Thursday, November 29, 2012

Zeebox and #9 History

Last week I visited London's Zeebox offices (think they're looking to expand if you're after a job!) to offer some feedback on their App and see some of the new features that they're looking at rolling out.
The Zeebox boys and girls are currently residing in Covent Garden not far from the old BBC World service premises and have like so many companies an open plan office.
I am not sure how previous developments have been driven but they were interested to get closer to the customer experience and were recording my thoughts and attempts to use the App.
Now I was an early adopter on this and I like it great to find out cast and you can get odd facts by things called Zeetags also when I was at Discovery Anthony Rose (one of may people who have been credited with inventing the BBC's iPlayer) who's one of the brains behind came and spoke to us about the Zeebox TV future that was around the corner.
For those who aren't aware Zeebox is a  TV Guide  (look there are others) on steroids with the added capability to communicate socially (Twitter, Facebook, chat and e-mail) with respect to shared viewing experiences. The use fits well with the rapid penetration of Tablets and the desire to communicate with friends during high profile programmes like the X factor, it also opffers the opportunity to enhance TV experience along with the ability to give extra oomph to commercials.
I was a little surprised that the analysis of users wasn't slick and practiced but was told that I was the first person to provide input - so I gave them my thoughts - in return I got some stickers, badges and 4 drinks mats along with some (cold) food.
Take a look at Zeeebox here if you've not seen it - I expect Facebook will have something similar before too long.

Today's entry -Number 9 History

Yesterday I met my brother (Nick) for lunch at the very impressive Oxford and Cambridge Club in Pall Mall at the centre of London's heart.
While we chatted he mentioned that one of his friends had somewhat contentiously remarked there was no such thing as a 'Fact' now I do have some sympathy with the statement but if we are to have a regular conversation sometimes we need to skirt over too many deep thoughts but what is History?
Well in fact  Ian Crofton points out that  Histrory is not just fact and that it is a narrative from a certain PoV (something I noted when I was in Egypt where the 1967 6 day war is seen very differently from how it is by most people in UK).
Lord Macaulay
Earlier Histories were merely records of Kings lineage that showed how they were descended from God/Gods to  justify their position - later history has been used to highlight unerring progress and even by figures like Marx to show a socialist determinism. History (at present) is now providing a more diverse set of views showing the 'common' man/woman along with the big events but this remains a selective account of events.
Lord Macaulay (1800 -59) and  the German  G W F Hegel (1770 -1831) are suggested as figures who played an important part in the development of the subject.