05 January, 2008

CES: Is Archos TV the black box of the future?

Archos TV is introducing a new set-top box at CES next week.

Engadget had a review of the product way back last summer.

The question (at least in my mind) remains: will it be a competitor for Apple TV?

FWIW, though I'm a Mac fanatic, I'm unconvinced Apple TV is the end all and be all in this race to bring the ultimate black box to market.

Leno and Kimmel To Guest On Each Other's Show

NY Times is reporting:
"In an unusual act of solidarity emerging from the screenwriters’ strike, two of television’s late-night hosts, Jay Leno of NBC and Jimmy Kimmel of ABC, will appear on each other’s shows on Thursday. The appearances were confirmed by two representatives associated with several of television’s late-night shows. The two hosts and their networks will announce the arrangement on Monday, said the representatives, both of whom asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak for the hosts."
Read all about it here.

Cross-posted from my del.ici.ous bookmarks

Seems like one of the conglomerates, of which the writers' are striking against, is dabbling in politics. At least that's what Dennis Kucinich is alleging.

This just in from the AP:
ABC Cuts 3 From Presidential Debate
By David Bauder

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday after ABC News excluded him, fellow Democrat Mike Gravel and Republican Duncan Hunter from its prime-time debates on Saturday.

Kucinich argued that ABC is violating equal-time provisions by keeping him out of the debate and noted that ABC's parent Walt Disney Co. had contributed to campaigns involving the four Democrats who were invited.

"ABC should not be the first primary," the Ohio congressman said in papers filed at the Federal Communications Commission.

How do you spell monopoly?

Read the entire article here.

A David Lynch iPhone Commercial...NOT!

Somebody took footage from David Lynch's Inland Empire limited edition DVD and had some fun with it.

Ask A Ninja's
Kent Nichols thinks David Lynch is a tool. Here's an excerpt from the rant he blogged, but it's worth reading the entire post:
If someone wants to pay you to watch your weird little films on a cell phone or a DVD or a flipbook, just smile and take the money. Short of inviting every potential viewer to sit and watch it in your personal viewing chamber, there is no “ideal” viewing experience. There’s just content and people. People want the content, we give it to them.

WSC Show #58 - Interview with Kevin Droney

Featured today is strike captain Kevin Droney at the picket lines at NBC Studios. In this recording, Kevin and I actually walked the lines so it’s possible and probable that the sound quality is a bit uneven. Recorded Thursday, 3 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

04 January, 2008

NBC to Host Its First Digital Out-of-Home Upfront

I posted this in my del.ici.ous bookmarks, but thought it was worth a cross-post here.

Advertising Age is reporting that:
"In a sign of the emerging power of TV outside the home, NBC Universal will hold what media buyers are likening to an "upfront" presentation for its digital out-of-home assets Jan. 16. The media company is hoping to get more advertisers to consider NBC for placing ads on TV screens in supermarkets, near gas-station pumps, in taxi cabs and arenas, among other places. Set to be held in Studio 8H, the NBC presentation will address approximately 200 advertisers and media buyers."
Entire article here.

On a side note, I've been invited to contribute some of my del.ici.ous bookmarks with United Hollywood's. What an honor! UH steps up to crowdsourcing!

Look for my participation in bookmarks that will be tagged "uhlinks" on my tag roll and tag cloud.

My posting guidelines as suggested by John Aboud of UH, are as follows:
1.) something not from one of the major sites we all get news from (Variety, Nikki Finke, Defamer, LA Times. United Hollywood will have a separate page for them);
2.) can be either about the strike directly or about the future of content online (ah, my favorite topic!);
3.) not "breaking news" but interesting background or analysis.

MediaBytes 01.04.2008

The Future of Social Media Web Sites

Mikhail Tuknov offers up his five year prediction of social media websites. In his estimation, the massive social experiment of Web 2.0 is not the mullet of the millenium. Here's a quote:
While there is no doubt that social media sites are a genuinely groundbreaking innovation that is changing the way we communicate in many significant ways, past experience with similar Internet phenomena shows that the hyper charged atmosphere of excitement cannot last indefinitely. The industry is currently characterized by easy capital, plenty of media attention and widespread user curiosity-all of which directly boosts creativity-but all that will come to an end eventually.

