About

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).

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Digital Dish



Getting Users Excited About Web TV

August 20, 2008 10:00 AM

I’m writing today’s post from Nassau, Bahamas, where I’ve been grounded due to Tropical Storm Fay hitting Florida. I’m confused about what to expect. Is the airport going to close in Miami? Where is the storm going? And more importantly, should I expect to be able to get home? I’ve been tapping televised and Internet media to try to figure things out.

Tropical Storm Fay

Nearly every Web page I hit in my efforts offered a video clip in addition to an article. Every time, I skipped the video and went straight to the text.

It got me thinking: I almost never watch video online. I’m the right demographic, Internet-savvy, etc. I tend to be an early adopter—I ditched MySpace for Facebook long ago, and have since left both for Twitter. As a digital consultant and blogger/journalist, I spend nearly half my working hours online.

So why is it, then, that I ignore most Internet video?

There’s nothing interesting on. I don’t care for current webisodes. Truthfully, no series has really piqued my interest. The short news clips on CNN.com catch my attention, but somehow they never seem to load. After an attempt or two, I move on.

The idea of sitting in front of my laptop, let alone my handheld, watching “television” doesn’t appeal to me at all. I know that in the future, traditional televisions will pipe in Web TV shows, but that’s far off at the moment. Unlike the iPhone, my BlackBerry isn’t ideal for watching shows. Also, content is hard to find. The Web is very fragmented and disorganized at the moment.

So how could a network or producer sway me to watch their online stuff?

Create what appeals: Nothing in traditional television gets a green light if it doesn’t fit what development executives believe the audience wants. The same should go for Internet TV content.

Expand the viewpoint: Why is most online content webisodic? Why so much comedy? Most importantly, why isn’t anybody trying anything else? If I were creating shows, it’d be much different than what’s seen now.

Stop “freeing” it: The Internet is vast enough without users having to figure out who is hosting your content. Rather than giving us video “where we want it,” focus on how to drive us to you. It’ll make things so much easier for all.

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Comments (5)

_AJ_:

Apart from the latency on delivery, I think the biggest turnoffs are: 1) the 15 second ads before the video even starts; 2) the repurposed video content which works great on a television but not necessarily on a computer screen, blackberry screen, etc. and 3)the lack of timeliness of the video.

I understand advertising is essential to pay for the video but there has to be a better experience for customers than pre-roll. Pre-roll is lazy and a turn-off for customers. Repurposing the video is fine as long as what's used is video that actually works in an online or mobile environment. In terms of timeliness, it's about operational capabilities. Broadcast - or journalistic - systems needs to create automated, streamlined solutions that allow them to generate multiple forms of content rapidly at the same time.

Hope you get out of Nassau soon!

BTW, seems from Hulu stats that short form comedy is a big hit.

Andy S.:

I, too, rarely watch on-line video. In thinking about why not, it seems to come down to the reason I'm on the computer in the first place. I'm not looking for the same thing there at all as when I sit down in front of the TV. It's more about getting tasks accomplished and finding information, not about being entertained.

On top of that, there's a basic divergence in the directions video entertainment is going. At home, it's big-screen TVs, hi-def signals and letterboxing; i.e. a more cinematic viewing experience. While in mobile, it's the other way; tiny screens, low-resolution and fast, down-and-dirty stuff. I think it may be misguided to think that those two experiences can converge comfortably, if at all.

SF:

However it depends if what kind of web tv you use. With iSoftwareTV you can get 3000 internet channels with sports games dvd quality movies and alot more. Its great for when i want to watch a movie or tv show on the road. If you are interested just go to www.myinternetcabletv.com and sign up. It brings together the cinematic experience with the mobile experience aswell.

_AJ_:

Three thousand channels of what? Internet channels? What's that? I'm almost sure - without linking to the URL of your website - that it's full of lots of snowboarding, television from Eastern Europe/Russia, and other relatively useless video. Otherwise, you have another Sling like hardware solution or you're breaking the rights rules and will get shut down quickly.

I used to be a WebTV subscriber about six years ago. That's how I got into Internet marketing and eventually I purchased my first PC, learned how to design websites, etc. DISH Network recently came out with a new receiver that allows subscribers to watch all DISH programming on any device or pc that is connected to the Internet, that is pretty cool.

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