Friday, 3 October 2014

The British Craft Network

The British Craft Network

Well after a few weeks of promotion "The British Craft Network" was launched at the beginning of October. The network already has a wide range of participants, many of whom will be familiar names at least to British Crafters. Robert Adams, Ribbon Box, The Stamp Hut, Bee Crafty and Scrap Yard are just a few of the companies involved.

Now let me say right up front I am really glad the "normal"craft shopping outlets have a bit of competition and it's really nice to see that they are doing it in a different way, I do however think they have a few issues. This is early days so they may still be "finding their way" so I shall continue to watch and see if things develop in a positive way, I do hope so.

A Presenter

The programs I've watch so far have mostly been "presenter-less". Now this may be a concious decision by the British Craft Network to avoid presenters given their poor reputation on shopping telly. We are used to presenters interpreting the demonstrations with their sales pitches and cutting demos off short as time runs out.  Due to this I think many of us have taken against presenters. Having said that the presenter, when working properly, can play a very important role.

  1. They can be the "learner". Asking those questions which we might ask if we were there and asking for clarification for the difficult parts.
  2. Move the demo forward when it seems to be getting stuck.
  3. Adding a little banter. This can annoy when done badly but it really can "add" something when done well. You will notice radio programs, even when meant to be a single person, now often contain banter between the main person and another, I'm not suggesting they go to the level of "Alan and Barry" but I do think some chat would help.
Having said that I'd rather no presenter than a bad one! Whilst many people think they can present it is actually a remarkably difficult role which, when dome badly, can destroy a program.

Robert Adams: British Craft Network

The Demos

Whilst it's really nice to see fuller demonstrations I did find some of them moved a little "slowly". I prefer the "Blue Peter" type of approach with the occasional "here's one I made earlier" so we don't have to see every single part of every step, especially when an action is repeated several times. I'd much rather see more demos than what at times border on Instructional Videos. Again I assume this was a effort to get away from the speed demos on normal shopping TV but, for me, it goes a little too far and I found my interest waning at times.

Ribbon Box: British Craft Network

Technical Details.

There are some lovely little intro bits and "Adverts" which someone has obviously spent a lot of time on. Someone involved here has a good level of technical expertise when it comes to video. Unfortunately that wasn't matched by the technical details in the demonstrations themselves. I found the single camera view soon got a bit boring. It would be nice to see a couple of different camera angles which isn't that difficult to achieve

On the whole this is a great idea and I wish them every success. I know the above may seem a little critical but with the level of competition around I do think they are going to have to "up the game" a little if they are going to build on the launch.

If you would like to watch The Bristish Craft Network (and I would urge you to do so and give them a bit of suport if you haven't already done so) you can find them here:

The British Craft Network