One of the most frustrating things about the stage we're at with the new BBC College of Journalism website is that we're so close to publishing ... and yet can't really show anyone what's going on.
I guess it must always be like this. But to bring up to speed those of you who haven't been able to follow ... here's a quick summary of the game so far.
We launched a BBC College of Journalism intranet site back in January 2007 ... aimed at the 7,500 journalists in the BBC (not all of them in News, incidentally).
It wasn't lavishly resourced and some of us - me - who were probably supposed to be thinking strategy and direction learned instead about coding and HTML and Flash and and and ...
A handful of us put together about 1200 pages of learning - guides, tips, advice - and about 250 bits of video; a blog, podcasts, interactive tests and quizzes and built the tools to deliver them. A lot of late nights and a lot of really satisfying work.
Satisfying, too, because we put into effect some really cool ideas about informal learning and were able to find out how early and mid career journalists learn best. (Clue - it's not in the classroom and not from people the journalists don't respect or even admire).
Something went right - about half of our client group visited the site at least once a month (many more than that) and stayed for about 25 minutes using about 14 pages per visit.
The plan always was to share this content with the people who'd paid for it - UK licence fee payers. And to make it available for BBC journalists to work on at home or in parts of the world where a www connection was more reliable than an intranet link.
Which is where we more or less are now.
We've taken all the intranet content; re-shot some of it, re-authored most of it; added to it to create an initial offer of about 1800 pages of learning, 200+ films, audio and interactive tests and quizzes ... and put it all on a bbc.co.uk site.
You can peek at the front page here.
Anyhows ... the wraps come of for BBC users on 13 October; it being gently launched as a beta site with the inention that our colleagues will help us improve it.
Then - mirabile dictu - sometime just before or around Christmas it'll be available free to UK users and, probably, to global users under subscription.
And though we're sharing BBC learning, the website will remain a site for BBC journalists by BBC journalists - anyone going there will be able to experience exactly the same learning material that BBC journalists use.
Coming soon ... promise.
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