Southland Adventuring, Video Projects, New Media Musings & Web Ephemera

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quidditch: Prison Rules



That fist clip is self explanatory, but the second may be a little confusing. For the uninitiated; "Movie of the Geek" was a segment friends and I would do during the Campus television show "Doin' it for Reel". Yep. Anyway, it's worth posting that our poorly constructed parody of nerdy college students playing a game for wizards has come true. Stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DIY Virtual Haunted Mansion

Do you ever feel like the citizens of the internet (netizens, if it's '94) are pandering to you? Like, someone was like, "I know what Matt Enlow would like! He'd like a CS/Haunted Manshion mashup video". Well, you're right benevolent stranger. Thanks for confirming that the world revolves around me.

One complaint: if you're going to make a video of your virtual Haunted Mansion, don't just ride in the doom buggy the whole time! Haven't you ever fantasized about getting out of your car to explore the ride more thoroughly? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE COUNTER STRIKE HACKER AVATAR!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why we Follow Felicia: Analysis of The Guild's Success Story

Today marks the announcement of the sponsorship deal between Microsoft and Felicia Day’s The Guild. Being the smarty pants marketing genius lady she is, this announcement arrives just a day before the launch of season 2. Everyday there are a plenty of great new web shows being released, but time and again I find myself skimming through an RSS feed filled with stories about Felicia. So why, why do we (creators, fans, media) go crazy for all things Felicia and what makes her so gosh darn successful?

  1. We need a Star to follow…

While web video has had seen its share of fairy tale success stories, the “happily ever after” is offline. TV gigs, feature films, that’s what the dream used to look like. It’s the dream we’re familiar with. When Felicia achieved some mainstream success in Dr. Horrible, she still continued to sweat through the little show that made her a web star to begin with. The Web community loves Felicia because she’s web grown and she’s staying here (though not exclusively). She’s the face of the new web celebrity.

  1. We need precedence…

So much about the Guild sets the standard for everyone who follows. While the rest of us have floundered in a rev-share nightmare, Felicia did it right. From building an audience, to winning awards and securing sponsorship, Felicia has taught us what success on the web looks like.

  1. She brought an audience with her…

It doesn’t hurt that Felicia had a multiple episode run on Buffy. Those fans are crazy! And while plenty of Buffy and WoW fans were already online, they weren’t necessarily keyed into the web video thang. With the advent of the Guild, a whole fan base of people from differing interest vectors aligned behind their new favorite show.

Youtube pulls so much traffic, it seems reasonable to concentrate on their user base exclusively. Why not? There are millions of people there already! If Felicia had been happy with the viewers the Guild gained organically through search and discovery on youtube, we wouldn’t be talking about the show today. Reaching out to different niches has been the key to success, and it’s brought a whole batch of new nerds over to the indie web scene. Thanks.

  1. She’s got the right team…

Sandeep Parikh, Kim Evey and George Ruiz are all web personalities in their own right, but they’re also key members in the Guild team. Starring, producing and… agenting respectively, these three have been crucial to the Guild breaking out and becoming a full blown hit. But the help doesn’t stop there. Famously, the last half of Season 1 was financed by rabid Guild fans after initial funds dried up. Felicia may be party leader, but she’s shown us how to mobilize an army… or at least a decent sized raid party.

  1. And she makes it look so easy.

Above all, Felicia brings savvy and grace to web video. She knows her stuff, hell – she helped invent it. She’s notoriously protective of her work, bargaining for the very best deal she could possibly make. It’s inspiring to listen to her tell her story, so of course news outlets love her. Seeing a well spoken, attractive, successful young woman speak on a new media panel sure as hell beats the alternative. That’s what you call star power.

The Guild may get plenty of fan and press attention, but it’s well deserved.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Codex FTW.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Zuckerberg does not compute

Valleywag mentioned recently that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may be a bit... antisocial. Mark certainly seems to fit (and even personify) every silicon valley engineer stereortype I've ever heard. They go on to insinuate that perhaps, Mr. Facebook may actually have a hard time expressing his feelings. They reference a GQ feature:

(12:25 p.m.) Mark: There’s this definite evolution happening. Where the first part of the social web was mapping out the social graph. And the second phase is now mapping out the stream of everything that everyone does. All of human consciousness and communication.
(12:29 p.m.) Alex: Imagine if you could broadcast people’s emotions into a feed?
(12:30 p.m.) Mark: I think we’ll get there.
(12:30 p.m.) Alex: So how are you going to map all of human consciousness and communication?
(12:30 p.m.) Mark: We don’t map it directly. We give people tools so they can share as much as they want, but increasingly people share more and more things, and there’s this trend toward sharing a greater number of smaller things like status updates, wall posts, mobile photos, etc. A status update can approach being a projection of an emotion.

Given the evidence, I think the real issue at hand is obvious; Zuckerberg is an android. Why else would he be so obsessed with "mapping" human emotions - only because his cold android heart cannot fathom them!

Photographic evidence:

"It's Complicated..."
Sorry. I thought this was a good idea this morning.

"I lost 50 dollars on this! I don't even have 50 dollars!"

I keep intending to expand this blog, to make it something worth reading, something with insight. I have countless half written articles about the state of online media, about social networking, viral marketing, all that junk. There's a popular idea among the web scene in LA that viewers crave scripted content, and that we're here to bring it to them. But how, how God, how can I compete with the drama and tension of this:

When ephemeral videos like this continue to surface why would you ever want scripted content? Now if you'll excuse me, I have some brains to blow out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Hear that? It's the sound of something awesome"

as the landscape becomes more and more cluttered, seeing something so effortlessly delightful on the small(est) screen is inspiring. Amy Poheler FTW, FTW indeed.