Is the BBC transliterate?

bbccouk.gif I'd always thought the BBC was pretty transliterate but recent events are making me wonder about that.
This post is the result of a recent invitation from Lizzie Jackson and David Wilcox, both veteran online community people, to attend a meeting with the BBC Trust. On Monday night I went along to meet members of the Trust plus a small group of people who had been identified as 'seed bloggers' who they hoped would cascade the conversation across to other bloggers – clearly we represented a tiny (and very London-centric) selection of UK blog writers. The idea is that our conversations will be tracked by a marketing company employed for that very purpose and the results relayed back to the Trust. Other bloggers at the meeting included Charlie Beckett, Lloyd Davis, Simon Dickson, Mick Fealty, Sunny Hundal, Nico Macdonald, Ed Mitchell, and JP Rangaswami – all much more active and more widely-read than me, that's for sure. I'm something of a slow blogger, but I do have connections to a network of readers, writers and producers interested in transliteracy and new media, so this post is an invitation to you, dear colleagues, to use this platform to respond and, as a result, we are told, to be directly heard. Of course, since that meeting the BBC-related blogosphere has been alive with discussion about Thursday's long-expected job cuts announcement, a decision which will have huge repercussions throughout the complex culture of the organisation and impact on everyone who uses the BBC – all of which makes the notion of being directly listened-to rather more problematic.
But here's the thing. In the midst of all of that, or rather just before it exploded, our small group was invited to Greek wine and titbits at the Hellenic Centre on Monday night to discuss one specific arm of the BBC – bbc.co.uk. I have to say that in all honesty I hardly use it (and am very put off by that sickly pale blue), and often when I do land there it's by chance via a link from a programme or news site, so I'm going to have to do some homework before I can usefully comment on how far it is meeting the Six Public Purposes as drawn up by the Trust, namely:

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Cirque Du Machinima: Cuckoo Clock

This was my favourite film at this week's MachinimaEurope Festival at DMU. Cirque du Machinima: Cuckoo Clock by Tom Jantol (Croatia).It won Best Experimental, and deservedly so. A really beautiful and imaginative piece of work set in Second Life, with a gorgeous sound track. How is it transliterate? Because the viewer must appreciate the interlacing of traditional circus tropes with Web 2.0 literacies such as wikis and the design backend in SL. Very clever media mix.

Apps for intimacy and empathy

Interesting post from Suw Charman about intimacy via apps like Twitter and Facebook. In her notes from FOWA07 she writes:

People have been trying to understand this for quite a period of time. Robin Dunbar has worked on this for a while, but focuses on primate behaviour. Dunbar's number. Also a great book "Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language".
Dunbar interesting re: Twitter because we talk about the human imperative to communicate and create relationships. He says that the reason that our brains are the size they are is to track all our relationships with other humans, so we can out-manouevre them to get food, sex, climb the pecking order.
Grooming, picking fleas, is about forming these relationships. But you can only pick fleas on one primate at the time. Language allows you to "pick fleas" on more than one person at a time. Allows us to keep track of lots of poeple and who knows what and who and how they fit together and how you fit in with them. Explains a lot about why she has the imperative to connect the way she does. But our troupes have expanded, from primates to modern world.

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