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Former head of BBC News Online Bob Eggington has launched a video search engine called searchbbcvideo.com to allow users to scour the BBC archives for clips.
The company claims that the new site it does a better job of finding BBC videos than the corporation’s own online search tools.
Built by Eggington’s company, TV Genius, the video search engine works by trawling the BBC’s web presence and listing all the video items currently held on databases across the corporation’s various websites.
The search engine includes “the thousands of items which currently have no links to them and cannot be found using the BBC’s own search facility”.
The website was borne out of frustration. Eggington said:
“I’ve been frustrated for years now about the fact that there’s no way of finding the immense amount of online video that the BBC posts on its various websites.
“The BBC may only have about 27,000 videos on their site, but in terms of the content, it's a lot more compelling than the several millions on others.
“It’s much too rich an asset to lie unused and there is great demand for it. In my view the BBC has taken too long to create a way of letting users see the material. After all, the users paid for it."
Eggington says that the job of indexing BBC videos is an ongoing one: “I’m amazed at the total – and it’s growing every day. Our TV Genius editorial team checks the various BBC sites every night, updates the links and prioritises them, so that users will get the best results.”
He views the website as a temporary fix that may not have a long shelf life if the BBC sorts out its own video search functionality.
“One day the BBC will index its own video and make it searchable. Then I’ll be happy to close my site down. I’m not trying to monetise it – I’m just offering it as a public service that lets people find material that was previously inaccessible.”