Friday, December 22

Amanda Congdon's new "vlog" on ABC is not a vlog

While I could frankly give a crap less about the general Amanda Congdon vs. Andrew Baron scrap, Andrew did have some very astute observations about the new Amanda Congdon "thingy" on ABC's website.

Why did I call it a "thingy"? Because it's absolutely positively NOT a vlog. It isn't even a damn video in a web page. It's a video buried in a pop-out window. Even Amanda herself is a little frustrated with ABC, as well she should be. They are absolutely clueless and her video based thingy is almost guaranteed to be a flop unless ABC does an about face.

1) has no permalinks

2) no archive

3) no display of shows in reverse chronological order

4) no RSS feed

5) no comments

6) no copy and past urls or code to embed or re-blog a show like youtube

7) absolutely obnoxious pre-roll advertising

Much as I may like and even respect Amanda all in all these points add up to a HUGELY damning prospect for her show. It's almost doomed to be a flop.

Amanda's success on rocketboom came from the shows accessibility, conversational and participatory nature. ABC has done a complete 180 on this, a failure.

In essence ABC has replicated what made Rocketboom successful not at all. They have taken the conversation and the accessibility completely 100% out out of the picture. What's left is bupkiss. Nada. If I were Andrew Baron I sure wouldn't be getting into another spat, I'd be feeling sorry for Amanda right about now. She's starting 10 feet in the ruff, nay in the sand bunker, and frankly I don't see how her ABC web based thingy is going to be a success at all.

If there were to be any discussion of the new Amanda Congdon show on ABC around the blogosphere, which there won't be, it would go something like this.

Person A: Heh did you see yesterday's episode of the Amanda Congdon show?

Person B: No, where's it at?

Person A: Hell if I know.

Person B: F*ck it.

Person A: Yeah, never-mind. Sorry for bringing it up.

All this courtesy of ABC, much to Amanda's disgrace.

I've seen a lot of "videoblogs" that aren't really videoblogs at all in the last two years, but this is cut and dry one of the worst cases ever. I really strongly advise anyone in a position to do so to tell ABC to get their head out of their arse before they drag Amanda down with them.

Podcasting News did a great post on the advertising angle.

From: Podcasting News - More Proof That People Hate Intrusive Advertising In Online Video

Remember Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron's recent critique of ABC's new Amanda Congdon video blog? One of his chief complaints was the show's 'irrelevant pre-roll ads that outlast many people?s curiosity.'

While Baron's critique may not be completely impartial, his experience as a video podcasting pioneer gives him insight into what works and doesn't work in video podcasts. And new research suggests that Baron is right about intrusive video advertising.

Burst Media has released a study that found 69.5% of survey respondents actively view video content on the web and 56% recall seeing ads in content they have watched.

The study also found that 52.7 percent say they typically continue watching video content once they encounter an advertising unit. That means video publishers could be losing nearly half their potential audience with the use of intrusive ads.

The study found that (77.5 percent) of respondents say advertisements in online video are intrusive and nearly two-thirds (62.2 percent) say advertisements in video content disrupts their web surfing experience

?We did not explore the quality of video ads and if the creative played a role when the ads are abandoned by users. But I suspect that it is a significant factor, especially since one in four users like video more than inert online ads,? says Chuck Moran, manager of market research for Burst. ?For users who take the time to watch video ads, their recall rate is pleasantly high.?

The survey highlights that video podcasters and mainstream publishers can learn from the experience of pioneers like Baron and other successful video podcasters and vloggers. Baron's Rocketboom has focused on creating engaging sponsor ads that features the show host. Vloggers like Ze Frank have successfully used end-of-roll ads.

Even manufacturers are using video podcasting creatively. A great example is the Will It Blend video podcast - an incredibly entertaining way to promote a product that, otherwise, isn't that exciting.

Here's the message ABC! I can't put it any louder or clearer.

First make them laugh, THEN people will be more receptive to your advertising!

Clueless, clueless b*stards.

I hate to say this but whatever this new Amanda thingy is it's the worst case of a bastardized misunderstood videoblog I've ever seen, and that's pretty damn sad because I've seen a lot of wannabee PR video blogs come and go over the last two years.


Michael Meiser said...

Note: in the 48 hours since I checked out Amanda's show on ABC they have atleast done one thing right.

They added a link to her RSS feed where once their was only a link to itunes.

That's a good start, but it's hardly going to help with everything else so wrong.

Indeed the links in the RSS feed link back to generic podcasting page having nothing to do with Amanda's show.

Anonymous said...

Really important post. Conversations make the media.

Anonymous said...

I agree with probably all of your points and will add in that the show is over-produced. It's like someone's trying to coach her on delivery, when she's the one that was originally delivering what they're trying to reproduce in the first place. Once they cut that out and let Amanda do what she does, the show will be a lot better.

Having said that, I don't think the show's going to fail.

I think the title of your post is accurate. ABC is not producing a vlog. ABC is producing a television show on the internet starring someone popular in vlogging. Think of it like the television shows they do about people making a television show or people running a newspaper. ABC isn't hosting a vlog. They're getting vloggers to watch their television show that happens to be on the internet.

The commercials are ridiculous, but that's what television's about. Without advertisers, nobody gets paid and no shows go 'on the air' at all. The whole goal is to get YOU to sit there and watch the commercial, NOT the show. That's why they have pre-roll commercials as well as going to another commercial before going to the next episode of the show. It all comes down to the bottom line, and that's $$$.

The Amanda show is a television show on the internet. Eventually, if it gets enough popularity, it will be a television show on television and all this vlog-talk will be out the window.