Tag Archives: mobile content

BBC Mobile: Carousel of Content

Extract from my post today on the BBC Internet Blog…

Mobile homepage carousel

Mobile homepage carousel

If you’ve looked at the BBC Mobile homepage today, you’ll have noticed we’re giving you more choices than ever. Yesterday we launched a carousel of content in our top promotion area so that you can scroll through a range of content we’re highlighting across BBC Mobile. It’s available to a limited range of handsets right now but will roll out gradually to a wider range as we develop the technology.

Read the full post here…

Looking ahead to London 2012, the mobile Olympics

As part of the BBC Internet Blog’s day on mobile, I wrote a post about what we’ve been doing in terms of planning for the 2012 Olympics and mobile.

Here’s an excerpt and a chart from the work.  You can read the full post at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/06/looking_ahead_to_london_2012_t.html .   Please let me know what you think of the work and if you want to know more!

2012 Olympic Scenarios for Mobile

2012 Olympic Scenarios for Mobile

This is just one page from the much larger report/piece of work.

Full blog post here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/06/looking_ahead_to_london_2012_t.html

All The News That’s Fit to Print (in a Tweet)

Here’s a great little (no pun intended) experiment that I think is really cool. All the day’s news – in one Tweet.

http://twitter.com/tinynews

The tweet takes you from “tinynews” to a site with (only slightly longer) “fullernews” and makes for interesting, if brief, reading. Check it.

BBC iPlayer on Mobile wins Global Mobile Award @ Mobile World Congress

BBC iPlayer on mobile (which was produced by the BBC Mobile team, which I am part of) won a big award last night – Best Mobile Music or Video Service.  I won’t gloat but this is a big deal and really exciting.

Check it out: http://www.globalmobileawards.com/winners.shtml#winner_cat1b

Mobile Usabilty – a view from Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen has just released a new take on mobile usability based on testing he’s conducted and the results are interesting.

The good news, for me, is that what he recommends is very much in line with what we do on the BBC Mobile site – publish different versions appropriate for different devices.  It’s not great, of course, that he feels mobile usability isn’t moving fast enough – but it’s always good to have a challenge, right?

I think the most interesting point he makes is his final one:

“…not all sites need mobile versions.”

This is a point I’ve made when talking to people who create desktop (or ‘full fat’ as I like to call them) sites.  Trying to offer the full functionality and content of every site simply doesn’t work – even if you have an iPhone.  He sites that users only use their phones for a narrow range of activities and therefore these are the sites/activities for which mobile sites are most needed.  I’d love to know what activities he found people were using them for in the testing.  I’d hazard a guess they’re around: communication (social networking and web mail), news/sport/weather information and some basic transactional stuff.  If anyone knows, let me know.

Mobile predictions for 2009 from Fjord

Christian Lindholm and his team at Fjord (whom the BBC have worked with on a number of occasions) has released a set of predictions for the mobile world in 2009 – and if they’re right, it sure looks like an exciting year ahead. In fact, taking an optimistic view of the trends, you might even say this could be THE year where mobile really comes centre stage. In the spirit of these being ‘Fjord Thoughts’ I wanted to share some of my own thoughts, which I’ve gathered under the headlines from the report. Make sure you read the full report and not just my comments – it’s really good stuff!
 

App Stores are digital Innovation Bazaars

The app stores are clearly going to be a crucial access point between consumers and content/services for their devices – there’s no doubting that. However, what I thought was really interesting here was the prediction that “The long tail of the App Store will allow the iPhone to attract great content and emerge as a true mobile gaming platform that puts pressure on the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.”

Sure, you’ve been able to download and play games on a range of devices before and sure, many portable games consoles can connect to the internet, but I think this blurring will be particularly interesting. First, interesting to see which devices become prefered/dominant with which types of users but, moreso, from my perspective because its potentially where content and gaming can come much closer. Anyone fancy an alternate reality game that gives you clues in news stories based on where you are and the proximity of other players?

The Cloud puts digital life at your fingertips

“The PC is displaced as the hub and takes its place as a powerful but non-mobile client.” When I first read this, all I could think was, “Wow!” and then “But REALLY?” Much as I’d love to believe this and it would be great with relation to what I do for a living, it seemed a little implausible – reading on into the report, this is refined a bit to talk about teens and people in developing countries, and I think this is more likely. We see this happening for a small wedge of UK users – a growing minority – but I don’t see a full reversal of hub/client devices this year for mainstream audiences. Watching the behaviour of those audiences who DO make this switch will be interesting though. My youngest brother and a teenager I work with already can’t see the point of having a laptop (nevermind a desktop) when they can have a Blackberry.

