News on Creative Archive

Of course, I’m a bit late to this and many other bloggers have already circulated it wildly, but I’m really, really pleased to see the second of the BBC’s Creative Archive projects go live – The Open News Archive.

There’s some fantastic footage there, making this far more interesting to browse through than the footage released for the Radio 1 Superstar VJ competition. It’ll be interesting to see how it gets used in creative projects, though.

When we were first kicking around ideas for how people might want to use the Creative Archive a few years ago, one of the key decisions was whether to make content available under a single project site, or to tie individual projects to existing brands. I think the latter has been the right choice, as creativity works best within a context. A context-less archive would be bigger and more flexible, but only advanced users would really benefit from that flexibility. Having a specific context and even a brief – as with the Radio 1 competition – provides more than simply a blank page for people to start with. Hopefully, this will encourage more people to engage with the content.

Of course, ideally we’d have both – a inspiration from familiar contexts for people to start with, and then open buckets of good stuff for more advanced users to play around. The Backstage discussion list have already been talking about how to build tools to aggregate the content from different CA projects, so hopefully one user innovation project will be able to help out another!

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