The Mint Blog
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.
So, did you Join In last weekend?
To be honest, when we first started working on the website for Join In - a weekend of free local sport across the country - I didn’t really think I was the target audience. I’m not the sporty type. I think it comes from being a defiantly geeky kid in a house of enthusiastic football fans, and going to an overwhelmingly sports-mad high school alongside the likes of Andy Murray. I still regard the gym as a necessary evil.
But then we had the Olympics. And nobody was more surprised than me at how unexpectedly awesome it all was. I think the thing that I found most inspiring was reflecting on the incredible work ethic, discipline and self-motivation of all those athletes. What if we all applied a similar kind of drive to our working lives? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
I also started thinking about my own attitude to sport because, frankly, it all did look really fun . And so I found myself browsing the lovely Join In site to see what was happening near me. In the end I chose fencing, because I’ve always wanted to try it.
What an amazing few days we have seen at the Olympics. Team GB have done us proud.
What more can be said?
Well, perhaps you start getting that guilty, too-much-sofa feeling. After all, the best part of sport is getting trainers on your feet, air in your lungs and endorphins in your noggin.
Working with a new charity, Join In, Mint built a site that make it easier to do just that, to get involved. Focused on the weekend after the Olympics, it is a celebration of local sport. And you are invited!