Semi-Celebrityness & the New Model for Media

MicrophoneI don’t watch TV in the traditional sense anymore. I canceled my cable subscription a few months ago to save money and I watched too much of it. Even if I knew there was not anything on that interested me, I would still sit and just channel surf.

Currently I have rabbit ears on my TV but I don’t watch broadcast TV that much. I think the writer’s strike had a lot to do with that. All the shows I had been following stopped producing new episodes. The strike is over but we are in a lull waiting for new episodes. So in the interim, I have been consuming new video podcasts. Some are produced by media companies and some are produced by a couple guys with a set in their apartment. There are thousands of audio podcasts but the cost for professionally produced video podcasts is more prohibitive. Many of the shows I watch are produced by Revision3. They are a new media company producing content and distributing it over the web. It seems like they are launching a new show every couple of weeks. I download the podcasts to an old computer connected to my TV and then I kick back and watch the shows.

SYSTM - One of my new favorite shows. It’s a DIY show. A few weeks ago they built a battle robot and last week they built a tennis ball gun.

GigaOm - Hosted by Om Malik and Joyce Kim. It’s a tech news show that focuses more on the business side of tech. They discuss everything from venture capital to acquisitions to stock options. Some times the conversation goes over my head but thankfully they put up a lower third on the screen explaining in layman’s terms what is being said.

Totally Rad Show - This is just a couple of guys sitting around talking about movies, TV shows, games and other random things. One thing I really enjoy are their movie scene recreations. One such recreation was the Cantina scene from Star Wars when Obi Wan Kenobi cuts off the arm of an attacker. However, in the recreation a butter knife had to substitute for a light saber. There were sound effects though.

Ask a Ninja - This is short form video usually around 5 minutes in length. People send in questions and the Ninja answers their questions in a round about, random, stream-of-consciousness way.

Hak5 - Another tech show but it leans more toward hacking and understanding how the hardware and software around us works.

One main component of all this “New Media” as the “Old Media” calls it, is the contribution of viewers and listeners to the shows. Hak5 is a prime example. It started off with two guys recording the show in their apartment. As their fan base grew they found people that were very knowledgeable in various sectors of the IT field. So they empowered the users to contribute to the show and several people now have recurring appearances on the show.

Audio podcasts are no different. I rarely listen to the radio anymore. I listen to audio podcasts on my commute to work and when I am out riding. I have listened to Buzz Out Loud for close to a year now. At the end of each show they listen to voice mails and read emails that listeners have submitted. Listeners will send in corrections to stories, interesting anecdotes or rumors. I have sent in emails from time to time but have never made it on the show. Well Thursday afternoon was different. I wrote in on several different topics and they chose to publish my comments about Hulu. If you want to hear my comments and the follow-up comments by the hosts then fast forward to 36:30 of Episode 680.

I was sitting at my desk listening to the episode when Molly mentioned my letter. I jumped out of my chair and tried to plug my Ipod up so that my coworker could hear it as well. It’s funny how I look down on people that fall over themselves in front of some entertainer, yet I became as giddy as a schoolboy at the mention of my letter.