TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

December 2007 Archives

You Need to Know This Band

December 28, 2007 9:28 AM

So for your final Friday Fun Video of 2007, I’m going to offer you a little something extra. That’s right – today you’ll get not just video, but music.

(Actually, truth be told, the music is what you really want. The video isn’t that great. But since this is a video-centric blog, I need to drop in a video to justify writing about music).

Here’s the band you need to know. They’re called Black Kids and their four-song EP “Wizard of Ahhhs” is free for downloading at http://blackkidsmusic.com/. They’re totally cool and they’re going to be big.

Oh, and here’s a video for their song “I’ve Underestimated My Charm:”

But go download the EP. Like now. And have a happy new year.

If You Liked Thriller, You’ll Love Radio Gaga

December 27, 2007 9:04 AM

Sure, they can dance to Michael Jackson, but can they groove to Freddie Mercury?

Evidently, yes.

Back by popular demand – drum roll, please – the inmates of CPDRC Philippines shimmying in their orange jumpsuit chorus line style to “Radio Gaga” by Queen.

The Year in Viral Video

December 26, 2007 10:36 AM

I love top 10 lists. I love quantifying and understanding the year that’s almost gone by.

Since most of you folks reading this today probably don’t feel like working either, I’ll make it easy for both of us and just sample Time magazine’s list of top viral videos.

Here’s the list:

1. Leave Britney Alone!
2. The Landlord
3. Miss South Carolina Teen USA
4. Hillary 1984
5. Prison Inmates’ “Thriller” Video
6. I Ran So Far
7. Can’t Tase This
8. Dan Rather Collar Up
9. Clark and Michael
10. Daft Hands

And here’s the magazine’s explanation of why each one ranked where it did.

I still don’t think anything can touch my favorite viral video ever: “Saturday Night Live’s” “Dick in a Box,” from 2006. But if you’re not one of the 9 million-plus YouTubers who have watched the “Thriller” takeoff, starring prison inmates in orange jumpsuits as the zombies, here’s your video for the day:


Get Your Hulu Invites Here!

December 20, 2007 1:15 PM

Don’t say I never did anything for you, OK? Because here are 2,500 Hulu invites. Yep, that’s right. That’s 2,500, my friends. Let’s give Hulu a big round of applause for setting up this beta site for TVWeek readers to be part of the Hulu circle of love: http://www.hulu.com/beta/tvweek.

So you can be part of the Hulu beta family now, too.

'Best' or 'Most Viewed'? You Tell Us

December 20, 2007 8:46 AM

Video-sharing site Metacafe posted its top 10 videos of the year this week. These are videos from the site’s Producers Rewards program, which pays the top-performing producers based on views.

All of the videos on this top 10 list have received more than 1 million views. You can check them out here:

And here is the top video of the year, with more than 5 million views on Metacafe.

Matrix - For Real...Joe Eigo - These bloopers are hilarious

Now, while I am really impressed with the dude’s acrobatics, this is where I admit that I couldn’t get through the whole video. Sure, he’s interesting and talented and all that. I even tried twice to watch it. And look, maybe it’s my ADD acting up. But I didn’t really find the next three videos on the list terribly compelling either.

So you tell me: What do you think of these videos?

Don’t Stop the Elfin Dreams! More, More, More…

December 19, 2007 8:00 AM

So if your friends just can’t stop guffawing at the image of you as an elf, then don’t stop!

Put your face on yet another animated elf over at www.JibJab.com today. Only this time, it’s a whole elfin movie. Yep, you as a young scofflaw elf pelting snowballs at your buddies. You as a happy dancing elf high up in the boughs of a Christmas tree. You doing the can-can with your elfin buddies.

Ah, I am giddy at the prospect.

Imagine Yourself as an Elf

December 18, 2007 8:00 AM

Have you ever wondered what you would look as an elf? You know, late at night, when you can’t sleep? Or even during the day, when your mind wanders away from work?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. I have the same fantasy. Imagine my sheer thrill, then, when I discovered I no longer had to resort to fantasy. I could really see how I would look as an elf, thanks to Office Max.

The office supply retailer launched an Elf holiday greeting card site at www.elfyourself.com in mid-November as part of a new trend toward personalized video greeting cards.

Evidently, I am not the only person with elfin dreams. According to online measurement firm Hitwise, Elfyourself.com was the 36th most popular site on the Internet as of last week. That’s based on market share of U.S. Internet visits and makes the site bigger than Webkinz, bigger than Yahoo! Games, Best Buy, Circuit City, CNN and ESPN, Hitwise said.

It’s also the second biggest driver of online traffic to Office Max. So I guess that would make Elf Yourself a great example of how retailers can build brand identity with interactive games.

So, c’mon. Elf yourself and email me the results.

The Dirt on 'Dexter'

December 17, 2007 10:13 AM

Showtime’s serial killer show finished its second season last night, but if you’re clamoring for more, the network has posted a nice-sized interview with the executive producers and start of the show:

I don’t watch the show since I have a certain aversion to any programming that could remotely be construed as scary, but the behind-the-scenes clip is pretty good. The page is neat and clean and the video is actually—gasp—insightful.

