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BoingBoing.net bounces into TV

The arty blog adds a video component to its eclectic mix today.

October 03, 2007|Gina Piccalo | Times Staff Writer

BoingBoing.net, the popular everything blog that now gets 7.5 million page views a month, today will launch a daily online TV show.

Five days a week, tv.boingboing.net will feature free three-to-five-minute daily reports on the same sort of eclectic stuff that has made BoingBoing.net such a favorite with arty intellectuals, pop culture fans and Web geeks worldwide. BoingBoing's platinum blond cyberbabe Xeni Jardin will host with the website's co-creator, Mark Frauenfelder. Other co-founders David Pescovitz, London-based Cory Doctorow and New York-based BoingBoing Gadgets editor Joel Johnson will also host segments.

The show, developed over the last nine months, has an ephemeral sort of aesthetic that's also very polished, the work of the Santa Monica-based production company DECA.

"We've been posting links to other people's video and embedding them in the site for a long time," Jardin said. "We thought, 'We're pointing to this material, why aren't we creating it?' We saw there were stories and experiences we couldn't capture in text and photos. There are some experiences best rendered in video."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, October 04, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
BoingBoing.net: An article in Wednesday's Calendar section about BoingBoing.net's new online TV show reported that the site originated in 1989 as a webzine. The site began as a fanzine, a fan-written magazine.

Debut episodes will feature a piece on Listography.com, an irreverent remix of a 1960s industrial movie, a gallery of some 19th century futuristic lithographs and a robot playing a cover of Patsy Cline's "Crazy."

"We wanted it to be fun and real and something that felt like a natural evolution of a blog," Jardin said. "We've been approached by big TV networks about doing a BoingBoing reality show or 'American Idol' type show. But the idea of having a prime-time network show seems like it would automatically be wrong for us and doomed to fail. . . . We wanted to adapt things that are already part of the vernacular of BoingBoing."

The show, which will be sponsored by IBM for three months, brings an arty, tech-savvy intellectualism to the online TV realm. Seven-year-old BoingBoing has gained its hipster cred by culling from the vast pool of ephemera on the Web the oddest bits that reflect the Internet zeitgeist. Readers flood the e-mail in-boxes of BoingBoing's co-editors with URLs and ideas, hoping to prompt a post, and each contributor is credited. The video site will eventually incorporate reader input as well.

The site started out as a webzine in San Francisco in 1989. BoingBoing.net launched in 2000. Last month, the site's readership rose with the launch of gadgets.boingboing.net, a blog about consumer technology.

"They filter the weird and wonderful of the Web and they bring together a very influential group of readers. And advertisers are interested in supporting anyone who's a leader of an influential conversation," said John Battelle of Federated Media Publishing, which will handle advertising for the show.

gina.piccalo@latimes.com

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