After reading one too many commentary pieces on the fall-out of the BBC’s Digital Strategy Review, and hearing the odd friend suggest that the British didn’t know how good they had it, I decided to complile a Google spreadsheet of TV licence fees across Europe.
Once I had a first version out, Chris suggested that I should add a column stating whether there was an ad-free state broadcaster, and that’s there now; there’s also a heatmap visualisation.
Unfortunately, the GBP Equivalent column seems a bit fragile- Google Finance hiccups every now and again and it doesn’t work. Publishing also seems not to allow nice formatting (‘£145.20’ not ‘145.2’), so I’m linking directly to the editing page. Still, hopefully there’s stuff of interest for people there.
rentzsch wrote an interesting post on some of the junk food he tried while in the UK for NSConference:
The absolute most-important thing for a U.S.-based traveler to the U.K. is knowing what junk food you should load up on while there. Here’s our report:
Kit Kat Chunky: DON’T BUY. There are far better things to spend 260 (!) calories on.
Really? I love Kit Kat Chunky, although I have a particularly soft spot for the allegedly limited edition Caramel variant. Maybe I’m just dull, or perhaps the mix of biscuit and chocolate is just more my sort of thing.
Wispa: BUY. This was the least-interesting bar to me, but came up the biggest winner.
Its very concept didn’t appeal to me: an “aerated” chocolate bar. More than anything, it seemed like a hack to give you less chocolate for the same price.
If you try only one chocolate bar while in the UK, I recommend Wispa.
Wispa has a competitor, Aero, which is more air, less chocolate. It also comes in a mint version. Personally I find them a bit too light, but occasionally they’re right.
Wheatabix: BUY. Apparently these are State-side, but I never noticed or tried them until I arrived in London. They’re like a fine-grained Shredded Wheat that dissolves much more rapidly in milk. Yummy, if you’re the kind who likes soggy shredded wheat (I do).
Minor correction: the product is called Weetabix. I don’t eat breakfast cereals, though, so I have no other comment.
(Tumblr is stripping the style attributes from the span tags. Sigh.)
Jonathan Freedland, in a comment piece for the Guardian: The BBC is caving in to a Tory media policy dictated by Rupert Murdoch.
Some would argue that this is a reductio ad absurdum argument, but I think it gets to the heart of why I’m worried about the report: if the BBC is shrinking, where will it stop?
(My main disagreement with his piece is the blithe acceptance that online content can be scaled back, but I’ve covered that elsewhere.)
Nick Thomas on The Forrester Blog, in a post titled “
Does the BBC still believe in digital?”
The BBC should also make a step-change towards simplicity in its operations and structure, dismantling the remaining elements of its traditional hierarchy and replacing them with a flatter, more dynamic and flexible structure that reflects the nature of the BBC’s new challenges: wholly focused on serving the public with fewer management layers; better team-working and pan-BBC collaboration; and stronger performance management.