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Daniel Ravner

Head of Digital,

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TV by the people - Can the audience come up with a better show than TV professionals?

Yesterday I've started an experiment from within the TV industry. It's about creating and developing a TV show through crowd wisdom. "Audience Wisdom" if you will, and it's the first time such an idea is actually tested.

I'm relying not only on the collective brain power of hundreds; I'm also assuming crowds are semi-professional TV people, considering the dominance TV has in popular culture.

This project is linked to Ted not only in the spirit of practical innovation but also in the form of Lior Zoref - a crowd wisdom researcher who recently gave a TED talk on the subject.

Would love your thoughts on the subjects, how feasible do you think the concept is, what kind of shows you think is relevant to a collective process or any other insight.

If you have ideas for a TV show or would like to join the group please visit www.tvbythepeople.com

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    Mar 29 2013: Well, it seems like a terrific idea, although I'm rather blanking on what I'd like to see. Do you have any ideas, Daniel?

    I haven't owned a television for thirty years. I do enjoy talk radio here in the states partially because it is participatory, the audience can call in and get on the air and talk to the host/guests, which I have done many times. How this would work for TV I don't know, most people have a phone at home to call in but not as many have a camera to send in a real-time visual image.

    One thing that interests me about myself: here in the States we talk humorously that there was a kid in every neighborhood who would eat anything for 25 cents. At age 53, I'm kind of like that. I walk a great deal, and have little hesitation about eating leaves and bugs I encounter on my walk. I will eat live snails, shell and all, if I encounter. I don't know how this could become a TV show, although I believe in Britain there is a show about foraging, where the host shows you plants you can pick growing wild that will add flavor to your prepared dishes. Well, come to think of it, that might be an excellent show for a place where they don't have it already.

    What actually is TV like in Israel, news, are there lots of religious shows, are there dramas and situation comedies?
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      Mar 30 2013: Hey greg, in order of question marks:

      I’m actually not sure what I would like to see. I guess something that on one hand qualifies as entertainment (reality, game show and the likes) and on the other hand something completely new. The entire point of this project is to see what new end result do you get when you create a new process.

      As for the eating everything for 25 cents. Bring it on…submit the idea in the website. Maybe this is the start of something (creativity like creativity, you never know what will get the process going) There’s no exact show like this but the concept of daring people to do stuff for money is around (fear factor)

      As per Israel. The popular culture and its TV manifestation are very western and more American than European. No religious shows (most of us here aren’t religious) Many comedies, dramas, Game shows and realities. We are actually one of the biggest TV show exporters to the world: Homeland (Showtime) , In treatment (HBO) Still Standing (NBC) The bubble (BBC )the common denominator (Channel 4 UK) just to name a few are Israeli creations that were adapted worldwide….
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        Mar 30 2013: Now let's see, Daniel, is it okay to give you ideas here rather than going to the website?

        Yes, I always thought the eating anything for 25 cents could make a great cartoon, there's a lot of places you could go with it, the other kids could bring the eater bigger and bigger things to eat, until he was eating whole planets. Or he could eat all the weaponry in the world and bring world peace. Or eat his loved ones and be sad.

        The foraging idea is different. There really are people who well know the plants they can pick in the wild or growing by the roadside to add to their "civilized" dishes at home, in fact some of these people make a living teaching this knowledge and practice to individuals and groups. Andy Hamilton is a "master forager" who has, or had, a show on BBC in England where he would show viewers what they could pick. He has a website, selfsufficientish.com.

        When I lived in L.A., I had a friend on the next block who was a pretty nice fellow but a heavy crack cocaine user. Most morning he would get up and go through the alley trashbins looking for empty cans and bottles he could redeem for money. When he had twenty dollars he'd buy his cocaine. I'd often bump into him and walk with him as he gathered containers, and we'd talk. He was actually quite bright and interesting. I often thought that might make an interesting TV show, or at least a few programs, just us walking through the alley and talking about ideas, people, but I couldn't figure out how to do it, since what gave it extra interest was his drug habit and he didn't want that on TV.

        I think possibly a show about the life of alleys, especially in big cities where there is a lot of life in alleys, would be interesting. Any show about walking would interest me.
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          Mar 30 2013: Hey Greg. Im afraid you’ll have to go through the website. Having everything gathered in one place allows me to have a much more orderly back office. Also, there’s the development team (for the idea we will end up going with) and the communication inviting you tp that group is being sent using the site infrastructure. Bring your idea to our alley
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        Apr 1 2013: Well, somehow, Daniel, I tend to only want to spend a certain amount of time on forum-type websites, and TED meets my needs the best. But it's always good to get an invitation.

        Is there some financial issue involved? For example, if you use an idea I give you on TED, perhaps you would have to pay me? Whereas, if you use a "crowd's" idea, you don't have to pay, because it's not clear who came up with the idea? Although technically, you should pay everyone in the crowd a portion, because they all contributed?
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          Apr 2 2013: The cotributer of the idea we end up developing gets ownership in the format, credit and related revenues (as are four members of the tem)
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        Apr 3 2013: Re "the cotributer of the idea": well, if it's developed by a crowd, how do you differentiate the one "contributor"? How is it different from just creating a website that says give us your idea for a TV show, and if we use it, we'll pay you? That website might interest me, somehow I'm not as interested in the crowd idea for myself.

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