This does not mean that there is no future for social media sites. On the contrary, the future is just as bright as ever and at this relatively early stage of the game, it is hard to predict just how huge the whole industry can get. What companies and investors should do however is to adapt their approach to be prepared for the changes that will inevitably come in the future.
What I find most interesting is this snippet regarding the long tail of Facebook:
The founder and chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has officially stated that his despite his company’s spectacular growth, Facebook is still many years away from flotation.
OK, so math is not my forte, as evidenced in some mistakes I've made in reporting figures and numbers in my podcast. But...this past fall, Microsoft purchased a 1.6% share of the company for $240 million. So like, I just don't get what he means by that.

Read the entire article here.

WSC Show #57 - Social Networking with Penelope Q.

Today’s episode features one of the newest members of the Writers’ Guild of America: 22 year-old Penelope Q. Recorded Thursday, 3 January 2008.

Clip from Art Film Talk #23 Marshall Herskovitz, Quarterlife used with permission by David Tamés.

As mentioned in this episode: "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace" by Danah Boyd

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

03 January, 2008

An Open Letter To The A.M.P.T.P.

Click on image to embiggen.

This message, sent special delivery, is brought to you by the Bureau of Communication. Send yours today!

"What The Huck?" picket signs (January 2, 2008)

More photos from yesterday, courtesy of BeastandBean.

Photos From Late Night Picketing @ NBC

DSC_4071, originally uploaded by NoHoDamon.

Great set of photos from Damon, who jokingly referred himself as the WSC staff photographer.

Who won late night?

Since my blog and podcast are not breaking news, I'll leave it to some Live Bloggers to report on the this evening's historic late night programming:

There's also the Google news feed as well. And, of course, your Nikki Finke's, United Hollywood's, Defamers, et.al. While y'all are watchin' late night, I was mixing today's podcast. And lovin' it, too.

UPDATE: 2:52 A.M. Well, well, well. Looks like Variety is live blogging, too. You know where to go to find their take. Cheerio!

WSC Show #56 - Late Night Television Returns: David Titcher, Diane Saltzberg, Gregory Storm and Linda Vorhees

This episode is a continuation of late night television picketing event held at NBC Studios, home of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Featured today are writers Diane Saltzberg and David Titcher, two guests I’ve had on the show in the early days of the strike. Then, we’ll hear from writers Gregory Storm and Linda Vorhees. Recorded Wednesday, 2 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

02 January, 2008

Score one for bloggers!

David Ardia of IdeaLab recently blogged this post entitled "Bush Signs Freedom of Information Act Reform Bill Benefitting Bloggers". As his last executive action for 2007, President Bush signed into law the "Open Government Act of 2007". The legislation makes bloggers and other non-traditional journalists eligible for reduced processing and duplication fees that are available to “representatives of the news media.” This means citizen journalists are journalists under the act. So does this mean they have the same rights and privileges afforded to professional journalists?

Ardia writes:
As I explained in a post on the Citizen Media Law Project's blog two weeks ago, the legislation substantially reforms the Freedom of Information Act and expands the definition of who is a "representative of the news media" under FOIA. This change would significantly benefit bloggers and non-traditional journalists by making them eligible for reduced processing and duplication fees that are available to "representatives of the news media."
This is deep! So like blogging and podcasting makes one a journalist 'cause like Shrub signed off on this! Who would have thunk? Like Dubya does...er...think...right? Just sayin...

I find this so IRONIC that this bill comes through from a lame duck president considering some of the things the Bush administration did during the presidency with regards to civil liberties and secrecy.

