Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!: they are all massive data presences on the web. In various ways, they open up access to that data through RSS and Web Services so that others can build out on top of their data, recombining it in new services. Now the BBC has taken a large step in a similar direction.
It's taken several manic months to bring you backstage.bbc.co.uk. In many ways its a brave thing for the BBC to be doing - with our editorial values, our size, our historical legacy and our status as a trusted brand on the Internet - we hope those who've been pushing for this approach for years can understand why we had been cautious in letting go of control of so much of our content. [BBC Backstage :: Backstage News :: backstage.bbc.co.uk launches]They will be progressively exposing more content in a way that it can be mixed into other services.
The excerpt above understandably talks about caution. And brand. However, we see here a strong push to create value with BBC materials in multiple user destinations. Which, one surmises, will increase the perceived value of the BBC.
Is there a message here for libraries? Well, we clearly think so, and with OpeWorldcat have been trying to place the library more clearly in search engine destinations.
Check out Paul Miller's discussion of libraries, archives and museums in the context of the Backstage announcement.