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More Attention Required

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Warning the below is not true:

“Rocketboom fans may have to pay to see Joanne Colan, now that show co-creator Andrew Baron has told Marketwatch that advertising isn’t working out as he would like. No decision has been made, but Baron said advertisers “are just not happy to do small deals” like Rocketboom has been doing.”

Its not true at all. Rocketboom will remain freely available. The point I was making is that we are not happy with advertising right now. The advertisers are not being very flexible and down-to-earth and we are just not happy with the idea of mass advertising on Rocketboom. Its not ruled out, it just feels wrong so far.

I think pre-roll/mid roll commercials on content like ours is a terrible mistake, product placement will not work for us (LonleyGirl can get away with product placement because the whole show is full of myth and psychological mayhem already), groups like Federated Media while helpful to talk to, haven’t addressed video advertising just right yet, and so we have been exploring other ways to do more than just merely sustain, without advertising, or taking hold of people with venerable mental states.

Some kind of sponsorship model, more along the lines of NPR or PBS might be best for content that exists for the sake of content itself.

The real success story lay in obtaining finantial support from the active and participatory audience – I continue to refer back to a build upon/turbo version of Jason Kottke’s mico donation experiement.

I think there is a difference between a reader of a link blog and an audience member/fan of a daily show, and it’s that loyal audience/fan mentality, one which I seem to express myself for others as well, that could inspire progressive support of the show.

A combination of audience support and museum-like sponsorship support could work together to keep centain kinds of content free.

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Wreck and Salvage Ebay Ad

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Today I watched a super creative and interesting video on a new site, Wreck and Salvage, decided to bid on their ebay auction for Rocketboom, and won!

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SXSWi 2007

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It’s getting close to my favorite conference in my favorite place to be during my favorite time of the year, SXSW Interactive. Joanne and I will be in Austin from Friday-Tuesday.

Panel Name: Production Companies 2.0: Taking Online Video to the Next Level
Date: Saturday, March 10
Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Description:
With the advent of videoblogging, independent producers are exploring boundaries and using technology to create professional content in their living rooms. In this panel we’ll explore the ins and outs of forming a new media production company, the technology/content marriage, building online communities, the aesthetics of video on the web, the trials and tribulations of working with a limited staff and budget, and the challenge of ultimately becoming profitable.

Moderated by Zadi Diaz: Smashface

Doug Sarine: Ask A Ninja/ BeatBox Giant Productions
David Prager: Revision3
Ryanne Hodson: Ryanne Is Hungry/Podtech
Andrew Baron: Rocketboom/Abbey Corps.

This year Rocketboom is teaming up with 30boxes (which our company uses daily) and Satisfaction to host an official SXSW party on Saturday night, just post the Frog Design party. The theme is 8 Bit!

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New Base Station

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Ins and Outs

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There is a new article in the LA-Times this weekend on the tired issue of Amanda leaving Rocketboom. The article was scheduled to run in 2006 and I appreciate Rushfield’s attempt to assess the situation. It’s still not quite what I was hoping for but . . . I left all of this behind. I said it was over then and the commitment stands. By now, I wish Amanda well and hope she is happy.

In other news of my past, I sat down with my accountant last week (I’m trying to get used to the fact that I actually have an accountant!), and for the entire period of 2006, I managed to bring in $247,412 via Rocketboom. $210k of that was in advertising and licensing and the rest was mostly from consulting and merchandising. I realize its unusual to report this kind of information and I may not have the luxury of doing so in the future (and may not even want to myself) but I’m hoping to emphasize the point while I can – a point that I have often tried to make – which is that you can do this. Considering that I had almost no business experience when I started (yet just enough to know I would need to bring on a business partner), most of the incoming potential was never even realized and fell into the pending issue folders due to the lack of having the resources or know-how to accommodate all of it, the production became unstable half way through the year and then went into the dreaded mode of “sustaining” for many months (where over 6 months elapsed just keeping afloat with no innovation which is where I am today – Joanne and I are only now about to roll out what is essentially an RB 3.0) and then finishing off the year with the absolute best possible scenario with regards to Abbey, all-in-all, its carpe diem folks.

The ballpark is still wide open. If you have tasteful content that people respond to and half a business mind, you should be fairing at least this well.

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Delivering News

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Joe Lewis at WebProNews picks Joanne as a top Web 2.0 personality.

“When it comes to researching topics and reporting breaking news in the Web 2.0 world, one has to be careful to avoid falling into the trap of monotony. Sometimes, the news isn’t all that exciting, but it’s often the people associated with the story that makes all the difference.”

“[Joanne] is sharp as a tack, charming, and has a delivery style that you simply can’t teach; it’s just a gift. ” – More.

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Freedom Ensues

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No need to get into the details, but worth mentioning that today I am the 100{303de987cc6916da36e13969c33ddde86941a7a7dd0e4e1455e523d98097d3da} owner of Rocketboom.

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The Audience that Builds Bridges

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Yesterday we mentioned Dotsub for the first time on Rocketboom and the audience took it upon themselves (like they do with wikis) to translate Rocketboom into 7 languages. A closed caption version for the hearing impaired, French, German, Slovak, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Croatian. I’m in heaven, this is one of the most exciting features I have ever implemented on Rocketboom.

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For the Record

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Some of the legal documents between me and Amanda Congdon are circulating and I have received several calls from the press on the “Amanda story” or “Amanda Gate” as I have heard it said in one email.

A writer from the LA Times, Richard Rushfield, who was referred by Gina Piccalo, is currently investigating the information and mentioned I could say as much here so let’s just wait and see his take instead of hearing it from me.

I will say this: yes, it is in fact my position that the Amanda Across America, ABC News and HBO projects are all Rocketboom projects that were usurped out of Rocketboom by Amanda when she quit.

And when I say usurped, I don’t just mean a little bit. I spent months working on these projects and relationships. I spent a great deal of legal fees on contracts, etc. – we are talking deep, deep development.

Cory Bergman is asking people what they think of her new project and others will no doubt be pitching in with commentary. Well I have an opinion too and I am going to be candid. This is a subject that is important to me and my field.

After seeing what she has done with Amanda Across America (no spirit or production value) and now ABC News which is a carbon copy of what I hired her to do for Rocketboom, I give her an F for creativity and originality and a D- for effort. Seeing her take a “turn to camera 2”, just as we do in today’s episode of Rocketboom is just embarrassing.

So besides all this, which only just scratches the surface, there is a great deal of news that I will leave up to Richard to report on regarding the progress that Rocketboom has made, some pretty damn big news that no one yet knows!

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