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Summary:

Looking forward to next year’s Streamy Awards? Well, whether or not they happen, the IAWTV won’t be involved. This morning, the organization announced that it would be creating its own awards show to honor achievement in the web video space “benefiting web content creators.”

IAWTV-logo

Looking forward to next year’s Streamy Awards? Well, whether or not they happen, the International Association of Web Television won’t be involved. This morning, the organization announced that it would be creating its own awards show to honor achievement in the web video space “benefiting web content creators.”

The Streamy Awards, a for-profit organization, were never the property of the non-profit IAWTV, and the IAWTV’s decision comes after months of negotiations between the IAWTV and the owners of the Streamy Awards, who are also the co-founders of Tubefilter.

“As a non-profit entity, there was an inherent conflict of interest in supporting the Streamy Awards which is a for profit awards show when the proceeds from any activity the IAWTV is involved in should go back to the community. We believe there is ample room for more than one award show in the space and wish the Streamys Awards success in its future endeavors,” Chairman of the IAWTV Board Michael Wayne said in the statement.

This both is and isn’t a surprise. On the one hand, previously both Tubefilter and the IAWTV had said they wanted to work together for next year’s awards show.

On the other hand, it’s well-known this year’s Streamy Awards were full of fail — and that at least one sponsor was deeply upset about the show’s content. Ominously, Wayne’s initial response to the event, a few days afterwards, included the word “if.”

We’re currently seeking comment on this from all parties involved, and will update this story soon.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required):

  1. Amber J. Lawson Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Liz,

    As chairman of the IAWTV awards committee we did not “DUMP” the Streamy awards. After good faith efforts it came to light the fundamental business of Non-Profit vs a For Profit model make for differing intentions. We wish the Streamy’s the best in all future endeavors and hope our members & community at large continue to compete for that honor. Simultaneously we have just had an influx of new members into the IAWTV who we will be reaching out to all of our members to help shape the IAWTV’s celebratory event for the community, by the community.

    Amber J. Lawson
    Chairman IAWTV Awards Committee

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    1. Hey, Amber, thanks for commenting and I appreciate the extra insight. I did not mean to imply any ill will between the IAWTV and the Streamys by the use of the word “dumps.”

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    2. “After good faith efforts it came to light the fundamental business of Non-Profit vs a For Profit model make for differing intentions” = DUMPING. come on now, let’s not be silly.

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  2. We should also make it clear that we’re seeking the involvement and help of the community as we design categories, voting and an awards show that represents the best of Web video. And we really like the Tubefilter team – personally and professionally – and wish them great things ahead. It just ended up not being an easy match.

    The Awards Committee is looking forward to the work ahead on planning and designing an awards show for our growing community, and we’re thrilled to see so many new members of the IAWTV whom we will lean on and seek advice from in the months ahead.

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  3. “Community” should include EVERYONE. ESPECIALLY those who created the Streamy Awards (who also FOUNDED the IAWTV, let us not forget). This completely saddens and upsets me in a way I cannot even describe. Having worked in this space in all manner of areas, this blatant sense of division is something I absolutely cannot understand allowing to happen. It was one of the main issues brought up after the Streamy Awards and this seems to only perpetuate it, not bring in improvements.

    As a member of the IAWTV, I don’t remember ever having the option to vote on this. Things are all going on behind closed doors and it’s frankly really frightening. Especially with this influx of new members coming in…it seems like it will be even more difficult to get the word out to the many when the few are making all the actual decisions.

    Making overall decisions that effect us all and then organizing a “Town Meeting” after the fact just seems wrong to me.

    Pardon my passion. I have just found this news and, perhaps unwisely but still valid, I am putting out my first impressions.

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  4. As someone who supports the New Media Community at large, I am more confused than ever. First, I applied and never heard about my application to the IAWTV. Second, I got a form letter telling me that my previously denied application is now being considered again. And from what I understood was there were NO new members being added until the first of the year. Now I am reading there are new members? I don’t get where the “new influx” of members came from?

    WTF?

    As a professional business person, I have worked with and started non-profit organizations and have been the president of same. Someone needs to get a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order and run a proper meeting (http://www.robertsrules.com). You also need to look up the basics of running a non-profit so you don’t lose your IRS status and understand the 3 major aspects of a nonprofit structure: Governance, Programs, and Administration. Alienating your members and prospective members are one of the biggest issues with a SMALL nonprofit such as the IAWTV. Diversity in perspectives, lack of business leadership know-how, and and too many chiefs wearing hats… are just part of your problems.

    It’s too bad that even some of the people who are members don’t have a voice in the affairs of the organization.

    Standing on the outside – and having been in many nonprofit organizations, I can say there is a tremendous amount of work that has to be done here to set the IAWTV right for the community at large.

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  5. I wonder if the IAWTV will offer refunds to members who joined primarily because of the Streamys?

    Also, I agree with JenniPowell (cause I usually do) there does seem to be a lot of backdoor dealing. When someone as connected as she, does not know what is going on then things must really be secretive.

