Monday, April 26, 2010

The Streamys: Rebuild the trust?

This is what the Streamys 2010 should be remembered for - excellence rewarded. Felica Day FTW
EDIT: Added link Derek Housman's tumblr post

These wounds are made for picking
The last two weeks have tested the mettle of many supporters of Web TV, webseries and web communities as a whole. After the events three weeks ago there have been claims and counter-claims across the web. And now there is a new movement afoot. Here are some recommended reads:
A special Tubfilter Editoral from the creators of the Streamys Awards, Drew Baldwin, Brady Brim-DeForest, Joshua Cohen, Marc Hustvedt and Jamison Tilsner
The Manifesto from RebuildTheTrust
A rebuttal from Casey McKinnon, new media creator
@theonetruebix has asked for details about who does what at the IAWTV, Tubefilter and the Streamys
@Jeff_Koenig has asked for clarification on the 'takeover' section of the RebuildTheTrust manifesto
@SpyTap, Barret Garese, speculates on what it all might mean
@kentnichols ( looks at what might happen
Derek Housman adds his take on the situation (thanks to Jeff_Koenig for commenting with this link)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions
My Gran was fond of that saying, usually applied when one or other of us had neglected to do homework, dishes or another decade of the Rosary but really meant to do it very soon.
Most people mean well but the gap between the intention and the result can be - well, very gappy indeed.

Confusion Reigns
I have no idea what is going on.
You have no idea what is going on.
We have no idea what is going on.

All I know is the following:
  • I love me some webseries and have a lot of respect for the creators out there doing their thing
  • I cannot shake the suspicion that money, influence and things unrelated to promoting new media/online entertainment are behind many of the issues being aired in public on both sides
  • Transparency is a good thing as long as it works both ways
  • Change is not always good, or bad
What I hoped the Streamys would be about:
  • Celebrating achievements and efforts of the whole community of creators in the new media space.
  • Promoting online entertainment as an industry to the world as a whole.
  • Showing that creators can come from anywhere - that the quality of the product and the sincerity of the pursuit of the craft is more important than where you live, who you know and the funding you receive.
What I hoped the IAWTV would be about:
  • Setting standards of propriety and openness that the rest of the new media/online entertainment industry could work towards.
  • Building on the efforts of the creators to establish online entertainment as a vibrant and diverse community with common goals, standards and aspirations
  • Organising, or at least setting standards for, outreach, learning and technical workshops for ALL the community
What happens next?
I have no clue. Letting the dust settle seems an appropriate response at this juncture because I have no idea what is really going on. The last three weeks have left me heartsore for all our community. There is more shock and disbelief today. People are trying to do the right thing. It's just a pity that there is no consesus on what that might be.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Facebook: Privacy FTW! Plus how to add a like button to Blogger

I'm on Facebook - are you? Have you changed your Privacy settings yet?
Note: Edited to include link to Louis Gray's discussion about the changes, below.

Social Media - I Love It!
Occasionally I have the urge to write about tech. Then I look at all the tech bloggers and know they have pretty much got it covered. Facebook has made some massive changes this week and you should really really make it your business to check out your profiles and make sure you are sharing the information you intend to. You might decide to leave everything as it is and that's fine. Facebook can now (with your permission) track you all across the web and all your likes and habits will be lovingly stored and pondered upon. The thing is that you might have already given your permission without realising it because you have to opt out of sharing.

Over to the Professionals...
Here's some articles you might like to read about the changes and what they mean. They range from "Oh my God the skynet is falling" to "Relax, all these corporations know all your secrets anyway". Share or share not, there is no "keep it the way it was". Just share whatever you are going to share knowingly (sorry but my go-to tech blogger, Louis Gray hasn't blogged about this yet. EDIT: Louis has posted a discussion on Buzz about this which is very interesting. Recommended reading.):

How do you Like That?
Having read all that (yeah, I know you read them all and you get a special invisible badge - go you!), you might have noticed that I've added a Facebook Like button to this blog (see the end of the post).  The reason I did this so quickly was in no small part due to an ace Friendfeed widget guru, A J Batac. AJ is a a great Freindfeeder who adds a lot to the community there and shares his expertise generously. After making a Wordpress Facebook like widget in super-quick time he then made one for Blogger. Because I asked him to. How awesome is that?? Thanks AJ!

It's really simple so go to AJ's blog and get the details if you want to add the Facebook Like button to your Blogger or Wordpress site.

