Patricia Handshiegel

Digital Dish covers the ins and outs of an Internet executive moving into the television arena. Disher Patricia Handschiegel is the founder of Stylediary.net, which she sold to Stylehive.com in November 2007. She has a background in Internet infrastructure and technology business, was an advisor to Kaboodle.com (sold to Hearst in 2007), and has contributed as an entertainment/media business writer for Venturebeat.com. She’s also been an early visionary of professional Internet TV content since 2005 and is currently an advisor on several entertainment/Internet projects. Always an entrepreneur, she had a highly profitable babysitting monopoly at 11, lent her writing skill to students at 17 and landed her first published national article at 23.

She has also worked as a ghost writer for a national TV correspondent. At 22, she was recognized nationally for promoting the growth of women’s hockey and advised companies on creating hockey products for women. She’s been quoted and profiled in dozens of media outlets since and is currently developing two book concepts. A serial entrepreneur, she plans to continue to build Internet, entertainment and media companies, with the goal of promoting social change and charities. She is currently involved in the use of technology to help find missing and abused children, and has contributed financially to TheJoyfulChild.org and other organizations. She is the founder of Look|Shop|List.com (in development).


Digital Dish

In Search of….the Audience

July 10, 2008 9:46 AM

Lately, I’ve got people on my mind. Millions of them. I’ve been wondering where they are and what they’re doing because it seems they may be the sneaky culprit in the great caper of the missing audience that’s been hoodwinking entertainment.

Viewership is down, the market’s facing looming fragmentation and revenue models are starting to get slippery. I’m not going to lie, to be on the case is a little like being a storm chaser heading at a mighty twister. I saw this monster coming and believe me, I’ve been waiting for the moment to try to outwit it for years. The forecast might be grim for entertainment business, but I believe it’s possible that companies can do things now to better endure a hit.

That points to two big issues: audience/traffic and fragmentation, at least, fragmentation as I understand it. I know there’s a lot of talk about models, but I think that’s somewhat symptomatic. I believe the bigger issue lies in a need to rethink audience development, and then the overall streamlining of the Web experience for users.

Imagine if you turned on your television tonight and suddenly, there was no order to it -- you have to haphazardly hunt down the content without any sort of structure or guide in your search.

That’s the case with content on the Web. It’s no surprise that generating traffic and making money has been so difficult.

Plenty of signs point to users trending towards this anyway, but with a structure in place, the migration could happen quicker. With audience, it’s been more than 40 years since television industry has had to truly marry users to a brand new platform as executives today must with the Web.

I know everybody wants to believe that “choice” for users means the whole shebang, but it really lies in when and how these days. What and where, luckily, can stay in companies’ hands if they let it. The key is to stop focusing on pushing content out and to start pulling people in.

Easier said than done? Maybe not. Facebook and MySpace are two big examples. Hint: it’s not on the Web.


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Comments (1)

People seem to want personalized content, and that is hitting both the web and TV industry hard.

Why wait till 9 o'clock at night for your favorite tech show, when you can just hit up the tech channel and get content right away?

These big media companies need to understand that there are more than 4 big networks out there. People are spread out everywhere. You won't win them by necessarily providing better content IMO (although that doesn't hurt), but you will get their eyes balls if you own all those verticals.

In regards to the web, the reason everything is a mess is because the barrier to entry is next to nothing, anyone can startup a website. This format seems to be hitting TV pretty hard too with the introduction of Video On Demand services.

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