CBS correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports from the Webbys — but for online and using a cell-phone camera. It doesn’t look like TV news (he cuts off his own chin, the lighting’s iffy, the camera unsteady) and it’s longer than this story would ever get on the air and that’s what good about it. Wish I could embed it, but that’s not possible (yet). Note also the irony that at the Webbys — the Webbys, damnit — his camera wasn’t allowed inside. Everybody in the group formerly known as the audience should be videoing and vlogging, ferchrissake.
Speaking of CBS, they’re serious about their audience-as-the-network distribution strategy, having just appointed two execs to the effort, PaidContent reports.
And speaking of embedding and distributing video, note that NBC is following suit, allowing snippets to be embedded in blogs (the Reuters report is rather comically clueless about these new fangled widget thangs).
(Not-yet-full disclosure: Since I’m praising CBS, I should say that I’ve done a tiny bit of business with them, which I’ll tell you about next week. Just mentioning it now so you won’t come back then and say, aha! then.)
CBS continues to extend its notion of the audience as the network, today announcing a bunch of deals with social services to enable and encourage embedding of their clips — among them WordPress, Ning, and Voxant. I’m not sure, for example, what a deal with WordPress means; I can already embed clips from a number of CBS’ distributors. But it’s the thought that counts. And that thought, to repeat the words of Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive: “We can’t expect consumers to come to us. It’s arrogant for any media company to assume that.”
The head of one of these distributors, Voxant, just emailed me with his success stories. Voxant enables embedding and pays the embedders. Jeff Crigler emailed (and note that as far as I’m concerned, he misuses the term ‘mash’ — which means to remake and manipulate — when he really means ’embed’):
I know you have been following this long-tail syndication stuff. We’ve had an interesting couple of months at voxant. I think its kind of relevant to how ultimately new media gets its legs.
About a month ago we signed the NHL deal and got their hockey videos up in TheNewsRoom.com Three weeks ago we started blogging about it and sending very personalized emails to some of the top hockey blogs and small web sites. Then an amazing thing happened. One of the hockey blogs came to TNR and mashed [that is, embedded -ed] some clips. then a couple of others…. then a swarm of others. All of the sudden we are driving gobs of traffic to hockey sites who have grabbed our game highlights and “hockey fights” videos from the news room. The echo chamber actually started working. Before you turn around a third of our traffic was hockey stuff and we had bloggers and web sites coming back on a daily basis to get the latest game highlights.
So, for demonstration purposes, here’s a CBS clip via Voxant. This is one of those ridiculous you-could-write-them-before-you-see-them stories TV loves to do: Amercians are taking to the road this holiday weekend… gas prices are higher/lower… the triple-A says…. yadayadayada. Note that I just made fun of the segment and got paid for it. But that’s good: you want to be in the midst of the conversation, sometimes starting it.
CBS continues its enlightened relationship with distributed media, putting up a bloggers’ kit with links and embeds for some of their new fall series. Here’s the upfront pitch for the Big Bang Theory, a sitcom about geeks and sex — or geeks who wish they could have sex with their gorgeous neighbor:
Smart. The only thing that would be smarter would be to go ahead and put the preview up on YouTube so it can be discovered there. Two fans already did it — one of them pleading, “no copyright infringement intended” — here and here. This is a show about geeks so you know geeks will promote it with geeky tools.
NBC lets you watch and link to the previews. Embedding would be wiser. Here are ABC previews; each show has a page so it’s linkable but not embeddable. I’d show you Fox’s perviews, but the link off their home page is broken; it goes to Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? Guess not.)
I didn’t attend any of the Streaming Media conference, except the panel I moderated with talented people who are remaking TV online: J. Crowley of Black20 (disclosure: I’m an investor), Mary C. Matthews of IdolCritic (disclosure: she’s making this for my video company) and 39Second Single, Adam Elend of WallStrip, and Robert Scoble of Scoble. I ran into Steve Safran of Lost Remote and asked him how the conference was and he shrugged a bit and then explained that he likes the fact that at this conference — as he later said on his blog:
there is no arguing. There is good debate, to be sure. But there is no “us vs. them,” no “blogs are death,” no “that’s not real media,” no “that’s not our core competency” arguments. The open-mindedness of companies here is terrific. Broadcasters need to learn from the entrepreneurial spirit of these folks. They look at emerging tech and see the possibilities, not the limitations.
That’s what we need at newspaper and TV journalistic conferences: A big banner at the door that says:
NO ARGUING ALLOWED. LEAVE YOUR KVETCHES AT THE DOOR.