When I joined the organisation, back in 2000, I didn’t think I would be at the BBC for more than one or two years. But on 8th May 2006 I will have been at the BBC for 6 years.
And it’s been six wonderful, inspiring and amazing years. But I’ve decided that it’s time for a change – and with that new challenges and new opportunities.
I’ve had the privilege to work on some amazing projects, including:
- Launching the Newsround site under BBC News (Oct 2001)
- Leading the development of the BBC News relaunch (Sep 2003)
- A complete cycle of the 4-yearly sport sites (Olympics, Winter Olympics, Football World Cup, Football Euro Cup, etc)
- Building the BBC News Video Player
- + Many more like Sport Academy, BBC News on PDA, Creative Future (Participation in Journalism), and BBC Blog Portal.
… and of course backstage.bbc.co.uk – which has been an incredible and thoroughly enjoyable project to help create, establish and run. It’s probably one of the coolest projects in the BBC at the moment.
It’s going to be really sad to be saying goodbye, especially to my pet project backstage.
The BBC is changing – for the better. The BBC does get it, well importantly the right people get it. BBC.co.uk 2.0 is going to be fantastic, (Oh, and the BBC isn’t going to be doing MySpace contrary to popular belief or miss-quote).
So, I’ve done my yelling, shouting, and harassing. It’s happening. I’m not saying it’s all down to me – it isn’t. But everything I hoped to see – video on demand, social software, blogging, and perhaps even some forward thinking ways in which we distribute news – are in the process of beginning to happen (or certainly will happen).
BBC 1.0 is dead. Watch out for BBC 2.0, and perhaps you could even be a part of it? But for me, it’s now time to move on.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I’m in discussions with a number of companies, and I definitely still want to move to California.
But I can’t get away from the fact that everyone, from my close friends through to Robert Scoble keep telling me I should do a start-up. And I certainly have some ideas.
I had a minor epiphany at last week’s CHI Conference, where I realised I could swing it with these clued up interface people just as much as the next person. I know age-old interface adage such as the 0.1 second real-time system rule, I’ve advised the BBC on what makes a site accessible and I’ve conducted usability studies.
I can also code (that’s my ‘foundation’ skill), design, create products, run webservers, market stuff on the blogosphere, run communities, evangelise, and even negotiate business and legal stuff. And for each of these I’ve proved myself, working at the sharp end.
So if anyone has the skills to build something from scratch end-to-end, it’s me.
But equally I’m going to continue to talk to the different companies I’m in contact with about their opportunities in California – all of which are exciting and interesting in their own way (some of which might be surprising too!).
It’s not too late, if you’re interested in someone with my skill-base and experience do let me know. I reckon I’ll be a free-agent by July.
In the meantime, look out for a couple of BBC memories and anecdotes over the next few weeks.