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2006 Video on the Net Conference

• Is There Any Money In Peer-to-Peer?
• VON: Film, TV Incorporate The Net
• VON: Viewing TV From Afar
• VON: Here Comes Internet Television

Visit WebProNews For More VON Coverage


Top News

VON: Venture Capital And Leadership
Money. Startups need it, investors have it, and venture capital firms can bring them together. Though the prospect of composing a business plan and getting it in front of a VC might seem daunting, it could be well worth the effort.

Yahoo To Celebrate Hack Day
Attendees of the first public Hack Day at Yahoo can learn a variety of developer tricks including some on Search.

Google Promotes Banned Books
Despite America's reputation as a free society, the practice of banning books in schools and even some libraries has happened through the years. Google and the American Library Association will celebrate 25 years of Banned Books Week, September 23rd - 30th.

First Made-For-Internet Movie To Premiere
The first made-for-the-Internet, "theatrically budgeted" movie will premiere on AOL this Halloween, AUTOMATIC producer Adam Shapiro told the attendees at this year's VON. Shapiro was part of a roundtable discussion about film and TV on the Web and how we get there.

Apple Launches All But The Queen Mary
New iPods, an updated iTunes 7 complete with Movie Store, and a deal with Disney for full-length movies were all part of Apple's Showtime event.

VON: Here Comes Internet Television
Veoh CEO Dmitry Shapiro seems as philosophical as his title is poetic. Speaking at the Video on the Net Conference in Boston, an extension of VON, Shapiro begins with the printing press and ends with "democratized Internet television." In due course of course, this changes everything.

Taking Control Of Consumer-Generated Media
Consumer-generated media (CGM) is still a relative newborn and is far from its full potential. The success of YouTube has grabbed hold of the marketer's attention, even in its nebulous and unformed state. The future of television is neatly entwined with this sudden phenomenon, as Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire will tell you.

VON: Ted Leonsis Is Really Happy
AOL's vice-chairman spoke at the Fall 2006 VON conference about the Internet and the future of video online. He thinks video is just beginning a strong move into being a prominent feature of online life.

Pulver-izing the Keynote at VON
Jeff Pulver assured the VON crowd during his keynote address that they were witnesses to the next great disruption. Video on the Net will change what we do, how we do it, and the drumbeat of the "digital popcorn," as he called it, will one day attract the tapping foot of the FCC - just like TV.

Facebook To Offer Open Registration
Facebook may have its eyes on the prize - the social networking site, which was at one time open only to college students, intends to open its doors to everyone else, as well. This move could help Facebook reach MySpace-like levels of popularity, but many bloggers think that current users will resent the change.

Microsoft Opens Windows Live Search
The new search platform from Microsoft officially debuted at Live.com and will also deliver the search results on the MSN website.

9/11 Through The Eyes Of Search
Yahoo, Ask, and Google each demonstrated different ways to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

VON And The Tuesday Dress Code
The Fall 2006 VON conference begins this week as VoIP competition heats up and the efforts of small firms and major Internet players gather plenty of interest in the field.

UK On To A User-Generated Future
Participation at user-generated content sites in the United Kingdom has soared hundreds of percentage points over the past year, indicating the pervasive reach Web 2.0 has and may continue to have in the future.

Primetime Goes Online Premiere-turely
As the Net and TV converge, online and offline powerhouses are looking for ways to blend content offerings. To ease that transition, networks are giving viewers a glimpse of upcoming shows before they air on television.

VON Asks Bill Gates What's On His TV
Think you'd like to watch TV at Bill Gates' house? No, you wouldn't, according to Shari Barnett, Director of Media Services, Microsoft TV - unless you consider physics fun. During a morning session at VON, Barnett revealed Gates' TV habits.



David Utter Thursday September 14, 2006

TV's New Formula: Bad Is The New Good

Bad is the new good. That seems to be the consensus of a handful of media executives trying to wrap their minds around this Web video thing. Where's the control? How do we monetize it? When did low quality become high quality? How do you connect cheese to a carburetor?

Editor's Note:  WebProNews publisher Rich Ord attended the "Innovative Video for the Internet" session at VON and sent back his notes. This is what became of them. Share your thoughts and reactions with us at WebProWorld.
Television is based on formulas to reach a broad audience - lowest common denominators serve as the foundation; highest paying sponsors provide the free content to the highest number of viewers possible - simple, brilliant, and it works for TV.

Formulas are why there are 317 CSIs and a new incarnation of the New Kids On The Block every 5 years or so. The TV industry has had 60 years to figure it out and pull it down to a nearly perfect science.

But since October 12, 2005, as Advanced Media Ventures Group's Shelly Palmer pointed out, the video on the Net industry has changed. That's the day video came to the iPod. The year 2005 may also have been the first time you ever heard of YouTube. And with both of them came the death of the old formula, and the TV industry is trying desperately to find a new one.

And they're doing it backwards.

Big media is focusing on how to bring their content online, like a new millennium version of a broadcast. But, television is courting its own replacement.

