The Clicks Heard Round the World

The dot-com era might have ended with a big pop, but the related “global village” idea is surely more powerful than ever.

Four of us from WFAE have just returned from a public radio conference in Reno. I was blown away by a presentation by Pete Clifton, who manages the Interactive news sites for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

You can catch the BBC World Service on radio here at WFAE–from 11PM on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

BBC Interactive is rolling out a project called “My News Now”. It utilizes the assets of the world’s largest electronic news gathering team to provide news that the user wants, precisely when she or he wants it.

The BBC has identified core values in such a service: coverage should have accuracy, speed, personalization, it should present dialogue, and it should engender trust.

BBC is finding that some of its fastest and most riveting news coverage is coming from consumers, who use mobile devices to send in photos, video and voice accounts in real time. Wisely, in my opinion, BBC has also set up what they call a “News Authentication Hub”. This 24-hour operation vets this consumer-generated news by calling back the submitters, getting story background, and fact-checking as needed. These are all key attributes in a valid journalistic process.

On the “cool” side: BBC now offers a “what’s hot and what’s not” feature on its web sites. You can find out in real time what other BBC users are downloading, around the world, in essentially real time.

Check out the site (note at the top of the page that you can choose a  worldwide web edition, or a feed primarily meant for British users):


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