I’ve almost deliberately not blogged about my super boss leaving the BBC and heading for pastures new – he’s off to run Kangaroo. But with the amount of traffic and questions I’m getting from the nice people of the press perhaps this is the easiest place to comment.
There’s been a massive amount of talk in the developer community about who should replace him – Ian points out the Tech Crunch article where Mike has written an open letter asking for us to open more of the data that the license fee payer has already paid for – I don’t want to have a go at Mike too much because he’s put me on a list of people (vote now!) who could replace Mr Highfield – Mr Cridland is leading the way right now.
However, it’s a wonderful thought, and Mr Forrester and I have been working really hard to make that happen for the last 18 months – the BBC actually has a department set up to make this happen – it’s called backstage.bbc.co.uk – but it’s not as effective as it could be. Lots more work to do on opening our stuff. But there’s a shift happening and it’s really cool. Developers inside the organisation feel as strongly about this as start-ups and developers outside do – we all want to make our stuff available, in the best format and easiest method for people to re-use.
For the first time since I’ve been back at the beeb there’s a real vibe about making that happen. Mr Highfield has supported that, in fact he’s actively encouraged it to happen, both in the broader ‘making things happen’ sense and in the more practical making money available to run things like Mashed. He has a massive amount of respect from me for doing just that, and I’m sad to see him leave.
As for his successor – that’s not for me to say – there will be a group of people vastly more qualified than me to make that decision – I’m always happy to comment and proffer my extensive (ha ha ha!) knowledge should I be asked – but I wont be doing that in public. Sorry.