I attended the Birmingham launch event for the BBC Innovation Labs – a kind of Geek-Idol meets Dragons-Domain for web 2.0 app developers and new media producers.
As part of the beebâ€™s ongoing remit to evolve and serve license fee payers into the digital era, it is undergoing much structural reform and is keeping close tabs on the way social networking sites such as myspace and flickr are altering user behavior and interaction.
The open day introduced the objectives of the scheme and the opportunity to have a dry-run to pitch ideas to the interactive commissioners.
BBC commissioners working across all areas of new media have created a series of briefs and are inviting independent companies to pitch ideas for them. The group of successful applicants will then spend a (paid:) week working with key BBC staff and mentors to develop the idea into a killer pitch which is presented to the commissioners on the final day. IP is retained by the independent but the BBC get first dibs at developing the idea if they really like it.
An interesting aspect to the day and the application process is the use of Stanford Institute of Research’s discipline of innovation. SRI, who incidentally precede MIT by some margin, have devised this structured methodology for identifying innovation, worth considering in all aspects of creative industry, product and service development.
All that remains is that elusive idea . .
After a while that cobbler’s boots analogy starts to wear thin. As we often intimate, we’re an extremely busy web studio, and the first thing to suffer amongst all the work is our own website. (Actually I had a dentist once with the most shocking teeth, but I digress).
Our advice to clients when designing new websites is to avoid creating self-imposed ‘barriers to publishing’. Often, a rigid information architecture that seems perfectly reasonable during the project planning stage can prevent people from adding fresh information six months down the line. In the case of our last website we never let anyone know about our latest work, because that required a 500 word case study that no-one really wanted to read, much less write.
Blogging has redefined the way people publish on the Internet, and in my view it’s not just because of the simple Content Management Systems that power them. Ultimately it’s because the structure of blog-based websites removes all barriers to publishing. People who dismiss blogs as ‘online diaries’ miss the point. They’re really a ‘publishing channel’.
We’ve toyed with the idea of just running our company website as a blog since our very first site-launch four years ago. But we were never quite ready to let go. We were worried that our clients wouldn’t get it, that the vast corporate entities we were trying to entice would be put off by posts about my cat.
Once we looked at it seriously, we realised that embracing the blog medium whole-heartedly would actually result in a more honest, more conversational, more successful company website. Shrugging off that corporate camouflage and talking like real people is the first step in acting on our belief that markets are conversations. (Even vast corporate entities are staffed by real human beings apparently).
And for once, we’re all happy with our website, because it feels like the real us.
Due to continued expansion of our technical offerings, we are in desperate need of a full time Network Support Manager to join our small, but perfectly-formed team in Birmingham, England. You will keep our network running at 99.9% availability, applying patches, maintaining backup procedures, negotiating bandwidth, doing fresh server installs, and supporting the development team. You will also provide first-line support to our clients, both for hosting services and for our own web applications. You possess the patience of a saint, the organisational skills of a librarian, enough charm and telephone manner to soothe the most irate, confused client, and experience with some combination of the following:
Linux, Apache, MySQL, Shell Scripting, Plesk, OS X, Windows, Subversion, Ruby-on-Rails, SpamAssassin, Hardware, RAID, M0n0wall, Cisco Routers, Rsync, DNS
Our systems are well documented, and we can provide training on most aspects of the job, so we’ll consider candidates from a wide range of commercial backgrounds. Salary will be dependent upon your level of experience.
Please send your CV and a covering email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry – no agencies please.
It's that time of year again. Made Media are delighted to present our 4th Brilliantly Birmingham website. The festival continues to grow and this years events look better than ever. Recommended