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Babelgum Aims to Bend Genres, Rule Phones This Halloween October 29, 2009

Posted by Aymar Jean Christian in Uncategorized.
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My first blog post for the Wall Street Journal looks at a few new series on Babelgum:

Looking to build up its roster of Web series, online video site Babelgum, best known to Speakeasy readers for its online and mobile release of Sally Potter’s “Rage,” have announced three new sci-fi and horror comedies.

The site is angling to be a destination for original and independent online video, ranging from avant-garde fare like “Rage,” the political satire of “The Yes Men” or exclusive offerings from indie music darlings Mew, Editors and Arctic Monkeys.

Just out is Hayden Black’s “The Occulterers,” a show about a inept team of ghost hunters touring various haunted houses in search of vampires and other underworld denizens.  Zany humor dominates the dialogue.

Full post at Speakeasy, the Journal‘s culture blog.

Me on Jezebel, or “Women Who Don’t Work” October 8, 2009

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So Jezebel has done a riff on my article in Splice Today (“The Death of the Working Woman?”), and cited it again in another post this week! Thanks, Jezebel!

To be honest, the article was not my finest work. I was merely reacting to some personal observations: there are a lot of productive, innovative and super-talented women working in and outside of Hollywood, and only a few of them get the glam cover treatment of popular women’s magazines. But this wasn’t an academic study, just anecdotal observation; it may not even be true.

I am afraid — and was concerned about this before I sent it in — that the tone of the piece was too condescending. After all, who am I to speak about women, anyway? And what kinds of work am I valuing and devaluing? There’s also the issue of selection; after all, Tina Fey’s landed at least three covers over the years, and Michelle Obama, a great role model, probably has over a dozen under her fabulous belts.

Still, I do think there’s a difference between Kate Winslet and Lauren Conrad, or even Beyonce, who is crazy productive, and Jessica Simpson. But, eh, these are just my opinions, and I’m not an editor, nor am I the target market, so how do I know what sells (or should sell)!

Mostly, I’m conflicted about the article because I try not to police media images too much. Yes, I do it often. Not going to lie. These are fun articles to write. But in general I think it’s kind of boorish, even if exciting and scandalous. I think I came off particularly shrill in the Splice piece, and I’m not one to take such a hard line on the state of female employment. Oh well, c’est la vie. No takesies-backsies.

Oh yes, and I don’t have a problem with stay-at-home moms, if that wasn’t clear. Of course not! That paragraph is a distilled version of an ongoing academic discussion that I’d be happy to have with anyone who emails me.

YOUTUBE: Video Effectively Integrated with Google News May 23, 2009

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YouTube and Google News

So I’m a little late with this, but I hadn’t realized how seamlessly Google was integrating news video into Google News search results and on the homepage. If they could somehow convince major content providers to regularly and quickly post video to YouTube it could provide another way to monetize the site. The problem is most major news organizations have their own video portals, but perhaps smaller media organizations could use the publicity.

YOUTUBE: Article coming: YouTube and Vlogging May 2, 2009

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UPDATE: Published article is out.

I shouldn’t really be blogging right now because I have a lot of work to do!

Just to wanted to direct you all to TheRoot.com, where, sometime this weekend or at least by Monday, an article I wrote on YouTube’s black vloggers will appear!

The quotes from the performers are the product of interviews I conducted for a paper on “black existentialism” on YouTube. Incidentally, I’m currently at a wonderful conference at Texas A&M University presenting that paper alongside the likes of Lisa Nakamura, the grand dame of new media and race studies herself!

So check it out, I’ll post more on it later, but I want people to go to TheRoot.com first because it’s a better site than my crappy blog.