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



Meshing TV With Interactive

August 5, 2008 10:35 AM

I haven’t blogged much about my experience in developing a television series since the start of Digital Dish, but my project is still alive and well, and finally in its next stage of the process.

The showrunner, her business partner, the entire cast, our manager and I have all become very close, like family. It’s no wonder such close relationships are developed in entertainment business. You spend an enormous amount and length of time working together.

It’s an unexpected surprise for an Internet exec. In my industry, one person, a little ambition, and a free Tumblr blog can be all it takes to become the next big thing.

More than a year of experimenting with formats, a month of networking in the industry, and two months of work after finally finding the right production partner, and it’s moving. I’ve said more than once that it’s “harder to sell a TV show than an Internet site.” Honestly, it is.

But one of the biggest goals I had as an Internet entrepreneur was to try to find ways to create television concepts with cross-channel capabilities, especially the Web, baked in. I had seen a few years ago that there could be potential for it due to convergence between TV and the Internet.

Finally, here I am.

While I can’t share a lot of details about the project just yet (it’ll be unveiled at the end of the week!), there were a few “rules” I followed as I built its interactive component that may be helpful to others.

First, I kept the focus tightly on meshing the two platforms (TV/Web) so the Web site is designed to be a very direct extension of the show, versus just a landing page with information. I understand that this may need to be folded into a network’s site, but I think it can live there with easy access without disrupting its original design and aesthetic.

It was created entirely with the audience in mind and has tons of ways they can get involved and get value.

Second, I tried to think of every ancillary revenue stream possible. The site has so many different ways for advertisers and sponsors to get involved, plus cool retail, music and other tie-ins. I don’t think networks do this nearly as much as they can online, but I believe audiences could be responsive.

Third, I thought bigger. The treatment has other cross-channel capabilities (and revenue) worked in, and all tie back to the interactive site. Inspired by brands like American Girl, which do this very well, I created a variety of extensions to the show brand. Again, I don’t believe networks do this nearly as much as they can.

Will it work? We’ll see!

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Comments (4)

_AJ_:

Some interesting comments and tips. How much buy in did the television network that you are getting the distribution from support your multi-platform approach? For me, it seems a little foreign to most in the industry. Do you agree?

_AJ_:

What are some of the American Girl examples?

patricia:

@AJ, Yes, I agree. I'm only just starting to pitch these type of ideas. The response I've gotten so far has been good, but we'll see how it goes! :)

If you're in L.A., go to the American Girl store at the Grove if you can. The brand centers around dolls, which tie into books, which have accessories and outfits for both doll and child corresponding with the books, and then movies, which have things that tie into the movies. Aside of this you can get a doll that resembles you, have it's hair done like yours for a fee, dress in matching outfits with it, take it to lunch at the American Doll restaurant, etc. You see more than once little girls go bananas on entering the store. it's great!

_AJ_:

It is great albeit a little scary when you see those girls pushing their American Girl dolls around in prams :)

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