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

Conehead Cat Feels Better After Game of Risk

March 10, 2009 10:28 AM

Admit it. When you’re feeling under the weather, the one thing that makes you feel better is a game of Risk. No? Well, maybe you’ve never played with a feline wearing an Elizabethan collar who moves the game pieces with her mouth.

That’s right – it’s time for another fabulous cat video!

‘Two and a Half Watchmen’

March 6, 2009 12:16 PM

What would happen if Dr. Manhattan and company met Charlie and Alan Harper and the rest of the crew? You’d have “Two and a Half Watchmen” then! Here’s your Friday fun video—a movie and TV mashup spoof from Take180.com.

'Epic Fu' Creators 'Hacking' Way Back to Next New

March 5, 2009 7:53 AM

Everything eventually comes full circle, at least in Web video, it seems. The “Epic Fu” team and Next New Networks are back together again.

Here’s how it all played out. Smashface Productions, creator of the Web series “Epic Fu,” started that show in 2006, partnered with online TV studio Next New Networks on it in 2007, then left Next New Networks for Revision3 last summer. Then Revision3 jettisoned “Epic Fu” from its lineup during a round of layoffs and show cancellations last fall. Now Smashface has paired up with Next New Networks again, this time for a new show.

Created by Smashface, “Hacking Hollywood” launched this week on Next New Networks' computer-themed network WePCtv, with sponsors ASUS and Intel on board. The weekly show looks at how the futuristic computer technologies seen on TV and in movies translate to the real world. The series will feature commentary from several popular Web hosts, including those behind shows like “Tiki Bar TV” and “Galacticast.”

Hearst-Argyle Taps KickApps to Localize Web Sites

March 4, 2009 7:00 AM

Local television stations are realizing their greatest success likely will lie in being, well, local. Duh.

But seriously, we have seen local broadcasters retrench and aim to turn their Web sites into more hyper-local beasts.

Along those lines, Hearst-Argyle TV partnered with social media platform provider KickApps to offer citizen journalism and social media tools on the 25 Hearst-Argyle TV owned Web sites, the companies announced today. The goal is to engage viewers more, which is always a good idea.

The new initiative, called “u local,” lets residents participate in discussions about the news topics most important to their community, comment and rate editorial content and upload their own photos.

Take a Look at StudioNow

March 3, 2009 11:56 AM

I’m keeping my eye on online video studio StudioNow, and you should, too, because this platform-creator-producer-distributor-network of videographers (c’mon people, can we come up with ONE word?) has landed some cool deals with brands to produce Web video for them.

StudioNow tells me it has signed deals to create videos for FordModels.tv, Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books and Citysearch.

That follows the news today that StudioNow struck a partnership with The NewsMarket (www.thenewsmarket.com), a site and service that distributes video for corporate marketers. Under that agreement, the two companies will create a customized service to deliver video to the media and consumers.

The slew of deals StudioNow is landing is more evidence that brands are betting big on creating their own online video content this year.

The Next Twitter?

March 2, 2009 10:00 AM

A host of Web-sharing and social networking services are vying to be the next Twitter. That doesn’t mean they’re trying to supplant the online microblogging service; rather, they’re trying to capitalize on the interest Twitter has created in sharing information with others via the Web.

Storyz is the latest entrant. Launched last week, it’s a viral entertainment and marketing service for multimedia storytelling.

What does that mean? That means the service is trying to tap into our universal urge to tell stories and share them with others—sort of a more technological take on the time-honored traditions of the campfire and passing stories along.

The Australian company, which is backed by Motorola, lets users post text, photos and video for stories and then invite their friends to participate and add to the storytelling across the Web, social network or mobile phones. The service integrates with iPhones, mobile Web sites and the Google Android phone as well.

The company is talking to sponsors right now about developing branded entertainment contests to reward so-called “Storyzteller” for creativity and distribution in stories, for instance.

I’m not sure if this company is the one that’s going to take off and capture consumer interest. There are a lot of hurdles for any Web 2.0 company to be heard above the noise in this environment. But the site is worth checking out.

The Onion Helps You Prepare for the Coming Apocalypse

February 27, 2009 7:00 AM

For real news you can use, I like to turn to the Onion. Where else can you learn about how video games can prepare your children for the coming apocalypse with tips such as how to find ammo to barter, build shelters from abandoned cars and survive without sun for 500 years?

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Move Networks Is on the Move

February 26, 2009 7:00 AM

Internet television technology provider Move Networks is picking up steam. It announced this week that it powered seven of the top 10 most-viewed broadcast TV shows online in December.

The company also streamed about 600 live events during that time, including events for ESPN and the National Football League.

Move said the top shows it powered were “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Ugly Betty,” “Samantha Who?,” “Scrubs” and “True Beauty.”

Yahoo's Movie Site Gets Oscar Bump

February 24, 2009 1:08 PM

Like Sunday night's Oscars telecast, Yahoo Movies garnered better ratings this year.

The site, with news, photos and other Oscar content, generated 10.2 million unique visitors yesterday, more than 441 million page views and a traffic increase to the dedicated Oscars site of 242% over last year.

Schools Learning Lesson of Online Video

February 24, 2009 10:37 AM

You want more proof that online video is moving into the mainstream? Teachers are trying to figure out how to use YouTube, MySpace and Google more effectively in the classroom.

The Bay Area Interactive Group, the media agency McCann WorldGroup and the San Francisco Unified School District are partnering on a professional development day today to help teachers learn how to more fully integrate podcasting, Web video and blogging into the classroom.