I’ve been working through various ways to create compelling internet content, and I’ve explored various options including scripted material and making elements for FInal Cut Pro so I can film, drag and drop. All off this comes from the idea of minimizing the inputs while maximizing outputs…but it would still involve a lot of work. Putting together the two Fruitygamer pilot episodes required about half a day of work for each segment, in addition to being down at E3 in the first place and filming the interviews.
That’s all well and good, and there’s no reason I can’t use that same methodology for special episodes. But if I want to create a lot of content quickly the way to do it is live and streamed. So I looked at BoinxTV as a viable option. I got Boinx when I bought one of the MacHeist offers for $40 a while back, and as the program is normally $299 I got a pretty decent bargain. But since I had no use for it at the time, Boinx sat on my computer unused, until now.
When I started Freyburg Media, I wanted to create videos for clients that brought TV-level quality to web video. I’ve been lucky enough to accomplish that with a couple of different projects including working with The South Granville Business Improvement Association on a number of videos. But while I love doing work for clients, I like creating original programming even more, and I think that’s where the future of online media is headed.
To that end, I spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to create niche websites targeting things I’m interested in and could blog about regularly. But what I found is that while I’m perfectly comfortable zipping around FInal Cut and creating a video, all the attendant WordPress setup, ad network crafting and other bits and pieces of “making money from a website” drives me mental. It also occurred to me that while many people can and have created websites in order to bring in income, significantly less do so with video and audio (Leo Laporte and a few others spring to mind) because of the much higher barrier to entry.
Fruitygamer is my first effort to create a niche program for an online audience. Mac gaming is finally coming into its own, and the iPhone and iPad are becoming portable gaming platforms rivalling Nintendo’s dominant handhelds. It makes sense to target that audience, I think.
In the next few weeks and months I’ll be rolling out more programming, but for now enjoy the two episodes of Fruitygamer from E3. I’m looking forward to putting out more content soon.
TechCrunch is a great resource for tech rumours and breaking news on startups and new tech trends. It’s also a continual soap opera run by Michael Arrington, a mercurial provocateur with an eye for scoops and a skill for controversy.
Now Techcrunch has joined TWIT TV, This Week In and others and is moving to live streaming shows over the net with Techcrunch TV. If you have the resources to create professional looking programs from a studio, livestreaming is a great alternative to post-produced programs, because you can archive shows as you go and quickly build a huge library of content. Of course that sort of approach demands a big crew, multiple hosts and a large wallet to pay the bandwidth bills…none of which is accessible to small producers such as myself.
But in a larger sense it’s a very interesting shift towards niche audiences and away from mainstream, lowest common denominator fare. Tech Crunch is aimed at a very specific and very influential audience, and their move towards what amounts to a cable TV station is indicative of how far the medium has come in not only changing the way people watch video to stay informed, but how easy it is to create what amounts to a television station. The barriers to entry keep falling, and what requires a small business (after all Tech Crunch isn’t NBC) today will be doable on your phone tomorrow.
Here’s a sample of TechCrunch TV for your perusal:
Andrew Warner runs Mixergy, a show consisting of Skype interviews with entrepreneurs building startups that are changing the way people do business. His latest show features Leo Laporte, who worked for Tech TV for years before being laid off. Rather than take that lying down, Leo moved right into podcasting and in a few short years has built up something of a new media empire starting with This Week In Tech, also known as TWIT. In this episode of Mixergy, Leo explains how he delivers well-produced niche content at a lower price than the networks are capable of, and what other new media producers can do to emulate his success.
Full disclosure: I worked with Leo on-air and behind the scenes last year on “The Lab with Leo Laporte,” and still maintain occasional contact with him. I also met and had a great conversation (and a few beers) with Dane Golden, Leo’s right-hand-man at TWIT, at Macworld 2008. But before any of that happened, Leo’s move into podcasting made me think that it was possible for myself and fellow nerd @legopolis (and later, @dubbayoo) to start Radio Free Skaro, my own podcast devoted to all things Doctor Who, as well as concentrate on web video as the dominant growth area for my own company, Freyburg Media.
Here’s the demo reel for my video production company, Freyburg Media. Just a sampler of the stuff I’ve worked on and the skills I can bring to a corporate video, podcast, or broadcast television segment.
I’ve been checking out Seesmic and (to a lesser extent) Disqus, and I have to say I’m not quite getting the appeal of “video conversations.” Partly that’s my own fault, since I’ve worked in broadcasting and print in one form or another for the last decade, and while I’m comfortable with feedback….I don’t really understand what the advantage is to video over regular old text comments, other than avoiding spam and actually getting to put a face to the person who you virulently disagree with. Maybe that’s the advantage…if you can see someone’s reaction, you’ll be less apt to descend into trolldom and fire off angry jeremiads to hapless commenters.
At the same time, the Internet seems to be driving people to a new level of comfort with being “on air.” I’ve never really been in that headspace, though again that could have something to do with my background in broadcasting. I’ve traditionally been a behind-the-scenes guy, whether it’s in TV or from behind a byline in a newspaper, so to put myself forward on camera has always been a difficult proposition (even though I did briefly do so on “The Lab with Leo“). Still, maybe video comments are a way to get more comfortable with the camera in a low-risk environment. It’s also early days…Twitter didn’t really prove its usefulness until a lot of people, and more to the point, a lot of people who have interesting opinions decided to jump on board. Or it could prove to be a fad and wander over into the Web 2.0 deadpile along with a bunch of other half-baked ideas. Here’s someotheropinions on video commenting.
In my brief tenure as a co-host for the (now-ended) Lab with Leo, I was able to pimp my own podcast, Radio Free Skaro, while explaining the dreaded Red Ring of Death on the Xbox 360. Many thanks to the intrepid Third Guy, my RFS co-host, for tracking down this clip.