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BBC 'Taster' Wants You to Join in TV's Shiniest Beta Test

By Matt Hill on at

The BBC has just launched Taster, a shiny new website – although the Beeb, stroked-chin in hand, is calling it a "space" – where it will trial new televisual content technologies and see whether we like them or not. So it's basically a shiny beta test for the future of the Beeb's programming.

And despite the overuse of words such as "leftfield", "innovative" and "experimental" throughout the site and the spiel…

…it's actually a fairly intriguing move by the Corporation. With the likes of Channel 4's Cucumber, Banana, Tofu currently merging surprisingly good drama with cross-platform stories, related documentaries and social integration, the Beeb clearly wants to know what we make of all that kind of thing before throwing its public-funded cash at too many creative risks. So it's showing all its ideas off here.

While the firm's iPlayer streaming service has been iterating rather nicely in full public view since launch, the BBC usually brings ideas to the table reasonably fully formed, with the likes of the firm's Future Media and Connected Studio teams operating away from the public eye. However, now their ideas and experiments will go out as they leave their noggins, around selected news, drama, natural history, arts and current affairs broadcasts, allowing the public to rate them or slate them.

Hot-spot interactivity, shareable short-form snippets and DVD Extras-style contextual content seem high on the initial agenda, whether it's mining the Beeb archive for historical footage to intertwine with your Facebook feed or Radio 1's socially-driven R1OT radio street team thing – which doesn't seem to be working. But, hey, remember…

We've mainly been watching the delightful Mega-CD FMV adventure game that is the interactive Run the Jewels gig…

Although, the winner of the "Can't Afford the Workie's Lunch Award" surely goes to the "help us tag up our World Service archive" game.

Anyway, there's loads of funky stuff to play around with. And unless you want 'Who's In Today?' – a Tweet wall to tell you what celebs are dropping in to the BBC studios – to run away with the "first to be implemented" award, it may be worth up-voting something else sharpish. Anything else. [BBC]