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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Will the Economy Affect Television?

September 19, 2008 5:50 PM

The news has been reporting a very shaky world lately. Business drama, hurricanes, economic woes. Gas is expensive, unemployment is said to be at 6.6%. People are in fear of losing their homes, there have been layoffs.

Most people reading today’s Digital Dish post will recall the last time the economy situation happened, in early 2000 following the dot-com bust. I was just a greenhorn tech executive at the time, just a few short years in my formal, higher level career. I didn’t really think I’d see economic madness and disruption twice in my lifetime but here we are.

What is always very curious to me is the reflection of the times in our world.

I don’t just mean companies losing money or all the bad news, but also in the changing look, feel and shape of what consumers need and want. Ups and downs have been reflected in products, concepts, businesses, media—nearly every element of life.

The “Atomic Fireball” candy was first born during the atomic age decades ago. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are a snapshot of modern life and times.

There have been endless examples since nearly the dawn of human existence. I’ve always found this to be very interesting, both as a creator and a consumer. Art truly does imitate life.
Lately, I’ve wondered what the shift might be resulting from the current world and climate. I believe there’s a chance of giant change in what audiences find palatable.

I also wonder if there will be an increase in television viewership as a result of Americans tightening their belts. Will low cost entertainment become a replacement for nights out on the town again? There was an article in the Sept. 6 edition of The Economist that talked about an increase in television during Ramadan, as few people go out during the month-long fast.

Could a perfect storm be brewing in a sense, one that could bring audiences back to the small screen in their homes?

I’d love to hear entertainment and TV veterans’ thoughts on this.

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Comments (1)

In times of economic downturn, people will look to television for two reasons. The first one you mentioned, which is staying home to save money. Television is an economic friendly form of entertainment.

The second reason is people need to get out of their own heads for a few hours. Movie ticket sales soured in war times for this reason. With so many Americans losing their jobs and homes, stepping into another reality is a great way to focus on the positive.

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