Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Boing Boing: BBC punks Wikipedia in game marketing ploy? (UPDATED)

The following is, of course, nothing to do with the views of my employer.

And that's the point - how can my employer have a 'view'? It's an organisation of twenty five thousand people. I have problems getting a meeting of three of them to agree sometimes.

One of the interesting things about the way that people respond to our activities is that 'The BBC' becomes seen as a coordinated individual. A Corporation, in the literal corporal sense of the world - we're embodied. 'The BBC' does this, does that, thinks this. You see it a lot with companies that people have a very strong emotional reaction to, or investment in: other examples would be Apple, Google (Google does no evil you know. Well, appart from contributing to the worlds carbon burden by running so many PCs, or something) or maybe Exxon on the nasty side of the fence.

It's very upsetting, then, when you suddenly become the 'face' of a corporation. I've seen it happen to several of my colleages, and most recently to the lovely Matt. The light of scrutiny swings on to you, and it's not the most comfortable of positions to be in.

Poor lamb. He's going to be notorious for a while. But I'd like him to take comfort in the fact that he's part of a long, long tradition.

It wasn't marketing. Hell, I'm about to take over the marketing role in our department, and I can tell you we ain't that organised. Really.

But think about it - Matt works for a corporation that makes stuff thats so good, he cares enough about it to run with a joke he finds on a collaborative site on the web. So, he's involved enough with web culture that he 'gets' wikipedia. Spend enough time around media folk, and you'll realise that people like him are gold dust. Don't go hard on him - and don't go hard on the BBC. We aren't a faceless organisation; we're a collection of people who care enough about the products, and public service broadcasting, to work at less-than-industry-rates-or-so-I'm-told.

Look at Look at the creative archive. Come on, guys; we're really trying. And we're not just having to work hard in the public arena to remain clueful; we're fighting these battles on the inside of the organisation too. We need you behind the people who will make the good changes.

Part of me hopes Matt is enjoying his new found notoriety, though. At least he hasn't been rung up by the singing potter from Moffatt.

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