Monthly Archives: January 2009
Damn I am raving about Skins Series 3. Watch latest ep’ere. It’s the best thing on TV since the last no holds barred, leave nothing on the table, heck ill euthanasia my family Season 7 of The inferiority complex of The Wire (which had Sopranos issues) : That being The Shield. And scarily Jamie Brittain who wrote and created Skins was born 11 years after me in 1985. The Wikipedia soundbite from Skins ‘creators’; “There are risks associated with dumping a cast, but we just did it. There was some disquiet at the channel, but then they told us just to go with it.” Speaking at Broadcast’s television drama conference, he also confirmed the show would stick to its pattern of introducing college-age characters, moving them on in the next series, then letting them go. “The first year is about getting to know the kids, and the second gives us the advantage of being able to explore their psyches a little more,” said Elsey. Creator Jamie Brittain has said that the new cast will be quite different from the original cast, but people may see some similarities. “
This is how you do a 17yr old Birthday Party
The episode starts and ends walking on a street channeling some Sid Vicious but instead going crazy to Motorheads Ace of Spades. In between it’s Cookies 17th birthday tour de force. This would have been awesome to shoot. Even the officialish Skins E4 Television website seems kinda shocked, asking their viewers about the young Pete Doherty meets football hooligan, Cook : “Cooks episode was…insert your response here please [ ] because we are lost for words. We feel enamoured, nauseaus, preturbed and anxious when we think of Cook and his exploits. Yes, all at once; Cook is overwhelming, and his episode was as well. Got to applaud the writer for feeding Cookie the best lines we’ve heard in ages. The Cookie monster is a walking, talking sex pest and drug fiend rolled into one. And so utterly selfish yet so charming with it.”
The New Cast Rock, led by Cook who likes some Choc Chip
Anyway, I’m talking about Skins, in that the risk was to sack the whole cast of a successful show minus 1.5 characters. And the new leads, Cookie (played by jack o’connell who doesnt even seem to be in IMDB that fresh his casting is), who has his 17th birthday in Skins S3E2 (watch or download ere) Now if British cinema could just channel this type of product instead of that whole romcom thing.
In between his 17th bday party at his dealing Uncle’s pub, a double choc-chip cake scene u have to see- I haven’t; Then an engagement party on a boat with the father of the bride head of the local mafia, which ends up with (another/sorta) cake (well cake’s involved in both cases) fight, then we shift to a brothel, and before long its 7am, walking home to Ace of Spades.
It’s a Gangster World for S3 of Skins
Skins Season 3 has raised the level (if u havent seen the first 2 series then it’s a must) I also checked out latest Hustle and Burn Notice, which were both in their own stylish London and Miami ways. But Skins, dammit but its stuck in my head, just as it seems to have for one of the E4 Skins website blog commenters : “I can think of so many 1 word phrases for this episode - immense, incredible, edgy, unbelievable, insane etc. I think Cook is quite possibly the greatsest character to ever appear on skins and we’ve only seen 2 episodes from him! This episode has to be up their with the best of them, and i can’t remember the last time i was on the edge of my seat watching a tv programme whether it was lmao or in disbelief. I think this episode has pushed the boundaries of skins so far past a level that they’ve never reached before, it was insanely edgy with Cook’s amazing in your face character and i’m not sure episode 2 can be topped, but for the sake of the series let’s pray i’m wrong! To sum it up - WE LARVE IT!”
Gossip Girl take note
We dont care what happens to them when they end up or not at Yale. Look at Skins, who sacked their successful talent, then improves on something that wasnt broke. Effy the only remaining character is awesome not like a 27yr old playing 15, from her character bio : “I’m Effy. It’s a shit name but it’s short for Elizabeth which is even worse. I live with my Mum and Dad. My brother used to live here too but now he’s gone. On the day he left he gave me his duvet cover, half a bottle of Peach Schnapps, and his bedroom. Well, he doesn’t need it any more does he? So now it’s my kingdom. I drank the Schnapps and gave the duvet to Oxfam.”
