Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Delaying the inevitable...

Oh dear! Here's another example of how the BBC are being held back so that the Internet revolution doesn't kill off lower quality information providers quite as quickly. But it will eventually and the public will have simply been denied a quality offering unnecessarily. The BBC should be allowed to provide whatever Apps they want for iPhone or any other significant platform so that users can decide what to use to access the information. It will be a shame if people are denied the opportunity to follow content from the World Cup soccer tournament in June from the BBC on their phones, while Sky and others who are part of the old guard newspaper/publishing industry face no such restrictions.

And apps are important, because they make the experience simple. And that is important. iPhone owners check the weather using the Weather widget on their phones, rather than going to the BBC site on the web using Safari on the iPhone - hence they get the Yahoo weather view rather than the provider who has a public information role in the UK. The apps that the BBC were planning to launch were simply making their existing content (news, weather, sport) available via the most successful smartphone platform, not straying into new areas of content.

Organisations would do better to work out how to innovate and be the best in the new media world, instead of trying dirty tactics to unfairly regulate and campaign against those who have already embraced the technology, and therefore skewing the market. They will fail, albeit slightly later than they might have done! It's almost as futile as the world's remaining dictatorships who still think that they can survive in an open, free and Internet connected world. They may take longer to die by holding out, but die they will.

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