We spoke to Peter Rippon, Editor of the BBC Online Archive about making this latest version of Your Story.
So what is ‘Your Story?’
BBC Your Story is a personalised story of your life. It creates a timeline that connects key moments in your life and some of biggest events that have happened in your lifetime. We launched a prototype version for mainly UK audiences earlier this year on Taster and it proved really popular. This global version has been developed using the great feedback we got last time and we are really keen to know what people think this time.
What is the thinking behind it?
We are exploring new ways of telling stories. We are particularly interested in how digital technology allows us to create unique personal experiences for each person trying it. ‘Your Story’ intertwines personal and news events with your timeline. For example it would tell you what happened the day you were born, or how old you were when significant moments in history occurred.
How is this version different from the last one?
From the feedback we got last time it was clear that audiences outside of the UK felt the content was not relevant enough to their life experience. So we have increased the content and added a location option to address that. We have also partnered with our Russian, Spanish and Portuguese language services teams to create bespoke versions for their audiences too. We are keen to know what people think.
How did you make it?
Your Story is a browser-based, 'parallax'-scrolling style (like old computer games like Sonic or Super Mario) interactive storytelling experience. It has been built by the BBC Rewind team in BBC Northern Ireland which includes technology experts and journalists. The BBC wants to find ways to use its amazing archive more routinely in the stories it tells online. This is one example of that.
Why is it integrated with Facebook?
Your Story is designed to work on digital social networks and Facebook is by far the biggest platform. It is where the biggest potential audience is so it makes sense to be there. Using Facebook also allows us personalise the content even more by selecting content based on the peoples likes. You do not have to have Facebook to use it. It works for everyone just by letting us know your date of birth.
What happens next if people like it?
We are really keen to explore how far we can stretch the personalised storytelling format so expect more in this space. The feedback we get on this version of Your Story will help us evolve our thinking.