Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles

According to klout.com/BillCammack, I’m a “Broadcaster”.. To them, that means “You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.”

I mention that because I’m glad they changed my category from “Pundit”. Pundits get on my last nerve. πŸ˜€

I didn’t have anything against pundits before a few months ago when I started following the Republican debates to see whether they were going to field a viable team to potentially defeat President Obama in 2012.

The problem I have with them now isn’t really their fault, but they have to deal with a new development in television broadcasting which I call “Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles”. Continue reading “Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles”

Social Media Smoke & Mirrors

Bill & PaparazziOne of the things I find laughable about Social Media is that it’s sold to people that don’t know anything about Social Media.

This makes it possible for people who are ABSOLUTE GARBAGE at creating and maintaining their own online presence to make money telling other people how THEY should represent themselves or their companies online.

I’m not the type of person to knock the next man’s hustle, but that’s exactly what it is.. A HUSTLE. Smoke & Mirrors.

There are LOTS of people who are legitimate and present great solutions to their clients, but some people are just embarrassingly horrible at Social Media and still they’re heralded as gurus amongst their fans. Continue reading “Social Media Smoke & Mirrors”

Requests For Action / Fishing For Compliments

Requests For Action

Lux & BillI’m not sure what I think about Requests For Action (RFA)Ò€¦ What I mean by that is that for instance, I’m about to take part for the second year in a row in a videoblogging series that a few of my friends and I do called “New in November” (newinnov.tumblr.com).

Personally, what I would do regarding the site/series is INFORM people that it’s going on or that it’s available. What I would NOT do is request for them to do something about it, such as follow it, reblog it, RT it and DEFINITELY NOT “Please rate my video 5 stars!” :/ Continue reading “Requests For Action / Fishing For Compliments”

Content is King, *NOW* (Eye Candy is Over)

Bill Cammack“Content is King” is a lie that’s been perpetuated in web video circles for a few years now. “Eye Candy” has always been.. Queen.. but I’ve recently noticed that the tables have turned and Content actually *has* overtaken EC..

I wrote about EC in March 2008 and mentioned “the formula”, which was that whatever actual content you had, the way to get views for your show was to have an attractive female as the ‘front’ or the ‘face’ of the show. She didn’t have to know or understand JACK about JACK so long as she could look good and read her lines. I probably noticed this formula in 2007, since I got started in online video in 2006.

Regardless of the content, the most popular shows were headlined by a female that was nice to look at. Period. (with the one obvious exception being Ze Frank’s “The Show”)

It was even worse on YouTube, because everybody knew that YT took the picture that represented your video from exactly 50% into your episode. If your video was 6 minutes long, the still YT would take was @ 3 minutes. So.. Regardless of what the actual content was, people would figure out the final length of their show and insert a few frames of a chick in a bikini exactly in the middle. They’d upload their show, YouTube would pull the image of the bikini chick, all the boys would click on it expecting to see some ass, the video would get popular and then eventually ‘featured’, where it could really take off and get more views. Continue reading “Content is King, *NOW* (Eye Candy is Over)”

T&A For Sale

I’d love to hear from some of the ladies on this topic. What’s the deal with chicks selling T&A in internet videos? I don’t have to point any fingers, because y’all know who y’all are, and you know what you’re doing, but this video I just watched by TokenBlackChic hits the situation right on the head:

Future?

What I’d like to know from the ladies is “What, exactly, is your intended career path after amassing fans by selling T&A?” Continue reading “T&A For Sale”

Living In Public

This is a response to Chrissie Brodigan‘s post, “DonÒ€ℒt Feed the Trolls: Dealing With Social Media Sins”.

Not that I give a damn about disclosure, but I’ll mention that Chrissie is a friend of mine (as is probably everyone else she’s talking about in her post):

Interesting.

I posted about this back in June: [http://billcammack.com/2008/07/12/freedom-of-consequences/].

Basically, in order to “live online” as we do, one needs to remain mindful of the lowest common denominator. Whatever you’re “saying”, make sure that if your employer or your grandmother or your “significant other” or you CHILDREN see it, that it’s an accurate representation of yourself that you’re willing to OWN… because odds are that eventually you WILL have to own it, and probably in a fashion that you didn’t consider at the time.

Even “That was then and this is now” is only a partial defense. Look at the Presidential campaign that just went on. John McCain acted like A JERK for the whole time, and then when it was all over and he lost, he gave, IMO, a heartfelt, genuine, really respectable and admirable speech. Things like that can alter people’s perception about a person, but the facts and memories remain about their prior behavior, even if the ‘pain’ of them is muted by the person’s present actions.

So, ultimately, the WIN is Prevention and not Cure. Does that call for sacrifice of some (or many) things one would want to do or say? Yes. The question, however, is what do you really want in the end? Do you want to have social media friends, who don’t know everything you think and feel?… or would you rather be known for what you think and feel and let the chips fall?…..

Social Media is characterized by asynchronous relationships… basically, stalking, in a one-way fashion or a mutual fashion. I might get two comments on a post I make, and then everyone I run into IRL is like “I read your post, blah blah blah”. You can’t suspect that the people you hear from are the ONLY ONES that dislike what happened. Those are merely the ones who are willing to risk THEIR OWN social media reputations by wearing THEIR hearts on Twitter in the same way you constantly wear yours. It basically branches out and people take sides behind the scenes, which is what causes “floods”, because a lot of people get fed up at the same time… a lot of people that the person in question probably wasn’t even AWARE that they knew of or had any opinions at all about the situation, which they thought, for some odd reason, was contained to a small group.

On top of that, our NYC set is different from other groups, because we’re in so much physical, IRL contact with each other. I’m very used to going to parties where I know 60 people on the Facebook “definite” list. I have over 200 mutual friends with several people on Facebook, and a lot of those people live here in NY or NJ. Obviously, all of these people are not going to get along with each other. The only way to navigate this group is to remain neutral. I can care or not care about the situation, empathize or not, but ultimately, it’s none of my business, and I’m not going to tell or suggest to people what they should do, and I’m not going to choose one side over the other, between people that have historically been decent towards me and have developed some sort of beef between each other.

So, to apply my own theory… When I go to that party that at least 60 people that I know are going to show up to, I have to be mentally prepared to OWN anything I’ve said about them since the last time I saw them. I also have to OWN the videos I make and the blog posts I make and the currently 710 pictures of myself on Facebook, where I can’t turn around and say “no… I don’t know that person” or “no… I wasn’t at that party”. I have to own what I say and do AT the party. I have to own the media I output about that party and the cycle continues. So, basically, every stitch of media that you output, you need to check yourself on whether you’re willing to own it, ad infinitum.

As this pertains to your suggested rules for offenders:

You always “Acknowledge Action”, because it’s in “Black & White”, and YOU put it there yourself. It’s not like paparazzi ran up and quoted you and put it in the tabloids. If you post from a position of ownership, acknowledgement is obvious.

You can’t “Become a Victim”, because you’ve already owned the media. You already know WHY you said what you said or did what you did and you already thought about how you would defend it before you pressed “send”. “Defense” is merely informing people about what you were thinking when you posted it. The only real question is whether you unintentionally slighted someone in a way you didn’t anticipate when you posted, in which case, if you feel like apologizing for it, that’s completely appropriate. If they take offense at something you fully MEANT to say and currently stand behind at the point of the ensuing conversation, the issue becomes whether or not you were out of bounds with what you said and whether “the shoe fits” as far as what you said about them, which THEY would need to recognize, and get out of your face.

The Final Frontier is blocking people. That doesn’t keep them from finding out about YOU, but it keeps YOU from hearing what THEY have to say about you. If people aren’t going to be rational and have intelligent discussions with you (assuming YOU’RE acting rationally, to begin with), then the solution is to agree to disagree and hope to avoid those people as much as possible.

So, Yes… It’s EXTREMELY COMPLICATED to live in public, even the limited “public” of our echo chamber, but that’s exactly what it is… an Echo Chamber, which means that everything you say and everything everyone else says is going to keep coming back to you. Your best bet, as I’ve outlined, is OWNERSHIP from the giddyap, so you’re fully prepared to deal with the ricochets.

~Bill

Are Women Funny?

Are women funny?

My sister Liz is funny, but that’s because she’s my sister and we share superior genes. Kim will catch you out there with a slew of punchlines if you get on her nerves, FRLZ, and I think Mel’s probably pretty mentally dangerous in a snap-fest, but, overall… are women FUNNY?

I know there are female comedians, and I’ve been laughing incessantly over how I can’t tell Tina Fey apart from Sarah Palin,


but… in general… are women funny? And if so… Is there “Male Humor” and “Female Humor”?

I’m thinking about this because I watched / listened to a panel of bigwigs in the internet comedy space yesterday. After they spoke, they had a Q&A session, and my homegirl Kathryn Jones got her hands on the mic…. RUH ROHHHH!!! πŸ˜€



Kathryn Jones & Bill Cammack

So, basically, Kathryn asked “Where is the content BY women and the content FOR women?” and the answer was “um, uh, um, uh, um…” hahahahaha πŸ˜€ Kathryn’s been asking this question ever since I met her, so as soon as I saw her get the mic, I was like AWWWWW HERE WE GO!!!!! πŸ˜€

The answers made sense, business-wise, and the thing to remember is that this internet stuff is business for them, not art or entertainment. If you do “art” and nobody watches it or buys ads on your content, you get fired. If you do business, and it’s the same business over and over, you get advertising dollars and you keep your job.

Basically, they said they have a demographic and they cater to it. Business 101. If the people watching your content is GUYS, then you make more content that GUYS would like so that they tell MORE GUYS to watch your videos and you grow your community and make more money.

Rocketboom had a study done a while back, which IIRC determined that a whopping 8% of their viewership was female. Of course, that has to do with Eye Candy, but that’s a different topic. The point is… well… the point, I guess, is a question… “If 92% of your viewership is male, why cater to females at all?” or, “Why not do things that affect 92% of your viewership instead of 8%?”. That’s how I was feeling during that silent period right after Kathryn asked her question and the panelists were mentally deciding who was going to address it. πŸ™‚

One panelist even said that if they were going to do female-oriented content, they would have to make a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITE! πŸ˜€ This and other comments that escape me right now are what got me thinking about this topic. Is there a difference between “female humor” and “male humor”? Do women (in general) get stuff that’s “funny to women” and men get stuff that’s “funny to men”?

Assuming that’s the case… In this era of niche marketing, there’s no “space” for the combination of “male and female humor”. Doing stuff to attract women will “turn off” male viewers, taking away from “the bottom line”. The question becomes whether attempting to increase the low percentage of female viewers will decrease the number of male viewers to the point that it wasn’t worth it in the first place.

The moderator had the solution… technically… which was to bring in female content creators to make videos specifically geared towards a female audience. However, this fit EXACTLY into the other two theories, which were basically “We’re going to cater to what our demographic is” and “If we’re going to ‘add’ females, we need to make a completely different site”.

On a different topic, yet the same, in a way… I ran into the same issue with my DatingGenius blog. Being a guy, I can blog all day and all night about tricks and tips for “getting girls”. It’s easy to create content for males, because all guys want to know is how to get around the artificial obstacles women throw up which prevent / delay guys from getting laid. It’s not so easy for me to create content for women, because I have to reverse-engineer it. I think to myself “What would *I* do to them?” and then figure out their defense against me and write it. The only other way I get female-oriented material is through actual discussions with my myriad homegirls and selecting common issues that they have, like why guys catcall.

Thinking about this question in terms of my own content, it’s clear to me that if I gave a damn about having female-oriented content and I knew damned well that my mind didn’t generate this stuff on its own, I would need to bring in someone who understands “female comedy” to handle that part of my business for me. This is why it was funny to hear “um, uh, um…” when Kathryn brought up the same topic she always brings up πŸ˜€ , because you would think that if I’VE heard the question a million times, THEY would have heard the question a BILLION times and done something about it by now.

However… Being that internet video is about “the bottom line”, viewership, eyeballs, revenue sharing, CPM, CPC etc etc etc, women may just have to wait until they’re seen as a “market” worth throwing funds at…. haha Wait… I forgot something. πŸ˜€

Assuming that it’s NOT the case that there’s “male humor” and “female humor”, there should be a crossover. You should be able to make comedy shows by females that males flock to (other than because they think she looks good and don’t give a damn what she’s saying anyway) and comedy shows by males that increase the female presence in your demographic surveys.

The whole idea may be self-fulfilling. We can’t get female numbers up higher than blah blah percent, so why bother catering to them? Meanwhile, not catering to them doesn’t increase your female viewership past those traditional percentages.

