For those of us watching from America, The BBC seems to have done a stellar job of covering the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
However, owing to that old addage that you can't make everyone happy, The Beeb received 2,425 complaints about the quality of their coverage.
As there were an estimted 17 million viewers in the UK, this boils down to one one-hundredth of one percent. This is, by the way, the same amount of arsenic that the EPA allows in your drinking water. If you don't worry about the arsenic levels in your tapwater then The BBC probably shouldn't worry about the .01% who were unhappy with the coverage in their audience. After all, apparently, 99.99% were happy. Even if the results are a bit like elections in Syria, The BBC is still excoriated in papers like The Daily Mail.
Reading the coverage, I was more interested to note The BBC's (totally unnecssary) rationalizions for the 'bad coverage'.
One senior BBC executive was quoted as saying that for the flotilla, they had more than 80 cameras covering the story.
That doesn't strike me as a lot.
Not when you consider that there were an estimated one million people
crowding the banks of the Thames for the celebration.
If there were one million people watching the flotilla, how many of them do you think had cameras and were shooting video or stills?
Can we posit a conservative guess at 500,000?
I think that's reasonable.
So within the ranks of The BBC there were 80 cameras, extra to the BBC were an additional 500,000 cameras.
I don't think there is a camera angle they could have missed with that.
Many years ago, I read In The Blink of an Eye
by Walter Murch. He was the editor on Apocalypse Now
Murch wrote about the famous helicopter scene in the movie. He said that director Francis Ford Coppola used 6 cameras, all shooting simultaneously, to get that scene in one take.
Then, that seemed like an incredible indulgence.
Today, what would it take to put 6 cameras in play? You, your friends and a neighbor. Bring on the napalm!
Likewise with The BBC.
80 cameras in play might seems overwhelming. It isn't. Every day, average people like you and me upload 40 hours of video to YouTube every minute
The potential for an entirely new and different kind of TV and video online is enormous. It is up to someone to figure out how to handle, how to process, how to curate and how publish this vast potential. If they can, they'll revolutionize the industry.
The first step in moving from a very narrow and controlled medium to a more open and dynamic platform is in each of us becoming video literate. That is, learning how to create content as good as The BBC (or perhaps better?) on our own - with our iPhone or simple video gear.
You can do this!
And now, you can learn how to do it at The Guardian.
June 19-22nd we're going to be running an intensive and highly personalized bootcamp where you can learn to create broadcast quality video on your own.
Act now... before the next Diamond Jubille rolls in... or maybe even before the London Olympics.