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The Benefits of an Open Web: BBC Research & Development at Mozilla Festival

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Brendan Crowther Brendan Crowther | 14:00 UK time, Monday, 10 December 2012

A few weekends back a team from BBC Research & Development and Future Media attended the Mozilla Festival at the Ravensbourne Building in Greenwich, East London.  Mozfest pulls together people passionate about the future of an open web and provides them with a platform to use their skills and expertise to help shape it. Amongst the guests and exhibitors at the event were London Zoo, NESTA, MIT Civic Media and the MET office.

The weekend kicked off with a technology fair on the Friday evening. On the BBC R&D stand we showed off some of the projects we’ve been working on recently. Rosie showed off some work she's been involved with which examines the possibilities of classifying music by mood. I was also able to let the public quite literally get to grips with some prototypes I helped to develop which explore the possibilities around delivering broadcast haptics into the home, that is to "feel" TV through various sensations such as vibration or pressure.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with a packed programme of sessions on the open web with subjects ranging from building open platforms, producing remixable content and understanding the legal obligations and ramifications of delivering in an open environment.

 The main arena at Mozfest 2012 in London, Greenwich. Picture shows a large room in the Ravensbourne building with a speaker on a platform. He is being watched by hundreds of people.

The main presentation area at Mozfest 2012 in London, Greenwich

Mozilla themselves launched their new online video editor Popcorn which aims to make video more native to the web by allowing you to superimpose related content in the video window such as text, images or hyperlinks. They were also showcasing Thimble, a web creation tool that aims to help digital literacy by showing live effects in the code when editing a web page.

The BBC is committed to an open and free internet. We are a sponsor of one the Mozilla’s Knight Foundation Fellowships, a programme that aims to put individuals with a high degree of technical web literacy into newsrooms around the world to help content makers make sense of the vast reams of data available to them and communicate the results to audiences effectively.

The video below explores the idea of the open web and features interviews with BBC Research & Development’s Ant Miller and Mark Surman of Mozilla. Be warned, there is some bad language towards the end of the film.

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