Tony Scott is spilling his knowledge on this topic. Working for BBC he is developing bbc.co.uk/music/beta, where they make good use of “semantically meaningful links”, which make other BBC sites more valuable, but this also goes for the global network, thus the public value is regarding society at large:
By joining BBC data, in this fashion, with the rest of the web the Network Effect is magnified yet further. That does benefit to the BBC, but it also benefits the web at large and that is important. The BBC has a role that transcends its business needs – it can help create public value around its content for others to benefit from (assuming, of course, there remains one, non-discriminatory, free and open internet).
His co-worker Nick Reynolds takes it a bit further and spurs a debate on the BBCs six goals, when he aligns them with the power of the (semantic) link:
In the old world of television the “mixed schedule” was one of the ways the BBC delivered its public purposes. The thinking went (and I summarise crudely) “If we put Panorama next to Eastenders then some people might watch both”.
I don’t think the mixed schedule is dead. But in an on demand world where people can just watch Eastenders whenever or wherever they like it’s clear the BBC needs some new methods of bringing people wonderful things they didn’t know they liked or needed.
And on the internet the method is clearly the link.
Let’s take a look at a couple of those public purposes again:
(How does citizenship get encouraged – surely by sharing? A citizen has a stake, a link to other citizens?)
(Sounds like linking to me)
It might become intangible, but the direction seems somehow valid.
On public service media supporting/benefiting of open source communities Jemima Kiss writes on BBC and their possibilities of open source activities). BBCs has done this with Dirac.
The strategic choice is much aligned with the one of Googles and their new open source browser Chrome. On this page of their explanation of why it is open source change “internet” to “society”. Why open source? Cause competition is good!