[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

All Your Questions, Answered

I had fun today doing a live Webcast (which will eventually be on iTunes) about building an audience and a business model in the digital age. It was hosted by PermissionTV, and they took a number of questions via Twitter. (I also gave away a couple copies of Fans, Friends & Followers to a few lucky viewers.)

But we didn't get to all the questions during the hour-long Webcast, so here are some quick takes on other questions. (Please add your thoughts...)

Q. bobwoolsey: What is the best way to get advertisers for programs?

A. If you can sell ads or sponsorships to companies on your own, that's going to let you pocket the most money. Otherwise, you can have Google or another ad sales firm (like Brightroll,, or ScanScout) place ads in or around your video and cut you in on a portion of the revenue.

Q. kellyannlive: Is there a good balance between providing valuable content for your "fans" and letting them run the show?

A. I think this will be different for everyone. Some people, like Matt Hanson with 'Swarm of Angels', seem to enjoy creating content in collaboration with the community. Others will want to pick specific tasks, like when Jonathan Coulton invited his fans to submit a solo for the song 'Shop-Vac.' How much you want to let fans do is entirely up to you.

Q. marcaross: do blogs still matter?

A. Obviously, I think so. There are some people I enjoy hearing from in bursts longer than 140 characters. Blogs are also indexed by Google... which is not as true with messages on Twitter and some social networking sites.

Q. jonarcher: Wondering what the difference is b/n #kirsner's FF&F model and the 1000 True Fans model.

A. I like Kevin Kelly's "1000 True Fans" idea, although there has been considerable debate about the sorts of artists it will work for. With my Fans, Friends & Followers research, I certainly was trying to explore the same terrain as Kevin -- how does this new relationship with fans work, and how can you earn a living? -- by talking to people I identified as pioneers, and analyzing some of the lessons they've learned.

Q. MichaelKolowich: @scottkirsner Can you comment on need for good production values in web video? Do they matter? Someday, a "flight to quality"?

A. I think Web video is always going to have an aesthetic that's different from broadcast TV, in part because it needs to grab your attention in a short period of time, and in part because lower production values can feel more intimate and authentic. So far, the number of pixels doesn't seem to have mattered much -- but decent lighting and sound are always nice. Lately, I have been thinking that if we start watching Web video on our TV sets in a couple years, that will change and HD will be important.

Q. bobwoolsey: What is the easiest way to get to the book?

A. Google works, or you can visit this page to find out how to buy it as a paperback, PDF, or Kindle download.

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