Melbourne has won award for ‘first time since records began in 1855 that the city has had three consecutive days above 43C/110F’ FTW. Combined with zero$, it’s been heat to take you to Damocles. Anyway, that awful humid northerly has been offset with a cooler southerly and I’ve spent most of the last 4 years (commercially that is) dealing with companies bout Web 2.0. So that means talkn/selling social networking, blogging, verticals of interest, and the associated issues that go with this (defamation, copyright, monetisation, staff training etc) And Louis Gray’s Admiring Companies that Dont Blink post has that counter intuitive sense that the best companies dont blog/twitter or do they hehe - it’s friday and coming out of 110F/43C heat to only 35cs for next few days :
Louis Gray : “Apple is one of the best examples of a company whose vast wall of silence and secrecy spawns a vast network of rumor-seekers and speculation. Once limited to the dark recesses of the Web, guessing the Cupertino company’s next move has practically become an industry tradition. You won’t find an official Apple Twitter account. You won’t find an official Apple blog either (though the Hot News page is pretty close). And you most definitely won’t find an Apple representative in the comments of users’ blogs, saying what features they will or won’t add to the next release. You could say the same, on various levels for many companies. What’s going on at Google? Despite their many blogs and the ever-present Matt Cutts, it’s not all that transparent. Most Google employees don’t blog about their at-work exploits, and product development isn’t usually that give and take.”
On the other hand a few years late Australian MSM (in this case News.com.au and their AWFUL new corporate logo, wow its bad even Wordpress founder wants a better logo but sorry wordpress logo good or bad is so much better than news.com.au -pls tell me interbrand didnt make more than $500 for it, really... anonymous non Facebook Connect comments appreciated) is getting into the tweet real influence vs number of follower (i really need to twitter more to keep my top 50 position given i am #50 hehe) debates (is australia having its own SXSW jumpn the shark/tuna moment?) : “Maybe this whole thing is an exercise to increase the number of followers (the reporter) has?” wrote one.‘
I’m a bit more interested in 2009 than 2006 and Facebook Connect by 2010 will be huge (need2find something to invest in that thesis, well invest my time not $ i dont have!), just another example where Apple may not blog or twitter but u can easily send your iPhotos to facebook without needing a separate login (which has like a trillion photos on it, maybe the biggest photo site on net or close) You gotta luv one click, via Caroline McCarthy : “Basically, this means that if you’re a Mac user running the latest edition of its iLife package, which started shipping earlier this week, you can hook up your Facebook account for easy uploading right from iPhoto. If you use the iWeb site creation tool, you can set it up to post a message to your Facebook profile (and your friends’ news feeds) if you make some kind of edit.”
Also good to see SocialMedia raise $6m, who are getting $15m to $20m PER campaign if PaidContent is to be believed, well they did just raise $6m, schweet : Widget social ad network monetisation in the house; “Social media-based ad network SocialMedia has picked up $6m in a second round of funding. IDG Ventures and previous backer Charles River Ventures led the round, bringing SocialMedia’s total raise to $9.5m. The SF-based company launched in 2007, and has since run app-based campaigns for brands like P&G, Coca-Cola and Diesel on Facebook and MySpace. CEO Seth Goldstein told VentureBeat the company brought in revenue between $15 million and $20 million on such campaigns, which ask members brand-related questions (like whether they’ve seen an upcoming movie trailer or which mouthwash they’d prefer their partner used); the ads gain exposure through profile status updates.” VentureBeat article updated quotes from SocialMedia founder : “Like all major media companies and ad networks (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Google/Adsense, Platform A, Yahoo!), we run a mix of direct response and brand advertisers. While the performance side of our business is large, we have been pleasantly surprised by the recent growth in our brand business.”
