Posts about open-source

The BCC as a new network

In followup discussions and interviews about the BBC’s bold plans to reinvent itself, the one question I keep getting asked that I didn’t address in my post is:

What is the proper role for the BBC as a tax-supported public trust? Should it compete with commercial ventures online? That is what Rupert Murdoch has been asking (read: complaining about). I have two answers:

First, I think it would be foolhardy for the industry to try to throttle development and innovation at the BBC. Because of its position and generous tax funding, it’s true that the BBC can afford to do what other companies cannot. But that is also a reason to let them, to see what they develop and to copy the successes and avoid the failures. It is open-source product development for media — and media need it. I’d say that’s one way to put tax dollars pounds stirling to work for you. And trying to kill the BBC by stopping it from experimenting and growing is a horrid waste of those tax monies.

Second, I think the BBC should have a different relationship with the media outlets formerly known as its competitors: The BBC should be linking to and promoting the best not just from the BCC and now from citizens’ media but also from other media. Why shouldn’t the BBC, as a public trust, point to and thus send traffic to and help support and encourage the best from Sky or the Guardian or Washington Post? That, I believe, will be the role of the new network. More on that later.

: BTW, I should add that I don’t support the notion of tax-supported and thus government-certified news. I think it’s quite dangerous. But given the BBC’s position, I’d say if it really wants to reinvent itself, it should reinvent its role in media and its notion of the network.


Fred Seibert has an open-source logo competition. The prize: $1k with $300 to the blogger whose post inspires the winner. Know anybody with talent?


Here’s a wonderful thread with fast-food workers sharing their recipe hacks (and if you doubt they’re real, check the spelling). When I worked at Ponderosa Steakhouse (wearing red-checked shirts, string ties, and cowboy hats that were all too Brokeback Mountain), all we did was bake too many rolls at the end of the night so we could have some.

Auntie Anne’s peeps – hook up some dough rolled out w/ some marinara topping and parmesan cheese. tada! pizza. try cinnamon sugar pretzels with the glazin’ raisen glaze, darn tasty. any soda + dutch ice is pretty tasty too.

Dairy Queeners – stick a fried fish fillet on the steam table to loosen the breading off. Lemon packets, salt and pepper. Microwave to heat up. now you have something half palatable.

cheese fries are an easy one – fries, cheese and bacon from the salads.

chop up some burger, throw some ketchup, mustard, and onion together and you have a sloppy joe. sorta.

Umair Haque tries to find an Edge Age lesson in this: Open source the grill!


It’s Sunshine Week and this is the sunshine medium. I wish every blogger would file a FOIA this week or go to town hall and get the salaries and expense accounts of all their local officials to put up online or go after Congress to finally put themselves under the Freedom of Information Act like the rest of government.

Open-source polling

The Mystery Pollster, Mark Blumenthal, shares the article he wrote for Public Opinion Quarterly on open-source polling and the impact of the internet and blogs on polling.

Back in April, I wrote an amateurish call for open-source polling here.