I think the other interesting thing about how ‘the cloud’ will affect our experiences that will emerge will be around how entertainment and media cross between equally connected clients. With over-the-air downloads from the iTunes store, does the music ‘live’ on your PC or your iPhone? And will this be the year that delivers on the dream of being able to ‘take’ a programme you were watching on TV away on your phone when you leave the house?

TV finally goes mobile

I can’t write about this report without being grateful for the praise that Fjord has given the BBC in this section naming us as one of the players who will help drive this trend. Nice. We’re already seeing “mobile couch potato” behaviour growing – peak time for the use of BBC iPlayer on mobile is between 8.00pm and midnight – times when people are relaxing at home (possibly in bed) and using their reliable, fast wifi connections. This is different to what’s seen on the desktop version of BBC iPlayer and later than peak time for traditional TV viewing so very interesting to keep an eye on.

I recently saw another presentation (by another company) looking at mobile in 2009 that predicted that Mobile TV was dead. At first these seemed contradictory – but actually, they were in agreement. What the other presentation meant was that TV on operator portals was dead; and that its time for other TV/video services to emerge – perhaps like BBC iPlayer on mobile and the others that Fjord are suggesting. Wouldn’t it be cool if we stopped watching video on our mobile screens this year and that its when “video goggles” (aka virtual retinal display) takes off?

Location becomes the new service bedrock Sure, I buy this. BUT… the editor in me would modify this prediction slightly. I think there’s going to be a proliferation of applications that use location – but I’m not convinced they’ll all be very useful or as easy to develop as some people think. I talk to a lot of people who make the assumption that if something’s near you, it’s automatically relevant – this isn’t always the case, and even if it is, it might not be what you want.

If I’m searching on my geo-aware device for information about an upcoming business trip or holiday, I definitely DON’T want information about what’s currently nearest to me. I’d probably like to know what hotels people who LIVE near me stayed in when they went to my destination – but I suspect working out these types of subtleties and the user experiences that make them excellent will be a little bit of a way off and that we might see a lot of gimmicks in the meantime (excluding maps, of course). And worse, the top 10 headlines near me, might actually do me a dis-service if it turns out that the raging fire a few towns over is the 11th story, meaning I never get to find out that my home is in danger.

Proper Messy and Steven Fry: Cool stuff the BBC is doing with mobile messaging

Happy New Year, gentle readers.

I wanted to write a quick post to flag up something very cool that another part of the BBC has just launched using mobile messaging (SMS).  Right up front, I should say I had nothing to do with this so can’t take credit for it.

Mobile Phone Drama

Mobile Phone Drama

Proper Messy is a mobile-phone based drama for teenagers, proudced by BBC Switch.  Along with video content, the service lets users get messages from the character of their choice and lets them interact with the plot.  I won’t say too much more since the story is live right now but look out for some cool stuff here. 

With SMS being such a pervasive and natural medium for teenagers, it seems like this could be a big hit.   The messages I’ve seen thus far have me hooked – I’m dying to know who was involved with the fire…

 

In more news of things I can’t take credit for, Stephen Fry (a famous BBC presenter) has been Twittering away on his journey leading up to his next series, Last Chance to See.  Which is about his quest to see endangered sepcies for, perhaps, the last time before they become extinct (or not).  Last week he  linked one of his Tweets to the official BBC Mobile site for Last Chance to See and sent a load of traffic our way (thanks, Stephen!).  Here, he talks about why he enjoys Twittering so much.  He’s got 50,000 followers already – Lily Allen, eat your heart out (she’s only got 648 followers).

And speaking of BBC talent on Twitter, here’s links to Steven’s page as well as the one from BBC bad-boy, Jonathan Ross.

That said, Twitter isn’t all fun and games – the BBC used it for its news coverage on US Election night by having members of the BBC bureau in Washington, DC using it.  We also used it during the Mumbai attacks – here’s two links to posts about it from editors here, including one about where it might not have gone so well.

Twitter and a classic picture by Rory Cellan-Jones

Mumbai, Twitter and Live Updates by Steve Herrmann