Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Hope For H2G2 37

TDScott writes "Woohoo! After a bit of uncertainty, Douglas Adams' H2G2 community site is being integrated into BBC Online! Here's the BBC press release. Nice to know that it's going to survive." I like H2G2 - it reminds me a lot E2, which has a somewhat similar concept.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hope For H2G2

Comments Filter:
  • by Heidi Wall ( 317302 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @09:41AM (#405791)
    The BBC is a government organisation, funded through television liscenses. This action lies in the firm tradition and vision of the BBC conceptualised by Lord Reith, the founder and first controller of the BBC.

    I am mightily relieved that the H2G2 site is not going to be controlled by a commercial organisation os corporation. The BBC is fundamentally a socialist organisation, and so we can be sure that H2G2 will not be exploited for money. In addition, the BBC and Adams have a long relationship - HGTTG was first thought of by Adams for BBC Radio 4, as a drama for that station. It was later turned into a television series. We owe the existence of the HHGTTG to the BBC, and the fact that they are willing to give unknowns a chance, regardless of commercial consequences.

    H2G2 is going home to its rightful place. If Adam's is its father, the BBC is its kindly grandfather, and we can be assured that they will run it according to the fundamental ideals of the book and site, rather than to make a fast buck. God bless the BBC.
    Clarity does not require the absence of impurities,

  • by JimPooley ( 150814 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @10:02AM (#405792) Homepage
    I'd rather the BBC put its money into developing new and worthwhile television and radio programming, rather than bailing out some failed dot-com that was only ever somewhere else on the internet where people can talk bollocks. As if there weren't already enough of those! Bad move BBC, you don't need a financial black hole like h2g2! As a Hitch-Hiker fan, I'd like to see Douglas Adams WRITE A NOVEL!!! Maybe he's forgotten how or something, but for the last almost ten years all he's done is generate clouds of hot air. Oi! Adams! Nooo!!! Stop generating enormous piles of bullshit and do what made you famous enough to generate those piles in the first place!

    Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems
  • it's fantastic for the people working at H2G2 that they have financial stability, and now can actually be paid etc. I'm happy for them :)

    but... and I'm probably being needlesly cynical, doesn't this remind anyone of AOL-Time-Warner?

    at least this time it's the Old Media company acquiring the New Media one. I wouldn't be surprised to find the BBC trying to "integrate" other communities to try and build up a strong user base. I wonder if one reason a huge content/media company like the BBC (which resembles Time-Warner more than CNN) is interested in "online communities" is to create "captive audiences" for its content produced in-house.

    The BBC may not be a traditional profit-oriented corp but it has had problems with censorship. For example, will they allow any articles on "BBC Sucks!" on H2G2 ? Will they demand that user comments be edited?

    I'm just expressing the hope that the BBC will give H2G2 the creative, artistic, and administrative freedoms that they promised. A public pledge/statement by BBC Online reps would be more binding than a press release.

    For the BBC, acquiring H2G2 is quite a coup. I hope they have the wisdom to see that it's value stems directly from its independence. I think there are reasons to be critical of the BBC (for example, 1 [], 2 [], 3 [])

  • by Jovock ( 99897 )
    At the risk of not sounding like a geek what is H2G2? I know that Douglas Adam created the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, but I have never heard of this. Someone please tell me.
  • To hazard a guess, H2G2 means two Hs and two Gs i.e. HHGG - Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This rather strange abbreviation method is redundant, since it doesn't make the acronym any shorter (indeed also points to the same site).

  • H itch h iker's G uide to the G alaxy = HHGG = H2G2 []

    Strikes me as a bit strange, too. Such is life.


  • Ahh, but you can typeset it as H^2G^2 (H-squared G-squared) and then it looks hip and fresh and appeals to the new generation of cybergeeks.

    hmm, better than eHHGTTG, I suppose. :-)

    But really, I followed the link and couldn't tell what the site / community did. Can someone please enlighten those of us who didn't see it previously as to what it was?

  • Really? I thought H2G2 was written in the '70s. Seems to me the concept of it is just a little bit older than e2.
  • by Microsift ( 223381 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @11:09AM (#405799)
    Until some intergalactic entity decides to build a highway through it!

  • Well, speaking as an ex-Brit and now American, I find the two nations more similar than different. Both know funny when they see it. []
  • The BBC was corporatised in the 1980's, which changed it's character radically. AFAIK, there's practically nothing produced in-house now apart from news and sports coverage. Anything else is done by independant production companies, who rely on sales to mass markets elsewehere in the world to keep afloat.

