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Paul Brannan on news for mobile devices

Paul Brannan, emerging platforms editor, BBC News, gave some background on the development of the BBC iPhone/iPad news app at the ISOJ.

Talking about its development, he said he had huge ambitions for the app but very limited resources.

“The outcome is a far cry from the one I had hoped for,” said Brannan, who has just left the BBC. The app essentially repurposes content from the BBC News website.

What he wants, he said, is a dynamic news mechanism, that delivers everything.

He said he wanted a news service that was location aware and context aware, customisable and with media drawn from both journalists and user media.

Brannan highlighted how the new Sky News iPad app played to the strengths of the tablet format.

“It provides a decent, if limited, news experience,” he said.

But Brannan said Zite was the most interesting and innovative tablet app be has seen. Zite tries to learn about individual users through algorithms and semantic web.

Brannan compared this to how supermarkets gather amazing data about its shoppers.

Unfortunately Zite has received a cease and desist notice from large media companies.

Brannan concluded by talking about the BBC’s orchestrated media research. This involves figuring out how people use media across platforms and creating a consistent experience.

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