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Zadi in vlog memory lane


I don't know what kinds of business/tech/production/growing pressures JetSet is under, but I'm sure their world is moving even faster and blurrier than mine. Especially since they joined NextNewNetworks. When do we take time to look back, or think about the connections we've made, or what the hell we're doing?

Zadi has made a lovely video doing just that - in the car. Strangely enough, I almost always call my mom in the car (usually not driving). Funny what happens when we pull away from an internet connection.

Jay Dedman recently asked what I thought of the state of videoblogging. Am I happy with where it's gone? It's a show show show world!

Yes, I think I'm very happy about what people are doing with online video. I'm not thrilled that the TV mode of thinking is so prevalent. "Internet TV", shows on a schedule, ad models - it's all very TV. But those models, specifically the show model, work. People understand that format, and the content can still be anything people want it to be. That's a good thing. Jetset, Ze Frank, Galacticast, Steve & Carol - they're all so refreshing aren't they? Alive in Baghdad. Nata Village. Ryan in Hungry.

I don't think of Minnesota Stories as a show at all. It's a slightly curated citizen media channel. We're a long, far cry from the Hollywood vlogosphere, full of agents and studios and money (and opportunity). The first video, posted July 6 2005, featured Lori and I trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Today's video is a random guy dancing at a bus stop taken from YouTube. These are tiny and hopefully-entertaining slices of reality. Unexpected slices of Minnesota life. A good starting point for something more evolved - something that simply can't be contained by the word "show."

April 18, 2007 at 05:37 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink


Capturing and sharing fleeting moments.

Carol & Steve

Ryan is Hungry

Posted by: steve garfield at Apr 18, 2007 7:58:05 PM

i think the whole tv thinking thing is just because its human nature to tie one concept, especially one as basic and well known as tv, to a newer one to make your point felt. kind of like twitter. when people ask me what it is, i tend to say it's like "mini blogging". i want people to watch scriggity, i also want to inspire EVERYONE to create as well. i run the risk of losing them when i start speaking in abstract. I call scriggity a "show" because i have nothing else to call it, and the word vlog draws blank stares.

Posted by: drew olanoff at Apr 18, 2007 7:58:46 PM

The "show" thing is a proven model. It's a very old form of story telling that predates TV or radio or any of this shit. It's theater, It's presentation. It's a construct, and a set of limitations devised to make story telling more effective. And come to think of it all story telling is presentation, it's all a show. Video is always a show, even if someone thinks they are disregarding the show format--thats a choice they made to make their presentation, to make their "show." Shows can be horrible and cheap and ugly or they can be simple and brilliant and touching. But it's always a show when we present something. It's how humans communicate. We speak, we move our hands, we make faces, we stand up and sit down, we make pictures, it all means something. It's all part of our presentation, it's a show.

Posted by: Bill Streeter at Apr 18, 2007 8:24:09 PM

Dude. Thanks for posting your thoughts. So much has been going through my/our heads. This video was really cathartic for us. I'm going to have to post more of my thoughts on this...

Good to know there is still love and community here. <3

Posted by: Zadi at Apr 18, 2007 10:06:03 PM

Zadi: I know that "<3" means a heart, but I always think of boobs! Ok, sorry to divert conversation. I just love your video, and it was cathartic to watch. JetSet is great because it feels like you guys love what you're doing. It's entertaining in a really authentic way because of your personalities and you show us what you care about.

That's why I'm pretty happy and excited about the state of videoblogging... Scriggity and LoFiSTL, you guys are doing what you love too and hopefully sustaining it.

Funny how I tried to escape a TV metaphor but I still used the word "channel."

Twitter... that's like ham radio, right?

Posted by: chuck at Apr 19, 2007 12:08:39 AM

A lot of video blogging to me has felt more like literature than what we've come to think of as TV -- which gets to the roots of drama and storytelling and communication. And the good stuff, like literature and theater, works by engaging its audience and eliciting a reaction, a response. I don't want to recreate the passivity of TV, zonking people out over an internet connection, and I've been working for a long time in a lot of different ways to try to beat back that part of TV and get people off the couch.

There's all kinds of amazing creative expression going on now. And a lot of love, I still feel, despite the different aesthetics evolving. It's not like anything I remember, except maybe movements in music or blogging. And I don't think the magic can go away, no matter how many people jump in and try to set up shop -- not as long as there's someone out there who can make something that will change the way we see things.

I don't want to be seen as a spoiler, nor should anyone who's making "shows" now, in trying to find ways to put some things together, build audiences, get sponsors interested. We all know there will be more shows, and more people trying to make a living at it. But I want to see more personal video blogging, too. I miss Karmagrrl, which is how I first got to know and love Zadi and Steve long before I met them. It was beautiful to see a bit of that again. Whatever I can do, and the company I'm at now, to support the idea of people taking up cameras and entertaining and talking to one another, we're going to.

But the great thing is, people can already do that on their own now, whenever they want.

Posted by: Tim at Apr 19, 2007 12:54:25 AM

I'm sure glad you're doing what you're doing, Tim.
E.g., a comic book video network - how freaking cool is that?!

Good content is good content. A story can be told on any size screen or any medium. A lot of stories don't particularly demand any interaction or even reaction - though it's nice! (Thus my common frustration with crafting a video and getting few comments.)

I probably just need to get comfortable with that word "show." Heck, radio call-in shows are interactive.

With all this live stuff going on, maybe we'll participate in a happening or more directly connect the online and offline worlds.

Posted by: chuck at Apr 19, 2007 1:26:17 AM

Well shit, I've been all over the map as far as all of this goes, from CC Promo month, promoting the anti-show, to the PAN, which found and highlighted work that was for the most part unfound and unseen, a channel format similar to MS, and now to W&S, which has shows, and a programming schedule. What do I have to say about all of this?

I could probably quote the first few lines, but I think the whole passage is relevant.

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

Our lives are a show.

Posted by: Nelson at Apr 19, 2007 3:51:24 AM

It's about time we had some Shakespeare on this here blog.

That passage reminds me of Justin.tv, or as Steve Garfield says, "I subscribe to people." Definitely what I was thinking earlier about the roots of videoblogging, where the person = the show.

If I may quote the great 20th century bard Byrne:
"I am just an advertisement, for a version of myself."

I hope nobody thinks I'm dissing them. I ain't dissing nobody.
Just talking, and questioning.
By the way, Eskimo Witch is sure gonna be a fucking SHOW!

Posted by: whining schoolboy at Apr 19, 2007 4:38:32 AM