Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beating the recession blues part 3: BBC extras

The BBC is arguably the best media organisation in the world. However if you go to the wrong sections, they can often seem fairly negative and blue. Question Time for example rarely has anything good to say about, well, anything. Also a lot of the main news can be fairly negative.

The parts I recommend for happy living are:

1) Iplayer. Since the BBC has begun using flash for all their shows, it has really taken off. Normally you will be able to catch up online for at least 7 days (often more if you factor in repeats and such) or up to 30 days if you download shows (though I don't fully see the point of this unless you specifically want to watch something offline).

If you are international reader, then do not despair. Despite the BBC filtering much of the video content by ip location, you can still get access to a lot of the radio services from the BBC, and if you haven't looked through those you are in for a bit of a treat. There are loads of good shows (especially on Radio 4 and the hidden gem that is Radio 7 which predominantly has plays, drama, comedy and other fun goodness).

2) Fun news. Most of the BBC news is sombre, but there is an Also in the News section, which has more fun bits.

3) The Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy. If you are looking for something a bit less conventional, the BBC supports the H2G2 community dedicated to extending Douglas Adam's world. I found it a bit confusing, but perhaps you'll understand it better.

4) Browse - start at the BBC homepage and see what excites you - there are language courses, history and science lessons, information for people with hobbies in Gardening and Antiques, health tips and advice, loads of recipes from many different shows and lots more. In particular if there is a show you like, many of the personalised websites have loads of bonus content and features. I won't spoil all the surprises. But I will say if you haven't give the BBC site a thorough look, you'll probably have missed some bits that you just might find can give you a smile.



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