Monday, August 29, 2005

Storytelling Animals

Involving children in nature and science by letting them interact with storytelling animals
The Interactive Institute - Home

Hart van Nederland: Changing the Dutch news landscape forever

This is a personal story (about a Dutch news adventure):
10 Years ago I just finished my study communication sciences at the University of Amsterdam. It was a time of recession and not easy to find a job, so I hopped from one temp job to the other. In the summer of 1995 in Amsterdam there was also a small group of people busy with the start up of a new television channel. At the time it was regarded an absurd idea, because there already was public television and two large commercial channels, RTL 4 and 5. There will not be room for more then 6 channels…! Fons van Westerloo, leading this small group had made another calculation for SBS6. News is an important anchor in your schedule. And as a former journalist Fons van Westerloo very much wanted to have a news programme but he knew he never had the budget to make that in the next coming years. He talked about his wishes with producer Marck Feller and senior editor Jean Mentens and an ingenious idea was born. If you do not have the budget to sent your reporters all over the world, why not focus on national news, the small news items everybody is ignoring, but that is very much at the heart of the lives and homes of everybody. And so..the initial idea for Hart van Nederland was born. Soon they were setting up an initial team to produce the programme. Profile: young and cheap people with enormous drives to create something new. I just happened to walk into the building in July 1995 to become one of them. It was one of the luckiest things happening in my life and it was to become one of the most intens periods too. Now Hart van Nederland is an institute in Dutch television, changing the way we look at news at the very core. A month ago someone of the old group noticed it was almost ten years ago that we started on this adventure and soon everybody was e-mailing we needed to meet. In Eik en Linde off course, centre of our lives at that time. And it was a heart warming meeting last Friday; some of us had become regular stars by themselves. Some of us had chosen or rolled into quit different paths (me for instance) and also a lot of us where still there working at the program.
Now, ten years later there is also someone who makes a different calculation about there being enough channels in the market. And as you need news for an anchor, another news programme, NSE is born. It looks like the same adventure.. But there is a big difference. Hart was not only bringing a new form of news, like NSE, the big change was in the point of view AT MAKING THIS NEWS. NSE is adopting new forms at bringing the SAME news, which is its Achilles’ heel. People want to see something they cannot see anywhere else. This is the also the same reason why Boulevard is a great success, the content of the programme is different, not only the form. How is NSE going to renew the content of its news? That’s really the question they should ask themselves. It’s a great adventure, let me tell you that!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

anmi meeting on crossmedia with kpn and talpa

Yesterday I visited a meeting on the future of crossmedia by Anmi Summerschool in Amsterdam. Michiel Buitelaar, KPN and Edwin Tromp, Talpa cross media where giving their views on future developments. Unfortunately I missed the first part of Edwin's presentation, but got right on time to learn where Talpa is expecting to make money: traditional spot, sponsored content, stream spots, subscription fee, pay-per-view, shared business and market places. He has also talked about putting the concept central at Talpa and then thinking channels (I got this second hand). I think it is the right idea, but with the 'wrong' people, because Talpa's team is dominated by television people. They are not able to think crossmedia, as is becoming ever more clearly visible by now. Not an easy job for Tromp I think. Then Buitelaar, KPN talked freely of his ideas on the future. I happen to know Michiel from many years ago, where he was only thinking telecom. And was very eager to learn about the other media I was coming from at the time (television and internet) He has made a further step in his thinking from then and had a very clear presentation. Unfortunately he also turned out to have become quite blase as director of the KPN consumer division, I noticed when I walked up to him. Not all legs can carry the weight elegantly. Michiel talked about co-creation in the form of a 'pigeon channel'; A channel where one pigeonkeeper can upload his films of the pigeons he is keeping and where other pigeonlovers can watch the birds as they fly away. Not your everyday mass television offering, but it will be there eventually, a particular niche producing and viewing each others' content. He is definitely right that it will be going this way. It already is. KPN wanted to ENABLE this, which I think is a smart position to take. But how?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Let's work with kids!

I wondered what sonja kangas was doing in Finland, so I decided to ask. This is one of the interesting projects she is involved in. It's about crossmedia for kids and it is this week. So you have to hurry to attend the workshop! (I am afraid I will not be able to be there, but comments on the workshop of attendees are very welcome! )

Friday, August 19, 2005

After the first week..Talpa

If I am kicking at forehand at Talpa (de Mol not spending..) let me also make up the balance after Talpa on air in the Netherlands for one week. First of all, an amazing prestige to have it running so well in the first week. This marks the truly professional television people working at Talpa (as I have said before). As it is I have some experience with starting up a new channel (about ten years ago I was part of it all at SBS) and so I know how difficult this is. Another compliment goes to Beau van Erven Dorens and all of his team working at NSE. They truly have amazed me! NSE has a huge potential and already has a good ritm and beat to it. Definitely very much NOW. But..then "Thuis" the programme preceding NSE really isn't NOW anymore. It feels terribly outdated. And off course it is not about crossmedia at all (which it is pretending to be...). If they think putting somebody with a laptop in the public to read aloud the e-mails during the show is crossmedia..Oh dear. 'Thuis' is an excellent example of NOT understanding what crossmedia is about. Forcing other channels in the programme in such an unnatural way. It makes me sad, it really does to see this happening!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Italian crossmedia modelling: proiettiliperscrittori

This is very interesting. An italian scolar that is trying to model crossmedia. His latest notions are of a supportive/proactive model and competitive/defense model (don't know exactly what he means and planning to ask him later today) Another notion is to use the latest theories on the shaper of the universe. Don't really get it yet, but it is definitely triggering insights. Take a look.


If you would like, you can discuss crossmedia subjects on this forum. It can be an interesting means, a forum and it is definitely very democratic, but I think it gets messy very easily.
Anyway, it is a good initiative, see what you can find of your liking here (It is in Dutch only by the way).


Friday, August 05, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Narrowcasting in NL: hip tv: The Entertainment Group

All Talpa has to do, is buy this later, which will definitely happen,
if you look at the artists and the board, from the Entertainment Group one of
the initiators of this project: both familiar liaisons of De Mol.
(how to keep your friends rich)
And it will all be more crossmedia after all.
Looks really nice.
The Entertainment Group

John de Mol; All that money and nothing to spend..

John de Mol promissed to build the ideal convergence model in the Netherlands...Sounds exciting.. doesn't it. I thought so too, but how ignorant. He is entering the market with a more then traditional channel, all of it dominated by traditional television programmes. Working only with well established companies, you know.. safety first. Bringing really nothing new actually. From a business perspective, I can understand the strategy of entering a competitive market and you are not going to do it all different on top of that. It would be asking for trouble. That's healthy economic thinking. But Talpa is boringly old fashioned television thinking. This is not about me, not selling a project, I have not even offered anything to Talpa yet (and do not see any fit for my crossmedia setups in the schedule as it is right now, besides I need the advertisers before all that). But there have been lots of little companies trying to do new things. If you tell the market you are (going to be) about crossmedia, well show (at least one thing). All that money and nothing to spend.

Monday, August 01, 2005

United Exploiting the Future

The UK’s Film Council recent event, Exploiting the Future - Digital Opportunities for diversity and difference was not just timely but illustrative of the digital ghost in the machine peering into tomorrow. The PD150 a must-have in any digital film making armoury is about to be toppled by High Definition Cam-corders costing about the same. Films with interstitial multiple arcs (think hypertext) in which cinema-goers can influence the film's narrative with SMS/ MMS is an interesting development. It could mean a studio and directors cut run simultaneously with the audience choosing what's on screen. United Exploiting the Future