[youtube width="320" height="197"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hgcy6bsg4g[/youtube]
[youtube width="320" height="197"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hgcy6bsg4g[/youtube]
What’s written here is my own personal opinion and not the opinion of my employer, Machinima, Inc.
Two years ago, all anyone could talk about was virtual worlds. I was working so hard on virtual video that I slept through 2008′s major trend. However, 2009 seems to be the year of web video. Given the depth of this topic, I’ll probably break up subject matter into multiple posts. The first subject I’d like to discuss is the absolutely major growth of online video!
We all know that YouTube has been popular for years, but it wasn’t until recently that online TV has been in the spotlight. With online ads tanking, sites are now trying different tactics with their video sharing. For some, like ABC.com, they display roughly 4-5 10-30 second ads during a 40 minute program. Others, like Hulu, sometimes give you the choice of a 30 second ad at the beginning of the show in order to skip the 5 ad circuit. The homegrown directors are taking to YouTube in order to get a piece of the partner program pie. For example, my employer, Machinima.com, is the 7th most-subscribed YouTube channel of all time, amounting to millions of views a week on YouTube alone!
Now I’m in no place to discuss company profit, nor do I know it, but that seems like a pretty interesting business model to me. In addition to site wraps and promotions on their own site, the only reason I can see that they’d touch their 3.85 million in funding would be if they wanted to use it for growth and special talent. I was hired on as the World of Warcraft Community Manager, but now I’m dabbling in Second Life production for them. Other recent hires include dedicated YouTube, Facebook, and soon, Twitter managers. In addition, they have Felicia Day, of The Guild, working on a project, and a whole boatload of writers for known comedies in their Comedy Lab.
The face of video is changing. Video doesn’t just broadcast anymore. It participates. When you comment on a video, they comment back. If you Tweet about a video, they find you and add you to their follow list. When you become a fan of their page on Facebook, you’re invited to the conversation in ways that forums hoped to participate. You’re combining the power of millions of people that already have accounts for existing services. When you view that page on YouTube, you become part of a statistic that tells them that x gender and y age prefer Halo comedies, whereas another group might prefer World of Warcraft. This allows them to deliver videos to you in ways that Neilsen Media Research would die to research so cheaply.
That’s right. It’s a buyer’s market these days, and the seller wants to cater to you. Not just Machinima.com, but video sharing sites in general. Hulu grew a staggering 33% last month, making it the #4 video sharing site on the internet. The public has spoken. We love our small doses of nearly ad-free online TV. ABC and MTV say they’re turning a profit from streaming video. In a time when they’re scaling back, BBC Trust upped their online budget while cutting their film and TV budgets. These are all major developments.
I can’t help but be slightly skeptical, though. I remember when virtual worlds had this wave of popularity. They could do no wrong, until the blinders came off and the backlash came back 100 times harder than the initial praise. That’s saying something, too, because they were very hyped. I’d love for online video, particularly machinima, to live happily ever after, but will it? What do you think?
[youtube width="320" height="197"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzFrLXAYASc[/youtube]
Wow. It’s been so long since I’ve actually posted here. I feel super guilty about that. I’m not sure if anyone still reads this. I guess it’s time that I clued all of you in on what’s going on.
I’ve been promoting and making machinima for over two years now. The time has really flown by. Since the beginning, moo Money and Sasha Rudie, my real life persona, have been one and the same. In so many ways, they still are. However, I need a balance.
I’ve actually splintered off and married myself. I encourage all of you to say hi to Money Moo, my new partner in SL. Freud would have a field day analyzing this relationship! Money Moo will be running the Bayjou Theater in the mainland Linden Department of Public Works city project, Bay City. She’ll be holding regular events, classes, premieres, and displaying machinima.
The 2007 Second Life Community Convention caught me by surprise in so many ways. I was shocked by all of the attention that I received. As some of you may know, I planned the Machinima track. It was attended by very few, as everyone was at the Business and Education tracks. Since then, I’ve been out of the spotlight. However, I haven’t been out of machinima.
What have I been up to? Well, I’m no longer working for Alt-Zoom Studios, but I still help manage Machinimatographers, the group BuhBuhCuh Fairchild and I started two years ago, as well as Lukanida, the free backlot island. It is now restricted to group members only due to squatters. I’ve been working on projects for Linden Lab, Cisco, PBS, and many more companies. In the coming months, I’ll actually put up a *gasp* portfolio, so that you can see all of the cool projects that I’ve worked on in my time in SL. August marks the two year anniversary of my being full-time in SL, and I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve also been blogging machinima daily for Massively.com and WoWInsider.com.