Oh - and I'll be back to 'proper' business tomorrow with details about new webseries you are going to love...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Guild Comic #2 and On Garner Road: The Higlet Files

The Matthew Stawiki cover of The Guild comic #2 from (other cover is by Kristin Donaldson)
Hold on to your Dark Horses...
...because Issue #2 of The Guild comic is now out! It's been a Guild Comic week with the release of #2 in comic book stores (and online) and Issue #1 is now also available on iTunes! I received my copy of #1 last week in the mail and - wow! Felicia Day has really delivered a great story. Anyone who has seen The Guild webseries is familiar with Codex/Cyd and her...issues. The Guild comics go back to Cyd-the-waif and is painting a funny-yet-painful geek coming-of-age story (that's-enough-dashes). I have never seen gaming as empowerment portrayed with such a deft touch.

I'll have to wait to get my hands on #2 because the it seems to take forever to have them delivered and according to @DarkHorseComics some comic book stores in the US and Canada might be experiencing delays. But that's ok - I can wait.

More Guildie news
Season 4 is in pre-production! There was a flurry on twitter earlier this week when Felicia tweeted about casting. As Kim Evey confirmed, though, The Guild can only accept actor submissions from agents. However there will likely be a general call for extras at some point, so make sure you are following The Guild on Twitter.

Everything you ever wanted to know about me, and more besides...
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Glen Campbell for his podcast "On Garner Road". Glen is fellow Friendfeeder and a natural interviewer. We had a good old chinwag and it was lots of fun - thanks, Glen! We talked about books, writing, geekery, Buffy, The Guild and a host of other topics. The interview is out today if you want to get the lowdown on where I got my name from, amongst other things... I even did a new graphic for it:

Oh sorry - I should have put a warning on this! :) The three faces of Higlet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celebrate the Web! Tonight LIVE at 8:00 PST

Acme Comedy Theatre
It's a web community gathering - and we're all invited!
Jenni Powell and Kim Evey are hosting a get together for all the Streamy Award winners tonight, 'Celebrate The Web' and we are all invited to the live streaming. The Live Stream starts at 8:00 PST and will be here:

If you can't make it to the Live Stream then don't fret - have stepped in as co-sponsor  and have agreed to post the whole event (plus some goodies!) online afterwards.

Get all the details from Jenni Powell's blog.

Don't just watch - take part!
Enjoying the live stream is one thing but how about doing something to help get the word out? Help us to trend on twitter by using the this hashtag:


You can tag all your tweets but if we can start a concerted effort about 7:45 PM PST then we might be able to trend our tag. See you on the Acme Live Stream Chat and let's make it a night to remember!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kim Evey and Jenni Powell: Celebrating the web video community

Jenni Powell and Kim Evey

The Heart of the Matter
In testing times it is often hard to know what to do to help. There have been many thousands of words written and spoken about the Streamy event last Sunday. That conversation is necessary and worthwhile. The web entertainment community is built by people who want to make things happen, who do not sit back and wait for permission, who, above all, want to make a difference. That might be making people laugh, or think, or escape for a short while. Or make them want to party. Kim and Jenni have stepped up to organise a special event tomorrow.

A Winning Celebration
In the heat of emotions unleashed on Sunday one thing - the one thing that really mattered - was lost:

"In response to a Streamy Awards ceremony that felt like it didn’t serve to fully honor the very deserving winners in all areas of web entertainment, Kim Evey (producer of The Guild) and myself have decided to put together an informal gathering of as many of the winners as are available this Thursday, April 15th for an evening of celebration. We have asked each winner to speak for 1 – 2 minutes on their creation and what working in web video means to them, why they love working in web video, as well as sharing thoughts on the issue of net neutrality, which effects our industry as a whole.

This is not about airing out grievences about the Streamy Awards ceremony, it is about celebrating those who were chosen by their peers as the best representations of web video in a variety of categories..."
(From Jenni Powell's blog)

How you can participate
This event is being held for the web entertainment community. Those who are in the Los Angeles area can attend in person (but please let the organisers know in advance). Everyone else can join in the live stream. These are the details:

Thursday, April 15th at 8 PM PST (7:30 drinks at Amalfi next door)
Acme Comedy Theater
135 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2911

Live stream:

You could also show your appreciation to who donated the funds for renting the Acme by tweeting them (or even buying one of their cool tees)- THANK YOU JINX!