The replacement is fragmented, distracted, impatient, greedy, distempered, and unlimited. How do you formulize that?

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"Fragmentation has always been the enemy of broadcast. But we have people that want what they want," said Palmer.

"I think it is about using television to push people to the Web," said Michael Hirschorn, Executive VP, Original Programming and Production, VH1.

TV's New Formula: Bad Is The New GoodThat's right for now. But what happens when the Web becomes TV? What will happen then? VH1 has been actively creating podcasts and is quite ahead of the game with their show "Web Junk," where the most popular user-generated videos are reviewed weekly.

"Our sponsors are begging for ideas that are multi-platform," he said.

But he admits they've tried to distance themselves by making fun of user-generated content. The concept of unpolished, amateur raw footage in short doses is as foreign as reality TV was when "The Real World" was such an unexpected hit.

The thinking then was, it takes actors to make good characters. The thinking now is that it takes expensive productions to make good content. But the next generation of couch potatoes is telling them otherwise. Keep it short. Keep it stupid. Entertain me for free without bugging me about who paid for it - just make sure it's still paid for.

"Let's not be politically correct about user generated content. Lets call it useless crap!" complained Palmer.

Useless because it can't be controlled. Useless because if they want bad quality, they can give it to themselves. Useless because advertisers want attention too. But here they are, media sellers, who are telling advertisers that 30 seconds is just too long.

"I think 30's are dead in broadband video," said Sandy Malcolm, executive producer for CNN.com video. "We are telling our advertisers not to shove a 30 second spot on web video viewers."

So now what? Back to subliminals?

"One of the things we've done well with on TV is to celebrate the trashiest and messed up stuff," said Hirschorn. Because it worked for Jerry Springer, too. They're saying bad is the new good, but wasn't good bad all along? Never mind, that's too subjective. They mean poor quality video, poor acting, poor monetizing.

The session at VON devolved into a pile of questions with no clear answers (much like this article).

Wouldn't GM rather have 100,00 leads than 5 million viewers?

Sure…but brand awareness is good too.

Maybe we could build a community and build a brand around it?

Sure, as long as you have good content.

My least favorite overused phrase is 'content is king'. That is only true if you are producing the Super Bowl.

Yeah, but, this isn't broadcasting. This is more flies-to-honey than fishing. Search engine marketers get that.

How did the online video game World Survivor get 7 million subscribers paying $14 per month?

Content.

Maybe brand builds the Internet rather than the Internet builds the brand. Star Trek fan sites are better than the official site.

That's because it focuses on content. It's pure.

People seem to have an appetite for raw footage.

That's because it's real. They're tired of being tricked.

An audience member revisits the 30-second spot question:

Is a 10-second spot too long as well? I don't want to leave here without knowing how long is too long.

"The people who need to tell you that are your Web video viewers. They will tell you what they'll tolerate and won't tolerate. None of us can speculate, and it will be different for different brands."

In other words, we're still figuring out the formula.

About the Author:
Jason is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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So You Think You Want To Be A Vlogger

By Jason Lee Miller

If you're establishing and promoting a video blog (vlog), then there are a few key people to talk to about it. One of those is Rocketboom's Andrew Baron. WebProNews publisher Rich Ord caught up with Baron, and others, at VON 2006 during the "You've Got Video" session to find out how to set up a successful vlog.

"You don't need to go out and get venture capital," said Baron. "It is so cheap to produce. You should really focus on building a big audience. Then, later, you can sell advertising and sponsorships."

Baron does his own ad sales for Rocketboom, which garners up to 350,000 page views per day. A short while ago, the show's host, Amanda Congdon shocked him and everyone else by leaving abruptly - from the anchor chair.

Rocketboom 2.0 came back online with former MTV host Joanne Colan. Baron said page views dropped a bit at first, but have since returned to previous levels.

Baron attributes the success of Rocketboom to a blend of entertainment and information (as the media academics call it, "infotainment"), but also there was a third factor, he says: interactivity.

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About the Author:
Jason is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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Chris Editor's Pic

The Importance of Accessibility

In case you haven't heard, Target.com was sued for their site not being accessible to the blind. The judge ruled the case could go forward by stating retailers are responsible for their site being usable by the blind. How does a ruling like this affect you and your site? Are you going to run to the backend to make sure your site is in compliance or are you going to keep with the business as usual approach and only make changes if called upon? Let us know your reactions while taking a look at WebProWorld poster bj's take on things.

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Target, the ADA, and how it will affect us all

It's official. Target lost its battle against the National Federation of the Blind in a landmark Federal court case. Target needs to make its website accessible to blind people.

What does this mean to you? This means that legal precedent has been set, and if you're on the web and "open to the public" you need to have an accessible website, or face the possibility of being sued.

So all you head in the sand ostriches who have been fighting Web Standards Compliance tooth and nail are going to have to rethink your position if you don't want your fannies hanging out there waiting to be slapped.
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