Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Data recovery

"BBC bosses are Waitrose people through and through" said Janet Street-Porter, yesterday. It's a theme we've mentioned before.

So where are we with myBBC ? Still recruiting. 26 current job ads have myBBC in their title; I've found a similar number advertised and presumably filled in the last twelve months. There are others with titles involving Direct Marketing and Customer Relationship Management.

What's it all about ?  Well, it's not about making new programmes, but delivering "a richer experience".  And, notes the excellent Martin Belam, it's been announced by the BBC three times since 2000.

The current version is led from the front by Phil Fearnley, Director of Homepage & myBBC. Behind is a range of consultancy firms, evidenced by this from a current ad for a Technical Project Manager: "Over the next 6 months, the workstream consists of 3 mainly external agile development teams split on and offshore, after which a new wholly BBC agile team will need to be recruited and built up. This TPM role will be working closely with the external team, then recruiting a new BBC internal team and then will be the scrum master for this team."

The trouble is that this is ALL marketing, marketed inside the BBC by consultants who might or might not have interests in future contracts. "Personalisation" narrows choice to those things the computer says you're interested in. We've all experienced Amazon, Google, Facebook and others constantly pushing you to inferior versions of things you've already bought. And supermarkets giving you vouchers to buy bigger packs of the cat food you've just put in the trolley.

As Mr Fearnley personalises your segment of BBC content, numbers of users of the BBC Homepage are going down. Many are unhappy with the quality of the "personalisation" of the latest version of News app, where you're offered a selection of a dozen or so bland "themes".

In a broadcasting world where BBC listeners and viewers already feel Auntie is relentlessly pushing a range of "tentpole" shows in every programme break, making them feel like the real ads they resent on ITV, the consultants need to be told enough is enough. Gentle discovery and serendipity, through excellent in house developments like BBC Genome, is the way forward.

One last rant: If sign up for a myBBC id, say, for a Strictly vote, will I be allowed to see the data that Auntie holds on me ?

  • 1430 Update: Through research, not personalisation, I found this tweet below, from the BBC's Director of Strategy and Digital. The article it links to is pretty clear that current forms of personalisation are pretty rubbish. Should, then, the BBC be building something from scratch ? At what cost ? DMI-scale ?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other people who read this.......