4IP is go…

Without much of a ceremony Channel 4 launched 4IP yesterday. Launched as in they opened up a submission section on their website and finally got round to more clearly articulating what they’re after. In their words:

  • 4iP is hunting for tiny, risky ideas as well as big, crunchy ideas.
  • 4iP will help turn fabulous ideas into delightful running code quickly.
  • 4iP will help products showing promise to deliver way more impact.
  • 4iP won’t support products or projects on an ongoing basis
  • 4iP wants proposals from as wide range of people and companies as possible. Nobody is too small, nobody too big. Nobody is too close, nobody is too far away.
  • Your idea could make you a millionaire; your idea could earn you a knighthood for public service, but never turn a profit. Either way 4iP is interested in helping you get started.
  • 4iP loves connecting people and organisations that otherwise would never get to work together.

Of course the idea is the thing but like all bids that need pulling together there’s some background reading to do as well. 4IP stems from the ‘Next on 4‘ document published earlier this year so you really need to get your head around that. I’d be asking: what’s Channel 4’s take on Public Service and does my project speak to that? And then Channel 4 also has its core values – Do it First, Make Trouble, Inspire Change. If you’re coming from a purely commercial background then bringing yourself up to date on the Public Service Broadcasting review that hangs over all this is worthwhile.

In terms of further reading, as well as the 4IP blog itself, you should get yourself subscribed to Tom Loosemore‘s and Ewan McIntosh‘s blogs. They are the Head of 4IP and Scotland & Northern Ireland Commissioner respectively. If you’re worried about protecting your idea then Martin Baker (Head of Commercial Affairs) has a take on this but it’s interesting to note that some people are already putting their ideas out there and calling for collaborators.

Finally, If you’re in the West Midlands you can probably hold fire for a while. There’s a regional launch next week and we’ll get our own C4 commissioner in due course. There’s no mad rush on this, 4IP has a couple of years to run at least so perhaps working up your idea, finding partners, having a chat to Screen West Midlands, are the things to be getting on with.

Links for October 13th through October 15th

Some links for you:

  • BBC reveals 'Out of London' plans – A whole host of changes to shift the centre of production away from London but with no mention of any change for Birmingham. BBC centres in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland seem the big winners. Update: Original BBC press release does have some good(ish) news for Birmingham.
  • IE – Web, Interactive, Design, Brand – One for your RSS feed. Jewellery Quarter based design agency, ie design, have a blog and most of their team seem to contribute. It's a good one as well with plenty of links to cool stuff.
  • Gigbeth 2008 set to bring welcome boost to Birmingham’s economy – The figures are impressive and everything but we need to start to think of music events as a key part of urban renaissance (which is the case Parkinson makes I think) that make an underlying contribution to economic competitiveness rather than force events like this to produce figures that are difficult to pin down accurately.

Running on the Birmingham Plateau

They’ve published the course profile for the Birmingham Half marathon and it turns out that despite Birmingham being largely flat, the course isn’t. This is partly because we have to trudge up overpasses (Perry Barr) and pull ourselves out of underpasses (Lancaster Circus, Five Ways).

That last long dip is the 2+ mile downhill run from Bearwood to Centenary Square – presumably the blip in it is coming out of the underpass at Five Ways but it should be nice and fast if I’ve got any energy left. There are some minor route changes to the orginal published route.

Given this is the ‘Race for Climate Change’ the logistics of getting to the start are still built too much around using your car. There’s a shuttle bus from the city centre but they could have partnered with a car sharing scheme or at least, like London, put on extra regular buses and trains (Perry Barr station would only be as far from the start as Blakheath is from the London start – alas the first train that Sunday is well after the race has begun). If the race grows (9000 this year) then they’ll have to put other measures into place to encourage/force runners to use public transport.

As it stands I’ll be trying to scrounge a lift from Bournville – any offers?

Links for October 7th through October 9th

Some links for you:

My new workplace

This is what’s oppostite my new workplace in Camden street, Jewellery Quarter. I believe it’s a former GKN works (due for redevelopment – item F on this map) but is now where the smokers from where I work hang out.

Having trumpeted my return to working in the Jewellery Quarter I actually find myself in a rather undeveloped corner of it which still has large empty factories and small, usually busy, warehouses. That’s  fine as I like undeveloped corners of the city and walking from the centre to here takes you through the back of the library – now there’s a nice messy undeveloped bit.

I work in the B1 building which has the following benefits:

  • It sells okay Starbucks coffee for half what it costs on the high street.
  • The cafe doesn’t understand portion control for cakes.
  • It is close to the canal networks for pre, during or post work runs.
  • It has shower facilities for the above.

Working in the Jewellery Quarter generally has the following benefits:

  • Banks (and therefore cashpoints).
  • A supermarket.
  • Newsagents that stock newspapers.
  • People – both work people and customers for shops.
  • Lots and lots of place for lunch.
  • A train station
  • A diverse population of blue and white collar workers.

In a fight between Digbeth and Jewellery Quarter I wonder who’d win?

Links for October 6th

Some links for you:

  • 38minutes – Powered by 4iP – It's a (powered by) 4ip website. A social networking site aimed at bringing together innovating digital media companies in Ireland & Scotland. Maybe we could do with one of these in the West Midlands when 4ip kicks off?
  • How many social media platforms?!!! | New Music Strategies – Dubber on how to spread yourself across as many social media platforms as you can.
  • ELSPA: Press Releases: UK Console Numbers More than Double Within A Year – "From September 2007 to September 2008 the Nintendo Wii installed base has risen from 1.1 million to a staggering 3.6 million, while the Nintendo DS has soared from 3.8 million to 7.1 million. By comparison, PlayStation®3 unit sales have risen from 0.4 million to 1.4 million and the Xbox 360® from 1.3 million to 2.3 million. Sony’s PSP® handheld showed a comparatively moderate increase from 2.2 million to 2.9 million."

Links for October 1st through October 4th

Some links for you:

Which Marathon in 2009?

dave at london 2007
I am officially a London Marathon reject. My application to run it for the third time in a row in 2009 was rejected today so I am now contemplating which 2009 marathon I should run instead. Given I’ll probably try to blag some sponsorship from you all when I get round to running it (and you guys have been so kind in the past), how about you decide which one I run:

Further reading: Connemara, Edinburgh, Paris

Links for September 24th through October 1st

Some links for you:

  • 4iP Update – Martin Baker, Head of Commercial Affairs at Channel 4, discusses some key issues about intellectual property in the online space and what it means for 4IP projects. Take a look at the comments as well which indicate that the application process should open up soon.
  • London 2012 calling – business opportunities on offer worth £6bn – Go get some contracts for the 2012 Olympics – bound to be some juicy ones in there. There’s a roadshow at Birmingham Uni on the 15th October.
  • Thinking (harder) about 4IP « backpass.org – Bristol-based web developer wondering if they’ll be getting an invite to the 4ip party.

Posh Torys’ poor image quality

Other posts will emerge but like Nick Booth, I too was at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham – invited via Screen West Midlands who were asked to suggest local bloggers who might go along. To be honest I haven’t much to say only having attended for one day. It was big and impressive but I’m sure they all are. Tories talk posh but then I guess they all do nowadays. In scale it reminded me of a trade union conference I once photographed where noone talked posh.

My highlight was seeing Boris (posh but funny) at a fringe event in the Midland Institute. It was great to hear Londoners, in Birmingham, moaning about their bins and bendy buses.

The biggest shock for me however was the atrocious image quality of the images taken with my new work blackberry, shocking I tell you: