Making Digital Planet in Nairobi

We’ve got another couple of days in Kenya, with some interviews lined up for future episodes of Digital Planet, but we finished off next week’s Connected Africa show last night.


Rory Cellan Jones is in Mombasa, on the coast, preparing his own reports, but I’ve been in Nairobi.

It’s been a remarkable few days, with some great people and even the odd giraffe

At the Giraffe Centre
At the Giraffe Centre

A nice hotel

Nairobi Safari Club
Nairobi Safari Club

And hard work for Gareth, writing the script

Gareth at work
Gareth at work

Digital Planet on net governance and Vista

This week’s DP is a discussion about Microsoft Vista which segues smoothly into consideration of net regulation and governance. Gareth and I were joined by Kieren McCarthy, Hossein Derakhshan and John Palfrey – yes, all men, and it’s an issue which we’re very aware with on the programme and hope to do more about this year.

Kieren has a nice writeup of the whole thing, in which he describes me as

woolly mammoth and terrific IT journo Bill Thompson

which I’m happy to live with 🙂

Off to India

I’m making a short trip to Delhi with the BBC next week, arriving on May 6 and leaving on the 10th. We’re going to record material for Digital Planet, and I’ll also be meeting up with the Delhi Bloggers on Saturday night for a chat.

I haven’t been to India before, and am looking forward to it immensely – I hope to meet up with some of the Linux community too, and will be reporting back.

What happened to ‘Gone Digital’?

As regular readers will have noticed, I haven’t written my roundup of the week’s Go Digital for a while. Partly that’s because the programme is now called ‘Digital Planet’, but it’s mostly because the production team has now started updating the BBC’s web page more regularly, so anyone looking for information about the people we talk to or the items we discuss can find it on the Digital Planet home page.

I’ll still comment on things here from time to time, but not at such length, or as regularly, as before.

Gone (to a )Digital (planet) 28 March

As I walked into studio C21 this afternoon for the first Digital Planet I heard Gareth over the talkback muttering “don’t say Go Digital… don’t say Go Digital” to himself.

And he didn’t. We managed the whole show without inadvertently referring to the old name, and instead luxuriated in the extra two and a half-minutes of time we now have available in our new 1530 slot – we get to go to the top of the hour, minus two and a half minutes for the news at the start of the show.

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Gone Digital March 20th

That’s it, then. No more Go Digital on the BBC World Service. From next week when the new World Service schedule starts we will be ‘Digital Planet’.

Some of the emails we had in response to our announcement of the change on last week’s programme were cynical, claiming that it was just a marketing-inspired rebranding. However I think it does go deeper than that, and marks a change in focus which will, over time, lead to significant differences in the sorts of stories we cover and the approach we take.

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Gone Digital: over and out

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.

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