The production is a work in progress; the website is a work in progress; even the name is a work in progress, and will change before the series is transmitted as a final product for TV. Trust me when I tell you that no small amount of anguish and wailing has already gone into attempting to name the series, and when the time's right, we'll share that anguish and ask you for your ideas for the title; but for now we're going with Digital Revolution.
Open source documentary - what do you mean by that?
This is open source with lower case o and s. We're making a documentary about the web and we figure it would be foolish to attempt this without engaging the web itself: its active community of contributors (and detractors).
It is our ambition to open up the production process as much as possible; to share as much of our thinking as possible, as the production team strive to create a cohesive, accurate and relevant documentary about the World Wide Web. We'll be blogging as we go; we'll share our theories; we'll be putting up rushes from the filming; we'll be asking for advice and stories from you as we go along.
Basically, we want you to get involved.
Why should I?
The BBC intends to tell the story of the web in four one-hour programmes on BBC Two. This story will reach a wide audience, an audience who may not necessarily have thought very deeply about this modern phenomenon beyond email and YouTube. We're telling the story and we want to get it right. It's a unique opportunity for collaboration between the production and the web; how much you engage with this process is up to you.
What do you want from us?
Stories of the web's development and the phenomenal changes it has brought to the world. If Jay Rosen is right in the video below, and the web is people - people connected by computers, then to find out anything about the web we need to engage with people to tell its stories.
The content on this blog is meant to open up debate - debate with you. Tell us where we're getting it right about the big issues, and - more importantly - tell us when you think we're wrong.
But, let's remember to play nice! We're all learning here, and if you feel you have something you'd like to add, please resist the temptation to shoot us down with a hail of flaming invective (and we'll resist the urge to become hurt, defensive and pouty).
Our ideas aren't fully formed but are in progress and we would love constructive feedback from you, including examples, stories, pictures, links, videos, tweets and illustrations that you think would make the point better.
How can I get involved?
This blog is the hub of our activities, and the best place to comment and share information, but we're also across a number of platforms. We're on Twitter as @BBCDigRev. We're sharing our online research on delicious.
The production has several stages; likewise the shape of our interactivity will take different forms as we progress.
1 - Pre-production
We've been in early development for some time, but as of 10th July the production launches proper. The director and production team for programme one start Monday 13 July, and from that point onwards we will be blogging the production's current story and thinking. We'll also feature guest bloggers, who we hope will stir things up, add another angle to the debate, get us all thinking harder.
At this stage, your input, your comments, and your links will be read by the production team and will shape the direction the story takes. And everything will be part of our online interactive documentary that launches alongside programme transmission
Once the production teams are in the field there will be less debate around scripts and stories, as the business of collecting the content will be led by the scripts written earlier in the process. The team will be on location and will be sharing their discoveries and sending back their rushes, which will be placed onto the blog asap to give you the fast track line to our interviews as they are recorded. We'll also be on twitter from locations, asking for anything from extra questions for our contributors, to the best spots to get a good shot of Silicon Valley, to where to lay our lips upon the life-giving froth of the best cappuccino in town.
3 - The edit
Come November the majority of the material for the programmes will have been collected and the serious business of editing the many hours of footage into cohesive one hour pieces begins. At this point, we'll be inviting you to comment on the direction we're taking and also to have a full and frank discussion about the series title.
4 - The series transmits
In early 2010 the four programmes will air on BBC Two. We'll post shortform clips from the series that link off to all the comments, debate and discussion on the blog and elsewhere around the web.
Who are you? Who's doing the talking here?
The production teams are still being recruited and we will add to this list of players as they come on board, but for now, we are:
Aleks Krotoski (presenter)
Aleks Krotoski is an academic and journalist who writes about and studies technology and interactivity. She is on the final push to complete her PhD thesis in Social Psychology at the University of Surrey at the end of 2009, examining how information spreads around the social networks of the World Wide Web.
Aleks also writes a column for The Guardian newspaper, and hosts Tech Weekly, their technology podcast. She blogs on the Guardian Unlimited network, and maintains several of her own blogs on topics that range from her academic work to a proto-interest in Americana and country music.
Finally, she's the New Media Sector Champion for UKTI, the government department that promotes British businesses around the world.
Dan is the Assistant Content Producer and manager of the blog. A geek with a chef's background, Dan manages the Digital Revolution blog and Digital Revolution content around the web. ~DanB on @BBCDigRev
Multiplatform Content Producer for Digital Revolution, Dan's main concern will be the interactive online experiments that will accompany the series and production, as well as worrying about everything Dan Biddle's doing. ~DanG on @BBCDigRev
There will be more people joining us along the way, and we'll introduce them as we go. Until then, if you have any questions, comments about the production and the online project, leave us a comment below and we'll get back to you. Remember - play nice!
Digital Revolution (working title) is a BBC / Open University co-production.
The Virtual Revolution looks at how the web is shaping our world. Previously known as Digital Revolution (working title), it has been an open and collaborative production, which asked the web audience to debate programme themes, suggest and send questions for interviewees, watch and comment on interview and graphics clips, and download clips for personal use and re-editing.
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