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Summary:

Erm, Santa Monica, actually. Popular destination for the weird and wonderful on the web BoingBoing has enlisted the services of production company DECA (which we profiled last week) to produce the new BoingBoing web show. Federated Media, which already brokered ads for the BoingBoing blog and […]

Erm, Santa Monica, actually. Popular destination for the weird and wonderful on the web BoingBoing has enlisted the services of production company DECA (which we profiled last week) to produce the new BoingBoing web show.

Federated Media, which already brokered ads for the BoingBoing blog and popular video show Ask a Ninja (as well as NewTeeVee), wrangled IBM (IBM) as a sponsor for the initial three months. Also like the Ninja, BoingBoing is using Castfire‘s content management and publishing software.

The show was “developed over the last nine months,” according to Gina Picolli of the Los Angeles Times. Actually, the idea for a BoingBoing vlog is older than that, and was previously floated as a partnership with Rocketboom and the now defunct Abbey Corps.

How about the show itself? Based on the first episode, the word that came to mind was “soothing.” It features hosts Mark Frauenfelder and Xeni Jardin cooing about vintage futurism and online ephemera. The swirling background colors and spacey synth soundtrack make me wonder if I just stumbled upon an est-esque hypnosis video attempting to indoctrinate me into the Church of the SubGenius. Which all fits within the new age, SoCal camp aesthetic that pervades the original site.

So far the only controversy has been over Picolli’s efforts to pin down the whereabouts of David Pescovitz and Cory Doctorow, both of which had to be corrected in an update to the story. It will be interesting to see how the show treats topics with a bit more bite. Maybe by cranking up the flange and vibrato while punching staccato trichords on a wailing Moog? “I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more Theremin!”

I kid, I kid. Seriously, I’m curious how they’re managing to afford rights to all the ephemera they include — an audio clip from Late Night with Conan O’Brien, a video clip of from the sixties and, if I’m not mistaken, a brief sample from MC Solaar’s Nouveau Western from his eponymous debut all come up in the first minute. That kind of bricolage can add up if you’re actually paying for clearance.

How do BoingBoing fans feel? If the first comment (sponsored by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)) is any indication, they’ll be watching more of this and less of cable.

I’d certainly throw it into a morning mix with Beachwalks with Rox and NoodleScar over breakfast or on the bus to ease oneself into the day at a cube farm. It exudes the sort of post-ironic, slyly earnest gee-whizzery of Feist that Apple is using to sell the new Nanos. Which just happens to have added video at a much lower price-point in the iPod line.

In both cases, BoingBoing’s and Apple’s, I’d just like to say: About time.

  1. As a semi-devotional follower of Boing Boing I was primed and ready to love this. But honestly, it royally sucked.

    “About time” should read “about a year too late”, and unless Mark and Xeni were deliberately imitating robotic clones of themselves this really needs to improve. Personally I recommend resurrecting Divine and having her co-present with John Waters.

    Shameless plug, but I wrote more about my utter disappointment here: http://urltea.com/1nbv

    It could have been so beautiful…

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  2. Jackson,

    Mahalo for having us in your morning mix! Breakfast is on us if you can get out to the islands…

    Aloha, Rox

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  3. I didn’t think it was all that bad… for being another news/clip show with talking heads in front of a greenscreen.

    It came off just like television, but without the requisite wide shot to show off Xeni’s cleavage.

    Now, if they dumped all of that and replaced the set to look like the one in Masterpiece Theater, THEN we are talking about something interesting.

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  4. Yes, but a Masterpiece Theater set in a reclaimed Long Beach warehouse, furnished by Archie McPhees, with lots of Coop posters and books from RE/Search.

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  5. [...] reviewed Boing Boing TV — which is produced and marketed by new online studio DECA — when the [...]

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  6. Fully Subscribed Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Cool post on ing Finally Goes Fully Hollywood « NewTeeVee!

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