If you want a Podcast : Definitely get Mr Reilly in. He has the details. Or for the latest Founder Crunch’ness 2.0 try Dunc : “The spitting incident for example: Michael immediately presumes that it was a startup person who didn’t get a review, but the far more likely reason is Michael’s anti-European startup comments at LeWeb.” or even more so This is Going to be Big ! : “Controversy, conflict, and a generally unprofessional attitude follows Arrington wherever he goes- as does an army of fanboys whose numbers are nothing more than a useless distraction to PR and startup folks alike. I’m glad to see the distraction gone, hope he doesn’t return, and that we can all get back to the business of trying to survive in these difficult times- trying to figure out how to build great things that paying customers, not fanboys, see value in. Controversy, conflict, and a generally unprofessional attitude follows Arrington wherever he goes–as does an army of fanboys whose numbers are nothing more than a useless distraction to PR and startup folks alike. I’m glad to see the distraction gone, hope he doesn’t return, and that we can all get back to the business of trying to survive in these difficult times–trying to figure out how to build great things that paying customers, not fanboys, see value in.”
So Union Square Ventures, the original East Coast 1.0 + 2.0 VC’s other half Brad Burnham knows how to define the difference between Web2 + Media when it comes to early stage investing. Suffice to say there is not one board member on any Australian media company would have any idea what Brad is talking about or the future of media :
“The technologists we do back are seldom doing basic electrical engineering. More often, they are user experience gurus and/or quants who can derive useful insights out of the flood of data that is a byproduct of users interacting with their service. That brings us to media. Many people think of us as media investors. We’re not. But it should be no surprise that we have made a lot of investments in and around media. It makes perfect sense that information markets will be the first to be disrupted by the web, but media is not the only market where services can be delivered as bits over the web. Banking, education, healthcare, and government will also be fundamentally changed. Media has fallen first because it is consumer facing and there are fewer gatekeepers to slow the adoption of a more efficient delivery model.”
While entrepreneurship may be an addiction as Betaworks aptly twitter, and I do have a Masters in Venture Capital/Entrepreneurship and do like working on the investing side (who wouldnt!) corporate strategy at the intersection of large media/entertainment/online companies, is always an attractive area 2spend yer time, in the way u can combine/divest/buy/sell/re-focus assets. I like the GigaOm content is king summary (in the same week AOL are shutting down WeblogsInc blogs that they wont sell back to Calacanis, who quit blogging - but seems to have started again with a big post on Internet Asperger’s Syndrome which nicely lays the blame on the internet/technology/websites etc for rich/people in control of operations being assholes- having worked for/around a few in my time), but seems to have enough user generated content channels to get his message out there:) So back to Gigaom and AOL :
“Time Warner might be happier getting rid of everything except the content properties of AOL, which it could turn into the cornerstone of Time Warner’s digital strategy.. What Time Warner needs to do is combine MediaGlow, AOL Music, AOL Video, TMZ and AOL Entertainment. A smaller, more focused combined entity would play to Time Warner’s core strength: content. And by hiving off everything else, the company would also get some much-needed cash. As an amusing aside, I would like to point out that Time Warner had absorbed AOL’s access business into its financials — a smart move. I think it’s a business that despite declining throws off cash like crazy, most recently to the tune of over $700 million. And in these fiscally challenged times, as we have learned, cash is king.”
Marlo: The game is the game.
Read, re-read, then take the advice of master of 500 hats, and if u still want to start a business, do. Or maybe don’t read the post at all. We are each allowed to take our swing goes the entrepreneurial siren song to 9-5′ers; Just read the post anyway, maybe u r the next Zuckerberg + Wired, Fast Company + Techcrunch are right. Here’s a McClure soundbite by the author : “Silicon Valley is WAAAY too infatuated with the ELEGANT IDEALISM of Entrepreneurship (or the GOLLUM GREED of making a shitload of CASH) , rather than the GRITTY REALITY of running a CRAPPY little startup business that will likely GO NOWHERE... which if you’ve ever been through it, is a tough, painful, low-probability, motherfuck of an adventure, aka tragedy. it ain’t no merry go round folks (well it is, but not the way you think… probably rollercoaster is a better way to describe it).”
