The BBC production team always thought we needed to engage two audiences: first, an online community who we recruited last July during pre-production, who helped us flesh out the themes of the four programmes, helped us to hone the content, and helped us to identify title of the series. We encouraged this audience to download the rushes of all the interviews with the contributors that we uploaded as we recorded them (warts and all – including a few embarrassing ones of myself looking moony in San Francisco), and you duly mashed them up and distributed your vids for your own purposes. They are awesome.
The second audience is the traditional linear audience, the TV viewers. These are the people who we recognise aren’t nearly as engaged in this area as the first audience, who need the messages described in a different way, and who need to discover the key concepts in a fashion that’s closer to more familiar TV storytelling. Clearly there’s a crossover to some extent, but we’ve chosen to think of the two as separate entities.
We hope we managed to get the balance right, although we accept that there will always be people from the first audience who feel that the finished product (for the second audience) under-represented the depth of what was discussed in the development. But if your appetite has been whetted by the themes and topics discussed in the TV version, you can wallow in the rest – including my manifestos that put the stakes in the ground, and responses from luminaries like Jimmy Wales, Feargal Sharkey (digital enfant terrible) Andrew Keene – at the Virtual Revolution blog, lovingly curated by the magnificent Dan Biddle. For the best of the pre-production discussion, go to the July, August and September archives.