Archive for the New Media Category


Posted in Andy Milonakis, Animation, Big Fat Brain, Harry Shearer, My Damn Channel, New Media, Presidential, Press, Vegas with tags , , , , on April 17, 2008 by Rob Barnett

Thanks to the NAB and especially to Ashley Howell, Chris Marlowe, and Rochelle Winters for inviting us to present in Vegas yesterday. Thanks to Jon Healey from the LA Times for moderating – and to Harry Shearer & Andy Milonakis for making the trip.

We filled a room of about 350-400 humans and started by showing a few of our original videos.  Fun seeing hundreds LOL at YSAP – up on a huge megascreen – and cool to see a crowd feel the bass of music produced by Don Was.

Harry Shearer made news – announcing “THE ALPHAS” – a project he’s been developing for 10 years – and the most ambitious new work making its way to My Damn Channel.

“THE ALPHAS” is motion-capture animation of the highest quality (Beowulf) – done in the fastest turnaround ever achieved (less than 5 day production cycles). Here’s more:

Imagine seeing the best-known people in politics and the media, every week, in hilariously private situations.  Not actors in makeup, but what looks and sounds like the real President, candidates, anchors, and the rest. That’s the idea behind “The Alphas”, a revolutionary new concept in topical sketch comedy.  Written and performed by Harry Shearer, who’s notched more than two decades as a creator of topical satire on his weekly public radio broadcast, “Le Show”, along with two memorable seasons on “Saturday Night Live”, “The Alphas” includes no makeup, no celebrity cameos.  Instead, utlizing a trio of cutting-edge motion-capture technologies–harnessed for the first time to a “week-of-air” production schedule, “The Alphas” features startlingly realistic computer-animated versions of the movers, shakers and yakkers.  They’re not lifelike–thanks to the technology and Shearer’s performances, they’re alive.  And every week, they’re deftly and drolly revealed for all their pretensions, resentments, jealousies and anxieties–all the good stuff, online just days after production.

Here’s the first news coverage from the LA Times and the Digital Content Producer Magazine with thanks for the ‘ink’ & correction to Michael Goldman.



Posted in New Media with tags , on April 16, 2008 by Rob Barnett

Peter Gabriel’s filter

The rock star hopes to shock Amazon with a new web-based recommendation service.


By Devin Leonard, senior writer

(Fortune) — There’s a reason Peter Gabriel is a household name. One of the founders of the super-group Genesis, the British rock star went on to have great success as a solo artist known for his outlandish costumes, his cutting edge music videos, and of course, his ’80s hits like “Sledgehammer” and “Shock The Monkey,” which were both artistic and commercial milestones.

What’s less known is that the 58-year-old Gabriel has done rather well since then as a digital media entrepreneur. In 2000, he co-founded OD2, which quickly became the leading European digital music provider with clients like Nokia and MSN. OD2’s owners reportedly later sold the company for an estimated $20 million.

Okay, so Sammy Hagar reportedly sold a majority stake in his tequila business for four times that amount last year. But now Gabriel has a new business that’s potentially much bigger. On Tuesday, he and a new group of partners launch the private-beta version of a web-based service called The Filter that will sort through the vast inventory of content on the Internet and recommend songs, movies, television show and web videos to its users. In May, The Filter website will be open to the public.

Ultimately, Gabriel and his partners in his Bath, England-based company have a grander vision for the Filter than telling you that if you like Sammy Hager, you might also like Van Halen’s earlier stuff with David Lee Roth. They hope you’ll one day be able to log in and find the perfect place to dine on your upcoming trip to, say, Barcelona — and a suggestion for the right clothes to wear on your night out. Now that sounds like something an art rocker like Peter Gabriel would go for — as opposed to a night of tequila swilling at Hagar’s nightclub in Mexico.

Gabriel put up $8.5 million along with England’s Eden Ventures to start The Filter because he fears that people are being overwhelmed by the web. “Everyone got really excited about the concept of infinite choice through the Internet,” he says. “The reality is a little like getting a sore thumb with your remote on your television. Too much choice is not always a good thing.”

He describes the solution to this machine-age dilemma in the sort of terms you might expect from a thinking man’s rock star. “My friend [recording studio guru to Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay] Brian Eno has been going on for some time about the increasingly important role of the curator over the creator,” Gabriel explains. “In many ways, the disc jockey has become as important as the musician, which is one of the best illustrations of that. I would like a life jockey as well as a disc jockey.”

The Filter’s founders say their service could play that role nicely, claiming its recommendation engine is more sophisticated than anything else on the market. Unlike competing services, the Filter doesn’t rely on the ratings that people assign to songs or movies online. It determines its users tastes by observing what they actually do with these items on the Internet.

The engine is particularly interested if someone buys a song, streams it or clicks on a related link. “We like to get real evidence of people’s tastes,” says Martin Hopkins, co-founder of The Filter and creator of its recommendation technology.

Hopkins also notes that The Filter’s engine doesn’t push people choices based on what they bought years ago. It slowly forgets what it learned because peoples’ tastes change. Don’t you wish Amazon’s (AMZN, Fortune 500) service did the same?

Gabriel and his partners hope to generate revenue at The Filter by selling advertising. They also hope to license their technology to other digital media companies. The company already provides recommendations to the users of its former OD2 customers like MSN (MSFT, Fortune 500) and Nokia (NOK). That’s why the service launches with a database of over 50 million transactions from which to make suggestions.

It’s a long leap from recommending music to choosing their restaurants in foreign cities. Still, the idea is intriguing. Gabriel isn’t just taking about this either. He’s putting up a lot of money to make it happen. “This is definitely something that’s worth watching,” says Gartner analyst Mike McGuire who, like Fortune, was briefed by The Filter before the private beta launch.