Search for a #tag
I tweeted a short time ago that we are looking for a suitable #tag for twitter so we can all use the same one tomorrow. We've had some suggestions:

(thanks to @theonetruebix, @GrrArrgh and @jennipowell)

If you have a suggestion for a short tag that encapsulates the spirit of the event then let us know!

More about Kim and Jenni
Kim Evey is a web entertainer with years of experience including her own Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show and as producer of The Guild. Kim was a live guest on eGuiders yesterday and you can see the recording here.

Jenni Powell also has years in web entertainment from LonelyGirl15 to Production/Admin Assistant for The Guild and Associate Editor at Tubefilter. Jenni also co-hosts the Knights of The Guild Podcast, which you can listen to here.

Thank you for organising this, Kim and Jenni - you are amazing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let's Celebrate, Guildies! Awards, Comics and SEASON 4!!!

Felica Day wins Best Female Actor
Let's FIGHT! For our RIGHT!
....TO PAR-TAY! After the tumult of the last couple of days it's good to sit up and realise that now is a great time to be a GUILDIE! Cast aside all thoughts of Guild Deficiency Syndrome and snuggle up to the warm glow of multiple pieces of most excellent news:

Felicia Day won Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series for The Guild:
Felicia Day looks radiant as ever on the way to receive her award. If a little nervous. But who wouldn't be?

Sean Becker won Best Directing in a Comedy Web Series for The Guild:
Sean Becker receives his Best Directing award and doesn't tell any of the jokes he had written down.
There is an Exclusive Preview of The Guild #2 comic online at and it looks AWESOME!

One of the preview pictures from of The Guild #2 - more on the site!
Sean Becker and Jeff Lewis were on the Film Method Podcast last night and Sean joined in the fun on the WatchTheGuild Forums afterwards talking to the Guildies.


Even as you read this pre-production has started!
And here's an interview with Felicia Day from docparadox via Mashable:

Interview with Felicia Day at the Streamys from docparadox on Vimeo.

It's a great time to be a Guildie so let's be out and proud! Hope to see you on The Guild forums soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Streamys 2010: Oh what a night...but not in a good way

Felicia Day accepts her 2010 Streamy Award for Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series for The Guild

I've added some important updates at the end

A star-filled night

I was excited about last night's Streamy Awards and was preparing to get some great pictures from the event. In the post I did yesterday I never imagined what was going to unfold before my eyes last night. I did manage to get some screen shots, and I hope you enjoy this slideshow from my Flickr stream:

The Elephant dung in the room
For more than two years I've been following web series, seeing how this new form is developing and growing. It inspires me. Inspiration was one of the things sorely lacking in last night's show. Many, many people have expressed their feelings about the Streamys on Twitter, chat rooms and blogs. Not everyone was disappointed and Lights.Camera.Drama. found some good points. sums up many of the thoughts I have about it, as does b!X in his article. Felicia Day's tweet after the show was confirmation that the people in the auditorium were as aghast as the online audience.

Sean Becker receives his 2010 Streamy Award for Best Directing in a Comedy Web Series for The Guild
The Good
There were some.

Sean Becker's speech. When I interviewed Sean he said he didn't remember a thing about his Emmys speech because he hadn't prepared and was so nervous. This time he had done his homework and had some notes. It was funny because he omitted all the jokes he had written and still managed to be funnier than many of the other people who stood at that podium. His thankyous were awesome and moving (he thanked his mum and dad, which brought a tear to me eye). He even mentioned @egspoony's birthday and all the Guildies. A class act.

Autotune The News did a very good segment (the second part was let down by bad sound but they were excellent) and their acceptance speech/song was brilliantly conceived and performed.

Felicia Day's acceptance speech was a real highlight. It came late in the show and rather than complain she thanked people for their hard work at the show and brought some much-needed reflections on what the night was supposed to be about. And she dedicated it to all the geeky girls out there - she won that award for us and that's why we love her.

And the host, Paul Scheer, did his best in the face of what must have been a difficult night.

Felicia Day bathed in light at the 2010 Streamy Awards
The Bad
Technical fails happen - anyone who has ever tried to do a presentation using any sort of mechanical device knows that. Much more worrying was that the organisers seemed to have forgotten what web entertainment is about. Rather than porn and sexist/homophobic/OMFG it's about punchy, bite-sized, pithy, amazing revelations. The best of the web is a short, sharp, shock not an overblown wet raspberry. Even without the technical problems the 'show' was far too long. And it shouldn't have been a show, but a ceremony.

