minor issue was finding an analogue feed of this in the studio. When Broadcasting House was refurbished in 2006, the whole infrastructure became digital. Thankfully we were in a well-equipped studio and the Studer Vista mixing desk was easily configured to spit out an analogue feed on some tielines.

Then I pondered the question of sound and vision sync. The audio from Studio 50B would go through a mixing desk in Radio 4 continuity, then through the Network Switcher, then through the audio processor, then through the 50D desk and the digital to analogue conversion before finally arriving at the Sony Anycast.

I guessed, the delay could be as much as 80 milliseconds. But that was nothing when compared to the delay on the video after being mixed in the Sony Anycast. Chris and I crunched some numbers and our starting point was to delay the audio by 4 frames. In the end, 3.5 frames delay on the audio gave the best result - so I was 12ms or so out in my calculations.

Finally, there's the encoding options. For the trial, we're using an FLV container and RTMP protocol to stream via Flash Media Server 3. The video coding is On2 VP6-E, 384kbps and the audio coding is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) at 128kbps joint stereo.

A week or so after the first meeting, the team met in 50B to work out lighting and camera angles. Joining us was Luke Finn, an expert in lighting.

"Pah", said Luke, grimacing at the ceiling, "low ceilings - can't stand low ceilings". He reached up and dug his fingers into a cavity between the ceiling tiles and the wall. Finding a purchase point, he pulled sharply down. The ceiling flexed a fraction and Luke let go.
"Weeelll" he mused. "We might get a clamp in there but there's nowhere to bond it."

He prowled round the studio table looking at it from various angles.
"Are those staying?" he asked pointing at the table. "Are you going to be using those microphones?"
The C414 by AKG.
This microphone is the workhorse of Broadcasting House. I've never heard a bad one.
"Yes" I said, "They're staying."
"All of them?" he asked.
"Yes, all of them." I said, firmly.

Luke seemed to accept this and took up another position looking at the table. There then followed a flurry of activity. By applying some scrim, he used the florescent strip lights around the edge of the room to back light the presenter. A small Dedo spot with some frost to soften the light was attached to a bar on the wall (the bar normally holds video monitors). Then a Diva 400 was used to key light the presenter.

This gives a soft shadow and produces very little heat. The stand for the Diva was carefully hidden behind a panel showing the Radio 4 logo. That'll please the marketing department I thought.

It transformed the pictures. Just two lamps and some deftly applied filters had made all the difference. Luke had also designed a lighting rig that could be set by our studio technicians well within the one hour period we would have every Thursday lunchtime to rig the studio.

We were ready for the first broadcast.

For a broadcast, a producer and a member of the radio production team "drive the console" They cut in either video from the studio, or still shots taken whilst recording on location. They also add in pre-prepared text about the programme, or comments from the audience.

For the Material World trial, Philip from BBC TV Resources operates the cameras, lights and vision mixer. I set up the links and manage the studio rig and transmission. As I write, we have now visualised 2 episodes of the Material World and the results have been very pleasing.

Already, we have thought of things we would like to change. On the 3rd of July broadcast, we made the terrible discovery that the text on the Visualisation Console couldn't reproduce apostrophes. The moment the phrase "... a virtual cows bottom" appeared on the screen, I winced. The producer was horrified.
"I typed an apostrophe" he cried.

Within seconds, many of the audience took advantage of the "message the studio" button on the console. Being the Radio 4 audience, they were all very polite, but their scorn was plain to read and rightly so.

It's that tiny detail that you never think of, you see?

Richard Coutice is a Senior Studio Manager and Digital Operations Specialist at the BBC.

Series catch-up for Radio 4 programmes

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Sarah Prag Sarah Prag | 17:36 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009


Yesterday something small but significant happened. Instead of disappearing from iPlayer when its 7 days were up, the first Episode of The Complete Smiley - The Spy Who Came in From the Cold stayed put. Which means that you can go back and listen to it before listening to Episode 2.

