It's time to come clean about the motivation behind the many articles on this site about how people learn about, and consume, music online. Yes, I am angling for work in this area. My interests are in a niche music-and-learning opportunity that I believe will emerge over the next few years.
Right now this is probably some way from being viable enough to pay anyone a serious salary. In the medium to long term, I feel my mix of experience makes me particularly well suited to being a part of a team that could deliver a full product/service, but I'd need collaborators — both individuals with complementary skills and organisations that might offer alliances and help develop a 'route to market'.
The mixture of elements that creates the opening includes:
In each of these cases, the concept may not ever reach implementation in quite the way their evangelists advocate. But conversely the tide of history seems to be more with than against the broad trends that these elements illustrate.
The basic idea is to develop interactive services and programming that help music listeners develop their understanding of the artists they like and discover artists they don't yet know but might like.
You could see this as a multimedia 'magazine', except that it would have massive archive resources behind it to support extended exploration — over weeks or months — as well as 'bite-size' (ugh, I hate that term) browsing. Though the tone might not always be serious and 'worthy', you could do serious learning with this service.
It would draw on music-related elements of the BBC Creative Archive, as well as commercially licensed material where appropriate. With this base of resources behind the programming, a lot of effort will go into usability of the service, so that the range of paths through the material is enticing rather than intimidating. (Usability here involves matching how the service works to people's habits, rather than the latest user interface tricks per se.)
The areas where I would contribute professionally include:
I might also draw on my e-learning project management experience with clients like learndirect and the TUC, my experience with e-learning British Standards and the National Centre for Popular Music, and my Board experience with creative/digital enterprises. But this article is more a job specification than an application, so you can read more about me elsewhere on this site.
Other kinds of skills we'd need to develop and manage this service include, as a minimum:
Partnerships with production companies that make music documentaries and with music-related publishing would be helpful, among others.
Even assuming the BBC Creative Archive were to play the central role I've described here, it's too early to say where this concept and my role should be delivered within the BBC or outside it. There is a lot of water to flow under the bridge with the BBC Charter renewal and the implementation of the Archive before it becomes obvious which way to jump. On the one hand, the BBC is clearly pitching to move into learning in a bigger way (see their recent publication). On the other, the Graf Report is arguing that more BBC material should be produced by independent production companies. In many ways it matters less than it might whether production is inside or outside the BBC — particularly if the music-related elements of the Creative Archive are licensed on the Creative Commons model. This would allow free re-use of the elements for non-commercial purposes.
You could develop the service using either a project/consultancy team or by building a joint venture company: the choice would have implications for ownership of the service once it's up and running.
I'm going to continue doing my homework to research the viability of this idea. If you know people who might be interested in collaborating on development, please send me a message.
I'm not looking to do a quick bit of consultancy on the concept and then move on. If it works, I'd hope to make a living from developing, running and enhancing the service over the long term. So in the short term — say, two years — I'd be willing to invest a modest sum in cash or in kind, to get the service going, as long as there was an appropriate reward formula to compensate this risk.Posted by David Jennings in section(s) E-learning , Human-Computer Interaction , Miscellany , Music and Multimedia on 24 August 02004 | TrackBack