The Mint Blog
I went to see my old pal Stephen Hardingham at Channel 4 last week. Before the meeting he said: "You could tell us about how things are going at Mint Digital these days."
This called for a short presentation. I hadn't seen Stephen in about 4 years, so here’s how Mint has changed since then.
I totally agree with Liz Murdoch that TV is failing to keep pace with the digital revolution. But I totally disagree with her suggested solution: more collaboration between the big players. These collaborations may deliver big infrastructure projects like YouView (of doubtful creative impact, in my opinion) but they will do nothing to deliver new formats making clever use of new technology, which is where the UK's great talent lies and where real value will be generated.
Reality shows like Big Brother were made possible by cheap, robust offline editing, allowing the story to be pieced together after filming rather than before. The new wave of talent shows were made possible by large-scale telephone voting systems. New technology enables new formats, but in surprising ways that can only be discovered by creative experimentation.
Slides and notes from talk at Ignite Ubelly.
This is very speculative and I don’t know what I am talking about… but I think this is a really interesting concept, so I’d be delighted to hear any thoughts or suggestions.
His previous book was The Black Swan. This is in a similar territory. They both explore how we can think about and profit from the unknown.
Last week I attended the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival - the UK TV industry's annual decampment to the festival city for three boozy days of keynotes and canapés. Post bank-holiday, the dust has just about settled on Elisabeth Murdoch's MacTaggart (read the full text here), which went down pretty well on the ground, and doesn't seem to have ruffled too many feathers elsewhere.
For my part, I was most interested in what Murdoch had to say about what she called the "explosive emergence of a made-for-online video category". MGEITF was "powered by YouTube" - keeping delegates going with a swanky smoothie bar and getting highlights from every session online in the blink of an eye. But it was a small, low-profile panel session called 'Who needs a commission anyway?' that got to the heart of what YouTube means to the industry today.
To preface this, a personal confession: I'm embarrassingly obsessed with watching YouTube 'beauty gurus'. I'm not sure where it comes from - I don't even wear that much make-up - but I just can't stop watching them . My absolute favourite 'guru' (horrible word) is the entirely delightful FleurDeForce, a 24 year old with nearly 400,000 subscribers on her beauty channel, a wildly popular vlogging channel and a bridal channel. She's massive in the States too, with fans queuing for up to 14 hours to meet her at VidCon. A one-woman broadcast network.
I'd heard a lot about the mysterious and ever-growing Pocketmints meetups from across the pond. There had been six to date, they'd apparently been going from strength to strength and there was always a copious amount of food. So when I realised that my trip to New York would overlap with the seventh Pocketmints meetup I had many questions. Who would the speaker be? What would it be like? How much food is meant by 'copious'?