The Ugly
Scatological has a place but I don't want to have to listen to so many bad taste and mean-spirited diatribes and unfunny segments. Truly I was cringing in places and had to mute the sound for my own sanity. I was in The Guild Chat and people were angry about the tone and length of so many of the sections. When James Gunn is light relief from swearing and lewdness then something is very wrong.

The Future
What happens now? Hopefully plans are already underway for next year's awards because I don't want The Streamys to stop. Web entertainment needs a dedicated award ceremony that honours and lauds the truly great and innovative. Web entertainment just went through it's awkward teenage stage live online but good things can come from this. I don't know the organisers but I've spoken to them online in the past and I know that they are working hard and breaking ground. I really appreciate the work that everyone involved in the Streamys does - I really do. The are dealing with many pressure and it can't be easy.

So I have a list I'd like them to think about before next year:

  • Firstly remember it's THE STREAMYS not anything else. Dare to be different and give us what we want - punchy, edgy and short!
  • It shouldn't have to be censored but if you know there are going to be adult-related themes then have some sort of warning at the outset. And don't bleep stuff when that's no way near as bad as the live action you know is going to happen.
  • No dance routines unless they are from a web series that are receiving or presenting an award. And even then less than three minutes. Same for bands.
  • Stay classy. The popup idea was very funny but the material was coarse in the extreme and it didn't need to be. I felt sorry for the audience. And me. Other parts were equally as bad.
  • Don't diss your audience - the ones sitting in the auditorium OR the ones online. Really. It does not go down well and cheapens everyone.
  • Be clear about funding, sponsors and money. We want you to make money and fund the Streamys. Advertisements are fine if it pays the bills. Other things make us nervous.
  • Be inspiring - big up the creators and yourselves. You are amazing - show us how. Make us believe that we don't have to live in LA or have connections or money or be young or beautiful to create great online entertainment.
  • Let us see the organisers - you made the show and we'd like to see you so we can show our appreciation!
  • Show us you've listened to what people say about this year's ceremony. Not the rants but the fair criticism. It won't be easy but the passion you see shows that people care. It will make it all the sweeter when the same people praise you next year.
  • Be proud of what you do!

Do you have any other comments or thoughts you would like to pass on about the Streamys? Comment here or contact Jenni Powell. This is important. Web entertainment is alive and kicking - take part!

The full list of the winners is on Tubefilter. Please go and check out some great web series.

Article on Tubefilter from Jenni Powell: "The Streamys: Post-Show Community Feedback and Discussion" which has links to many of the posts about the show

Letter from the Chair of the International Academy of Web Television about the Streamys

Open Letter from the Executive Producers of The Streamys about the show

Response from Felicia Day on the newteevee post about the Streamys
I hope something good will come out of this in the end. We can be hopeful that it will be better in the future.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Streamys 2010: What can we expect tonight?

Felicia Day accepts (one of) her Streamy Award in 2009
They say you always remember your first time...
...and I certainly remember the First Streamys. It was a dark and stormy, no, that's not quite right. It was a highly exciting night. No one was sure of what to expect. Who would be there? Who would win? Who would scream the loudest if the live stream didn't work?

Sandeep Parikh and Felicia Day kick off the action in 2009
Breathlessly waiting
Like many people gathered on Twitter and WatchTheGuild chat room, I anxiously waited for the live feed to finally start. After a couple of small hiccups we were thrust right into the heart of the Streamys. Felicia Day and Sandeep Parikh set the ball in motion and the awards came thick and fast. For a great summary read this article from Tubefilter. It was an uplifting evening.

Jane Espenson (we are not worthy) tells us that BSG is like chopped liver in her 2009 Streamys acceptance speech
So many winners, a few surprises and lots of hard work rewarded. It's a bit of a blur but I managed to remember enough about it to cobble together a blog post. So what will we see this year?

Joss Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen accept the Dr Horrible Streamy in 2009
Vanity Fair gives us a taste
Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the only place I've seen any real hint of what's going to happen on the night has been in this article. No real spoilers except that Keanu Reeves will be there....and no word if NPH will sneak along just for the heck of it (we can hope).

Neil Patrick Harris thrills at the Streamys 2009 with tales of Nathan Fillion's junk
Submit to a night of web history
There will be winners and losers but we can all share in the experience of seeing the future of web entertainment blossoming before our very eyes. The red carpet pre-show starts at 3:30 PST and the ceremony itself starts at 5:30 PST. Make sure you are locked onto to be a part of history and I'll see you there (and on Twitter)! I'll be adding pictures from the ceremony on my Flickr account as quickly as they will upload.

