April 25, 2006

now all we need's a better name for it.

It’s been a pretty big media week for Rocketboom, and vlogs in general, with major features in the latest Wired (article online May 1), Rolling Stone, and Sunday Times on the newsstands. It’s tempting to think that Rocketboom probably easily broke 1.5 million viewers this week, and compare it to Rolling Stone’s current 1.5 million circulation, but that’s really not a fair comparison, especially when comparing Rocketboom to The New Yorker is way more fun (note the Seymour Hersh story spike last week, linked from BoingBoing and elsewhere). RS999’s a big deal, and hopefully will turn on a lot of people to trying to broadcast themselves.

Meanwhile, CNN (and a number of email groups I’m on, from business networking groups to the Yahoo videoblogging forum) started wondering if we have an online video bubble. If so, I’m on my fourth or fifth bubble by now, and everyone seems to be OK, so maybe there’s not so much to be worried about.

Anyway, as a little shey.net extra, here’s a complete non-exclusive: Amanda’s original and unedited list of her favorite vlogs, as originally submitted for this Wired sidebar article. Google for the links… I can’t do everything for you.

Amanda’s Favorite Vlogs

ASK A NINJA You ask, the ninja answers. Can a Ninja catch a cold? “A better question,” he points out, “would be, ‘Can a cold catch a Ninja?’” The answer, of course, is no.

THE SINGING WOODCHUCK VARIETY MINUTE Adam Quirk has a show on his videoblog, Bullemhead, about a talking Woodchuck. It’s not like those talking babies in commercials. This is funny. REALLY funny, in a kinda weird, out there way. Cross still photos of a couple of woodchucks with computer voices saying seemingly random but I’m sure carefully calculated things such as, “Ok, I’ll bail her out right after I finish this sandwich I got from Grizzlebee’s. It has bacon sausage bacon bacon fat bacon sausage cheese biscuits three kinds of gravy and biscuits and cheese, plus bacon” and you’ve got yourself a hit.

THE RICHARD SHOW This is a vlog about a silly guy named Richard, his lovely wife, Maureen (who he jokingly refers to as “Richard’s Wife”), and their life in the Ozarks. They have the ultimate love story! Not a Hollywood love story, but true love.

VLOG SOUP Steve Garfield, also a Rocketboom correspondent, brings you on a weekly tour of the vlogosphere. Watching Steve’s show is the most efficient way for me to keep up with new videoblogs. Plus, Steve’s unwavering enthusiasm and good-natured playfulness always make him a joy to watch. His 80 year old mom, Millie, is interested in internet culture too. She has a blog-vlog hybrid called Thoroughly Modern Millie… I’d say!

TIKIBARTV Each episode you learn how to make a cocktail while kicking it with Dr. Tiki, Johnny Johnny and Lala. Slapstick humor at its finest.

MINNESOTA STORIES Rocketboom correspondent, funnyman and super all around nice guy, Chuck Olsen, produces a daily videoblog out of Minneapolis. Some days Chuck creates the videos himself, often with his charming girlfriend, Lori, and other days he plays videos he receives from people all over the state of Minnesota. Each video tells a different slice-of-life, “Minnesota story”. One day you could be watching an interview with a local band, the next you could be learning all about broom hockey, and the following you could be watching a grown man climb a tree. I have a personal preference for the videos starring Chuck himself. Especially the Vlog Santa series. It’s exciting for me to watch Chuck pioneer the local videoblogging effort. It will be neat to see when every city has a dedicated videoblog telling its stories.

IT’S JERRY TIME! This is a strangely entertaining animation vlog created by two brothers, Jerry and Orrin Zucker. It follows the mundane life of Jerry, including such events as an hostile encounter with a barmaid and a nasty landlord situation. The visuals are very unusual… but the stories are perhaps so funny because of how familiar they seem to be. Jerry’s got “the everyman” shtick down pat.

HOMESTAR RUNNER Not really a videoblog, but one of the longest standing animation shows on the web. Consistently sidesplitting. Another set of brothers, Matt and Mike Chapman, works on this show out of Atlanta . I love Strong Sad!

THE SUPER SECRET DANCE SOCIETY or SSDS Shhhhhhh! It’s a secret… I really can’t talk about it other than to say…. pink spandex is back!

ONE AMERICA COMMITTEE Ok, I’m biased because I helped set this up, but this is the official videoblog of Senator John Edwards. People can send him their video questions and he will respond via video! I love that Senator Edwards has the cajones to really grab new media by the horns. The guy has a blog, podcast AND a videoblog!

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