Archive for November, 2007

MY DAMN CHANNEL GAINS GRAVITAS?

Posted in My Damn Channel, Writers Strike on November 30, 2007 by Rob Barnett

Old media may be starting to fall in love with the bad boys. They’ve definitely gotten all hot and bothered.

Ever since the strike began, the collective power created by fans of video sites like this are captivating editors to get to the bottom of our business models and find out how and why major Hollywood talent is setting up a new rebel base here in dot-commie land.

I landed in LA late yesterday and learned that a conversation I had with Gary Gentile at the Associated Press about the writers’ strike was picked up by over 100 media outlets including Yahoo!, MSN, MSNBC, ABC, Forbes, CBS News, and the Washington Post.

Our recent viral videos racked up millions of views in a matter of days. Advertisers like Lincoln/Mercury and Universal Pictures just bought a ticket on the My Damn Channel bus and this little anti-media machine is picking up speed.

If artists don’t win more respect and revenues inside this strike zone, then old media is going to wind up looking like Bruce Willis at the end of “The Sixth Sense.”

Sixth Sense Movie Poster

Here’s Gary’s piece.

THURS DAY

Posted in My Damn Channel on November 29, 2007 by Rob Barnett

Our twins are 6 weeks old today. I’m flying out early this a.m. on the first roadtrip since they were born. Heading to our LA base camp where half of our humungous fulltime staff of TEN are fueling the funk. Most of our gigantic talent is LA-based at the moment too.

We’re planning out all the early 08 sensory assaults and targeting new channel announcements for next Tuesday.

An artiste behind one of these new channels was in our new NY offices yesterday with his producer for a “horrible” meeting. Details within days.

An Historic Debate

Posted in Harry Shearer, YouTube on November 28, 2007 by Rob Barnett

We’ve been planning a series of internet debates as the countdown to Iowa continues.

We were not ready to confirm the participants until word leaked out in Florida where the YouTube mothership is getting ready to land on the Republican candidates tonight on CNN.

We can now confirm that next Tuesday night, Dec. 4, Tim Russert will moderate an historic debate between Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and Sen. John Edwards (D) on My Damn Channel.

My Damn Channel will make next Tuesday’s debate available simultaneously on YouTube.

Our debate format was developed by Harry Shearer (“Le Show,” Huffington Post, “The Simpsons”). Voters and caucus goers will have a unique opportunity to access the candidates without any of the usual barriers that prevent them from taking a look at the real people who want to be President.

More debate details to follow.

“YOUR PROGRAM WILL BEGIN IN JUST A MOMENT”

Posted in Harry Shearer, My Damn Channel on November 27, 2007 by Rob Barnett

Explore The Harry Shearer Channel on My Damn Channel and you’ll see Harry as Cheney; Harry as Bush; Harry as Elvis; Harry as Silent Debate moderator; Harry as Harry on the streets of New Orleans; Harry as curator of “Found Objects” from Dan Rather and Katie Couric; Harry as pop prince on “Waterboardin’, USA” and now this new “program” which needs no introduction:

Sick Creatures

Harry says, “Dr. Phil’s New Show is a sketch which takes on two of the most annoyingly ubiquitous things about modern TV — incessant promos and Dr. Phil.”

CAN LESS BE MORE?

Posted in My Damn Channel on November 26, 2007 by Rob Barnett

When I last worked in corporate American radio, the employees, competitors, and constituents of Clear Channel used to enjoy calling them “the evil empire.” Too many radio listeners feel the same way about most commercial music stations in this country.

One fine day, in a plush board room somewhere inside “the evil empire,” their generals decided to launch a new strategy designed to win back the hearts and minds of the disenchanted masses. Since most humans hate commercial interruption on music stations, their visionary new plan added MORE interruptions with less individual commercials inside each break. The most expensive suits in old media are cut with the most cynical cloth. They’ll tell you the plan produced positive results. But common sense tells you the best way to fix the problem is to re-think the business and play LESS commercials.

Before launching My Damn Channel, I reached out to a few chosen brains to gauge reactions to our evil little plans to disrupt old media by creating original, episodic videos by the best artists from television, radio, and film. One of the first V.I.B.’s (very imp brains) I approached was Seth Godin.

Godin is a new media marketing guru. His books are required reading in our world. His titles pop. Small is the New Big, All Marketers are Liars

Small Is The New Big All Marketers Are Liars

I’d read the books, seen Seth Godin speak, and broke bread with him once – enough contact to that know he’d throw the right kind of body blows to see if our plan was ready to last in the web ring.

He questioned whether or not we’d be able to get our talent to deliver enough professional video on a consistent basis to build a business. This is where I first started to think about re-applying the “less is more” strategy.

When Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, the new media gold rush began. Most new sites that launched in the wake of this sea change have tried to win by imitating the mothership and putting up destinations with a similar look and feel with a ton of the same content. Megatons. We’re fans and business partners with YouTube. But we don’t think our audience is looking for another site with hundreds of “channels” and thousands of videos.

Our “less is more” thinking is built to prove Brave Sir Godin wrong. In our first 4 months of life, we’ve brought a small number of big talents into a tent where they deliver new webisodes every single week.

Here’s the current line-up:

Every Monday: DAVID WAIN

Every Tuesday: HARRY SHEARER

Every Wednesday: ANDY MILONAKIS

Every Thursday: DON WAS

Every Friday: BIG FAT BRAIN

Our thinking is that if the best talent delivers the best videos – consistently – then less can be more.

Or, not. Body blows welcome: info@MyDammChannel.com

QUITTING, GETTING FIRED & THE BETTER NEW GIG (11.21.07 – 1:22 am)

Posted in My Damn Channel on November 21, 2007 by Rob Barnett

Quitting or getting fired are two of the best escapes when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time…two good medicines when the morning alarm sounds, and your first thoughts are about not wanting to get up and go to work.

I Quit!

Once knew a guy who wrote a book called “Fire Your Boss.”

“Fire Your Boss” Book

There’s a really good antidote for a bad gig! Never read this book, but succeeded with the concept – twice.

We spent time yesterday interviewing people for two new full-time jobs at My Damn Channel. The process always puts you into the fray with people fresh off the firing line – people who’ve just thrown in the towel – the disenchanted – the downsized – the pissed off. Exactly the kind of energy that helps fuel a rebel army.

Our baby site can’t be right without a few more people in the mix calling us out on our crap. We’re looking for a Community Director to prevent us from too much top down thinking. The right new hire knows how to drop matches on the rocket fuel that’ll bring people into our site from the bottom up. Our fan base is growing fast, but they now need direct access to the inside – and the ability to use our bandwidth to interact with Harry, Don, David, Big Fat Brain, and Andy. These bad boys are ready to respond.

We’re also looking for a skilled site programmer to upload and manage taking the videos from the brains & hands of our stars & getting them up onto the site every day with ideas on how to best program the content.

We’re about to announce 3 new channels & we can use the extra human power to not screw this all up.

Average salaries for both new gigs + good benees and the chance to touch Don’s dreads – this wonderment & more can all be yours in our NY office.

Bend our skeptical minds to your powerful will. Why do you want in? And what’s your game plan?: info@MyDamnChannel.com.

NEWS FODDER (11.19.07 – 4:59 am)

Posted in Found Objects, Harry Shearer, My Damn Channel on November 19, 2007 by Rob Barnett

The newest web series from Harry Shearer is Found Objects on My Damn Channel.

Harry Shearer’s clips have got all the old Kings & Queens laughing…and we’ve started storming the castle.

Vodpod videos no longer available.