Posted by: Ciaran | June 11, 2010

Giving people what they want

With all the buzz-word talk about user-generated content, it can be easy to forget that content also has to be targeted at consumers to ensure they are still getting what they want.

This interview with Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC’s Global News operation, provides a great insight in to the way the corporation are keeping in touch with the very disparate demands of their audiences around the world.

He talks about the BBC’s experiments in using social media to keep in touch with their worldwide audiences, including a project which saw villagers from Gitata in northern Nigeria given mobile phones to enable them to get in touch about stories that mattered to them.

Horrocks says: “You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach and say ‘these are the stories and the technologies that we’re going to use the world over’.

“The beauty of it is to take a global approach and then to develop it in an appropriate way editorially or technologically for the particular markets.

“We do have to have strong local content and we have to make the global stories relevant and do it in an appropriate way for the market.”

Obviously this kind of approach is more relevant in a global operation like the BBC, but it’s a good reminder that giving the audience what they want is just as important as letting them play a part in producing it, or crowd-sourcing them for information about a story.

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