    The result is conservatism. You'll get plenty of critically accliamed detective thrillers, but little as inventive, brilliant, eccentric, etc., as [insert name of your favourite BBC series here].

    As for DA, he's a very funny writer with one of the most distinctive 'voices' of the twentieth century. He's also notoriously lazy. I'm sure he'll get to work on a new book soon. Just as soon as he's finished this bath...

  • by SheldonYoung ( 25077 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @12:32PM (#405802)
    I've talked to the guy in person for a good half hour, and watched an interview take with him place shortly after that.

    He has grandious plans for a HG2G movie that still haven't been realized after many, many years of trying. He does seem to have lots of ideas for new books, but I'm not sure he will be able to get his mind off the movie to be able to write one.

  • Yah, great the socilists will be in control of it, just what we need, MORE censorship.

    What good is a guide that only puts out the goverments offical version of the truth? Kinda useless, crap, all there will be said about encryption is something along the lines of "48bits is enough for anyone!"

  • by Mossfoot ( 310128 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @12:45PM (#405804) Homepage
    For those of you who are asking what H2G2 is, and don't have time to explore the site in detail, this is a basic breakdown:

    H2G2 is meant to be a "real" Hitchhiker's Guide. While it can be used on your computer (as well as palmtops, naturally), it can be accessed with internet-friendly cell phones as well.

    The ultimate goal is to not only have a large database with useful/humerous/unique information available, but to have each member of a community also be a contributor.

    For example. You're in France, you want to go to the Louvre, but you're not sure where it is. H2G2 can tell you where to find it. Now you go in, start looking at some paintings, and are moved by one in particular. You can then send a review or recomendation to the site for that particular art work, which others can then access.

    Now you leave the art museum and get a bite to eat. There is a cafe right next door, you pay twice as much for a simple sandwhich and coffee as you're supposed to, and the quality of each is poor. If you had checked on H2G2 before, you would have found this cafe already had several warnings from previous unfortunate tourists caught in the same trap, and could have avoided it.

    Needless to say, there are "official" reports and a slush pile which is "believe at your own risk". Everyone's reports would go to the slush pile until confirmed (however that would be done), and made "official".

    That's my understanding of H2G2, hope it helps.

  • Wow, a complete generalization of national attitudes based entirely on the portrayal of those nations in American media. We're all enlightened now.

    as we have plenty of personality and have no concept of embarrassment or reserve or humility.

    That's rich. Apart from a few counties with a largely fundamentalist religious population, the US may have the most repressive attitude towards sexuality in the entire world.

  • You should be happy, it could be H2GT2G instead. Try saying that 5 times fast.

    aych two jee tea two jee
    aych two jee tea two jee
    aych two jee tea two jee
    aych two jee tea two jee
    aych two jee tea two jee

    Now will someone help me pick my tongue off the floor?

  • Douglas Adams has been a favorite author of mine for some time, and I have always enjoyed the programs put out by BBC. Their interview sessions with many major musicians always asks the right questions. Their television is some of the pioneering work for free public expression, such as the infamous Monty Pythin's Flying Circus. They covered much of Douglas Adams' previou works, so it's also only fitting that H2G2 fit in there. Anyone who has not yet seen the website should visit it upon its reopen. Whether or not you wish to contribute to it, there is some very humorous as well as helpful information available there. Being true to the novel series, many of the reviews you can't help but chuckle at. A few examples would be critical analysis of the proper way to bury yourself in the sand, how to play air guitar, office wars with rubber bands, and the most strategic way to remove your genitalia from between the zipper of your pants (my personal favorite). I suggest you all make a trip over there. There is definitely something there for everybody.
  • Hell yes. Although E2 is just a few 1970s ideas about two way links and definition systems (stupid descriptions of how an internet would be where a node title was the url).

    Anyway, E2 sucks. They posture to be a dictionary, or encyclopedia, but look at what they celebrate. It'll be Dem Bones ate my Hamster, or some other unfunny injoke for The Community.

    E2's about as much an encyclopedia as a chewing gum wrapper chronicle on the 1932 olympics, or something.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • Uh...dude.../no/ one works on E2. E2 is a bandwidth bill. So, if you are trying to work a conspiracy of financial reimbursment, I'm afraid I'm going to have to pop your dreams.
  • Yeah, I flog it. Just like I flog all the sites I link.
  • They should be spending their money creating a new Doctor Who television series, not wasting it on this crap.

    When the BBC stopped Dr. Who, they became just a caricature of their selves.
  • It's no maple, or even a birch, but that's one fine tree. Hey lou, look at that tree. Lou: Sweet.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • Now if only the members of the h2g2 community I'm still in touch with all agreed with you... I do, but for some reason they seem to be suffering from paranoia. Oh well, we'll soon see how it all pans out.

