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26/02/2001

BBC OFFERS NEW MEDIA COMMUNITY WEBSITE

THE BBC have announced that they will launch www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2, a new community site from BBC New Media.
Hosted on BBC ONLINE the site is designed to boost the BBC’s existing work in building vibrant online communities, as part of their public service remit.
The site, which will launch at the beginning of March 2001, results from the integration (without commercial references or links) of h2g2.com. The site was the brainchild of Douglas Adams, creator of ‘The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, from which the h2g2 name is derived after the BBC bought their content and software rights earlier in the year. The deal was proposed by h2g2.com following a long-term relationship with the BBC.
The website builds an online community where users can exchange ideas, comments and features on topics in which they have a shared interest. The sophisticated software involved permits exchanges and peer-to-peer reviews of user-generated content on an eclectic mix of subjects, creating a guide to ‘life, the universe and everything’.
Ashley Highfield, Director of New Media, says: “The launch of www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2 represents a significant step towards ‘engaging with’ rather than ‘broadcasting to’ our consumers. As a key part of our public service offering in building communities on the web we want to ensure that we will offer something of interest to the diverse tastes of the UK’s online community.”
The BBC believes the new site will be a valuable Research and Development resource, helping their understanding of online communities at a time when they have increased their efforts to create communities on the web, in line with the BBC’s remit as a public service. It also presents an opportunity for the BBC to continue their long and successful relationship with Douglas Adams. (CD)
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