Some of you may take this to mean that I’ve left all of you for World of Warcraft, but the truth is that since I blogged daily on Massively, the mutual leads over at WoW Insider thought that I could do the same for them. I played WoW years ago, but don’t currently play it at this time. In order to become familiar with the scene, I immersed myself in their community and got to know many talented machinimators, including Baron Soosdon, Ian Beckman, Selserene, Pinkhair, Gnomechewer, Dopefish, Malu05, Olibith, and many others.
In terms of the splitting off that I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m going to keep the professional side of me and the educational side of me separate. SashaRudie.com will be the host of my portfolio, as well as my resume, and professional accomplishments. MooMoney.net will be the host of my personal blog, which I will start trying to regularly update. There’s so much new technology that’s out there and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!
What’s coming up? Well, in about two weeks, you’ll see what I’ve been working on for the last six months. It’s a project that means so much to me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Many of you participate in the Second Life Relay for Life. I’ve been working on a 17ish minute documentary on how four volunteers spend their time fundraising in SL for this event. The few people that have seen the draft have told me they’ve cried, so that’s my goal. I want all of you to be reaching for your tissues! After it’s released, it will immediately start being refined to take out some branding and cleaned up for real life festival submission. I want the world to know what ACS/SLRFL is accomplishing in Second Life!
I will also be releasing a more detailed tutorial on making machinima. I’ve been seeing a whole new crop of SL machinimators that seem to be solely interested in machinima from the money-making aspect of it, rather than the art. Then there are the people that are blogging a lot of misinformation that I feel is hurting the machinimator community in SL. You’ll be seeing a lot of advice blogging and tips/tricks from me in the near future.
Another of my goals is to ease the transition of machinimators that come from outside of SL. We all know how huge a learning curve this platform is, so imagine how shocked they are! However, a lot of them have been working on machinima a lot longer than we have and have plenty of sage advice for the newer crowd. There have been monthly meetings going on in SL to discuss current events in machinima and I’d like to make the SL crowd more aware of them.
Money Moo was going to be teaching some classes at SL’s 5th Birthday celebration on behalf of Bayjou Theater and the FIlm Appreciation Society. However, not only was it too short notice, but when I looked outside of the plot, there were tons of self-serving machinimator plots everywhere. I saw signs and video screens as high as the sky, glowing, blinking, and rotating. It may as well have been the mainland and their for sale signs. I don’t have a problem with people making money, but I saw portfolios, links to websites, landmarks, and basically everything but giant “hire me!” signs, and I felt that it really took away from the community feel of SL5B. Has Second Life really become every person for themselves? I know and love a better community than that!
The AMAS Machinima Festival skipped last year, but is coming up again in New York in November. The awesome team of Friedrich Kirschner and Frank Dellario are heading it up. I intend to be there and I invite all New Yorkers and anyone within driving distance to check it out!
So that’s what comes to mind so far. If you’re reading this, let me know that you’re out there! I would love some helpers that can assist me in mass educating the general public about machinima. Spreading the word is time consuming! I am so proud of everyone that has taken up machinima. You’re doing a wonderful job, and at times it can probably be frustrating, but don’t give up!
Well, this has turned into a giant opus, but the point is, I’m here. I still very much believe in machinima and I want everyone to believe in it too. It’s not only a great tool for educators, but also corporations, individuals, and even as a form of self-expression! Machinima will only become more popular in the coming years and I want each and every one of you to be a part of that with me. What do you say?
I’m sure that those of you up on Second Life scandals saw my odd goodbye to Second Life Insider. Many thought I quit or was fired. Your concern was touching. It wasn’t saying goodbye to me, though. I was saying farewell to an old friend. I know that it’s shocking for a lot of you. It was surprising to me, as well. I had about a week-long lead on you guys, if that.
The good news is that the writers of SLI were wrapped into a monster huge site for everything MMO-related, Massively. There *will* be an adjustment period for this site if you’re used to SLI. It has different tagging, layout, and whatnot. HOWEVER, none of the SLI staff left. You’ll still get the same great news from us. It’s just on a different site.
Here’s the lowdown. There are like 25+ writers that will cover as much about different MMOs as is humanly possible. Some have even chosen to write SL news! There’s even a tag for Second Life news alone. Did you know you can search for posts by your favorite writer? Even CATEGORY!
