I’ve been talking a lot recently about how Rocketboom is growing in a way that is different then the shows around us. You may have heard me say, some of our colleagues have leveraged the popularity of their shows to gain investment to build a network of many shows, so on and so forth, and you may have heard me point out that there are almost no examples of a “second” show doing as well as the first.
If we came out one day and said, here is Rocketboom’s second effort, it would be a scary day. If there was a new show that appealed to a new audience, obviously our current audience might not be into it and thus it would be hard to grow from scratch, especially if our current audience was, ahem, critical. In our particular case, I tend to feel there is this extra expectation for Rocketboom to innovate technically, as if we were putting out a new invention.
The regular audience that we have is not watching because they expect innovation, however. They say they enjoy the creative style of the content. The feedback we get matches our unwavering mission to provide entertaining information from the internet. Quite frankly, I still feel like Rocketboom is not as good as it can be. Maybe thats a good thing, I hope I never become content with it. So with that in mind, while we continue to grow the quality of the show, we are allowing our content to spin itself-off, when it happens naturally.
From an earlier related post:
Anyone remember who lived next door to Archie Bunker in All in the Family? Yep, The Jefferson’s which went on to became it’s own show. An even better example stems from Stephen Colbert, the once rare correspondent of the “The Daily Show”. The audience loved him so much, the show kept bringing him back and by the time they were ready to branch off with a new show, The Colbert Show, they had a formula, a system, the brain trust, support systems, tested pilots and especially the audience all in place and on stand by to nearly guarantee the success of the show. As it relates to Rocketboom, we realized this last year consequently with our Know Your Meme series. Over the winter holidays, in order to give ourselves a break, we decided we would prerecord an entire week of Know Your Meme episodes and run them back-to-back, breaking down the memes and viral videos of the year. By surprise, our audience went nuts and the episodes became some of our most popular content ever. Since we loved the series too, we decided we would spend the year developing the show and continue to sprinkle episodes into Rocketboom as test runs and pilots while building up the idea with our audience.
Our Know Your Meme series has officially spun off and the work has become bigger than Rocketboom. That is to say, Know Your Meme now has it’s own destination at www.knowyourmeme.com, there are consistently more views per video, more chatter on Twitter, Facebook and other destinations around the net, and in general, much more participation.
The memes are being covered in other places, in other ways, but the Know Your Meme database has naturally evolved out of the character of the show itself. In just a couple of months, the database has accounted for over 100 memes and over 1000 images.
The idea for the community site started out of a need for a simple forum, but the use patterns demanded more and the site quickly grew into a community where people can sign up to become members and actually create entries themselves. People are also enriching the entries by adding additional information via comments, images and videos.
This is not sad but great for Rocketboom! We love Rocketboom just as much and many people love it even more. And Know Your Meme is still a part of, and distributed through Rocketboom. Obviously the content that Know Your Meme covers is much more popular (i.e. the most popular memes), yet it’s difficult to compare when it come to actual value.
What’s great here is that our “second” show has arrived and it’s working!
While everything is evolving naturally and consequently, behind the scenes, the vision is being led by the Rocketboom team. Kenyatta is writing and overseeing the production of the whole Know Your Meme series; Chris, our assistant Rocketboom writer is researching, writing and populating a great deal of the database; Ellie is staring in, and contributing to all areas of production, while Jamie is staring in and leading the vision and development for the KYM database, built entirely from scratch. Greg our full time interface designer/programmer is working the front end and of course our final cut editors are bringing the episodes to life with extra flair and fancy.
Today, we kick off a special week of Know Your Meme episodes *everyday* and will then return to our regular weekly release, next week. Next week we’ll also be kicking the Rocketboom news into high gear, w00t!
Know Your Meme video view counts on Vimeo:
Know Your Meme video view counts on YouTube: