CNN Presents “Black In America: Silicon Valley”

CNN aired “Black In America: Silicon Valley” last night. It was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. I would have done the show differently, but I’m me and CNN’s producers aren’t.

Disclosure: I’ll watch *ANYTHING* with Angela Benton in it! >:P~~~

CNN aired “Black In America: Silicon Valley” last night. It was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. I would have done the show differently, but I’m me and CNN’s producers aren’t.

Disclosure: I’ll watch *ANYTHING* with Angela Benton in it! >:P~~~

Yum, Yum, Yum, and a Liverwurst A La Mode!!! >:D

So I was gonna watch this show regardless of what happened in it.

I had no idea what the NewME Accelerator was before just now. Continue reading “CNN Presents “Black In America: Silicon Valley””

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!!! 😀



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 😀 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!!!!! 😀

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. 🙂

One panelist even said that if they were going to do female-oriented content, they would have to make a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITE! 😀 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 😀 , 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. 😀

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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Leaving… On A Jet Plane!

Just got word from Kenyatta Cheese that Brian Conley & Jeff Rae are on the way home from China:

“We just got word that Brian and friends are on a plane to Los Angeles, arriving Monday morning. He was released with 7 other US citizen detainees: Jeff Goldin, Tom Grant, Mike Liss, James Powderly, Jeff Rae, John Watterberg and Jeremy Wells.”

Read Kenyatta’s entire post in the comments of rocketboom.com/rb_08_aug_21/.

Previous posts on this subject:
Citizen Journalists detained in China
Brian Conley & Jeff Rae updates
Ten Days in a Chinese Jail
Brian & Jeff update

Good.

Please return your seats to the upright position…

We now return you to our regularly scheduled partying! 😀

Brian & Jeff update

Sorry for the delay, to those of you that have asked me if there has been any more news about Brian Conley & Jeff Rae. Kenyatta Cheese posted this yesterday to www.rocketboom.com/rb_08_aug_21/comments:

“Around 5 am US Eastern Standard Time Brian’s family received calls from the US Embassy in Beijing. An Embassy representative had visited Brian and the 5 other detainees, and we were assured that they were doing ok.

Brian had written messages to different family members and he seemed in good spirits. He seems to be coping well with the situation and is finding solace and distraction in speaking Arabic with another detainee!

All 6 men are being held with other international detainees, though not all together. They are in rooms of about 10 people each.

The Embassy expects they will be released and deported without incident at the end of their 10 day sentence, on August 30.”

Here’s a video by Rocketboom about the situation:

Rocketboom link: http://www.rocketboom.com/rb_08_aug_21/
YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cBi6AuBQiw

Previous posts on this subject:
Citizen Journalists detained in China
Brian Conley & Jeff Rae updates
Ten Days in a Chinese Jail

Videoblogger August Meetup



Videoblogger Meetup 03, originally uploaded by Bill Cammack.

Thom Woodley & Kathleen Grace of Dinosaur Diorama Productions speak @ the Videoblogger August Meetup.

Bill & Drew

Bill Cammack & Andrew Baron
Photo Credit: Francisco Daum
_DSC4036.jpg, originally uploaded by cisc1970.

Bill Cammack & Andrew Baron
Videoblogger Meetup
Art Bar, NYC
April 2007

I broke out this old pic to say CONGRATS! to Drew on Rocketboom‘s new distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television! 😀

Drew’s blog post: Dembot.com
Press Release: Sony Pictures Television Acquires Exclusive Worldwide Cross Platform Distribution Rights to Rocketboom.com

Jake & Amir



Jake & Amir, originally uploaded by Bill Cammack.

Jake Hurwitz & Amir Blumenfeld present at the NYC Videoblogger Meetup. Sarah Meyers & Mike Ronen observe.

May 13, 2008 @ Rocketboom Studios.

Will Your Show Scale?

I’ve been planning on doing a few different shows for quite a while now. Just about everything is in perfect position… however, before going forward, there’s an important consideration… scaling.

My friend Tyme White is always yakking about scaling. “How does it SCALE?” “That’s not going to SCALE!” blah blah blah blah blah…… Unfortunately (fortunately?) she’s right IF you’re looking at your show being a success from when you’re still in the early planning stages.

The way I’m going to define scaling for the purpose of this article is the ability to grow your show, social site, whatever. Just GROW it. Increase your membership. Increase your viewership. Improve your google rank. Get more people interested. Receive more UGC (User-Generated Content). Get more page hits…..

The reason scaling is important… Rather, the reason that YOU should consider your project’s ability to scale is that you might be broadcasting to a niche market. Let’s say, for instance, you want to make a show about DiY Clothing (DiY = Do it Yourself). There are only going to be a certain number of people interested in making their own clothing. A segment of that population watches videos on the internet. A segment of that population will be aware of your show. A segment of THAT population will like your show and recommend it to other people and/or come back and watch it again. A segment of THAT population will become ‘passionate’ about your show and become your core fans.


Threadbanger.com => Rob & Corinne, Justin & Marissa
That’s great for a start, but once you have an audience, what do you do next? How do you get MORE audience? Can you get more? ARE THERE any more people that don’t know about your show already that might be interested? How can you find them? How can you get them interested? What can you change about or add to your show that will reel in an entirely new set of passionate, core fans?

I remember when I became aware of / fascinated by the concept of scaling. I was hanging out in Bed, Bath & Beyond…. I know, I know. It wasn’t my fault. Blame it on Dan McVicar. :/

Bill Cammack & Dan McVicar
Bill & Dan

Anyway… I’m hanging out by the checkout line, and there’s this endless stream of people slowly making their way to the register to pay. So I start imagining how many people are passing me, and it occurs to me that it’s A LOT! 😀 Then it occurs to me that more people passed me in the last 5 minutes than the total number that subscribe to my show in iTunes. :/ THEN, it occurs to me that if I stood there all day, the number of people that passed me would be greater than the number of people that subscribe to many popular, established internet shows. What I took away from that contemplation was that even if you’re considered popular within your own space or echo chamber, there are still more people to reach…. A LOT more people.

One of the most successful internet video shows that I’m aware of is Rocketboom. In 2006, each daily episode was being downloaded ~300,000 times. Even with numbers like that, comparisons were being made to cable television shows, not network shows, which count their viewers by millions. Recently, this show called “Quarterlife” got booed off the stage for ‘only’ pulling in 3,860,000 viewers on NBC… Obviously more than ten times the daily Rocketboom viewership.

Of course, none of this means anything to people that are expressing themselves by putting video on the internet and have no interest in numbers, stats, revenue-sharing, sponsorships, etc. For those that do care, and whose show’s future may very well depend on scaling, it’s important to consider the “what if?” of potential success.

Actually, before you figure out whether your show is scalable, you need to figure out if your show is SUSTAINABLE, which is an entirely different issue. For the most part, there are no “seasons” in internet-show-biz. It’s a new week… You need a new show. Period. Whatever your cycle is… daily, weekly, monthly… you need to come up with a concept that you can produce consistently and deliver on a regular basis. If you can’t do that, scaling’s useless because your viewers will drift away due to lack of output on your part.

So, do like Tyme does… “Ask NOT, Will it Blend?… but Will it SCALE?”