Hot on the heels of their You Tube deal, the Beeb have announced a ‘Web 3.0’ deal with IBM. I’m already getting a little irked by the ‘Web 3.0’ thing, but you know that when the mighty BBC get behind an idea it has a good chance of happening. They are co-developing a technology, starting with a video search system for CBeebies and CBBC programmes that doesn’t rely on meta-tagging or keyword search (like You Tube) but instead searches the content itself to deliver up far more relevant images and video content to searches.
According to Ashley Highfield, the BBC director of future media and techology, it could be the "difference between success and failure" for the Beeb online. This is, he says, "technology that actually understands the value of content on the page rather than just a page of ones and noughts". More interesting still, is the potential for the new technology to drammatically simplify digitisation and access to Auntie’s archive of more than 1.4m hours of TV and audio content in the BBC archive.
These projects follow the announcement last month of the ‘Digital Media Initiative’, an attempt to break down content fiefdoms within the BBC to create ‘digital repositories’ of information on a given subject for use on multiple platforms.
In a world rapidly heading towards a vision of perfect information, all media owners (or at least those which are significant producers of content) are having to wrestle with these kinds of strategic issues. The prize, however, is the ultimate one. Facilitating a quality customer experience via efficiency and ease of access to your entire archive is somewhat of a holy grail – for advertisers, this presents an unprecedented non-linear future opportunity to target messaging around the most relevant of content.
Image courtesy avalera