As you might expect, Gabriel is in the studio working on new music, too. He owes one more album to EMI. After that, he plans to release his music on his own a la Radiohead. The graying rocker is thrilled that the Internet is giving artists a new means of distributing their music — especially the ones who couldn’t get a record deal even in the industry’s better days. “I like it that the inmates are running the asylum,’ says Gabriel.

This, of course means more choices for those overwhelmed consumers that Gabriel is so concerned about. All the more reason for his new company, right? No wonder he’s so pleased.  To top of page


Posted in My Damn Channel, New Media, Old Media with tags on February 26, 2008 by Rob Barnett


The blog is called “THE NIGHT FEED” – usually written in the middle of the night – at home – after feeding twin babies.

“MILK AWAY” is the name of today’s tribute to anyone who’s used a meeting with My Damn Channel to fake support for a suck. 

When you build a small business with a big idea – beware of spending too much time talking with people about building the business. Max time every waking hour has to go to creating the work and serving the audience. Talk is anything but cheap when you’re carefully spending every dollar you’ve got. Talk sometimes means too many plane tickets to visit plush boardrooms where hosts serve bottled water and then feign true interest as a tactic to do a little more ‘research.’ Entrepreneurs lift back the veil – spill the beans – tell their story – sell their wares.

The process is flawed but all this chess taught us a few lessons. In a world with an unending number of new media choices, there are no secrets. Someone spending too much time thinking and waiting is someone left in the back of the line when a fast-moving train leaves the station.

My Damn Channel is built on speed – founded as an alternative to corporate interference – tested and vetted every minute by hungry fans armed with the best, badass bullshit detectors.

We’re in debt to the people who’ve put their time and treasure into this mission to reboot OLD MEDIA. We stand in service to our small staff, our stellar stable of artists, our fellow media missionaries helping spread the news, and our audience keeping us honest.

Next train is leaving the station. 


Posted in David Wain, My Damn Channel, New Media, New Series, THE NOD, Wainy Days with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2008 by Rob Barnett

Day 2 of the NEW look & all new features on My Damn Channel. We added essential items like SEARCH – VIDEO VIEWS – RATINGS – DATE ADDED – VIDEO LENGTHS – and EVERY SHARING FEATURE WE CAN THINK OF.

Go to the Home Page & check out ‘THE NOD’ – A thousand years ago, Siskel & Ebert scored with their THUMBS UP / THUMBS DOWN movie rating….dumbing down simplicity to a whole new level.  You’ve got your 3 stars & 4 stars – you had your ‘GONG SHOW’ – your seal of approval – i’m shutting up now….


‘THE NOD’ is our way & your way – to pick ONE video every day – from anywhere – to get the My Damn Channel Home Page Luv.

Yesterday we launched ‘THE NOD’ with two friends – Hollywood’s best couple – Sarah Silverman & Jimmy Kimmel – with Sarah’s candidate for clip of the year: “I’m Fucking Matt Damon.”  How ’bout that ABC TELEVISION NETWORK -huh? Somebody’s growing some steel ones down below.

Today, ‘THE NOD’ found a YouTube clip by a guy called CRanga. It’s a topless/British/NINE MINUTE review of “WAINY DAYS.” Put this very HAIRY dude on your calendar for a lunchtime view. Don’t think he’s trying to be funny – he gets so much, so wrong. Find Hairy Boy on our home page today.

Email your suggestions for THE NOD to:

Monday is the SEASON 2 FINALE of WAINY DAYS!!! 


Posted in Big Fat Brain, My Damn Channel, New Media, Old Media with tags , on February 6, 2008 by Rob Barnett

We’re still a baby – just six months old – but today’s the day we reintroduce ourselves to you.


I’m Rob Barnett. The driving idea behind my company gives musicians, filmmakers, actors and comedians the respect they deserve but rarely get from old media. We built an oasis and a launching pad for our stars to create and distribute original, episodic video series on a network of channels here: We also send the videos off to YouTube, MySpace and into mass syndication on dozens of key outlets.

It’s all free to you & our talent is free of corporate interference. Our artists do what they want. We’re trusting them to trust their instincts. We’re trusting you to tell us when we’re on the money and to attack and slap us around when we suck (at photoshop). When you find clips you like – spread ’em & support the cause. 

We call this blog, “The Night Feed,” because I’m awake in the middle of every night helping my wife feed our 4 month-old twin babes. I’ll steal minutes most nights to keep a dialogue going with you about what this is becoming & to thank you for the chance to co-create, communicate, embrace a little freedom, and dream up a very fun gig. 

Tonight marks the launch of a whole new look and functions on My Damn Channel to make it easier to play with us. Mega Gigoonda thanks and respect go to Warren, Big Fat Brain, Reborn, Harry, Don, David, Andy, Steve, Coolio, Miles, Jon, Asterisk, Elan, Dead Crow, Karen, Wheelhouse, Paul, Kate, Matt, Matt, Maria, Brad, Kym, Kim, Jahnavi, Lindsey, Eric, Marc, Gary, John, Elinor & Bernie, Mike & Joan, Joan & Mike, Bob & Ruth, Sue, Julia, Jessie, Dylan, and Sara.

…shutting up now.  


Posted in A.D. Miles, Animation, Coolio, My Damn Channel, New Media, New Series, Steve Kerper with tags , on February 2, 2008 by Rob Barnett


email me at if you want to see, snack or attack sneak previews of our 3 new channels launching MONDAY FEB 11


Posted in Don Was, Music business, Music Videos, My Damn Channel, New Media, Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2008 by Rob Barnett

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