...and in other Twitter based news:
An old friend Tony Ageh, who has suddenly become not so much the Head of the Internet as the Head Librarian solicited for thoughts regarding the BBC archive.
I'm not sure if the thoughts I've had are all along archive lines because they often referred directly to TV shows that were on. But, the things that have occurred in the past all seemed to chime and as you can see, the thoughts occupy slightly more than 160 characters (even without my waffle).
To focus my thoughts:
-No one can ever find out what the music was that was used in TV programmes or radio programmes, yet the pieces chosen do so much to create mood, they're obviously meant to resonate with the watcher/listener. (sidebar query: music is always referred to in film credits - why not TV? Why that discrepancy?)
-Many MANY BBC programmes, be it radio or TV are documentary or history based, and yet, when the shows are aired, the background research material, the notes, and so forth are extremely bitty to say the least on the web. Why? Why not just dump it all up there?
I have in mind a particular show which was called "The Space Race". It waas a fantastic show for a "me" sort of person ie: it focused on the human stories behind the race to get the man on the moon. For Mackay, it was intensely frustrating, because every scene was littered with absolutely brilliant space engineering which he would jump up about and say "Look! Look that's the Sputnik prototype!". It wasn't that sort of show though, and besides which, what do you do - put the show on pause and highlight an area of the screen to say "you see this? Well, it's the prototype of the first satellite that ever went up from the earth. Pretty cool, eh?"
Around that thought, I had a huge splurge of ideas which I loved at the time and no bugger 'as ever matched up to them. Of course a TV show should be able to do *exactly that* in terms of being able to use an iplayer in a SN/Identity enabled way, (iplayer hadn't even come close to being launched when I blurted all this down the phone to TomL in classic "Oh!Oh! Listen! type of way - only to be told they'd already thought of it. Obviously) , to create "notes" on the screen (a la flickr notes, isolating a specific spot and writing about it). In the case of the Space Race, my imagining was a physics or engineering lecturer/teacher creating a group around the programme for their class, and writing up the equivalent of "DVD extras" specific to their interest: "This is the prototype of the original Sputnik, and this link goes straight to the engineering specs" - of course, the engineering specs should have been there on the website as part of a library of accompanying material for the show.
So the point is - for all factual programmes, there should be a live archive - literally bundles, and bundles of information. The scripts for tghe shows, all the reference material, all the background interviews, any emails that people thought advanced the ideas behond the shows... a veritable slew of information. If you think about that in the context of Open University programmes, that's invaluable. There's currently a James May fronted average to the point of rubbish modern eengineering science show on BBC 2 (subject example: robotics). If that were accompanied by a mass of "Further reading"... how much more useful? Astonishingly this is the link the BBC uses itself to the "Big Ideas" website. Surely this is wrong - there must be a slew of stuff online somewhere?! I can't find it easily though.
My reference point at present is the news that the British Library has bought the Ted Hughes archive. Letters, scribbled notebooks, little notes, diaries... *everything* (Yay!). It not being the job of an archivist to 'decide' what is relevant and what is not, it being merely to archive. The other reference point being Presidential libraries. Although those aren't ideal as a reference, the point being: provide EVERYTHING, because what that reference material will actually be used for is unknown at this point. Someone doing a PHD; someone tracing how a TV show was made from start to finish 50 years / 100 years ago; someone wanting to bolster an argument in a Powerpoint presentation... who can tell? What does it matter? By trying to demarcate lines in terms of "Ok, we'll save this, but not that" you may be screwing some future social historian.
I pressed "Send" by accident before rolling this up in to some kind of tight last sentence. Er... yes. Anyway. Archiving. A good idea, generally. Jolly good. Chop chop!