TV and Me: The Early Days
April 9, 2009 1:35 PM
A few weeks ago, I was laughing about some of my early efforts to create TV and web TV projects, and just the long, crazy course that followed in the few years I explored the business. I thought it’d be kind of cool to look back on it a bit so the next few DD posts will do just that.
I first started wanting to make episodic/professional Web TV content in 2005, right as the MySpace boom was happening and everybody was talking about user-driven content. Having a background in Internet protocol at the engineering level, I knew back then that broadcast and broadband would start to merge together, and that user-driven content would be hard to monetize. Professionally created content would be better.
I wanted to create a docu-reality style weekly Web TV show on my then-site Stylediary.net that went into people’s closets, gushed over their amazing stuff, talked about their look, etc., professional format, editing, etc.
Most of all, I wanted to make an example of how Web TV could be created and distributed. I’m an entrepreneur because I love to try to create ideas and concepts that parlay into theories and trends. The thought was that we’d shoot the series on regular consumer video cameras, have it professionally edited, five minutes in length–just like a regular show, only smaller. Then, put out once a week with marketing.
I wanted it to capture a real, “you are here” moment, and also, try to encourage people to record similar videos of their own closets to engage the audience.
After all, that’s what community is all about, finding ways to tap the interest, creativity and interactivity of members. I know I loved walking into my friends’ closets and going bananas over their shoes!
Our focus had to be on Stylediary’s core business at that time (editorial/content, community), but as I could I experimented and explored the various ways to make Web TV. At the time, it was hard to find producers, etc. on the entertainment side that didn’t push for a full blown production, and I couldn’t find anyone on the Internet side that could scale up to what we wanted to accomplish.
It was as if entertainment business couldn’t shrink to make a simple web show, and Internet business couldn’t expand to make something that looked more like TV.
And trust me, I had no idea of what exactly would work either. But, I didn’t mind. It was early for Web TV and I enjoyed trying to learn the process. Believe me, the lessons I learned back then were priceless! After months of trying unsuccessfully to find someone who’d just edit whatever footage we shot, I finally gave in on taping as a full production. Lights, makeup, everything. In the end, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t what I envisioned, it wasn’t what I thought would work or even what I had described.
Little did I know, this would continue on repeatedly in my creator efforts until just a few months ago, when I finally realized the right answer. In between were a few hard lessons.
By mid-2006, however, I caught sight of another, larger possibility and with that, my efforts toward Web TV shifted. I no longer wanted to produce Web shows. I wanted broadcast.
Next week, I’ll continue the rest of story. Stay tuned for what happened next!