This week Rocketboom got shot down pretty bad by Michael Arrington while being compared to a new entry in the online videoblogging world, Webb Alert. The headline reads “A lot Like Rocketboom Except it’s Interesting”. This is the second headline this week announcing a Rocketboom killer. From a new series called Radar: “Webshow pilot takes on RocketBoom (and destroys it).“
I see these kinds of headlines almost every week. I always hold my breath when I read them and get all mentally unsettled each time as I gear up to watch. It’s flattering to receive the comparisons yet also a bummer – even though its just a personal, subjective opinion, I’ve been in a funk all weekend on the Techcrunch article just knowing that they think Rocketboom is not interesting.
A lot of people have left comments to Rocketboom’s defense and many people posted about it to their own weblogs. Michael’s post received more comments than most of his other posts I think and the next day he posted again along with a defense for liking the show.
The sentiment that we all feel each time a new Rocketboom killer comes along (probably Michael’s feelings as well), is damn, it’s been almost three years now since Rocketboom came around and despite the explosion in personal media, we still dont have much out there that has struck a major chord. Our options for valuable, entertaining and independent information in a daily is really limited.
In the meantime, I dont think we need to pit Rocketboom against other shows like football teams, there is plenty of room for anyone who can put the pieces together. The harshness of the effect can be positive as it certainly helps to keep us trying as hard as we can – complacency is death – though there are positive ways of supporting growth.
While important comparisons to other popular shows like Geek Brief and CommandN (classics) can be made, the hope for Webb Alerts, which really does make it a compelling and fresh entry, is the adoption of a regimented, daily, regular schedule. That’s smart. Very few independent productions have been able to commit to a full time, regularly scheduled show and by doing so, the show enters into a wide open market with a lot of demand.
It will be important for this show to not follow in the path of a prior Rocketboom killer, Yahoo 9, which in my opinion is still weak for feeling fake on the “fake-to-real” feeling scale. With everything else in place, as long as Webb Alerts can develop it’s own personality with the writing and a personable presentation, it should become really popular in no time at all.