# Monday, 05 July 2004

Review of BBC online.

"Philip Graf has produced a thorough and insightful review of the BBC's online service," they said.

Yes he has, and it is well worth reading if you are producing content in 'competition' (e.g. education) with the BBC.

"He is generally positive about the distinctiveness of its content and its impact on commercial competitors.  [via BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BBC websites must redraft remit]

Errrr, well, not quite generally. There is an excellent sequence on impact about how the jury is still out, case unproven either way and in particular that the BBC's expensive defence document by KPMG is of very dubious merit (particularly amusing given the new DGs comment that only the BBC can bridge the digitial divide is that he finds the BBC's contention that it has driven Internet access takeup completely unproven).

Where I really diverge from Graf is his contention that the BBC should provide a search service because otherwise we will all use an American one. What is unclear is whether he is proposing that the BBC 'brand' some other's technology (as they do now - was Google, now Inkotomi); given that the technology will almost certainly be American, what is the point, or is he saying that American search engine databases are skewed (they might be, but he should produce evidence). Or, the BBC should develop their own search engine technology - complete waste of license fee (there might be some mega technology sitting in a University research lab, but if there is they should commercialise it and take over the world - don't need the BBC to do that).

Whatever, the BBC most certainly needs to review its search offering - there are some fairly damaging statements in the report (to summarise, BBC search is biased).

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