Wednesday, October 24, 2012

As you like it

" - Radio à la Carte", TPC Switzerland
" - Radio à la Carte" (TPC Switzerland) is, you might say, the online version of a simple radio. It does what any radio does, it allows you to listen to any programme you want. Okay, it does a bit more: It allows you also to combine music from your favourite radio station with the news of another and a podcast of yet another channel or one suggested to you by your friends. is a radio, more precisely, a do-it-yourself radio. It is a smart audio player, plus a timer, plus a programme and podcast browser, plus a smart interface. Radio reloaded. Impressive.


"Tatort+: The Forest Stands Dark and Silent", SWR/ARD
"Tatort" TV whodunnits are being adored by millions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 1970. But one broadcast (aired on May 13, 2012) was different from all the episodes before: It left the audience without unveiling the murderer.

"Tatort+: The Forest Stands Dark and Silent" ("Tatort+: Der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget", SWR/ARD, archived version) extended the story beyond the TV screen and turned the audience into investigators. The extensive (now offline) point-and-click adventure game was massively spread on Facebook and Twitter and proved to be greatly successful. 110.000 users registered, more than 20.000 of them solved the case, in just one week.

(Which by the way was too much. The servers kept going down.)

A kids' world

"Ketnet", VRT
It is a kids' world: "" (VRT) is a TV channel and an online platform aimed at 6 to 12-year olds, the website providing music, videos, games, polls, events - basically anything you might consider attractive for kids. (Including, of course, social network features.)

The main goal of "" is to increase children's media literacy in a safe online surrounding. A full-blown kids' website. Uhm, nice.

After the storm

"Grasp the Disaster",
Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company
Science education matters, but it tends to be boring. So the Swedish educational broadcasters decided to go crossmedia. Instead of providing formula they built a platform dealing with real problem solving. "Grasp the Disaster" (Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company) wants to show what science really is about.

Students are getting involved by game-type missions in which they act as squad leaders in an emergency center after a natural disaster (such as severe water pollution, power supply breakdown, food shortages, or heavy storms) has struck the country. Apart from the game engine, the site provides different TV doc formats and loads of thrill. (And some theoretical backgrounds in physics, chemistry, biology of course.)

The world from above

"The Netherlands From Above"; VPRO
"The Netherlands From Above" (Stamen, San Francisco/VPRO) is a 10-part TV series showing the country from a bird's perspective. The online platform adds sophisticated interactive maps to it, providing spectacular data visualizations. Mobility, trade, housing prices, wild animals, travel times and cell phone activity during daytime, even flooding heights in case of catastrophe - every single map can be controlled by sliders and is displayed in real time.

A huge amount of data had to be processed and designed, and the result is stunning. A new dimension of data journalism.

Everyone is an artist

"DR Art Challenge", DR
"Everyone is an artist", Joseph Beuys used to say in the 1960s. For a full year, starting from Januar 1st 2012, every week "DR Art Club Challenge" (DR) invites amateur artists to meet specific challenges by painting, by writing texts, shooting photos and submitting their work to the DR platform. The website itself is meant to be a collective work of art, and the results are being presented in various DR radio and TV programmes. By the end of the year the best productions ("DR Art Club Challenger") will be selected.

For quite some time the DR has been successful in involving the audience in creating art. The "DR Art Challenge" is another fresh attempt of giving yet undiscovered artists the museum Joseph Beuys wanted them to have.

School TV reloaded

"NRK School", NRK
Every broadcaster has a strongroom called archive. For decades programmes, many of which broadcast a single time in history, have been archived and locked away from the public who actually owns them.

Out of the basement and right into the classroom: The Norvegian broadcasting company decided not just to open its archives, but to launch a new educational platform where archive content is properly categorized, tagged and linked to learning targets. "NRK School" (NRK) features about 5000 clips of free radio and TV content, adapted for teachers and students in primary, secondary and upper secondary school. Of course students can create and submit their own content as well.

Public broadcasting reloaded: "NRK School" is an interesting mix of online archive and blended learning.

Cut in two

"Portraits de frontières", Idfabrik, TV 5 monde
Kapikule (between Turkey and Bulgaria), Terespol (between Poland and Belarus), Vaalimaa (between Finland and Russia): These regions have one thing in common: their proximity to the EU border.

"Frontier portraits" ("Portraits de frontières", Idfabrik, TV 5 monde) is an interactive, multi-language documentary offering video portraits of people living near the border. "Normal people have a horizon of 360 degrees", one of the protagonists says. "Here at the border mine is limited to 180 degrees". The portraits are nicely embedded into panoramic photos and interactive maps, but the impressive part is the touching videos of people telling stories of a tough life cut in two by borders of many kinds.

Day four: Multimedia

Today the multimedia jury meets for the first time, and till Friday evening Europe's best online production will be presented and discussed. So what am I going to do today? Make an intelligent guess.