Read more on catch-up for Radio 4 at the Radio 4 blog.

Tim Berners-Lee and the Digital Revolution

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Dan Biddle Dan Biddle | 16:19 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009

[Editor's note: This is the video we promised you of Tim Berners-Lee. It's from Friday's event to launch a new collaborative TV documentary series on the web. We asked Dan Biddle from the Digital Revolution production team for his thoughts on the day.]

'The Web at 20' launch of Digital Revolution was classic swimming duck event management - calm and smooth to all above and frantic paddling underneath and behind the scenes. Dan Gluckman and I spent the morning editing video, uploading blogs and making sure tech and wifi were working on the day.

I spent the whole of Friday 10 July 2009 supressing the urge to punch the air in excitement at the site's launch and the subsequent chance to meet, not only Tim Berners-Lee, but Bill Thompson and Baroness Greenfield - and to see them talking about the very subject I have made my life for the last few years, and for years to come.

Sir Tim was excellent; I doubt there was a person in the room that didn't feel a degree of awe in his presence, and his self effacing answer to the reported question by a customs official who asked why he'd invented the web was lovely: "Well, somebody had to." A very British genius.

Small miracles allowed us to successfully live-link to San Francisco to see and hear Chris Anderson describe his ideas around the 'free-conomy'. Baroness Greenfield was energising and challenging to the web-fans in the room, and Bill Thompson delivered a wonderfully humane brand of geek wisdom.

An outstanding launch to a unique project about an immense subject. I hope that our open source production can carry the momentum of this debate forward, and that the web communities, creators and users will join us to make the best documentary possible worthy of the web.

Find out more at the Digital Revolution (working title) website and blog. It's an open source documentary and wants your participation, ideas and involvement.

RadioDNS Demo Application Released

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Chris Needham | 12:00 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009

alpha_tag.gifFollowing my previous post, Experiments with RadioDNS, I'm pleased to announce that the RadioVIS demo application is now available as open source software, under the Apache 2.0 license.

The application demonstrates radio station DNS lookup, querying for available services using DNS SRV records, and the RadioVIS protocol for displaying images and text messages. The code is written in Python and uses the wxWidgets user interface library.

Read more about RadioDNS on the RAD blog.

Pic of the day: Tim Berners-Lee at Digital Revolution event

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 17:14 UK time, Friday, 10 July 2009

Tim Berners-Lee is in the building!


Tim is speaking at an event to launch a new "open source and collaborative" TV documentary series Digital Revolution.

Photo from Bill Thompson on Twitpic.


Photo from Dan Biddle.

There's some activity on twitter right now. And there'll be more from the event on the Digital Revolution blog soon. Here's the press release, Rory Cellan Jones' blog post and a story from BBC News . Plus we hope to have a blog post about the series on the Internet blog next week.

Nick Reynolds is editor, Social Media, Central Editorial Team, BBC Online

Glow Technical Overview

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Jake Archibald Jake Archibald | 15:06 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hi, I'm Jake Archibald, a developer on Glow, the BBC's recently open-sourced JavaScript library.

As a follow-up to Stephen Elson's introductory post, I'd like to go over some of the technical features and reasons for Glow.

Like many developers, English is my second language but I don't yet have a first. The BBC can't afford me a ghostwriter so we're all going to have to suffer my terrible grammar.

What is Glow?

Glow aims to make working with JavaScript and the DOM easier by providing shortcuts for common functions while ironing out the differences between browsers.

Browsers are the #1 cause of gentle sobbing and even screaming in a web developer's life. From that, I guess you could say Glow's goal is to "minimise screaming and sobbing".

I'm sure you're already aware that Glow isn't the first JavaScript library to do this, which begs the question...

Why did the BBC build Glow?

Glow isn't the BBC's first JavaScript library, although it is the first to get an open source release.

Before Glow there was a library called JSTools, and before that was EOLTools. To give you a rough timescale, EOLTools had code to differentiate between Internet Explorer 3 and Netscape Navigator 3, code which I only became aware of when it started politely suggesting Safari 3 users upgrade to IE3 on an ancient BBC page.

