And so it goes. Next week is the last edition of ‘Go Digital’ on the BBC World Service, after four and a half years on air, encompassing shows from Tunis, Geneva, India, Kenya, Mali and – for me, anyway -Venice, California, Naples, Manchester and Cambridge.
From March 27th we’ll be ‘Digital Planet’, a name that is intended to reflect the importance of digital technologies to us all these days, with well over a billion people online, well over a billion cellphones in circulation, and a world economy that relies on computers, networks and a vast array of digital technologies.
I’ll still be there, I’m pleased to say, as the producers seem to like what I get up each week, and Gareth will be presenting as before.
In fact, I suspect that if you close your eyes and don’t listen to the first thirty seconds you may not even notice that it’s an entirely different programme.
Regular readers – there may be one or two – will have noticed that there hasn’t been any ‘Gone Digital’ for the past few weeks, since my server’s hard disk died in fact. However I know that one of the useful things that these blog posts do is link to information about the material we cover and the people we talk to, so here is a brief resume of what we looked at on Feb 27, March 6 and March 13 – and I’ll post something after Monday’s show too.
Go Digital: February 27th
With the court case still pending we talked to Clark Boyd about the troubles facing RIM, manufacturers of the surprisingly popular Blackberry mobile email client. Since the show RIM have settled with NTP, who were suing them over patent infringement. Show’s over, move along folks – except that the issues over technology patents are far from resolved. More here.
Then we talked to Hossein Derakhshan, a Go Digital regular, about the ‘Festival for Islamic Revolutionary Blogs and Websites’, which took place in Iran. Hossein, who is one of the most prominent Persian bloggers and a resolute campaigner for freedom of expression, was rather sceptical about the festival, coming at a time when bloggers who displease the government are suppressed or imprisoned.
Then we had another conversation with Clark, this time about a the micro-finance project Global Giving, run by Dennis Whittle, a former official at the World Bank.
We finished with a report from Clare Walker on the premiere of some digitally enhanced music, where a computer plays duet with a cello. It took place on the opening night of the IF:06 contemporary music festival in central London on February 26, and we talked to cellist Matthew Barley and composer John Croft.
This week we looked at the Europrix Top Talent award for multimedia, where the winner was ‘Guitar Shred Show’, a rather cool guitar teaching aid.
We also talked to Morag Hutcheon, who had won a prize at the The British Female Inventor & Innovator of The Year (BFIIN) Forum and Award. She’s the he inventor of pre.vu, which allows samples of music and speech to be played directly through a speaker integrated into various forms of packaging. We had a demo in the studio, and it was very impressive.
We also had a long conversation with Foluke Akinlose, publisher of Precious Online, about the way that the web has affected the magazine publishing world. Foluke was nominated for an innovation award, and talked knowledgeably about the difference between a publication and a community, showing the sort of insight that many other journalists seem to lack.
And we included some material from an Online Publishers Association event that took place that week in London, with comments from Jeffrey Cole, Director of the grandly-titled ‘Center for the Digital Future’ at the University of Southern California, and Simon Levene, Managing Director of Corporate Development at Yahoo! Europe.
We kicked off this week with a report on CEBIT, the big electronics show in Germany, from BBC News correspondent Mark Ward – more here.
Then we reported on a fascinating project in Jamaica which makes use of cellphones, Internet and IPTV (television over the net) to provide an e-learning system. A good article from the Jamaica Observer is here.
And we finished with a report on a project lead by the St Louis Zoo in the United States, where a database is being used to match males and females from endangered species for captive breeding. Michelle Martin interviewed zoo director Jeffrey Martin. More at http://www.stlzoo.org/
We also talked a lot about ‘Digital Planet’, and had an interview with Neil Curry, Senior Commissioning Editor for World Service and the man who is responsible for the show. But there will be lots of time to talk about that in future…
That brings us up to date, and next week it’s the last Go Digital. If you have been, thanks for listening.