Here's a nice piece from NPR: Classifying Once-Open Fed Documents by Alex Chadwick

Today on the picket lines I met somebody in my SecretSocialNetwork who identified me by my alt (see I knew it was only a matter of time). The guy happens to be a photo journalist for the L.A. Times, so in the midst of picketing about the latest late night programming developments, we had a deep conversation about journalism and what it means to be "fair and balanced." I still contend as a citizen journalist the issue is accuracy in reporting. At least, it's been my challenge in my strike coverage endeavor.

WSC Show #55 - Late Night Television Returns: John Bowman and Joe Medeiros

Today late night TV hosts including David Letterman and Jay Leno are returning to the airwaves. Here in Los Angeles members of the Writers’ Guild of America picketed at NBC Studios, home of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".

This episode features an informal press conference given by John Bowman, the Chair of Writers’ Guild of America Negotiating Committee. It was held in front of NBC Studios in Burbank. Also featured is Joe Medeiros, the head writer for the Tonight Show, in an interview at the picket lines in front of NBC Universal Studios in Universal City. Recorded Wednesday, 2 January 2008.

Note: my apologies for the recording quality in the John Bowman segment.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

Creativity in Podcasting

"In the future, everyone will be living in their own TV studio." - JG Ballard

In this 30 minute video produced for FeedBurner's podcast, writer/producer Dean Whitbread looks at the new world of RSS, social networks and shared media, and asks what impact they have on creative people and "non-creative" people - and what is the difference between them anyway?

01 January, 2008

AP Reports: Feds Share Coupons to Help TV Transition

The AP is reporting that: "Millions of $40 government coupons become available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting."

But will this close the digital divide? I have my doubts.

Dear God, what have I done?

In another Internet rabbit hole, on a different social network, and using an alt identity I have thousands of friends and I post to a personal blog that serves as a salon for my community to share thoughts and ideas. One single post usually garners at least 15 comments so it kinda bums me out that there's no comment love here on this blog. I know there's readers here. I see my stats. But boy, are you guys are shy or what? Speak up! I need some feedback! Comments please!

Very few of my friends there know what I'm doing over here. It's not really a secret. It's more like an experiment. Can my private life be separate from this endeavor? Pro'ly not. I'm just curious how long it will take when my two worlds collide. Slowly, some of my friends are discovering my little enterprise here. One such friend suggested I create a MySpace profile specifically for the Writers' Strike Chronicles. Like, now I'm blogger, a podcaster and a band!

I was surprised at this suggestion. MySpace? I've got an account on Facebook, isn't that enough? I mean, I think both of these networks are kinda lame and boring. Often times on my oh-so secret social network I'm bitching about privacy rights in cyberspace and how both MySpace and Facebook are the worst offenders. Not only that, but like Microsoft has a major stake in Facebook and MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch, right?

But then again, my friend pointed out, quarterlife is featured on MySpace.

Oh, yeah. Hmmmmm...good point.

Recently I read in the San Jose Mercury News this article about the rise of Facebook last year. Jeremiah O predicts that Facebook would overtake MySpace and grow to 200 million members by the end of 2008.

Gah! OK...well...let's see about that. Until then, I'm multi-social-networking. I'm mashing it all together and calling it "MyFace"!

So, you can find me on Facebook, or you can friend me on MySpace. I'd rather see comments here though. Just sayin'. Come on, please...gimme some love. Leave a comment below. Come on. Make my day.

31 December, 2007

Um, just one more thing.

Y'all should keep an eye on my del.ici.ous bookmarks as I will be occasionally updating these as time permits in the next few days. Having said that, I found a juicy blog posting by Will Richmond from Internet Evolution entitled "Six Broadband Video Trends to Watch in 2008". Here's his prediction as it pertains to the writers' strike:

Writers Guild of America strike will fuel broadband video proliferation.

As the Writers Guild of America strike slogs on, it is inevitable that many TV writers and producers (especially below the top tier) are going to look upon broadband as an attractive new medium to ply their trade. The signs are already there. Ironically, the strike, which is centered on reallocating "new media" revenues, is going to stoke more interest in broadband productions.

