Exploring social media and testing how they can be used at the BBC we developed a range of social software prototypes, ranging from collaborative co-production tools, smaller social networks to new ways of bookmarking to obtain a better overview of the news.
Working with a fellow market innovator
Working with the BBC let’s us test the more innovative ideas we are hatching. The BBC, despite its size and inherent inertia, is a willing and adventurous explorer of what our media will look like in the future.
What did we build?
Through the BBC Prototypes project we have built BBC Bubbles, a place for kids to store and share their favourite stuff online – links, blogs, photos, videos, MP3s – and find other things they like.
Other prototype projects included ‘miniwikis’ for the collaborative co-production of guides to BBC programmes or programme subject areas. The idea was to give users a simple and usable tool that would let them put together their own guide to a subject area by combining links and images from programme content on bbc.co.uk with their own text and opinions.
We also developed a custom online tool which lets users bookmark BBC News articles and apply natural language and descriptive keywords to ‘tag’ these bookmarks in whatever way makes sense to them.
Through this, editorially chosen categories can be compared with user created tags and popular topics and themes are made visible. The matching related items are automatically filtered by a number of criteria (e.g. proximity percentage value, chronological order, by-line, etc.), allowing ‘top matches’ from each to be displayed in each BBC News story’s sidebar.
Headshift has gone on to work with the BBC on their new blogging platform – a major project that we’ll tell you more about once it’s done.