The BBC launches

 by Martin Belam, 27 April 2006

This week the BBC has announced a month long competition for people to design a new version of the homepage called It is part of a wider project to re-invent the whole of the BBC's online offering to cope with the fact that the web is fast becoming much more than a bunch of hypertext links written documents, which takes its cue from Mark Thompson's Royal Television Society Baird Lecture at the end of March this year, where he specifically talked about 'BBC 2.0', and the "Creative Futures" announcements of this week:

This picture of a possible on demand future is part of a bigger story – which is the BBC's response to what is often referred to as Web 2.0.

The second chapter in the web's history requires other changes from the BBC: a much greater focus on content management and supported metadata to allow for sophisticated search and navigation, a shift of gravity from text towards rich audio-visual content across the piece, an engagement with user-generated content, user-recommendation and personalisation which goes beyond anything I've touched upon this evening.

And it requires a different kind of BBC, a BBC that continues to generate content which drives public value, but now content that can last and which can be repurposed over time and across multiple platforms.

Not a traditional broadcaster with a rather good website but a deliverer of high quality content over the web and other digital channels with, yes, some rather wonderful traditional TV and radio channels still in our portfolio.

That's a transition that will take place over time but that's where we're headed: towards the BBC 2.0.

The site for features a gallery for people's submitted entries, and there is a message board topic dedicated to the competition on Points of View. There is also a group blog, and I'm pleased to say that I have been invited to contribute to the latter. One of the things I will be publishing there is a step-by-step look at the BBC's New Media production processes as I describe how I go about putting my own "competition entry" together. I'm very much looking forward to posting on there over the next couple of weeks, and I shall be hanging out on the message board as well.

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