One of the biggest problems with web television is that no one has yet written the guide to how to make it work. That is what I am trying to do. We are presented with dozens, if not hundreds of different types of web shows and webisodes fictional and non-fiction. Although We Need Girlfriends is a successful model, Quarterlife was highly unsuccessful. So how does one figure it out?

The first thing to think about before even shooting is writing. How can YOU make your content hold up with the audience? For a small example, please read the article on the left called “The Sitcom Digresses” which is about how broadcast shows like 30 Rock and Family Guy have begun to realize the need for quick wit and attention grabbing writing styles. (And so has SNL, but they do have Andy Samberg and he wrote the first rules of web television, so that’s kinda cheating.)

When I pitched RTVF 65i, Television for the Web, I simply said this: “How often are you watching television and you think, ‘Nothing is on’? How often are you on the web and you think that nothing is on?” Think about that for a sec.

Broadcast TV has much more going for its form. You have about 30 secs to a minute to gain and KEEP an audiences attention. On the internet… you have anywhere between 7 and 11 seconds. (!) Why you ask? Well… because of the content creator’s worst enemy of course:

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Also, shows can’t be as long either. Broadcast is used to a 30 minute (22 minutes) or an hour long show (44 minutes), but the web is free game! Though that doesn’t mean make epic 40 minute shows.. focus groups with college age students have shown that episodes ranging from 3 to 11 minutes are the most watchable. (This does not include the ultra successful Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.)

So. These are thoughts that will come out of my head as we move forward with this research. There is a lot of thought going into this and I hope it helps not only the academy of television, the university’s that teach television and the content creators, but I hope it helps everyone looking to have their content seen by the world.

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