In the video three of the show's executive producers, Clyde Phillips, John Goldwyn and Sara Colleton, plus actors Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Erik King ("Sgt. Doakes") and C.S. Lee ("Vincent Masuka") share their thoughts on the storyline for season two.

On another note, ON Networks is now accepting submissions for Greenlight Awards at www.thegreenlightawards.com that’s designed to recognize the next great digital series.

Act Really Cute and He’ll Give Us Treats: Your Friday Cat Video

December 14, 2007 9:59 AM

One of the best things about viral videos is not the originals themselves, but the reaction clips they spawn. We’ve seen this in the last few months with numerous responses to “2 Girls 1 Cup” and “Leave Britney Alone.”

But have you seen the reaction to “Two Talking Cats,” aka the translation video?

If you haven’t, first check out the one-minute original:

Then find out what the two felines were really saying:

Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together: Peter Bjorn and John and James Blunt

December 13, 2007 10:30 AM

Quick—name the most whistled song of 2007. That’s right—“Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John.

Now, name the most polarizing figure in rock music today. You got it. James Blunt. You either love him or hate him. No one is in between.

Now put them together. What do you get? A very interesting cover tune of an unequivocally awesome song.

So when I heard this morning that James Blunt had covered “Young Folks” for MySpace as part of a new MySpace music project, I had to check out the video. I adore cover tunes, and I am huge James Blunt fan as well. And no, it’s not because of “You’re Beautiful.” Please. Give me credit. I like his other songs better. Like “Wisemen” and “I’ll Take Everything.”

Anyway, I’ll be the first to say it’s near impossible to improve on the Peter Bjorn and John version, but if you like Blunt, it’s hard not to enjoy his take on “Young Folks” because he makes it decidedly his own.

The acoustic studio performance stems from the new music program MySpace launched last week called MySpace Transmissions,with Blunt as the launch artist. The social networking site has been promoting the videos from that session on its home page as well as on the new Transmissions page, where you’ll find half a dozen video clips of short interviews with Blunt. MySpace said the new program is designed to give top artists a new platform to distribute exclusive video and audio content.

Let me just say the concept is great. I love that the Internet is equalizing entertainment in so many ways and creating new connections between fans and artists. Along those lines, earlier this week author Lisa Unger friended me up on Facebook because I had her book “Beautiful Lies” on my to be read list. Few authors make this effort. But more should. You know why? Because instantly, I am more inclined to read her book sooner because she made the effort to reach out to a prospective fan.

The one problem I have with the new MySpace initiative, though, is that some of the videos are hard to find. I wasn’t able to locate the Peter Bjorn and John cover on the Transmissions page or on Blunt’s MySpace page. So what did I do? Googled it.

Here’s the video.

James Blunt - "Young Folks" on MySpace Transmissions

Add to My Profile | More Videos

And here’s the original video from Peter Bjorn and John. Five million views: not too shabby.

Videos on Our Minds in 2007

December 12, 2007 10:57 AM

Want to know the most searched-for videos in 2007?

Video search service Truveo has compiled the data and created a page at www.truveo.com/hot2007 with Top TV Moments, Top Music Videos and Top Viral Videos.

Check it out for the full list, but here’s a preview: “The Sopranos” finale, Britney Spears’ VMA performance and Sanjaya’s Ponyhawk for TV moments; “Crank Dat” by Soulja Boy, “Umbrella” by Rihanna and “The Way I Are” by Timbaland for music videos; and “Miss Teen South Carolina Answers Questions,” “Leave Britney Alone!” and “Prison Inmates Perform ‘Thriller’” for viral videos.

And the Bubble Popped!

December 12, 2007 8:07 AM

I want to know who spoiled the party. Was the takedown notice worth it? Was it Billy Joel? Or some news network featured in the video?

Because we were having nothing but fun humming “Here Comes Another Bubble” set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” But then someone filed a DMCA takedown notice and now the video, created and performed by San Francisco singing group the Richter Scales, is no longer on YouTube. That’s after it rang up more than 600,000 views.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher interviewed Tom Shields of the Richter Scales about the takedown notice Tuesday. Here’s her short interview.

(Hats off to NewTeeVee.com for picking up Kara’s video yesterday.)

The singer said he believes the use of the clips in the video falls under fair use, especially because the video was a parody.

I wouldn’t mind watching the Richter Scales video again. I’m sure others feel the same way.

Whoever issued the takedown notice evidently has too much time on his or her hands.

Ads Draw Attention at ‘Abigail’s X Rated Teen Diary’

December 11, 2007 11:49 AM

So I’m checking out new Web show “Abigail’s X Rated Teen Diary” today and I actually thought, it actually occurred to me, “Hey, these ads are really cool.”

I know. That’s kind of a geeky response. But hey, we’re all trying to make a buck on online video, so maybe it’s the ideal response.

