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Virginia Hefferman, writer of The Medium for the NY Times, wrote an article on television on the web. She ponders on what television will look like on the web and profiles Next New Networks‘ original content. At the end of last semester, one of my students approached me and asked about an interactive game on YouTube. It was a revenge video against Chris Brown where the user can interact with the metadata of the video to move the story (and score) along. It’s made by Barely Digital, a subset of Next New Networks, who pride themselves on “funny tech videos”. This type of production fills a void and completes the thought of how television will co-exist on the web.

Heffermann uses the term “mid-tail” which I had never heard before and I Googled it to find where the term comes from and it seems to be a pretty recent term that Hefferman did not coin, but she uses very well. The blog MDF(smash) [an amazing blog by the way] who is attached to Next New Networks explains that the term is pretty recent and that the new form of television won’t replace television, but gives an idea of what is alternative to re-purposed broadcast television on the web.

AdAge refers to the new term [June 8, 2009] as

” so-called midtail content, which fills a niche somewhere between studio-produced and user-generated fare, that’s exploded.”

Exploded is correct. In order to fill the need of the audience, independent content creators have been creating quality original content that is exclusive to the web. Since I started this research with We Need Girlfriends (a midtail production), thousands of “new media studio” creations have been uploaded.

This is definitely something to keep track of and watch. (Keep an eye on TubeMogul statistics as well.) In the next coming months I will hopefully have my pedagogical theory on web television production that I presented at BEA this year be published and professors across the country can guide their students to make successful New Media Studio productions.


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June 2009
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