The Guild looked fabulous last year but....

Who hopes that The Guild will show up in their Avatar costumes?!?

Friday, April 9, 2010

YouTube Friday: The Guild, Two Hot Girls, Browncoats and Mediocrefilms...Oh my!

Riley takes charge in Codex' bedroom...

Don't forget to keep voting in The Streamy Awards!

Rate, Comment and Share!

Every time you rate, comment and share a video you like on YouTube an angel gets wings - and that is a true story. So when you've watched all these videos don't forget to share the love and do your bit for non-flying angels!

The Guild Season 3, Ep 5: Application'd
Another cracking episode from The Guild Season 3 this week with the tension ramping up for everyone!

There's a full review of the episode on Pink (which contains spoilers) and there's a listing of the all my Season 3 reviews here which I hope you will enjoy.

Rate, Comment, Share!
Every time you rate, comment and share a video you like on YouTube it an angel gets wings - and that is a true story. So when you've watched all these videos don't forget to share the love and do your bit for non-flying angels!

Two Hot Girls - REVEALED!
Kim Evey and Julie Wittner show us more than usual in the shower! How I love these girls....

Could be mildly NSFW, but depends on where you work :) And the Bonus Extra videos are hilarious, too! If you are a member of the WatchTheGuild community site then they have their own group - come and join us!

I am a Browncoat #5
Browncoat: Redemption is a fanmade film that is released this year. To help get the signal out they have been asking for videos from is the latest one!

It features Browncoats from all over the place - including Sean Becker and Wil Wheaton. Find out more about the film on the website. (There is also a Browncoats group on WatchTheGuild :))

Last, but not least - Greg and Payman chat and roul(ette)
Like me you might have heard about something called chat roulette and decided it wasn't for you. I did ask about it on Friendfeed and the answer came back "You'll see lots of penises." o_O It was only a matter of time, then, before Mediocre Films stuck their noses (and goodness knows what else) into the seamy underbelly of this new web sensation so they could bring us this (NSFW - REALLY NOT!!!!) video:

The more you know....Thanks for the PSA, Greg and Payman!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cocktails with Felicia Day and The Guild - TONIGHT!

Dark Horse Weekend at in LA
...and meet Zach Whedon tomorrow!
Of course, to do so it would help if you lived in or near California, but fear not if you don't because Kenny from the Knights of The Guild (KOTG) podcast will be there to record a microcast, so we will be able to get the highlights from tonight's festivities. Once again KOTG deliver the goods!

The whole Guild cast will be there from 6:00 PM: Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Jeff Lewis, Robin Thorsen, Amy Okuda, Vince Caso and Kim Evey, the Producer, will also be there. It should be some party. If you manage to get there don't forget to pop into The Guild chat afterwards (or even during!) and let us know how it went.

The Guild Comic #1
Sales of The Guild comic appear to have been brisk with many Guildies reporting that they have been sold out in local comic stores. And reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. On release day I popped into The Guild chat and people who had managed to get hold of a copy were really happy with the whole package:

Tarseith: I'm pleased on how it was done. From a comic, artisitic, and a Guild point-of-view - In short it is definitely a welcome addition to the Guild Universe

Osiromon: I can quote my local comic book dealer.  Lucky you pre-ordered, we're sold out.

These are the first editions, folks, and apart from being part of The Guild story, are something to tell your kids about (just make sure you get proper protective covers and don't, whatever you do, let you kids actually touch them! :)).

In completely unrelated news did you see that the First Superman Comic sold for $1m on 22nd Feb 2010?

First Superman Comic sold for $1m via BBC news
Makes you think, huh.....?

Lil' Guildies!?!
And we have to mention yesterday's shock announcement. Apparently someone let the cat out of the bag a day early about an animated Guild Series. Get all the details from and enjoy this amazing new creation here:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First scenes from RED - Felicia Day kicks ass!

After seeing Felicia Day in some stunning photos from the set...
...the first snippet of the actual film has come out as a teaser for Syfy and Felicia Day fans. RED principle filming is completed and Day has returned to LA (and warmth!) and amazed fans with an impromptu strip at the airport:

Syfy are keeping the script to RED a close secret and won't divulge the events leading up to this scene but judge for yourself - does Felicia kick ass or what?!? Video is here (embedding is disabled - sorry!)