What does this mean for me? I’ll still be my same old self, writing about SL news. However, I’ll also be writing extensively about Machinima. Right now, I’m doing the Cinemassively feed, which is a daily Machinima or video post at 12:30pm EDT. You should also keep an eye out for my weekly interviews with Machinimists. In addition, there is a Machinima tag for news that doesn’t include video. It’s not just SL Machinima, either. It’s all the Machinima goodness from MMOs and even non-MMOs that you can possibly stomach!
I’ve been trying to keep up with all this web 2.0 stuff and somehow merge it with Second Life. I think Facebook is much less offensive than MySpace and is better at connecting people. With that said, I’ve created a group for Alt-Zoom announcements and Machinima-related things. Some of you may be full on groups, or have announcements turned off, so you won’t see the events scheduled. This way, you can just check the Alt-Zoom page to see if there’s a class or ask advice.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments?
From December 06 to February 07, moo Money and Nylon Pinkney were co-anchors for Edelman’s The Grid Review. Nylon left before I did, but when they introduced the new format, I was too burnt out to do Machinima for at least two or three more months. After I left, both mine and Nylon’s work was mysteriously removed from both YouTube and Blip.tv, as well as our blog entries and our bio pages. I’m assuming that this was to make way for the new format, but I still receive inquiries as to where it went, so I’ve uploaded mine to my personal YouTube page. I hope you enjoy!
I’m a semi-finalist for America’s Got Talent: Second Life edition, so I put together this silly little Machinima. Voting is on Thursday, June 14th, at 5pm PDT/SLT at the NBC sim, as well as several other locations. If you want to come show your support or help me win by voting for me, let me know!
I was just informed that the lady gave me the wrong time. It’s actually at 5pm PDT/SLT.
I have a lot going on in the next few months. I knew it would be an intense time for me. I’d signed up to help with some volunteer things, and have my normal jobs. I’ve been really stressed and not happy lately. I’ve started to block out the negative things in my Second Life to make things better in my First Life.
When SignPostMarv Martin asked me to help out with the Machinima area of SL4B, SL’s 4th birthday party, I said I would gather Machinima links from over the years to put on the plot. After that, I discovered that when I didn’t attend a meeting, he’d signed me up to hold a Machinima contest during that meeting. This was NOT okay and I let him know so. Then I discovered that I’d have to build a plot, which I am not good at, so I picked one out and worked towards finding builders for the plot.
Today I was asked by “messenger” if I’d be in charge of all the media in SL, such as podcasts and things like The Grid Review. This was the last straw. I left the SL4B group. I am far too busy and stressed trying to plan SLCC and earn my way there with less than three months to go to be worrying about this. I wish them the best of luck.
On top of that, I had someone try to get onto the Machinima track last minute based on their status within the community. I won’t name names, but they wanted to teach a class that was similar to what I already have planned for the track. They had months to express interest in the track and if they’d have looked on the SLCC07 website, they’d have seen that I had something planned. I told them that if their idea didn’t overlap mine, I would extend time from my class out for them, as the entire track is full and has been for a while. They asked me to outline my itinerary to them, and not the other way around. This took me aback because they’re trying to get space on the track and I’m trying to accommodate them. I have time to plan the class because the convention is over two months away, but I had already told him the basic details of what I was going to teach. I dunno, maybe I’m being irrational.
They then sent me an email stating that they assumed that Ben would be teaching the class, so they’d just drop him a note. You see, they didn’t want to step on his toes and felt it would be the perfect opportunity to collaborate. My jaw literally dropped open. When he wasn’t getting anywhere with me, he incorrectly assumed that Ben, my boss for Alt-Zoom, would be teaching this class, so he’d go around me. I informed him that I was the sole planner of the Machinima track. I was teaching the class, so he would go through me. He would be stepping on my toes. I did say, however, that if our classes complemented each other, that I’d be more than happy to extend out my class. He sent me a response saying it’s best to just leave it at that.
I have also extended this blocking out the negative to friends. I blocked a friend from all of my messengers yesterday and it killed me to do so, but I felt that our history was too distracting to think about. Seeing him in my list just saddened me, because between him and another person, I felt stuck in the middle of drama that I do not need.
Maybe I’m going crazy. I’m not sure. I keep telling myself that if I can just survive until SLCC, it’ll all be worth it, but I have to get to that point first. If we’re friends and I haven’t been around much, I apologize. I’m doing a million business things at once and trying to find time for fun, but it’s not working out. Know that I have not forgotten about you. I just don’t want to end up flipping out and being snippy. Man I’m ranting a lot and I’ve said way too much already. I just hope you guys understand.