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.
14th–17th March 2005