TEDx North Manchester

And we’re back in the room for some live speakers… first up is Matthew Postgate who heads up BBC R&D. Apparently speakers all get 18mins but these get 15 minutes plus a few for questions. Matthew is keeping his time to 10 mins with another 10 for questions… what a mensch…. round of applause. Following JJ is a big deal!!

What is Broadcasting? He was told to come and talk about something he’s interested in so he’s talking about Broadcasting. But he’s intersting in hearing what we’ve got to say…. His story starts in 2008 when the BBC was considering these things and all the ideas he comes up with ends up in notebooks becasuse there is never enough time to transfer into electronic devices. There are a few quotes some of which are not attributed that answer the questions what is broadcasting.

Why is the question intersting? We understand the B for British and the C for corporation but what does the B in the middle mean? Wednesday 29th September 2009 – online advertising in the UK exceeded TV advertising – is this an epoch defning date? Typewriters are interesting… the only technology that was completely superceeded by another one. Others generally complement. Will there be a balance between traditional and online/mobile broadcasting… so many questions Matthew!!

Here is a quote from Edward Pawley that is too long to type. He wrote a book that is know in R&D as The Bible.

‘A service using electromagentic waves of frequencies lower than 300GHz, propagated in space without artificial guide, for transmitting sound, television or other types of transmission intended for direct reception by the public’ phew that was close!! I apologise for any typos!!

BBC Policy Description

‘Broadcasting is the set of responsibilities agreed in exchange for a monopoly of control over a mass communications medium’ man my fingers are on fire!!

Creative Conceit

There is more but I can’t type that quickly… my finger fire has been cruelly snubbed out!! Perhaps this talk will make it onto the TED site although it’s not as dynamic as JJ Abrams and his Mystery Box!!

The Market Mantra

Something that delivers mass adiences

Broadcasting in a Monopoly

Defined by Scarcity

The Medium’s Message

Is broadcasting the sum of the people who make it? Is it to do with it being continuous as a medium and being editorialised. He’s not a fan of passive consumption that appeals to some sort of human desire. Someone said it’s when you can’t pause it and see your favourites… which has a certain ring to it.

Is broadcasting a medium and a brand in itself? Consumers are proud to be involved in it perhaps? It should be something that brings people together and allows people to conduct a national conversation.

Matthew thinks it’s one end of a pendulum swing from traditional to on demand. It’s about now(ish) and also the second hand of history (I like that too). In the future it’s on all devices and will be balanced between technical inovation and editorial evolution and part of a larger gateway and will become the pulse of the nation in the digital age.

Another quote from Edward Pawley and says if he ever comes up with a firm answer he’ll come back and tell us.

The floor is open to questions… from a BBC hater!! He is shocked at how bad the BBC is!! (gasp!) He doesn’t think the country has a particularly sustainable future and how the old class system operates within the BBC and throws down the challenge to them to get back on track. Matthew responds that we all could be moving faster and that the BBC is very broad and diverse. This event can go someway to help re-inventing the BBC… The questioner says that it’s a corporate response. He says the corporation moves to slowly and he’s absolutely right but it always has and it will take a bigger man than Matthew to speed it up, no offence mate!

The next questions says ‘broadcasting is dead’ well not entirely and says the BBC is moving away from traditional broadcasting with a big up for Ian Forrester and BBC Backstage… on to the final question mentions the Tory conference and the BBC Vs politics and the risk that the BBC’s time is almost up. Matthew is instructed to answer the questions briefly (to a ripple of laughter from the audience).

He refers back to Pawley to see how far the BBC has moved on. Personally I think it’s a little unfair because these guys seem not to know about alot of the innovative things the BBC do and while they do move extremely slowly, if they spoke up a lot more and shouted about their smaller achievements these people would be happier!!

We thank Matthew and welcome the next speaker Phil Griffin.

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