Archives for posts with tag: convergence

I mentioned last week that I’d been in London at the Wallacespace for the third and final briefing in the TSB Convergence competition briefings. Well here’s a video of Jeremy Silver’s excellent – and thorough – explanation of the call, in which he talks about its background and rationale before going to explain the technicalities of the application process.



Here’s a quick cross-posting from the Creative Industries KTN convergence blog.

So… next week I’ll be in Liverpool and Belfast, and the week after in London, helping to promote the upsoming third “challenge” in this year’s TSB convergence R&D funding round, which is largely based around metrics and audience/content usage mechanics – how technology can improve them and what business benefits an be derived consequently. Alongside the TSB briefings, we’ll be holding a panel discussion, helping to frame the area. I’ll ge getting the conversation going with the following questions, and if anyone out there has something they’d like me to add in to the mix, get in touch!

  • The digital age promised greater granularity of consumption data for content makers and owners – has this come to pass and has it been an entirely good thing?
  • How do metrics differ when measuring “linear” content with interactive content?
  • Who benefits most from better and more detailed use tracking: creators? publishers? the networks? aggregators?
  • Is there a danger of simply adding to the “noise”?
  • And if so how can we alleviate this?
  • Who’s doing interesting stuff in this areas – and why? how?
  • What are the key big areas which need to be addressed by technology when it comes to tracking content consumption and use?
  • What new business models are emerging as a result of better metrics? And what old models are starting to look shaky?

If you want to come along to any of the events, but haven’t yet signed up, then do so here. I hope to see some of you over the next couple of weeks.


As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, in my role as the Creative Industries KTN‘s Convergence Theme Champion, I’m currently helping to promote the third “challenge” in the Technology Strategy Board’s Convergence R&D funding competition. You can read about the competition in detail on the TSB website.

We’re taking a little mini-tour of the UK over the next couple of weeks; at each event, Jeremy Silver – a colleague one way and another for over twenty years! – will be giving a briefing on the technicalities of the competition, I’ll be hosting a panel discussion to stimulate some thinking about the area in general and we’ll have a previously successful TSB applicant talk us through their experience.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday, October 15: The Light, LiverpoolEvent details.

Tuesday, October 16: Ulster University, BelfastEvent details.

Wednesday, October 23: Wallacespace, LondonEvent details.

The events are, of course, free and all kick off at 10.30 and run through to 1.30 when we’ll be serving a bit of lunch. I hope to see some of you at one or other of the events, which you can register for on the CI KTN website.


Here’s another installment in my thoughts on digital convergence, cross-posted with permission from the CI KTN website.

I said I’d get round to demographics, and I specifically want to talk about age. Now, I write this as a 45-year old, not an angry young man, but let me start with a double anecdote. As readers of many of my posts about metadata will know, I am an avid fan of contemporary heavy metal. There, I said it. I go to a lot of gigs and try to write them up on my blog. A day or two after a show, I can generally find half a dozen bits of mobile-shot “fan footage” from the gig to illustrate my post; remember – I’m talking about a kind of metal whose audience has an average age of, say, 23.

But I like other music, too, and recently I attended what turned out to be a rather storming PiL gig in Brighton, whose audience was, well, let’s just say I was one of its youngest members. So, come the following day, I get round to writing about the gig and can find precisely no fan footage of the show, and, casting my mind back, I realise that the usual forest of held-aloft mobiles which characterises the pit at a metal gig was entirely absent.

Here’s the thing: most execs in the media – publishers, broadcasters, programme makers and so on – are vastly more likely to correspond demographically to a PiL audience than that of, let’s say, Cult of Luna. That’s to be expected: it takes a lot of experience to get to a senior position in most fields, so people tend not to be in a strategically important position until their late thirties at the earliest. And to most people in that age group all this talk of transmedia remains fanciful at best, and possibly even annoying.

Moreover, while there’s a huge pressure on execs to “get this”, the pressures of the job (which from experience is often 24/7) simply don’t allow for experimentation with technology. Write up appraisals or play with a new iPad app? Sit down with an external supplier to negotiate terms or sit down with TweetDeck for an hour? I think you know which options will win out… And don’t forget that people around the age of 40 very often have other little pressures in their life.

The truth is, in my “other life” as a digital media strategist, I spend a lot of time with senior people in arts and media organisations who absolutely understand how important all “this stuff” is, but have precious little time, energy or frankly inclination engage with it at anything other than a surface level – at best. Yet this is the generation that is making the decisions about the deployment of digital strategies within the media – and I can’t help but think that they (that is, we) are in the right place in their lives to do so with the best results.


One of my roles is as “theme champion” for metadata and convergence with the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network, or KTN. This post is cross-posted from the CIKTN website with permission.

As I’m sure anyone reading this knows by now, this year has so far seen two stages, or rather, “challenges”, in a three-stage TSB funding round for feasibility studies around converged media. Challenge 1 looked at hyper-local media, challenge 2 at ideation, that is, tools and techniques which help new ideas come into the world. Challenge 3 is about to launch this autumn and will concentrate on metrics: how technology can help release more information – and in more detail – about how content is consumed and used in the digital realm, something of inestimable importance to, amongst others, content creators, content owners, broadcasters, publishers and of course advertisers.

As ever, to publicise the funding call’s launch and explain both its rationale and the processes involved in applying and – should you be successful – following through, we’ll be holding a series of events around the country: Liverpool on October 14th, Belfast on the 15th and London the following week on the 23rd. More details will be going out in a newsletter forthwith. We held similar events in London, Manchester and Glasgow for challenge 2 and I thought it might be useful for me to recap on some of the key themes I saw emerging in the various presentations, panel discussions and individual conversations over the three days. I’ll spread it over the course of a few posts as I’ve quite a bit to get down here and I emphasise that this is my own personal synthesis. This is a wide open, complex area with a lot of divergent opinions and practical approaches and any one commentator would come away with their own set of observations.

Anyway, here’s my take, in no particular order, starting with…

We were promised jetpacks

OK, so that’s a little facetious, but… There’s a real sense, at least amongst broadcasting execs over the age of, say, 35 (and I’ll get on to the issue of demographics shortly) that we’ve been promised a new age of interactive, convergent media for the last ten years or so and yet nothing has really delivered. From my own experience both at the BBC and later heading up the interactive team at an independent supplier to the BBC, I saw the corporation “get religion” about convergence and mulitplatform in the early noughties only to retreat from it strategically over the last couple of years. And the Beeb isn’t alone – ITV is another major broadcaster that’s only recently reined in its interactive activity.

And yet, and yet… there’s Bill Gates’ short term/long term paradigm at work here, I think. Digital advocates like myself promised way too much ten years back – the audience simply wasn’t where we thought they were, or, rather, wanted them to be. But now? Well, for one thing, there’s an entirely new digitally literate, games-infused generation becoming young adults – consumers and citizens (not to mention the touch screen babies behind them). And they have vastly different expectations of media then those just a few years older. And of course, the technological environment has changed beyond recognition. Promiscuous multi-screen consumption and ubiquitous media aren’t science fiction any more – they’re a rather quotidian fact of life.

In short, I wonder if the mainstream broadcasting community is making its retreat at precisely the wrong moment.