    I for one am looking forward to it enormously.

    Yrd / MaW
    Guru, Minister for Evil, Muse of Evilness & Dancing Ducks @ h2g2 (well, I was before the takeover, who knows what I am now?)

    This post is going to score sooooo low...
  • As a long time researcher for the Guide I can elaborate a bit. H2G2 is meant to be the real life Guide from the books, but based on the internet rather than Sub Etha. A lot of people are writing about what they know. I have written a few articles that are considered to be part of the "Official" guide as edited entries. I wrote about my home state (Utah) and life in Utah. This was then edited by paid and unpaid staff and considered for official status. You can however write about anything that you like, fiction or fact. It has a robust database behind it that lets many people be logged in at a given time and serves the content that you want to see. It has customisable skins and settings. There is a large community behind it as well with virtual realities and minor role playing. I hope for the best and await the re-opening with baited anticipation.

    Marv the Grate Researcher U28338

  • To rephrase some E2 [] node whose title I can no longer remember, E2 would be what a future generations would like to open to get an idea of who we were.

    Currently E2 is a fair mix of facts, rants, GTKY (Getting-To-Know-You) polls and inside jokes -- but thinking of it, it represents us much better than just plain facts. And those future generations wouldn't wanna read a dry encyclopedia either. Thus, a pile of dry facts can be as useless as a pile of GTKY polls.

  • by tenzig_112 ( 213387 ) on Saturday February 24, 2001 @04:17PM (#405816) Homepage
    Adams has, one must admit, lost his ability to write a cohesive tale. Lost. Found. Buried in soft peat.

    For anyone who needs evidence for this, simply read anything written by Adams after the eary eighties. Conclusive evidence comes in the form of Adams' return to his bread-and-butter, H2G2.

    This is his way of trying to stir up interest among a community he thinks he started. In interviews and speeches, he pretends as though he invented the idea of smarmy sci fi. He did not.

    We've moved on. He, it seems, has not.

    But I wonder if he is not just a shadow of things to come- for us. We all like to slap ourselves on our backs and talk about this wonderful information revolution we're helping to foster. But after we're all obsolete in ten years, will we all be talking that same way?

    "Where's the gratitude?" we will whine. "Why don't kids understand my considerable contributions to the art?"

    "Why, at some point in 2001, my karma was up to about forty!" []

  • The BBC is not a government, or government controlled organisation. The BBC is legally bound to offer TV and radio broadcasts to the UK public and is not meant to show a political bias.
  • Indeed, the similarities between H2G2 [] and Time Warner [] are uncanny. Likewise the BBC [] to AOL []. Just a few years ago it would have been H2G2 buying the BBC; my, how the tables have turned.

    Personally, this is the last straw for me. I'd all but given up on the BBC in any case. I switched my viewing habits to the high-quality "Sky One []" channel, and haven't looked back. Say what you will, but you can't question the integrity of Rupert Murdoch [], can you?

  • Geez, I was bitter in that previous post now wasn't I?

    Anyway, E2 does posture to be a reference for many things. This may be the bitter rantings of an unloved member (rather these are the bitter rantings of an unloved member) but after writing factual nodes for a week or two I was always irritated to see how non-sensical nodes floated to the top while detailed nodes based in reality (not some wet dream) don't.

    It does posture to be a reference and Slashdot uses it as such, that's why I dislike E2.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • However, there are many slaves [] of E2 []. Damn its evil silicon heart!

  • You really are a know-nothing bozo, you know that, don't you?

    Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems
  • And you posted this when? Not very bright are you? Attacking somebody for doing exactly what you're doing. You must be a "Lunix Luzer" posting on Saturday.
  • The reason it's called h2g2, and not hhgg is because of the logo. If you look at it you'll see it's actually merely an 'h' and a '2' copied and rotated round 180 degrees. Pretty novel idea, I thought. :-)

    I'm loyal to h2g2, and I wouldn't stand for the BBC doing anything wrong with it (and I don't believe they will). With over 70'000 members, h2g2 is something the BBC know they have to treat with respect, otherwise they could be in trouble...
  • If your taking sarcasim seriusly, then you need some help. Lighten up a bit, it was an exageration of what the UK has been doing to it's people (namely taking away various parts of their freespeach).

  • Yeah, they were getting pretty annoying. And not long to go now until we find out if we're right or they are... see you there!

    MaW (U55669)

  • by Ru610 ( 115382 )
    [ Reply to This [] | Parent [] ]

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead