Come on. Take it all. Do what you want!

NRK Online Spotlight meeNorway

So, what’s these two pictures? The one to the left is NRK’s official service for Windows Media Center Online Spotlight. The one to the right is a very unofficial NRK media center plugin for Meedio.

As mentioned in my post about Webshots and Flickr, one of the reasons why Flickr succeed is because they have a powerful open API. I have linked the acronym API to Wikipedia for the people that want to know more. The quick version: API is short for Application Programming Interface. It gives programmers a possibility to build new services on top of the service that provides an API. Google provides an API. In other words: people can build new services on top of Google. An example is the classic google fight.

Even without an API it is fairly easy to build new services on regular web pages. A plugin for Firefox called Greasemonkey puts this into a system with special scripts for adjusting and editing web pages as you visit them. Currently there are more than 400 000 scripts out there. Doing anything from removing the side bars of to building advanced price comparing capabilities on Wired magazine has an excellent article on Greasemonkey, explaining the details.

As the internet users get more advanced and the tools and programming languages become easier to use things like these happen. The BBC has experienced a lot of unauthorized remixing of their content and have been running around closing down web sites that is built on top of their news services and programme tables. Not anymore:

They decided to turn around and actually encourage people to make new services. They made BBC Backstage. By providing an API and helping the people that wanted to make new services utilizing the beeb’s content they also gained a lot more control of all these new services that was remixing their content. In addition to this they get a lot of creative ideas for new official services from the BBC. Some examples of user built services:

TV Map
Mixing up the BBC’s TV listings with Google Maps, to produce a map that shows what locations will be on TV soon.

BBC Programme Similarity Visualiser
Using the schedule and programme data, this prototype allows a user to locate programmes which are similar to one another and presents this in an easy to understand and interactive visual form.

BBC Mood News
Mood News – BBC News Headlines Auto-Classified as Good, Bad or Neutral.

If you add this service to the excellent Creative Archive you have an interesting opportunity for the users of!

And what about Flickr. Have people made something interesting? Indeed.
Spell With Flickr
Write a word and get it spelled out with pictures from Flickr:

Eirikso Flickr

Play Su Doku with Flickr pictures

More Flickr hacks

As for the unofficial NRK Meedio plugin. Right now NRK does not provide an open API. The Meedio plugin is another example of the fact that services like these will exist. As long as you publish something on the net it means that people can start building stuff. It is in the nature of the net.

Come on. Take it all. Do what you want!

6 thoughts on “Come on. Take it all. Do what you want!

  1. Currently the Online Spotlight service from NRK only works in Windows Media Center. I can not promise any dates or time frames, but NRK are planning a version that will work on other media centers as well… :-)

  2. Soverin says:

    I’ve read the outdated and broken blog at and its comments. Not very much have happened since 2005, has it? NRK is still quite pro Microsoft.

    I have heard rumors that NRK are getting a new service provider for the online web-TV these days – is this true?
    Will NRK support open formats also on live tv now…? Or are we Linux users still considered not worthy…
    What about streaming with this:

    best regards
    Norwegian MythTV user

  3. Yes, not much over at . We are working on a much better site for that kind of information. Stay tuned.

    Regarding streaming solution, we are working on a replace for our old system but I don’t know where we are regarding open standards and codecs. Unfortunately I don’t have the power to do that kind of decisions in the NRK… :-(

    The metavid project looks very interesting.

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