I can't say exactly how the writers’ strike will unfold, but I can say with confidence that a lot of the smart money is eager to invest in broadband video content. Writers and producers with track records and plausible plans will get funded.
Quarterlife, Next New Networks, and FunnyOrDie are all pre-strike examples of this.

I'm taking five!

Yup! I'm taking the next few days off from blogging and podcasting to spend New Years' with friends and family. I'll be back in a couple of days.

WSC Show #54 - Interview with Jeff Rogers

In today’s episode I go along with the members of the WGA to Los Angeles City Hall for a hearing on the strike's economic impact. While I was there, I run into an old friend by the name of Jeff Rogers, the Communications Specialist for the Service Employees International Union Local 721. Jeff is my featured guest in today’s episode.

On the morning of December 19, 2007 the Los Angeles City Council’s Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee conducted a hearing on the economic impact of the Writers Guild of America strike on the local and regional economy. In this previous blog posting is a complete special edition of the Writers' Strike Chronicles podcast that includes 10 recordings of the speakers that stood before the council hearing that morning. Included are: John Bowman, WGA Negotiating Committee Chair; Los Angeles City Council president Eric Garcetti; and Jack Kyser representing the Los Angeles Economic Development Office.

Special note: this is the last episode of the podcast for 2007. I'll be off-line for the next few days as I take some time off to visit friends in San Francisco for New Years. As my parting shot for all my listeners, I leave you with a song of hope and a message of humor. It’s a mashup by Wax Audio entitled “Imagine This”.

Happy New Year! May 2008 be better than last year. :)

Tanja Barnes

"Ay Mambo" by
"Imagine This" by Wax Audio

30 December, 2007

WSC - City Hall Special Edition

On the morning of December 19, 2007 the Los Angeles City Council’s Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee conducted a hearing on the economic impact of the Writers Guild of America strike on the local and regional economy.

This series of recordings took place in the Public Works Hearing Room of city hall.

Featured are:
- Jack Kyser representing the Los Angeles Economic Development Office;

- Jerry Nickelsberg, an economist from the UCLA Anderson Forecast;

- Steve MacDonald, president of FilmL.A., Inc. – the private, nonprofit corporation that contracts with the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and other local jurisdictions to facilitate on-location motion picture, television and commercial production;

- Rex Oliff, finance specialist for the City Administrative Office;

- Pam Elyea, co-owner of North Hollywood-based prop house History for Hire;

- John Bowman, WGA Negotiating Committee Chair;

- Pam Fair, Deputy National Executive Director of SAG;

- Betsy Thomas, writer and producer of the TBS show “My Boys”;

- Tim Day and “Love Rocket” representing below-the-line crew members;

- The final recording, which takes place on the steps of city hall just after the hearings includes a speech by Los Angeles City Council president Eric Garcetti followed by John Bowman of the WGA.

William Shatner's Got Game

William Shatner has his own UGC channel. It's called ShatnerVision and currently has 2,959 subscribers.

You gotta hand it it to him; he's freakin' unstoppable!

Have you seen the ad he did for World of Warcraft?

You go, Bill!

WSC Show #53 - Interview with David Latt of United Hollywood

Today's episode features writer/producer David Latt at the picket lines in front of Sony Pictures. He is a contributor for United Hollywood, an unofficial WGA blog started by a group of strike captains. Recorded Thursday, 13 December 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

Citizen Journalism: From Pamphlet to Blog

Cambridge Community Television hosted a 3-month documentary production course that resulted in this short documentary on Citizen Journalism. Read what "Journalism.co.uk" had to say about it:

Citizen journalism film released online
By: Oliver Luft
Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) - a US based electronic media public training forum - has released online an educational video about the history of citizen journalism.
The 15-minute documentary Citizen Journalism: From Pamphlet to Blog is a guide to US citizen journalism through the ages - from Thomas Paine in the 18th century to the more modern hows and whys of being an anti-establishment news hound.
The film features interviews with talking heads from the blogging world - including Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices - discussing, among other things, how newspapers have gone through major cost-cutting exercises as their revenues are leeched by sites like Craigslist.

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