BBC 2.0 - but why would you want centralised social media?
MediaGuardian reports on the BBC's foray into the world of Web 2.0 - blogs, podcasts, bookmark sharing et al.:
"The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of MySpace.com."
I'm not sure they are actually aiming for a public MySpace.com. At this point I have to be open - I have been consulting BBC Learning and Innovation on what they might do in the education world to be part of things, rather than just reporting on it. The BBC will continue to churn out top quality content at huge budgets, but how can it take advantage of the free content out there being produced by experts both young and old?
As Hugh points out, many of us blog already, so why would we want Aunty to host a typically Aunty version of our personal space? Well, we wouldn't. However, most people using the BBC's services do not have a blog or podcast of their own. They do not share or remix video. Here, the BBC is in an enviable and sole position to convince the masses that blogging, podcasting and sharing material is a Good Thing. I can't do it. Hugh can't do it. But the BBC quite possibly can. And the BBC is working on an international scale, not just a UK one.
In learning this might mean giving free services to educators and learners, with the payoff that the BBC get all the content for free, in much the same way as the SSDN plans to do in Scotland (whence the question: what's in all this for Scotland when we've already paid for what the BBC is proposing to do down south?)
But here is my itch: the BBC and SSDN are being incredibly reactive here. Should the role of public service not be to aim at proactive action? Should we not provide ideas that might not have been done on a wide scale to improve things on a wide scale, rather than simply report back on what has already happened, where the innovation has moved on to something else?
With the MFLE that is what I have tried to do, with positive results and a lot of criticism, too, for being too innovative for the average Joe (I still don't believe this is true, though - when 30,000 new blogs are created every day and 20,000 continue for three months at least it can't be that hard.)
Can the BBC not come up with something truly innovative - new - which might fit alongside what already exists, rather than trying to brand what has already been successful? Surely the BBC - and Governments in general - can redirect funds to find the next Google Maps, the next Flickr or the next Firefox.