Tag Archives: new media

Highlights from Our Animation Festival

Here’s a re-post of the clips from our Animation Festival in New York last night. As per many of you requested, her’s the 16 world premieres and standing room only fest in NY! We could have run the city for days on their energy. You had to be there, but this is the next best thing. I am very proud. Another 200 kids are now film makers, stars, and distributors!

The Seven Dollar Laptop


Seven Billion Channels seem too distant? Check out this.

Social Media is Depression Proof


I would argue for mini-depression-proofness in Social Media because we in the Tech world have been through a depression recently. Between March 2000 and let’s say Summer 2002, 30% unemployment and vanishing tech sector companies were the norm. Unlike real estate and financial industries, Tech has a very near-term memory of devastation. Many, like me, still have scars from those days. We are already the drepession era grandparents of Web 1.0, and we have taken precautions. We start on a shoestring budget, we pay as we go, we keep the lavishness in check until the check clears.

Before the Great Depression, over 250 car manufactuers existed in the U.S. alone. After the depression, the only automobile companies left were assembly-line-based manufacturers. Economies of scale demanded a car be made cheaply enough for a struggling depression era family to afford one.

The Social Media explosion of the past 3 years has produced a pre-depression level variety of shall we say “mobile” services, as pictured above.

Striking a pessimistic pose, let us say this current economic crisis ends up being a “mini-depression” as Bill Gross recently opined here.

What will the Social Media, or digital landscape look like after a real shake out? Will the boutique shops make it, unlike their depression era automobile counterparts? When the tide goes out, how many are swimming naked, as Buffett would say?

As long as a few services like WordPress, Typepad, Youtube, Google, and Yahoo survive, the rest of us Tucker-like companies will too. We don’t have an industrial revolution in progress as in the 1930’s. We have an information-based digital revolution in place. And we do not need assembly line efficiencies to survive. We need useful networks, useful digital literacies, and useful content to survive. It is still a Blue Ocean for many. Can you be connective, useful, relevant, engaging, and digital in your niche?  (accidental acronym C.U.R.E.D)

If yes, you’ll survive. If no, see this.

One could argue the plethora of Social Media companies grew out of the need to network with each other for support through the 2000-2003 Tech era’s difficult financial times, and the need to not be reliant on one source of funding, and the need to be independent of single location-based work forces or local economies. This is why many will survive the current devastating downturn, at least the ones started by Web. 1.0 grandparents. (anyone over 30)

Actually, it is time to step things up a bit. Great environment in which innovate.

Just a thought.

Obama vs McCain on Youtube…Who Won?

As Seth points out, you can’t email a TV ad to a friend. It takes time to scan a newspaper into your computer, and a radio ad still comes on when someone else programs it. But you can forward a youtube video, instantly.

After the Presidential election, look at who’s channel was being forwarded the most:

20 Seconds of Animation in One Hour! With partial strangers…

The other night at Manhattanville College in New York, I pulled up to the security gate and informed the guard about my appointment to lecture. The guard must have been new. Previously I’ve been ushered through this checkpoint with a wave of a hand. Tonight was different. The guard first asked for my license. I turned it over. He then walked out of the booth and took a lap around my car. Wrote down my plate number. When he returned he asked about the class I was addressing. I told him I was to teach animation to art education students. Bill Gordh was the professor. I was invited. Honestly! He handed me some kind of form to fill out.

All this took about 15 minutes.

I bring this up by way of contrast. The time it took me to get through the gate, park my car, walk into the classroom and put my bag down was roughly equivalent to the time it took to create an animation from scratch. The one posted below.

We live in a world where animation can be produced by novices on a table top in a classroom with only scissors, paper, markers and tape. The riff on Humpty Dumpty below is clever and ingenious. 20 students produced all the props, characters, sound effects and music while I aided in the animation and editing.

One hour later, we have this. I trust these art education innovators will take this exercise with them into the classroom. I know some of them already have. To fully integrate this kind of education into a standard “literacy curriculum” for all will take going through many guarded entry booths much more invasive than the new guard at Manhattanville that night. But I have faith in these new educators. They’ve seen the light. This simple exercise opens the way for the youtube generation to have producing animation be a permanent part of a basic public education.

I’ve seen this process hundreds of times. Many with children under 10 years old. The trick is getting the educational gatekeepers to stop filling out forms in triplicate, stop taking down plate numbers, and start tripping eggs off walls. Once you’ve done it, you’ll never see new media education the same again.

New Media and Your Career

With all the new media tools at our disposal, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, how can I use this new media to serve my career objectives? I say, how do you organize and re-orient your career objectives to be served by new media. You have to think fundamentally different about a career moving forward. You have to be thinking like a media outlet — we are all marketers now, we are all sales people now, we are all producers, we are all visual artists, we are all videographers, we are all copyrighters.

You need to think of yourself in terms of the way a customer will find you. In the past it may have been the yellowpages. Today it is Google. Not only that, but once found, can you serve an increasingly mobile, interconnected world and meet it’s needs?

Now, Google delivers information most people use when they want to find out more about almost anything. In fact, if you get a resume into somebody’s hands, more often than not they will Google your name if you are being considered. So how do you control what people see on Google?

Blogs are the current best way. Blogs are becoming the new, best CMS (content management system) out there. They are not only a conversation with customers, i.e. customer service, they are also great at database building, video streaming, audio podcasting, etc. In other words, your channel!

How do you serve this channel? Build a business which is built for this model and you’ll be on the right track. Structure your job search as if it is a conversation on television. But don’t do this halfheartedly. Dangling a blog on a current business and returning to business as usual is not what we are talking about.

Here is an example of a traditional business/profession which has retooled to be a new media version of itself.

Once you catch this kind of vision, it will be difficult to go back to doing things that don’t look like a channel.

Simple, Elegant Peer to Peer Microeconomic Case Studies

If you could start up a business with little capital, doing something you love, and take it to profitablility within a year, would that be interesting? How about making an income worthy of a corporate executive without having to manage a fleet of employees or climb the corporate ladder?


So make your own channel, create your own media, broadcast to the niche which loves what you do. Collect their consenting emails and everytime you post something new, let them know.

Here are three small companies, one to four people strong, which have done this beautifully.

One from kids: www.spatulatta.com
One from an adult: www.motivationtomove.com
One from a senior citizen; www.jacquielawson.com

Jacquie Lawson picked up the classic P2p business model in her late 60’s. She now makes 5 million per year at 72. Producer, director, animator, channel owner.

These are the early adopters of the microeconomics which will be a huge part of the global economy in the years to come. Start your own channel now and use your talents and skills to become something more than a cube slave.