In case you don’t know, “Abigail’s X-Rated Teen Diary” is a regular online show that’s generating some buzz these days. It starts Hayden Black, of “Goodnight Burbank”, as eighth-grader Abigail. (Just go with it, people—it’s the Web).

Anyway, so the videos at www.abigailsxratedteendiary.com are hosted by Revver. And a series of small, completely unobtrusive, overlay text ads for Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, Trinity Teen Solutions, New York Film Academy and others run in the lower portion of the video during the show. I clicked through to most of them and here’s what I like: The second you click, the show instantly pauses, the new URL opens in a separate window and you can go back to the video at any time and resume watching.

Oh, yeah, the show’s pretty funny, too. So check it out. Especially the Dec. 2 reaction to “2 Girls 1 Cup.”

The Bubble Video

December 10, 2007 9:29 AM

The viral video making the rounds these days—and by these days I mean in the last 96 hours or so—is “Here Comes Another Bubble.”

It’s a music video by San Francisco a cappella group The Richter Scales and is set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

The lyrics are insanely clever, so don’t just listen, watch it. Because the lyrics are typed up on screen as the group sings. My favorite part? The riff on blogging.

But then again, there are so many good parts. Maybe that’s why the video has logged more than 600,000 views on YouTube so far.

This Video Will Make You Happy

December 7, 2007 9:32 AM

You know how Natalie Portman says in Garden State: “You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life, I swear?”

Well, this video might not change your life, BUT, you gotta watch it. Because it’ll change your Friday.

So I’m just going to put this on the table right now—it’s a cat video. Yes, I know. A cat video. As if there haven’t been a million and two cute kitty cat videos on the Internet. But this will make you happy, this will make you smile, because this cat is just like a little cute doll you want to put in your pocket and take home with you.

So watch it, OK?

All right, I need to go play with my dog now or something.

Super Sexy…

December 6, 2007 10:37 AM

If you like watching super sexy models wearing barely anything, then be sure to check out the highlights from CBS’ Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Veoh’s got loads of clips including behind-the-scenes videos, musical performances by will.i.am, Spice Girls and Seal, as well as the best stuff – the leggy ladies wearing very little.

Here’s a teaser clip.

Online Videos by Veoh.com

You can find the rest of the clips here.

The fashion show aired on CBS on Dec. 4. Word is that Veoh will be carrying the full-length version too sometime next week.

Who Will Cave First in the Strike?

December 5, 2007 10:03 AM

Just a quickie today folks, as I have phone calls to be on all morning. But here’s an interesting post over on Alley Insider ranking which networks are likely to cave first in strike talks. Here’s the rundown in order of cave-ability. CBS is first because it’s tops in ratings, ABC is second because its big hits are scripted, NBC comes next also because it’s heavy on scripted show and Fox is fourth because it’s got a nice stable of reality shows to lean on, the blog says.

And here’s your strike video of the day, a cute take on why writers do better inside than outside.

Are You Smarter Than An American Idol Alum?

December 4, 2007 9:43 AM

Maybe we don’t need writers after all.

Because, really, can you script it any better than this?

Former “American Idol” contestant Kellie Pickler appeared on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” and was just a tad stumped when asked to identify which country Budapest is the capital of.

First, she said she thought Europe was a country. Then she wondered if they spoke French in Budapest. And then she asked host Jeff Foxworthy if France was a country.

When the answer was finally revealed to be—you guessed it—Hungary, she was shocked.

She said: “Hungary? That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. Hungary. never heard of it.”

Should VCs Fund Content?

December 4, 2007 9:40 AM

NewTeeVee raises an interesting question on its post today about Creative Artists Agency partnering with VCs to invest in digital entertainment: should VCs fund content?

NewTeeVee writes: “Southern California and Northern California have two different assets — talent and innovation. They also have two different business models — the spend-money-to-make-money school versus the metrics-are-everything school. Is there such thing as a happy medium?”

You can read the story here.

Recycled Diapers? Mommy Warriors Think Not

December 3, 2007 9:46 AM

Former talent agent Nicole Perry has set up online video shop, wrapped in a cool pink camouflage look. She and her business partner Alyssa Banko recently launched a new mom-centric video blog, www.mommywarriors.com, which not only has an ultra-cool name, but also doesn’t sugarcoat motherhood.

The site is stuffed with information, articles, mom confessions, forums, blogs and videos, including this tongue-in-cheek one making fun of a company that recycles diapers. (Yes, recycles diapers. Some things do go too far). The video is cute and features a great bit with one of the moms stuffing her bra with unused diapers. You can check it out here: http://www.mommywarriors.com/blogs/?p=1279

Other videos include Tantrum Files and

The videos are cute, but most go on a bit too long. They would be better for haggard and ADD-afflicted Web moms with 30 or 60 seconds shaved off. Still, the videos have potential and some funny moments in each.

Users can also submit their own content, including videos, photos, stories, comments and tips. The site is ad-free for now. Ms. Perry said they plan to reach out to sponsors as the audience grows. Ms. Perry previously worked as a talent agent in news and reality programming with stints at Ken Lindner and Associates and Abrams, Rubaloff & Lawrence.