ETech 2005 schedule

Tuesday 15th March 2005

  • Reinventing Radio: Enriching Broadcast with Social Software

    by Matt Webb, Paul Hammond, Tom Coates and Matt Biddulph

    How could you enhance a one-to-many national radio station by building in the many-to-many-style interactions of Flickr or the weblog community? How might lessons from social software further blur the distinction between listeners and broadcasters by pushing interactivity beyond the phone-in or the online poll?

    (1) The "Ten-Hour Takeover" used SMS technology, pattern matching, and statistical analysis to give the British public control of BBC Radio 1's musical output. For ten hours, there was no planned playlist--every track was chosen by listeners via text messages. We turned these messages into a navigable information space of artists, tracks, and listeners that the DJs could interact with directly. Moreover, the loosely coupled component-based infrastructure has allowed us to deploy new mobile-based products (SMS and MMS) quickly and easily.

    (2) A component-based architecture also allows us to hook together SMS, track now-playing, and show scheduling systems with each other and with third-party services. BBC R&Mi are using this as a basis for exploring social software models of interactivity: the potential of Flickr/del.icio.us-style tagging for radio; the possibilities of combining buddy lists with media players; new applications for SMS; and concepts like "100 Composers"--DABJava applications on PDAs that can have data trickled to them over broadcast radio.

    The session presents work from BBC Radio & Music Interactive's Technical Architecture and R&D teams, including demonstrations of existing software and working prototypes of new projects.

    At 3:50pm to 4:35pm, Tuesday 15th March

Wednesday 16th March 2005

  • BBC Programme Information Pages: An Architecture for On-Demand

    by Gavin Bell, Tom Coates, Matt Biddulph and Margaret Hanley

    What would become possible if every episode of every program that the BBC broadcast had a unique ID and URL?

    The BBC has started working on a major attempt to improve the metadata surrounding its programming output for two main purposes: to better represent programming on the Web and to get ready for the upcoming on-demand environment of media consumption.

    Using the BBC's SMEF (Standard Media Exchange Framework) data-model as the basis for its structure, the PIPs project aims to be a central repository of program information for the BBC--hooking together systems as diverse as programming commissioning databases, EPG feeds, audio- and video-playout systems, and audience databases. The result should be a structure that allows the organisation to build the kinds of recommendations and navigational systems around programming that Amazon has built around products, or the IMDB has built around films. Only with one difference--the BBC also owns the rights to much of the programming itself...

    The first implementation of the PIPs system has been the creation of a new web site for BBC Radio 3, which has the individual episode at its heart and includes new ways of navigating to programming through schedules.

    This presentation includes an investigation of the architectural, technical, program-modelling, and IA work that the project has involved as well as the opportunity to debate the role that the BBC might have in creating publically accessible data and APIs.

    At 5:10pm to 5:55pm, Wednesday 16th March