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Catch up post

Like many bloggers, I’ve been rather sparse with my postings over the past couple of days. Spending time with my family over Christmas was really important to me – it’s the first Christmas since my father beat his Hepatitis C infection.

I also spent some quality time with my brother. We don’t normally get along, and this was probably the longest time we have gone without having an argument in our entire life – I was there 3 nights and we didn’t argue once!

But here are some things I’ve been getting up to over the Christmas break:

Hepatitis C Portal
My father has been running a Hepatitis C support group forum for sometime. It’s been a real honour to work on something that has been of such benefit to people, and to also give something back to my father (who has supported my interest in computers since I was eight).

We’re now in the process of building a portal that aggregates the forum along with the various resources available on the Internet. In essence this site will aggregate:

  • Forum posts
  • Blog posts written by those living with the disease
  • HepC related news articles (via Yahoo! News)
  • Links to fixed resources, etc

From a technical perspective, it’s nothing Earth shatteringly new. However I think it will be of real benefit and support to those who are currently undergoing treatment and those who are living with the disease. It’s also something which could easily be implemented for other diseases such as HIV and cancer. We’ll see what happens on that front.

It’s been really rewarding to be working on this project, particularly because no one is really doing this kind of thing to aid group-therapy for those who are overcoming (or just living with) long-term illness’s, like Hepatitis C.

When it’s all finished, I’ll post a link.

Latest dotBen project
I’ve also been working on the public beta of my latest dotBen project. It’s all a bit hush-hush at the moment, as it will no doubt be somewhat controversial when it launches.

Some of you may know of the project I’m referring too, as I’ve invited a few people to access a private beta version of it – yes it’s that one! 🙂

I’ve decided I’m going to release it and suffer the consequences of whatever fallout may occur. It’s a useful service and I think it’s a waste not to make it available to the general public. But if you do know what it is, please keep it to yourself for the time being!

I am pleased to say that the public beta is being built around an API upon which I’m then building a (one of many possible) user front-end.

Life after the BBC… perhaps on the otherside of the pond
I don’t want to make a big thing of it, so I’ve tucked it in at the end of this post… But I’m beginning to think about life after the BBC. In May 2006 I will have been at the BBC for 6 years – so it’s really time to begin to think about moving on.

I’m extremely fortunate to be running one of the most exciting and interesting projects at the BBC at the moment. The BBC is a wonderful place to work, and I’m extremely happy and proud to be working there. In fact I’m happier now than I have ever been at the BBC.

But I need a new horizon and also some commercial experience… So it is for this reason I am beginning to think about what I might do next. I am also looking into the feasibility of spending some time working in San Francisco under my Canadian citizenship (yeah I’m not sure what I might be letting myself in for on that front… I certainly can’t see me working for SixApart, for example!).

I’m not getting ready to leave the BBC immediately or anything like that… there are no imminent announcements. But I’m beginning to have talks with people, and there are certainly a few interesting options around. Moving the USA would take a bit of time to organise anyway, and is only feasible with some careful visa planning for both myself and Sofia.

My CV is here, if you are interested in finding out more about me – or drop me a line.

Published in dotBen Interactive Systems News


  1. Interesting Resume, its quite enchanting and refreshing, esp your admission to being dyslexic in the last section.

    Without a doubt, you’re an open and honest guy, pretty interesting.

    Have you tried, my buddy Damon works there and turned me onto that tool, pretty cool as it aggregates many of the job feeds into one location.

    Good luck Ben, look me up if you make it to SF, I’m in the bay area myself.

  2. hugh macleod hugh macleod

    Three points:

    1. I’m appalled to see you using your blog to plug your own agenda (even if by doing so, you may be taking food from the mouth of the “most qualified” candidate).

    2. Glad to see I’m not the only one polluting the blogosphere with my pimping, whoring ways 😉

    3. What the hell, I blogged you anyway:

    Like you said to me once, it’s all good 😉

  3. Ben Ben

    Seasons greetings to you too Hugh.


  4. hugh macleod hugh macleod

    Yeah, Happy New Year, Buddy =)

  5. “I certainly can’t see me working for SixApart, for example!”

    What’s that, you don’t think we could use your help? 🙂

  6. hey ben,

    although it would be brilliantly ironic if you worked for 6A…

    the main places to look for jobs out here in the SF area are people-you-know, and craigslist. the first is your best bet, the second is pretty good, and all the others (yahoo, etc etc) are worth checking/aggregating but for the most part, anyone you’d actually want to work for will post on craigslist in addition to wherever else they post.

    also, you should put up a plain-text or HTML CV. around here you have to have a .doc to send to the recruiters, but people don’t want to click on that.

    good luck. san francisco’s a great place to live… so resist the temptation to work in the valley!

  7. Ben, good luck w/ the Hep C portal. It will be a success. You might want to peek at a sort of related effort at – where blogs and discussions are combined. This is with a very non techie audience which bolsters my confidence of adoption for those who want to participate even if they are not early adopters. But of course at the BBC, you already know that!

  8. Good on you Ben, I was going to also echo the need to use a non microsoft word format. Plain text, HTML and even XML (or Microformats) will be a good idea to make it more accessable to non human eyes.

    6 years at the BBC, wow! I think theres certainly a time to make a break and the BBC is a good enough place to come back to at a later date if you feel the need to do some public good.

    I wish the industry didnt evolve around SF but it simply does and although we like think we can work from anywhere, a move sounds like a good idea. Becareful of all those laws against creativity however…

  9. If you want to catch up on what life is like outside after six years in the beeb, give me a shout. (Well, outside at other broadcasters anyway… 🙂

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