Dave’s parallel of a entrepreneurship with a teenager driving an out of control car; With the consequent heightened reality public interest TVCs for safe driving are too true, and by inference, I’m grinning thinking about what an equivalent solution could be to warn entrepreneurs what happens in between the dream and honeymoon stage of running your own business; “Look ma, no hands!” + “I have no boss. I decide what I do. I’m not working for ‘The Man’!” -
Creative Concept 1 : “This is Your Life Meets Celebrity Rehab” for Web 1.0 Washups
Well the emperor may have no clothes so some pre + post roll interstitials could be bought on Hulu (although CPM might be cheaper on YouTube) find an ensemble of washedup pet/etail/freepc/homedelivery 1.0 e-preneurs. Highlight the dysfunctional relationships, lost marriages, addiction problems, gambler, bank defaults.. Kind of an inverted This is Your Life meets Z-List Celebrity Rehab for entrepreneurship. Make sure family members and exes are interviewed.
Creative Concept 2 - Entrepreneurship as Street Hustling : Bodie, D’Angelo, Mr_T or Mc_Hammer
If there was the budget (diverted from some government stop teen alcohol binging marketing budget) get The Wire/The Shield Director to shoot some straight to web 7 minute short films that show entrepreneurship as a Boyz in the Hood type gritty ending. Launch them on Facebook combined with a Burger King coupon tie-in. (note to self : spk2 digital agency about this) Start with a scene in The Wire where they knock down The Projects “Creative Destruction” (which is what entrepreneurship is about innit! beinging down old structures…), which leads to the creation of Hamsterdam (Dot Crash period 2002-4!), come to think of it cast Bodie who is typecast in The Wire as being a pawn in the greater “game” and there could be a guest appearance of chess playing D’angelo - who is great as Ray Beaumont in new Patrick Swayze show The Beast BTW - Chess is quite representative of the typical entrepreneur trying to cut it.. If budget doesnt allow get MrT and let him talk about finding god or at least McHammer could film something on his Flip and mention his startup as a quidpro‘quo.
Anyway I’m off topic now as u will have no idea what i’m talking bout unless u both understand Dave + also watch The Wire… Or u could listen to the excellent 5minute 5season the_wire rapup hehe lets face it the chance of being a successful entrepreneur is about the same percentage that a project kid will go from slanging rock to being Jay_Z. Most as the 12 Step mantra drills in, will end up dead or in jail. So maybe being an (unlikely not successful) entrepreneur will not be as dire.. but ‘the game’s out there, and it’s play or get played.. same as it ever was.. . All in the game yo, all in the game.’ - or some other such mashup of the Barksdale/Marlow/Omar line. OK maybe we just create a widget for it… an iphone app, facebook any1?
So Business Development 2.0 is supposed to be an API, making an MBA pretty useless theoretically, so the Dogster-YahooPets_RIP bizdev post by Dogster founder is a classic : “It was also a ghost ship on the enterprise-side. Trying to find someone who had the authority to discuss partnerships or licensing deals was like trying to speak to a human at a HMO provider. And we worked over a dozen inside channels. The running joke among their sales people was that thanks to falling page views and a long-term multi-million flat-fee contract with a single advertiser signed in the bubble era, Yahoo Pets was getting ridiculously high CPMs (> $100) for years and had to do almost nothing for it. And it was also understood that eventually the ghost ship would run aground.”
Lawrence is Back
Watching : Lawrence Fishburne in his first standalone ep of CSI, aagh Deep Cover was my fave film at a 1st year uni point. BTW How fkn hawt is it in Melbourne today btw, no summer at all… now a week in the 40c’s, thats 110 degrees farenheit for half of u. FringeS1E12 ere. Think i’d prefer to be like the Fifth Gear guys driving a Lime Green Lambo 560-4(wd) in the snow using Corsa Mode.
Mad Lies, Fringe or Air ?
Or check out College Humor’s Mad Lies the latest Mad Men spoof. ‘it’s about the american dream; people dont fly to a destination. they fly to a booger.’ + ‘squishy work today gentleman.’ The Bobby Barnett finger dexterity scene is spoofed very well. Ok im off into this stinkin northerly… as Charlene’s Li’s introductory slideshare is headed “Social Networks are like Air.” In Melbourne (and Adelaide too… and most of Australia) that means very hot air.
So its damn hawt in Melbourne today I want to run but its still like 42c degrees at 730pm.. but Id still take the latest IWC Watches, maybe the new MacBookMini netbook which doesnt exist (while Steve is alive)… or maybe I’d take some simple Air Jordans via Polyvore.