JSTools was showing its age and needed replacing. Plans were in motion to bring our page templates kicking and screaming into a "standards mode" doctype. Then, Netscape Navigator 4 fell off our level 2 browser support list, which was a major blocker to making a 'modern' JavaScript library.

Why not use an existing library?

At the time we were considering this question, there were a range of excellent open source JavaScript libraries available, the most popular (with BBC developers at least) being jQuery. In fact, the first version of the current style BBC homepage design used jQuery, as Glow was still in the early development stages. However, no existing libraries met our standards of browser support and accessibility.

At the time we were still fully supporting IE5.5 and Safari 1.3, among others, and we continue to support Safari 2. On top of this, we have to actively avoid errors in our "Level 2" browsers, which still includes IE5. IE5 for instance will throw an unpleasant parsing error if it encounters a non-greedy quantifier in a regular expression.

The BBC's support standards are based on usage stats and the upgrade paths available to users of particular browsers. For instance, while we had a significant number of users on Safari 1.3 we refrained from asking them to upgrade to Safari 2, as that would be asking OSX 10.3 users to pay for 10.4 or later. Asking them to switch to Firefox 2 would have been biased, and providing a list of all alternatives would have been confusing and unhelpful. Considering all this, it was clear we couldn't just use an off-the-shelf solution.

Forking an existing library to add the necessary browser support was an option, but that would still mean actively developing a library, and as the original library moved forward we'd be left maintaining code no longer supported by the original library.

As parts of many BBC pages are independently developed and controlled, we needed a library that could sit alongside other potentially incompatible versions without namespace collisions or CSS styles clashing (as in, CSS rules intended for Glow 1.5 widgets must not affect 1.6 widgets).

Should I stop using my favourite JavaScript library in favour of Glow?

Glow was created because we have requirements that most people don't. It goes without saying that if everyone had similar requirements to the BBC, other JavaScript libraries would meet them.

Glow won't be able to make use of technologies in newer browsers unless they can be at least emulated in all the browsers the BBC needs to support. Other libraries will be able to drive forward new & exciting technologies, whereas Glow will be there for those who can't adopt those technologies for browser support and accessibility reasons.

We don't expect or want to steal users from existing libraries, but provide a library for those in a similar situation to the BBC.

What does Glow do?

Please explore Glow's demos and documentation for full details. However, here's a quick run-down of the core features:

DOM manipulation

The backbone of Glow is our DOM module, which allows you easily gather and manipulate parts of a page. For example, if you wanted to add "link:" to the start of all links:

glow.dom.get("a").prepend("Link: ");

If you're familiar with other JavaScript libraries you'll recognise this 'NodeList' pattern. In fact, you may want to map glow.dom.get to a shorter variable for familiarity, such as:

var $ = glow.dom.get;

NodeList documentation


The events system allows you to nominate a function to call when a particular event occurs. The interface to listen for events is identical between DOM nodes and other objects"#myLink", "click", function(event) {

var myBall = new Ball();, "bounce", function(event) {

The above assumed Ball is a user-created constructor, and at some point it contains..., "bounce");

Events documentation


Animations in JavaScript can be a major source of screaming and sobbing, but Glow provides methods to make it simple.

To slide an element away over 3 seconds:

glow.anim.slideUp("#myDiv", 3);

You can also, animate most CSS properties. To animate a background colour to red over 2 seconds:

var myAnim = glow.anim.css("#myDiv", 2, {
	"background-color": "red"

Animation documentation


Whereas the previous features are building blocks, widgets are more 'out of the box' user interface components which can be easily styled to fit your site. These include (but are not limited to):

  • AutoSuggest - A dropdown list of 'suggestions' that appear when the user types in an input element. Used on Glow's API quick reference
  • Carousel - Scrollable list of items
  • Panel - An overlaid dialog which can be modal / modeless. This is used on many BBC pages as light boxes or modal dialogs.
  • Slider - Form control for setting a numerical value within a range
  • Timetable - A scrollable display of items positioned by time & duration

What's next?

Glow was developed as an internal library for the BBC, and parts of Glow 1.5 may reflect that. But work now begins on Glow 2.0. Our priorities are:


Many Glow modules were created while we were still fully supporting Safari 1.3 and IE5. Development became a balance between slowing faster browsers down with lowest-common-denominator code, and increasing file size by forking code so newer browsers got a speed benefit while maintaining compatibility with older browsers.

As we've since waved goodbye to some of those browsers, we can remove those forks and start getting the most out of our current support list.

File size & structure

Glow + widgets + CSS file currently weighs in at ~60k, which is comparable to other libraries. However, for the majority of development we were unable to use gzip due to an obscure IE bug that was menacing our stats (another blog post perhaps?). As a result, some code was written to get the most out of YUI Compressor, perhaps at the expense of YUI Compressor + gzip.

Expanding existing features

Glow 1.x was about building a set of modules and widgets, now we have the opportunity to go back and improve features on existing modules.

For instance, our CSS selector support is relatively simple and needs expanding. Glow 2.0 would deal with that, and yes, we're considering adopting a library dedicated to CSS selectors to do this.

Improving stability on non-BBC pages

Glow has been (so far) developed with the BBC's page templates in mind, and some modules may have issues outside of them.
For instance, the Sortable widget was developed for the BBC homepage and hasn't been thoroughly tested outside of that.

Comprehensive accessibility testing

Accessibility testing is difficult as assistive technology usage stats are unreliable, usually being based on sales figures rather than actual use. However, we intend to create an accessibility support list similar to our browser support list and improve testing strategies.

Want to get involved?

Download Glow, try it, and let us know what you think:

Once Glow 2.0 is released we'll be looking to introduce new features and widgets, so we're eager to hear what you'd like those to be!

Jake Archibald is Senior Client Side Developer, Apps Team, Vision, BBC FM&T.

BBC HD: Michael Jackson Tribute Update

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 10:19 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hi all,

I'm sorry about the viewing problems with the Michael Jackson Tribute. Like Krayzee, I also set my Sky + to record and got home to find that it had been knocked out by thunder, leaving me with a blue screen and just the sound coming through, so I share the frustration. But the event organisers were at least kind enough to finish in time for Torchwood though I had some anxious moments at around 8.15.

It looks unfortunately as if there are no worldwide rights to a repeat showing - so I'm sorry since we'd have liked to have done so, but if things change I'll bring you an update.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBCHD, BBC Vision

Glow JavaScript library open source release

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Stephen Elson Stephen Elson | 12:54 UK time, Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Earlier this year whilst Steve Bowbrick was blogger in residence for BBC FM&T, he spent some time looking at "openness" at the BBC. Part of Steve's definition of openness was the "uncomplicated, generous use of licence fee funding to produce content, code and other assets in forms that can be shared".

In his round up, Steve mentioned some of the open source software that the BBC has created such as Kamaelia and Glow. At the time Glow was not actually available outside the BBC, but we are happy to announce that Glow is now released under the Apache 2.0 licence.

That's all very well you may say, but what on earth is Glow?

Glow is a JavaScript library used extensively across BBC Online, and now available for anyone to download and use on their own sites.

Put simply, Glow allows web developers to easily manipulate web pages, create animations and add sophisticated "widgets" to their pages. The library has a comprehensive and easily navigated set of documentation.

We started using Glow on in late 2007, and since the start have always intended to release it for wider use. It's taken a little while to get there, but we are very excited to be in this position today. The BBC and open source software have a long history; much of is powered by such software, and amongst other things we have released various CPAN modules, Apache modules, and even state of the art video codecs.

