At last – a 4IP project

Here’s the first Channel 4 4IP project. Yes that’s right, after all the chat and various launches we’ve got something we can point at and say “oh I see, that’s what they wanted”.

The first thing of note is that it’s a citizen journalism project, in fact it’s a football citizen journalism project. Myfootballwriter is run by Rick Waghorn whose service is based around using social media (Twitter and Jaiku) to allow Norwich City football fans contribute to discussions about their team. Rick expresses the importance of the moment to Canaries fans:

“And with the help of our new friends at Channel Four and their 4iP digital innovation fund, it means that you – this passionate, niche, Norwich City community, you – are right at the very forefront of new media innovation in this country and beyond. You are the shock troops of a new age of journalism.”

The innovation that’s attracted the investment is the Backchat facility that aggregates the fans’ conversations. Here’s a better explanation from the Guardian:

“The first test will be around the Norwich vs Ipswich match this Sunday…..The project starts as part of the Norwich City fan site, aggregating comments posted via fans through Twitter or Jaiku, and they have developed the name ‘Backchat’ so that the conversation will be platform agnostic. All messages tagged #ncfc will be picked up by this Norwich City version. so maybe we’ll see a few from Delia in there…”

Well done to Rick who has another idea brewing about innovation in online advertising. As he says on his blog this is the first 4IP idea to go through the online application process and come out the other side. You’ll have noticed of course that although the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland/Scotland have regional funding in place to match 4IP this is a national pot of funds. So the second thing of note is that this London/Norwich idea proves that good ideas will be funded no matter where they come from, having regional money matters a lot less than having a decent idea.

So how close are we to seeing the first West Midlands 4IP project? Screen WM’s info on 4IP is here. The diagram explaining the decision-making process is here (PDF link).