The Mint Blog
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'?
It was terrific to see the event grow so dramatically in the space of a year (we doubled our audience from 2010). The social TV conversation has raised its game too, with a brilliant bunch of talks from Andy Hood of AKQA, David Flynn of Remarkable, Declan Caulfield of Starling and Russell Davies of R/GA, all wonderfully compèred by BBC Click's LJ Rich.
Of course, as befits a 2Screen affair, the real energy of the evening took place on our second screens - the #2Screen hashtag is packed with gems and well worth having a dig through. This year we decided we wanted to take the kind of split-attention behaviour we've become used to at conferences and push it a step further. Our Footnotes app lived on the 2Screen mobile site and added an extra layer of engagement to the speakers' presentations, with a steady trickle of additional nuggets of information and useful links throughout the night. It was a fun experiment, if you got a chance to play with it we'd love to know what you thought.
We'll be back very soon with some lovely shiny videos of all the talks from the event, but for now I wanted to give a quick roundup of some of the 2Screen write-ups that caught my eye over the past week:
The countdown to 2Screen 2011 is almost over. Our sell-out event will be kicking off at 6.30pm tonight with awesome speakers, an exceptionally good-looking audience, booze, nibbles and good times galore. You can follow our #2Screen hashtag to keep up with the excitement. We love it when a plan comes together.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been exploring the lay of the land with a look at how content creators are approaching connected TV and an overview of what the new levels of audience data will mean for the industry.
But I’ve saved what is perhaps the trickiest area for last. Over to Google’s Eric Schmidt again - speaking at this year’s MacTaggart lecture - for a quick introduction:
“Now we’re riding a second, much bigger, wave of interactivity. It’s a convergence of TV and Internet screens. This time the interaction isn’t happening via your red button - it’s on the web through your laptop, tablet or mobile. But most important of all, this time it’s social.”