Of course, there are many excellent JavaScript libraries available already, many of which are open source themselves, so you may ask why we chose not to adopt one of these? The simple answer can be found in our Browser Support Standards. These standards define the levels of support for the various browsers and devices used to access some JavaScript libraries may conform to these standards, but many do not, and those that do may change their policies in the future. Given this fact, we decided that the only way to ensure a consistent experience for our audiences was to develop a library specifically designed to meet these standards. A more in depth look at this question is available on the Glow website.

If you want to find out more, we recommend you have a look at the Glow website, and if you are of a technical persuasion perhaps even download the library it and have a play. Whatever you think, we welcome your feedback.

Stephen Elson is Lead Product Manager, Glow, BBC Vision

Visualising material world: studio set-up

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Tony Ward Tony Ward | 18:15 UK time, Tuesday, 7 July 2009

(Editor's note - Mark Damazer has previously written about Material World and the visualising radio trial. Tony Ward explains some of the practicalities of making it happen below).

OK so here's the thing. We're a disparate bunch really.

Despite the hopefully seamless front end presented to radio listeners and the online community as 'Radio 4', in reality our content is generated all over the place: news from TV Centre, continuity from Broadcasting House, factual programmes from BH as well as Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester, OBs from all over etc etc.

And then there are the internal BBC structures - the interactive team sits within Audio and Music (A&M) division (as do the radio networks) but our technology partner is Siemens and our technical support - including for this blog - is from our Future Media and Technology (FM&T) division.

My role as Operations Manager for A&M Factual is to manage the technical resources for our in-house factual radio production base. We are around 300 350 in number and our core teams provide programmes like Any Questions, 9am discussion programmes, Womans Hour, You and Yours, Food Programme, Front Row, Material World, Saturday Live, documentaries and many many more for Radio 4 in addition to factual output on R2, R3 and World Service.

I look after a team of fifteen studio managers (sound engineers) and dedicated recording facilities - studios, workshops and the bizarrely named 'woffices' - and endeavour to enable any project envisaged to make it to air by hook or by crook.

Radio is our world. Until relatively recently producing content for it was a pretty linear operation: for pre-recorded programmes: gather raw material, edit it, script around it, record script, mix together, give a final stir and voila....

and for live programmes: compile pre-recorded content, book live guests and facilities, build a running order, gather like minds together in a studio and broadcast at allotted time with a few tweaks to accommodate topical events or unforeseen problems.

Now though we have listen again multi platform interactive on demand podcast appetites to consider and things are getting pretty crazy. The beast needs feeding.

And then I hear they want to try putting us on telly. Well in radio we're quite an unkempt bunch by comparison with our glamorous TV counterparts and we imagine that we generate beautiful, intellectually challenging mind pictures which are far superior to anything a screen has to offer. And our presenters sometimes don't even comb their hair or wear trousers.

Radio 4 have chosen Material World as their guinea pig and since it's 'one of mine' I intend to do all I can to facilitate things here. I meet with Ilika Copeland (exec producer of the trial for A&M Interactive across all the networks) and Chris Price from DV Solutions who will be providing all the stuff we need but don't have: cameras, lights, action (actually we have plenty of the latter but draw the line at car chases as they distract the studio guests). On the radio side we are joined by Richard Courtice - all-round technical guru for Radio 4. All people I can definitely do business with - they undoubtedly know their onions.

We look at the studio that Material World transmits from each week. As luck would have it is a rather unique arrangement of a single large studio with a control room either end. This is fortunate since we conclude that fitting the personnel and equipment for visualisation into the control room being used by the radio production team is not really feasible. However we establish that as long as we can hear 'open talkback' from the Material World production team then no other direct communications are needed so the visualisation team can set up at the far end as below:



Picture left: An Anycast vision mixer and flash-encoding PC

Of course since Material world only transmits for 28 minutes each week I have to make sure that other users of the studio across the week are not inconvenienced by the cameras, lights and cables so we have a lengthy dialogue about tripods, light fixings, ceiling tiles and chairs. Also what colour microphone cables look best (answer: black) -but I know my team prefer them coloured so they can quickly see which is which so this is all highly controversial. You should have been there - it was a blast. But at least it'll all stay put once set up for the six weeks of the trail.

And then we hear it won't. The cameras and lights are needed back each week so we now have to find studio time and personnel to rig and de-rig each week and make arrangements to courier the kit to and from TV Centre every Thursday and Friday.

Next up the thorny matter of a date for the first live visualisation. After much to-ing and fro-ing we settle on June 25 so I have to find time to schedule a technical rehearsal. We choose the preceding Wednesday and mock up the programme using nearby 'stooges' in place of Quentin Cooper and guests.

The day of TX arrives and I try to show moral support to the vis team by being around as they set up and for any last-minute trouble-shooting. I have to say my contribution was minimal since they all appear to very much know what they're doing. Fascinating to me though as it's all new.

I leave them to it for the programme, as extra 'bodies' are unhelpful and return to my desk in anticipation of the ultimate visual experience.

It starts. And good lord isn't that Quentin in all his glory ..looking remarkably smart - and some stills - and some errant monkey footage - and some listener blogs - and some 'coming ups'.

A discussion about dinosaurs ensues and Quentin performs his master stroke. He places a rubber model of T-Rex on the table beside him. Looks glorious in shot. Though now I think about it it's quite funny that T-Rex's gaping jaws are just big enough to span Quentin's head.

Yes the beast needs feeding. I shall have to say something.

Dare I 'contact the studio'? Pause. Yes - 'tony from london' - that'll do it.

'I can see that T-Rex finds Quentin's head quite a tasty proposition'.

Oh I do amuse myself.

Then... nothing.

Other comments far less witty than mine appear. Then the audience correspondence is taken off the screen. Quentin's thanking his guests and trailing next week's programme. Fifteen seconds to go. All in vain. Then suddenly 'tony from london' bursts into view in all its glory.

I'm published. I've always wanted to say that.

It's quite good this visualisation lark. Yes I think I'm a convert. Feed the beast.

Tony Ward is Operations Manager, BBC Audio & Music, Factual

BBC HD To Broadcast Michael Jackson Memorial Live Tonight

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 11:21 UK time, Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Hi All,

I want to bring you news hot off the press that BBC HD will be carrying the Michael Jackson Memorial live from LA tonight.

We'll be starting at 6pm, and will aim to stay with it till the close (expected at 7.30, but it feels like one of those things that could extend some way beyond that). High emotion, great music, and tributes from those who knew and were inspired by him. Do watch, and set your recorder if you can't get to your TV in time.

We will try to show it again over the weekend, but it is likely to be one of those moments you just want to be part of when they happen. Apologies too - I took the view it was worth displacing Doctors, but can promise a double bill tomorrow to compensate.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HD, BBC Vision

BBC iPlayer now lets you link directly to your favourite scene in TV programmes

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Anthony Rose Anthony Rose | 18:18 UK time, Monday, 6 July 2009

You know how you're watching a programme on TV and there's a moment that's absolutely hilarious - so funny that you just have to tell your friends about it. But how would you point them to the exact moment in the programme? You could call them and say "You just have to see the kosher chicken scene in The Apprentice - it's about, oh, um, around 25 minutes into the programme. Somewhere around there - you can't miss it!". Not exactly practical.

If only you could send them a link that took them directly to the exact moment in the programme...

Well, now you can, thanks to a BBC iPlayer feature we recently introduced which allows you to create links that jump directly to any time within a programme.

For example, I loved Steve Hughes in Michael McIntyre's brilliant Comedy Roadshow - see him here:

You'll notice that the above link is nice and short, making it perfect for Twitter posts or pasting into an email. We created our own "short URL" system to save you the trouble of having to use a 3rd-party service, and also to ensure that your users see a trusted link instead of one of those obfuscated short URLs that could take you anywhere.

To use this new functionality, just click the Programme Information link below the video playback window in iPlayer to reveal the new Send to a Friend options:


The new direct link functionality is available at the moment for iPlayer TV programmes. We hope to add support for radio as soon as we can.

PS: Remember Mr Collins from the BBC's Pride and Prejudice all those years ago? Well, while watching our new Psychoville production I was amazed to see David Bamber reprising his Mr Collins role - see for yourself:

Anthony Rose is Controller, Online Media Group and Vision, BBC FM&T

Changes to international pages (4)

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 19:27 UK time, Friday, 3 July 2009

Hello. Here's an update on the recent changes in access to the UK and international front pages of the website which have been the subject of several previous posts (10 June, 15 June and 19 June) and lots of comments and queries.

There are two main things to say:

First, the project team has gone through your feedback over the past week and given replies to specific queries, which are further down this post. They have also compiled a Help page of FAQs which will cover many of the questions you've asked and pull all the answers together in one place.

Read more and comment at The Editors blog at BBC News.

Steve Herrmann is editor, BBC News website

Glastonbury on BBC Online

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Matthew Shorter Matthew Shorter | 14:09 UK time, Friday, 3 July 2009

It probably won't have escaped your notice that last weekend saw one of the world's biggest music festivals and that the BBC broadcast extensive coverage on TV, radio and red button. In case you weren't aware, we also have loads of performance video, wonderful photographs and more online at the Glastonbury website - if you hurry, you still have the rest of this weekend to watch the performances!

The man responsible for the Herculean feat of ensuring all of this content was brought together with the minimum delay is Tim Clarke, Senior Content Producer for major music festivals. Tim has written a behind-the-scenes look at how that was accomplished for the BBC Music Blog. You can read his post here.

Matthew Shorter is Interactive Editor, Music, BBC Audio & Music Interactive

BBC HD: Wimbledon and some Top Gear questions

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 13:01 UK time, Friday, 3 July 2009

Hello Everyone,

I'm glad that on the whole you seem to be enjoying our Wimbledon coverage. Yes, there have been a few technical glitches, all of which are picked up and addressed, but I hope you recognise that it is a pretty complex technical operation, especially since we are combining BBC coverage of the tournament on BBC One and BBC Two in order to bring you as much of the action as we can through the day.

This is the first year that we've taken this approach (and indeed had the infrastructure around the ground to bring all the action to you in HD) - I believe that it does allow us to offer you sight of more matches, and we'll build from the experience this year to try to ensure that it is even more seamless next year.

I know that many of you are frequently frustrated about the programmes not in HD. Along with the sports events we don't currently screen, you often raise Top Gear as a show you believe would benefit from being in HD.

I wanted to ask you:

What it is about Top Gear that means you really want to watch it in HD?

What are the qualities which you identify as particularly suitable for HD?

Can you let me know - ideally in one short sentence - either through comments here or by emailing me at I want to understand what you see in SD shows that you believe gives them added value in HD, not least because it is really helpful in evaluating new HD programme opportunities that cross my desk.

Thanks as always for your input, and enjoy the last couple of days of tennis.

Danielle Nagler is Head of HD, BBC Vision


The Power of 8

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Brendan Crowther Brendan Crowther | 16:20 UK time, Wednesday, 1 July 2009

If you see a particularly colourful newspaper lying on the desks of the 'great' and the 'good' over the next few months it could well be the AHRC/BBC Knowledge Exchange Programme's new publication, 8 (#8essays).
8 is a way of sharing all the lessons learned from our collaboration with the AHRC and making sure that the research findings produced by the funded projects are made the best use of. It contains articles from the likes of Bill Thompson, Katherine Corrick and Pat Kane on, amongst other things, media literacy, the ethics of play and digital inclusion. There are contact details for all researchers involved in the studies and an official view of KEP's aims from the lead AHRC and BBC partners. There's also a graphical representation of one of the projects - a collaboration between the production team working on CBBC's virtual word for children, Adventure Rock, and the University of Westminster - which shows the connections and influence a collaborative project builds over time.

Read more, download a copy of 8 and leave your comments on the Knowledge Exchange blog.

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