Be the former audience

Hello… Come and try out an experiment we’re running on the BBC News website (probably will make more sense or be more satisfying if you are in the UK).

Dan Gillmor‘s notions of the ‘the former audience’ have inspired us to come up with ‘the remote-control reporter’:

“We asked you to debate which of four ideas BBC News Online should take up for an investigation this summer.

The four subjects are fly tipping, speed cameras, UK-US price differences and support for the mentally ill. Soon we will decide which subject we will tackle. Then we will ask you for your input on how you think the investigation should progress over the next few weeks.

The process will continue until we reach a conclusion. That conclusion, of course, may not be the one you expect. That’s the point of investigation.”

I love this. While it’s not the collaborative media that Dan described in his talk, it’s an encouraging step for the mainstream media and the mainstream of internet users – who are not all as comfortable with posting to mefi, kuro5hin or slashdot as we might like to think.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how it progresses.

» BBC News : Politics: “What should we investigate?”

0 thoughts on “Be the former audience

  1. What is fly tipping? Is it like cow tipping, only on a much smaller scale?

    This project reminds me of Andrew Leonard’s open-source open source book, which took a similar “poll the (still not former) audience” approach. And no, that’s not a typo. Nor is that.

  2. If you scroll down thru the comments below the BBC article, one says (in part):

    “Much more important is fly tipping. Like where Stuart from Devon lives, it seems that every gateway and ditch around where I live have builders rubble and black bin liners in them. Some are in such remote places it must have been more effort to dump it than to go to the tip.”

    So I’d guess “fly tipping” is “tipping” (US => dumping) “on the fly”?

  3. I’ve been doing some digging along these lines as well lately – trying to sift through all the hypothetical blather about social networks in search of actual working software. A few I’ve stumbled across so far:

    MIT Sociable Media Group – whizzy Muriel Cooper-esque prototypes for social network visualization:
    http://smg.media.mit.edu/people/

    Microsoft Social Computing group:
    http://research.microsoft.com/scg/

    IBM Babble – IM-meets-groupware in a collaborative IM client (sort of):
    http://www.research.ibm.com/SocialComputing/babble.htm

    AT&T ContactMap – a social network contact manager prototype:
    http://www.stanford.edu/class/msande430/lecturenotes/nardi/Nardi-Whittaker-Isaacs-etal-CACM-Feb26.doc

    not sure whether groupware is relevant to what you’re doing, but you might also glance at Groove, eRoom, Lotus Notes et al.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with whatever it is you’re up to…

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