Way back when Medialoper was just an idea — a half-baked idea at that — I was struck by a comment from a television network executive. I’m sure he’s long gone, but his words, softened and rephrased over time, have stuck with me. He, speaking with the full-on hubris of someone who held the keys to the kingdom, assured a reporter that ordinary people could never create sustained original programming on the Internet.
That, he believed with dangerous smugness, would be the pure province of established motion picture studios and television networks. They had the technology and all that.
I was reminded of Lonelygirl15 recently when the December issue of Wired magazine mysteriously turned up on my coffee table. It was only last September that Lonleygirl’s YouTube videos were revealed to be a hoax, yet somehow it seems like decades. The fact that Jessica Rose finally made the cover of Wired in time for the holiday shopping issue says more about the limiting nature of print publication cycles than it does about Lonelygirl’s staying power. Wired might as well have run a picture of Ellen Feiss on their December cover.
One of our goals when we started Medialoper was to look at independent efforts to create cool content for the new media audience — and Rocketboom was a prime example of how two people with a a camera, a broadband connection, and a good idea can succeed where so many media giants had failed.
The concept was simple: present interesting news in a cool format. It worked. The daily broadcast reached a huge audience. And then…the bottom fell out. Host Amanda Congdon left the program and the back-and-forth “he said, she said” stories flew across the Internet. It doesn’t really matter if Amanda was pushed or she jumped, not in the long run. After she left, the great Rocketboom experiment continued with a new host.
It’s no secret that we get really excited about the little things here at Medialoper, especially the bright and shiny things. So when I caught wind of potential presidential candidate Mark Warner (he’s now running the State of Virginia) appearing in Second Life, my first thought was (and I quote), “Huh?”
It was quickly followed by “Hmm, interesting.” Things moved rapidly to “Cool!” before I had a chance to refill my coffee. That’s the Internet for you, always moving at the speed of the mind.