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In the spirit of doing something different in order to effect change I attended a ‘Get Together’ organised by Wired Sussex and took the attitude that I would be open to everything and say ‘yes’ to all. Pure H818. Over two hours I listened to, shared with and learnt from Neil, Gerry, Olly, Karla, Tristan, Simon, Michael … and ‘TV Simon’ as I will call him to differentiated from business managing Simon16 (number of employees). I only remember the people, what they said and names to faces as, shared with them, I did this thing of pegging a face to a place on a familiar journey – walking through the house. And so I found Carla at the front door designing jewellery, Gerry on the stairs coaching folk in life skills, Tristan entering my bathroom talking agile waterfalls, Kanban and SCRUM techniques while Simon was on the landing with our dog – his blonde hair and scruffy beard in keeping with our blonde Labradoodle perhaps? Olly was in the garden talking to John, while Neil moved away and subsequently left. These are only those I met. This approach was part of a lengthy conversation about ‘awesome’ positivity and name remembwring courtesy of our cousins in North America. There is now so much to follow up on: things to do, things to research, people to get back in touch with. So here’s me making some kind of public promise to do so, including having a business card by the time of the next meet up. I own the domain name ‘Mind Bursts’ which is where I plan to seed ideas and seek ways for them to flourish and bare fruit. A big part of the discussion was on kickstart, funding and start ups. The next step could be to point the technology at actors performing a script – narrative. Of most relevance to H818 was that Michael came looking for me as Tristan knew ahead of the meet up that I had an interest in museums and the First World War – this converstion, in a side bar, (a sofa where I was collecting my thoughts) and looked at funding for ‘social curation’ using a tried database management and sharing platform. These conversations will continue in the digital hub that is Brighton-to-Lewes, and the other way towards Bournemouth, which this afternoon, almost feels like midwinter in San Diego.
In the spirit of doing something different in order to effect change I attended a ‘Get Together’ organised by Wired Sussex and took the attitude that i would be open to everything and say ‘yes’ to all. Over two hours I listened to, shared with and learnt from Neil, Gerry, Olly, Karla, Tristan, Simon, Michael … and ‘TV Simon’ as I will call him to differentiated from business managing Simon16 (number of employees). I only remember the people, what they said and names to faces as, shared with them, I did this thing of pegging a face to a place on a familiar journey – walking through the house. And so I found Carla at the front door designing jewellery, Gerry on the stairs coaching folk in life skills, Tristan enteringmy bathroom talking agile eaterfalls, Kanban abd SCRUM techniques while Simon was on the landing with our dog – his blonge haird and scruffy beard in keeping with our blonde Labradoodle perhaps? Olly was in the garden talking to John, while Neil moved away and subsequently left. These are only those I met. There is no so much to follow up on: things to do, things to research, people to get back in touch with. So here’s me making some kind of public promise to do so, including having a business card by the time of the next meet up. I own the domain name ‘Mind Bursts’ which is where I plan to seed ideas and seek ways for them to flourish and bare fruit.
Much of the conversation came from my experience of the Open University’s Master of Arts on Open and Distance Education in general (graduated in 2012) and the module H818: The Networked Practitioner that ends tomorrow having submitted End of Module Assignments last week.
What is ‘connected’ TV?
Jen spoke of the creative opportunity, of how people work and come together – not just 4OD, but how it changes the way producers, directors and web designers conceive TV. She is looking for people to come up with programmes that work from the start across all the opportunities.
Richard Griffths, Principal Lecture in Computing from Brighton University gave an insightful talk on innovation in relation to interactivity at Connect TV as part of The Brighton Digital Festival through Wired Sussex. Jen Topping from Channel 4 Online introduced the speakers.
The internet changes the device, as happened to phones , so will happen to TV.
Richard introduced the Gartner Curve of Hype to talk about what was going on here in Brighton in 2001, placing web agency Victoria Real at the top of this hype curve.
At this time along with some more conventional web work, I was pitching interactive support for linear TV documentary ideas at TV markets in Las Vegas, Cannes and London. We too were at the top of the hype curve because . We had commissioners who wanted to hear – however, understandably, they wanted to know how it would make money. Anthony Geffen of Atlantic Productions opened the doors – commissioners knew the content would be awesome, but how would the interactive component pay for itself? At the time many listened to how a BAFTA and EMMY award-winning production company would partner with an agency – we were at the top of the hype curve and sliding rapidly down the other side.
This is how we might populate such a curve with developments in IT.
In the next slide Richard as scribbled out the Plateau of Productivity and redrawn the Slope of Enlightenment lower down – this is where our second presentation came in.
Is the answer to put a digital person into a TV company, to get that head space –hard enough to make great TV, even harder to do the two together.
The answer lies in the personality of the protagonists and their relative power in terms of ownership and successes to date (even if these successes are in a different field). How do you get people to work collaboratively from quite different fields? I have found working collaboratively using a wiki enlightening – a team of eight, from client and producer, through to programmers, designers via learning designers. It facilitates assembly and contributing in a what is largely chronological, though if we were to think of this as a production line in car manufacture, in e-learning or in this case building interactive content, we need a production circle, or ascending series of loops.
