The BBC’s “Digital Revolution”

Last Friday, I also had a chat with Dan Biddle, who is part of a team working on a BBC documentary, Digital Revolution.

It sounds like a really interesting project: looking at several different aspects of the internet and what it might mean for society.

Naturally enough, working througn the medium of Web n.x, they are seeking to make the development of the documentary an interactive experience. Their blog features lots of guest bloggers sharing their ideas – I was particularly interested in reading Feargal Sharkey’s post on music, copyright, and the artist’s choice (though Sharkey for me will always be voice behind the effervescent Teenage Kicks – he must get bored of being reminded of it, though it is a work of pure genius!).

As part of this, the production team are looking for any ideas or comments. So now you know where to get involved

One small caveat: the BBC require that anyone commenting on their blogs registers and signs in. This seems overly controlling, though I am sure that they have their reasons. I shy away from commenting on blogs that require registration – partly for reasons of privacy, ironically one of the issues I was discussing with Dan!


4 thoughts on “The BBC’s “Digital Revolution”

  1. Edward Bellamy

    Hello there

    Yes – quite agree with a restriction of access to contribute. However, with Web n.x comes various abuse and security vulnerabilities. I therefore agree with the imposition of having to sign-in, but disagree with the cumbersome way in which it is achieved!

    Yes to sign-ins (for temporary reactive moderation), no to an awkward way of doing things!

  2. Dan Biddle

    Hi Patrick,
    Good to meet you the other day; like you say, some really interesting discussions at #tuttle last Friday. Hoping to get down there again next week to talk more.

    On your point about the sign on – fair point, and this is a frustrating barrier to entry for many people, and so for us as blog owners trying to increase interaction with the site and the whole open source documentary about the web and its wonders. We walk and work hand in hand with irony…

    I tweeted for opinion, and mostly your was shared by the responses. One person pointed out our issues of moderation costs (already huge even with the sign ons and firewalls), but it seems we do suffer for our security.

    Perhaps, if you wish, you can make comment here in your own domain, then tweet us @bbcdigrev so we can come to read it and link out to you.

    Many thanks,

    1. Patrick Post author

      I do see that the BBC needs to protect its content, readers and reputation from malicious comments or spam, as Edward points out above, but I am not sure whether the necessity to sign in would provide this. I can also see that active moderation might ne prohibitively expensive, given the volume of traffic to BBC’s many sites.

      I would have thought that providing log in through OpenID or a similar function would actually provide greater security than requiring specific registration – with the availability email addresses, anyone wanting to post malicious content could do so, but those with OpenID, their own blog ID or Twitter accounts would have their own reputation to consider! True not everyone possesses OpenID or other online IDs, but promoting an open access approach rather than the BBC’s proprietory registration would make sense for such a big provider of online content.

      Maybe something to consider for your programmes…


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