We chatted to Tim Stansbie, one of the makers of R1OT
How did you come up with the idea for R1OT?
R1OT was conceived as a way to let listeners influence what happens on-air. We wanted it to be quick and easy for users to join in and take part wherever they are listening and feel part of Radio1.
And how does it do that?
TV and radio both do loads of social calls-to-action and most of the time only a handful of people are recognised. Radio is such an intimate medium and Radio1 listeners should feel part of the station. We really want every Tweet, photo and video to count and to be acknowledged.
What were the challenges?
In order to be successful on the radio it had to sound brilliant and online it had to look great. We settled on the idea of every input translating into a character on-screen, with users dropping into the virtual crowds as they take a side. We worked on search tools that let them find themselves and their friends in amongst the crowd. If they got involved, they’d be there.
And It was vital that R1OT was developed to be ‘mobile-first’, so joining-in-from-the-bus was as engaging as joining-in-from-a-desk.
What about if someone chose to post something inappropriate?
All the content that is displayed on the R1OT page can be easily moderated by Radio1 producers via our admin system. It’s fairly easy to make sure nothing dodgy is seen on our website!
What’s the most exciting thing about R1OT?
Well there are two. The first is opening up the potential for the audience to change and influence the output of Radio1 in new ways and so, feel more involved and engaged.
The second is in the broader potential for a real-time social opinion tool like this to become used across the BBC.
What happens next?
It’s a way to measure social opinion as an event is happening and have the results of that R1OT effect the programming alongside it. We feel that R1OT could be used across BBC output. It would obviously work for 1Xtra, Radio2 and 6Music. But potentially also for Sport and TV shows like Stargazing Live. It would need a makeover for some areas like news and current affairs but the core technology is flexible and re-usable.