BBC Promotes Open Source to the Masses

By Blane Warrene

A fascinating insight into how one organization (the BBC) is finding ways to blend open source with mass consumerism and even public service. (Thanks Stoyan!)

We talk so much about open source and applying it to our technology and business pursuits – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that – but this is an excellent view of how one organization is taking it to the masses in a subtle way.

Rather than promoting open source directly to the public – the BBC is finding ways to incorporate it into its larger overall mission to transform itself amid rampant commercial ‘pay to play’ services in the mass media.

This is quite refreshing as it reminds me that I can explore and identify more subtle ways in which open source may benefit my customers and their clients without the fact that it is an open source solution being at the forefront. I.e. – perhaps by making it more economical to deliver statements or other content to a cosumer on the street is worth more to them than reducing software licensing costs. Thus, looking at a solution from varying perspectives can brighten the overall outlook.

I also find it plain interesting that amid so many corporate initiatives to charge for more content flowing into the digital pipes – the BBC is looking to provide more free offerings and perhaps can find new profit centers through licensing rather than charging for channels or that content.

  • Welcome, Blane!
    One can really get a warm feeling after seeing what BBC and Google ( did.

  • I’m really liking what the BBC is doing. They’re really embracing the internet. I was mentioned on the BBC a week or two ago and when someone let me know about it all I had to do was just jump on and they had the show streaming for me. That’s really nice when I don’t get the channel across the pond here. Likewise, I’m hoping the open source stuff they’re pushing now will develop into some nice standards that will affect us in the US, who aren’t as lucky to have such a fantastic network.

  • kokobutter

    BBC is excellent ;)

  • ngmather

    That’s great to see! I had no idea the BBC was involved with open source.

    One of my favourite areas of the BBC website is their vast archive of radio shows available for streaming, and I’d love to see them pushing that area with open source technology — currently the majority of it is in Real Audio format. They must be one of the largest providers when it comes to streaming audio, so they could really make a difference there.

  • Good to see the beeb pushing the envelope as it were. Then again, after the bosses plan to cut 4,000 jobs and give themselves a substantial pay rise they need to be seen to do something more positive ;)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, as Octal hints upon, plenty of British people bear grudges about having to pay

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