The BBC announced today that they are to significantly reduce their online operations by closing 400 Top Line Domains and cutting at least 350 jobs. This is clearly bad news for all those affected, however, I do believe that the principle of doing fewer things better is a sound one. It is sound because it means that finally, the BBC’s online presence is unified under one strategy and it will put a stop to wastage due to vertical silos within BBC Online.
Erik Huggers (Director of Future Media and Technology at the BBC) provides a clear summary of what the unified strategy looks like and what it means for the BBC’s people. Well worth a read.
The main message I take from this is that the BBC needs to focus on the things it does brilliantly in terms of the internet. It shouldn’t be competing with commercial publishers on specialist subject websites – hence the announcement that most programme websites will be created using automated content. It should, however, be making all BBC content (audio and video) available to me (the tax payer) as and when I want it, on any device I choose. That would make the licence fee worthwhile.
With that in mind, it is good to read that a key part of the strategy is to focus on enhancing the iPlayer to include more relevant content (e.g. news & comment) and offer users the ability to personalise the service to match their taste. In my mind that means the BBC will look to connect me to the BBC content I will like at the right time, place and on the best device. Can’t wait!