What was TV?
- Seeing stuff in places where you are not or that don’t exist
- The electronic hearth
- Shared national experience
- An economic phenomenon
What is TV?
- Transition from an economy of scarcity to an economy of abundance.
- It will stop being a distinct technological, social and economic identity.
What will become of TV?
- Hold on
- Co–opt the competition
- Adult and betting – again
- Attempts by rights–holders to control
- Technology changes – people don’t
- Richard made a quip about a visit to Pompei where he say an advertising slogan above a shop along the lines of ‘Zeus buys my fruit!’
A technical industry
The key is that it is an industry – it’s commercial so understand how the bills are paid.
Is this the reality? Start-ups eagerly clinging to their big idea and struggling against the odds and sense, without financing, to make things happen?
Richard Griffiths, Programme Leader: Postgraduate Programme in Interactive Technologies, University of Brighton
‘Employability for Connected TV’
Anna Carlson, Consultant & Steve Winton, Head of Applied Technology, Nixon McInnes
‘Converging People Before Formats’
Andy Eardley, Founder & Director, TV App Agency
‘Why Connected/Smart TV?’
On the one hand as a postgraduate student (Masters in Open & Distance Education: MAODE with the OU and the OU MBA module B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation & Change’) I am fascinated in how collaboration works (Engestrom’s Activity Theory is the model I like to use to illustrate how minds meld between people and teams to solve problems). As a web agency person (coming to Brighton in 2000 to join Worth Media) I understand the employer position too, indeed the agency I worked for blossomed from 9 to 50+ at this time.
With so may micro-companies though, is Brighton more like a cluster of artisans rather than the South Coast Silicon Valley? With Google and others conveniently located at Victoria is Brighton not a suburb of London? Indeed, corporate video production (my background) often sees companies with a production base in the regions and a sales office in London (Speakeasy and Two Four Productions come to mind).
Where are venture capital funded labs?
A year with the OU Business School has give me some insight into Tertiary Education and distant and applied learning, though the model I would also draw upon in relation to Brighton Fuse is the School of Communication Arts (SCA) which provides art directors, copywriters and designers into the advertising world. As they would/will do when employed people are teamed up.
They work towards a job, via placements and real creative briefs (which they may receive payment for if developed).
A qualification is now offered, though I wondered if this is a mistake and a distraction? What counts is how the learning is applied. One of the best ways to learn is vicariously, from the periphery, as an apprentice or trainee ‘being there’. How can this be brought into the mix? Learning on the job? As an apprentice as they do in Germany? That working to pass exams and to meet academic assessment criteria can be very different to working on and completing a commercial project. Instead of a marked assignment might money made or saved be the measure?
At the SCA mentors come in from industry, including many of the heavy weights from the likes of BBH and Saatchi.
It is a hybrid studio, part of the working world but distinct from it. There is talk though of moving their base from Vauxhall to Soho next year so that industry people can simply ‘drop in’. There is no use of webcasting which is a lost opportunity and common place in industry both from the desk and from boardrooms.
For electronic arts, I wonder if this team of two ought to be a team of three, that a visualiser working with a copywriter needs a programmer in order to develop ideas with this ‘third dimension’.
The analogy I would use is a band that requires a drummer, bass player and lead guitar/singer.
During the course of the evening having spoken to several people from Brighton University I realised there is a fourth requirement: the entrepreneur i.e. the band’s manager?
This is based on the view that ideas come to fruition through commercial exploitation by an entrepreneur (in may experience someone who sells well, who understands that a fresh idea will turn heads and open doors). The mindset of the innovator and the entrepreneur are very different too.
All in all, this calls for collaboration, team working, acknowledgement of gaps in our own knowledge that our only filled not by gravitating forever to like-minds, but to different minds with complementary skills. A micro-business of one is surely not a business at all. Might 3 be a minimum?
In this respect both The Skiff and The Works sound like valuable places to mix and through proximity and serendipity make things happen.
Mentoring students is two way, not exploitative, but a way to formulate and refresh thinking. Academics benefit from the interaction with their students while those in business benefit from a combination of being challenged and perhaps being reminded of how playful business can be.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (GMT)
Marwood Coffee Shop
52 Ship St
Brighton BN1 1AF
What is it?
MIGHT 3 is a collaborative workshop for ideas that have an ambition of achieving a turnover of £500k per annum or higher within three years of starting to trade.
Please register here today, as spaces are very limited.
It’s the third event in a series of three. But it’s fine to attend even if you didn’t get along to either of the previous two events.
Innovative things are sometimes too small to register on the radar for government, or funders, or the media. Sometimes so small that they are only a tiny, neglected idea in the back of someone’s head. But if you cluster together people with little innovative ideas, the clustering can help to magnify them.
MIGHT is an East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Innovation and Growth Team event programme organised by Wired Sussex.