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Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Innovation division

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Photo of Big Ideas director Alex taken with Instagram and tweeted by Innovation’s social media coordinator and resident pap @neilwrites.

TEDx Sydney 2102 has come and gone and everyone at the ABC should be very proud of their efforts.

Our friends at Big Ideas did a great job bringing each inspiring or mind-bending talk to your television, tablet and mobile screens.

Radio National also broadcast live from the event and our social media managers were sharing key moments as they happened across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Instagram. Congratulations to everyone involved.  

The talks are not up on YouTube just yet, but if you would like to see more photos from the event, visit the TEDx Sydney photostream on Flickr, or revisit the conversation via #tedxsydney on Twitter.

Astrid Scott, Producer, Strategic Development @ ABC Innovation

When a person reaches a distinguished old age birthdays seldom produce surprises. So, we got a bit excited when we realised that we could celebrate the ABC’s 80th year with something genuinely new. 

Last month, we launched a website to mark this milestone. 80 Days That Changed Our Lives is a celebration of landmark events that have been documented by the ABC since the first radio broadcast in 1932. 

We dug deep into the archives, looking for the magic and the resulting collection of audio and video content is a roll call of historic moments that are at times funny, often moving, but always cause for reflection

The ‘innovation’ for us was to make some of the video content from ‘80 Days,’ and some dynamite pieces that didn’t make it through to the final list, available for use under a Creative Commons license on Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons is a set of licenses that allows you to freely distribute your content for anyone to use for any purpose, while still protecting the copyright of that content.

If you publish your content under one of the CC licences, you’re effectively saying: “Go for it people, use our stuff for whatever you like, but follow these conditions and remember to tell everyone where you got it from.”

The ABC is the first Australian broadcaster and one of the first in the world to directly donate from its archives to Wikimedia in this way.  

Thanks to the diligence of the community of volunteer editors at Wikipedia who added each file to relevant articles, more people across the world get to see rare and unique pieces of content, such as Arthur C Clarke predicting the internet for ABC TV in 1974, Australia’s role in the first moon landing, or the inadvertently hilarious, 'First ATM machines in Sydney' (1969).

It’s another step closer to becoming a truly collaborative organisation. We’ve been chipping away at a series of initiatives through the ABC Open Archive project including a Flickr photo-stream, ABC Pool and ABC Learn. Like these projects, the Wiki-commons repository means more people get to share our amazing content for free. And we also think that’s a pretty good birthday present.

Many thanks to Liam Wyatt from Wikimedia Commons for his guidance on this project, and to ABC Archives for being open to the concept.

View all the ABC files on Wikimedia Commons and send us a tweet if you have created something wonderful with them. 

First look: The new user interface and streaming player in action.

By Manuela Davidson, Mobile Executive Producer @ ABC Innovation

It is long overdue, but ABC Innovation are very excited to announce the first major upgrade to the ABC Android app, with an emphasis on ‘first.’

We read and absorbed your emails, tweets, Facebook posts and Android Market comments (now Google Play) and many contained a similar question: “When will the Android app be up to the same level as the iPhone app?”

To answer your questions, and build the best possible app, we had to stop thinking as a broadcaster, and make some tough choices.

There was no technical way we could create a rich-media Android app that would work for all devices and OS flavours, so we built a 3-in-1 app that would work well for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above, which was no mean feat.

The new application offers live streams of ABC News 24 and 26 radio stations,  including some ABC Local stations and triple j.

There are also additional categories, including Tech and Games and The Drum, share functions, and the ability to swipe between sections.

Smartphones and tablets are getting so sophisticated these days, users expect their handhelds to give them the same power and control they have on a fixed computer or laptop.

But, despite our best efforts, Android has limitations. We know the experience is not going to be the same as you get on your computer, and it will differ from device-to-device.

However, we have plans to release new upgrades and to also expand the content offering – and we will count on your continued feedback for that.

New Features
- Live stream of ABC News 24
- Live radio streams of 28 ABC, triple j and Radio Australia stations
- New categories: The Drum, Rural, Tech & Games and Science
- Integrated Android user interface. Swipe between sections and article pages
- Share ABC stories via Facebook, Twitter, email or your preferred social app
- Increase and decrease font sizes
- Expand and retract article pages to full screen
- Customize app refresh time to automatic or manual updates
- Save app to SD card

Manuela Davidson is ABC Innovation’s resident mobile guru. Brazilian-born, she brings passion and spice to all that she does.

Note: App is for smartphones only, and is exclusively available to Australian users. Some devices running Froyo and Gingerbread cannot run Flash, and some unlucky users will not be able to watch ABC News 24 on the go. For a list of Flash compatible devices visit:

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