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More Than A Formula

Like platforms, content needs more than just a formula to work. Perhaps this wasn’t always the case on TV, but online, these days, people are more savvy and have more options to find something that they actually prefer. Techmeme is a much more effective way to get much more news in a more timely fashion for much cheaper and for a greater value than Webbalert, for example.

Webbalert may not be working because the show is not utilizing the medium properly (it’s trying to latch on to a formula and it’s not working it right) but also because it’s not adding any creative or authentic value, in my personal opinion. In discussions with my team at Rocketboom, I predicted the graph above because the show lacks creativity and authenticity and because its ineffective for a large portion of the audience it targets.

Watching the host’s eyes move from left to right while reading is the number one way to leave the audience feeling that the show is not authentic, for instance. Even if the audience doesn’t know it themselves, they will often feel uncomfortable if the person on camera is pretending to look into the camera, but is not looking in the camera. If the personality on camera is not invested in the stories and brings no character to the “job”, then the online audience in this day and age will typically wean away towards something more authentic, something that is more entertaining, or more efficient. 

Consider this along with my observation below about Wallstrip. Rocketboom is on a roller coaster ride and it’s still going (and growing) because we are holding out for our purpose, not pandering to the market. I’m concerned that the dreams people articulated when video first hit the web are becoming threatened as they depend on a still-yet undeveloped market – one that may be taking a major turn in the wrong direction. More on this shortly.

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