I have no idea and totally don’t care what my demos are for DatingGenius. I try to mix it up and have something for tha fellaz AND tha ladiez! Then again, DG isn’t a business. It’s something I do for kicks. If I were doing it for money, haha, I might be in the same boat with the panelists, saying essentially “Our statistics haven’t show that the sector you’re asking about is worth us wasting our production money on, due to lack of ROI”.

So maybe it doesn’t matter whether women are funny or not. Even if they WERE, they’re not going to see any light unless businesses can figure out ways to make money off of them. Seems to me like a void waiting to be filled by women that are willing to create their own content, encode, post, distribute and market it THEMSELVES and take advantage while the currently established sites get caught slippin’.

~Bill

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Freedom of Consequences

Boo Hoo Hoo! πŸ˜€

Around February, 2008… approximately five (5) months ago, I decided to ask a member of the video message board, Seesmic if he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to represent himself as he did in a video that he made.

What happened? People started crying. BOO HOO HOO! YOU’RE BEING MEAN! YOU’RE TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO! BOO HOO HOO! πŸ˜€

Fast forward 5 months to this week’s events… where a *different* person got penalized for video that HE posted to the internet. Did he post it ~ a year ago? Yes. Was he penalized for it this week? Yes.

So now, maybe people can stop CRYING and WAKE UP! πŸ˜€ It doesn’t matter if you’re having a so-called private conversation with a so-called friend of yours if it’s AVAILABLE FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW. People are going to look at the one video that you did and make their own decisions about your content and about YOU as a person. They’re going to decide whether they want to socialize with “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to HIRE “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to SPONSOR “a person like this”.

The point I was trying to get across, almost half a year ago, is that all of your content is standalone. You have to treat every video and every text post and every picture as if people are going to look at that ONE item and form judgements about you. You can’t rely on OTHER posts to pull you back into the frying pan out of the fire. You can’t rely on other people vouching for your character, ESPECIALLY when your video is viewed outside the realm in which your friends have juice. If nobody’s ever heard of your friends or they just don’t care what your friends opinions are, you’re short.

The reason people were CRYING is because they want the internet to be about freedom of speech. Unfortunately for them, they’re missing the other side of the coin…

Freedom of Consequences

Yes, you are free and clear to use whatever low-class terms you like when you make video, audio or text posts to the internet. What happens next is… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS LOW-CLASS. Good for you. You’ve achieved your goal. You expressed yourself, and people have a new image of you that you’ve created. Similarly, if you create a video that people see as offensive… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS AN OFFENSIVE PERSON. That’s the way it works. You express yourself, and then, as Otir pointed out, you have ZERO CONTROL over what other people receive and internalize based on what you posted. This is what’s simultaneously fantastic and unfortunate about communication, especially on the internet.

Does it matter that whatever video you’re getting penalized for is a year old? No. People that saw it for the first time TODAY… feel upset about it TODAY…. NOT last year. Unfortunately, the fact that posts, especially video and audio are STANDALONE items means that whatever the focal point is of people being upset can now be embedded ad infinitum all over the web. Guess what? Your context is GONE! The text you wrote on your original page with the video? GONE! The links you had on that page to supporting material? GONE! Your entire library of work up until and surpassing that time? GONE! Comments from posters and/or supporters? GONE! The only thing that’s left is the content that you uploaded and the thoughts of the person who’s newly embedded your video on their page so they can show THEIR FRIENDS that you’re “a person like this”.

I was having a conversation IRL just last night, in which I thought I was anonymous, and then the chick… um… woman says “I’ve read your blog“, hahaha and it was time to change gears. Not because I was being inauthentic beforehand, but because now, I was aware that I wasn’t working with a clean slate. πŸ˜€ We still had a great and interesting convo, but it had already been tinted by her impression of who I am or what I’m about from reading my blog.

That’s the way it works. You express. Other people receive and take away what they want from what you expressed, regardless of your intentions when you posted the text, audio or video. I touched on this in a joking way in “Do NOT Let This Happen To You! :/”. I was saying “some stuff” and then Annie broke out her xacti and it was time for The Kid to say “other stuff”! πŸ˜€


Permalink: http://pixelcurrents.tv/post/33454768
Again… Not because I was being inauthentic when the camera was off, but because what I was saying wasn’t for general consumption. It was a conversation I was having with my friends and totally wouldn’t have made sense outside of the context that they all had from being friends of mine and actually knowing me. I mean… It would have made sense, πŸ™‚ but I can’t express to randoms the same thing I can express to people that have background knowledge of who I am, what I do and why I do it with anywhere near the same effect.
 
Similarly… If you do a video that you put out on public channels that for some odd reason, you consider private… be prepared for people that you didn’t intend to watch that video to view it and make up their minds about “who you are” as a person. If you do a video that you think is funny to your friends and people that know you, and put it on public channels… be prepared for people that you didn’t intend to watch that video to view it and make up their minds about “who you are” as a person. Is there freedom of speech? Of course there is. There’s also OWNERSHIP. OF. CONSEQUENCES.

That was my whole point back on Seesmic.

I couldn’t care ANY LESS how people express themselves on the net.

I wanted people to realize is that they eventually might have to OWN the consequences of their actions/words/videos, and that’s what we all got a front row seat to this very week.

Welcome to the real world, Neo.

Why Are You Doing A Live Show?

Thanks *ENTIRELY* to becoming aware of Jonny Goldstein and his show Reinventing Television in October, 2006, I’ve been doing live shows for almost two years now.


At this point, doing live shows has become a fad. Justin.TV, LiveVideo, Yahoo Live, Mogulus, Operator11, BlogTV, Ustream, Stickam, is YouTube doing live video now? There are tons of people doing live shows now, but to what effect? For what purpose?

I streamed several sessions live from PodCampNYC 2.

I do live shows from my “Live” page:

I still follow and participate in Jonny’s shows on BlogTV:


Rana Part 1

IME, There are only two reasons to do a show live. 1) You’re broadcasting time-sensitive information, or 2) You want your audience to be able to interact live with the hosts & guests.

Time-Sensitive Programming

Time-sensitive information would be the new Apple announcements as they’re occurring or maybe a sporting event like a football game or an MMA event. Basically, it’s a replacement for people not being able to travel to that location and view it themselves, in person. This is why I was streaming sessions from PodCampNYC. There were people in other towns that I was in communication with that were interested in seeing what was going on in NYC *while* it was going on.

In this case, there was communication with me, but not with the people doing the panels. The idea was to give the experience of “being there”. Then again, *I* was the one doing the show, not the panelists, so there actually WAS direct interaction with the host.

Most of the services I mentioned will save your video for you as an archive. This means that if your information isn’t time-sensitive, more people will watch the archive asynchronously than will tune in at that particular day and time to watch your show live. The only incentive they have to tune in live is reason #2.

Audience Participation

The only reason to bother tuning in to an internet show at a particular time instead of watching it whenever you get around to it is that you’re going to have a different experience during the live show than you have watching the archive.

George Kelly did a live show on Yahoo a few months back that I thought was really enjoyable and well-done. George plays guitar, and instead of having people tune in to watch him play whatever he had already decided, he was taking requests from the chat room. Automatically, there was value added, because the show was being created on the fly. Meanwhile, the text-chatters were socializing amongst themselves. George was in and out of attention to the chat room and “a fine time was had by all”. πŸ˜€

Jonny Goldstein‘s shows are fun because he does them consistently and has built up a “studio audience” that’s gotten to know each other via his show and maintained our relationships via other formats of social media. Jonny’s very attentive to the chat room, and he’s more of a facilitator of conversation than someone that just sits there talking to a guest as if there’s no live audience.

The reason I was thinking about this is that as stingy as companies are in trying to leverage pre-recorded video and UGC (User-Generated Content), I can’t see *WHY* they would turn around and waste their money making LIVE shows that are the exact same experience as the saved archive. Where’s the ROI? Are there really so many extra people tuning in to the live show that it justifies the expenditure? Isn’t it just preaching to the choir? For that, assemble the same hosts & guests, turn a video camera on, turn it back off, edit & upload that video and you’ll have just as many people watching it while retaining ducats in your video budget to create some worthwhile programming.

Perhaps ask yourself “What difference does it make if my audience watches my show live versus if they watch it later today?” or “What difference does it make if my audience watches this show next Tuesday, or next month?” If the answer is *NONE*, then save your money and focus on pre-recorded content.

~Bill Cammack

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