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  6. I’d like to respond to both Jenni and Mathieas’ comments about “backdoor dealings.” The truth is that ANY member of the IAWTV could have joined the Awards Committee and voted on a proposal to send to the Board of Directors… This is why I joined the committee and gave my two cents on the future of the Streamys/IAWTV relationship. Unfortunately for Jenni, she is a writer for Tubefilter and her involvement would’ve been a conflict of interest, so I guess that’s why she wasn’t involved.

    One rule of politics is that if you don’t go out to vote, you shouldn’t be upset with the outcome of an election. Similarly, if you want to shape the future of your organization, by all means, get involved with the committees that interest you!

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    1. As someone who has tried to “get involved” in the past, it seems that the group running the IAWTV have for the most part excluded the masses and kept the organization limited to their select few which runs opposite of your point of participating in the organization that is leading your community.

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    2. “One rule of politics is that if you don’t go out to vote, you shouldn’t be upset with the outcome of an election. Similarly, if you want to shape the future of your organization, by all means, get involved with the committees that interest you!”

      I love you Casey and hate to disagree with you but this analogy has an inherent flaw: in politics, EVERYONE OVER THE AGE OF 18 who is a citizen of that country (if you’re in a Democratic situation) can vote. This was never put to a vote at all, besides internal ones with the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors. Plus, what about all the new members inducted into the IAWTV that were never even given the chance to speak out about this issue or serve on the committee working on it?

      My being a writer for Tubefilter never excluded me from being able to discuss matters regarding the Streamys. Hell, I co-organized an event 4 days after the Streamys in response to it because it felt like the right thing to do. Yet I was never once approached to discuss it since then by any members of the Awards Committee or the Board of Directors. I heard ONE update from Amber at the last IAWTV meeting stating that the discussion was currently with the Streamys for counteroffer and that we would be updated.

      THAT is why this announcement is a shock to me.

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    3. Another rule of politics: Walk softly and carry a big stick.

      Responding to Jenni or Mathieas by ending your comment with a suggestion to “get involved” is rather like telling the Pope to be Catholic.

      Clearly backdoor shenanigans at IAWTV and I invite the newest board members to comment.

      Cheers,

      Apo

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      1. Zadi Diaz, one of our newest Board members, has commented on this decision, here:
        http://bit.ly/bBu0ru

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  7. So, IAWTV, let me understand what you’ve been doing since April, post Streamy Awards.

    -You lost your Twitter password
    -5 Board members of the IAWTV stepped down
    -New board members elected under a cloud of controversy
    -Unofficial announcement of open membership to the IAWTV, under a cloud of controversy
    -Found lost Twitter password
    -Severed ties to the Streamy’s to form own awards show, again under a cloud of controversy

    This is all you’ve done since April? I realize I’m not on the inside, but this is what is shown to the outside…which is where most web series industry people are. Even people on the inside are really on the outside, like Jenni Powell.

    Am I forgetting anything else that has been accomplished? At this rate I’m looking forward to the first annual IAWTV Awards show in 2014.

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    1. You forgot – added new members (before the January date that Jack Ferry mentioned would be the next influx of membership??)

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      1. Hey Stephanie, I think there was a miscommunication somewhere, here. I didn’t mention a date in January, so I’m not sure where you got that. Open Enrollment is currently in effect and has been for a few weeks now. Apologies if there was a mix-up in communicating that you. Anyone can join right away, by going to: http://iawtv.org/apply/

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      2. Sorry Jackrry if I misunderstood. So much for formal communication of exactly where the organization is going so we understand since the January date is stuck in my head from something I read, guess you can’t trust what you see on the Internet right? That goes to the OPEN enrollment of the IAWTV and the lack of consideration of my application as per the email I received 10/13?

        Will someone please now send me a “denied letter” (never got the first one but the form letter the IAWTV emailed on 10/13 said I did).

        Goes to the state of the organization and if it is really an open organization like everyone is saying. Guess my executive producing 3,000+ hours of long form video is not enough to be considered? Or my online network serving and promoting web series creators….??

        Hmm? Once again the IAWTV is alienating the community – at large. You can’t have it both ways. We are either in this together or the have’s and the have not’s will continue like it has been and the organization will not survive.

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      3. Hey Stephanie. As I said on Twitter today, I’m looking into it. Look for my email, shortly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

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  8. Jenni, as a big fan of yours I take what you’re saying very seriously. I’d love to chat when you have a minute – just send me a note at dinaATblip.tv and we’ll set up a good time.

    You should know we worked for months to reach a deal around the Streamys. I can’t count the number of phone calls, in person meetings and emails back and forth the Board, the Awards Committee and Elisabeth were involved in trying to reach an agreement. Everyone went into the negotiations optimistic that we could reach a deal. Months into this it became clear that the for profit and non profit organizations were going to be in conflict, especially around producing an Awards show.

    And, Casey is right. Membership to the IAWTV is now open; and anyone can volunteer for the Awards Committee. We still would love to have you involved! I’d love to talk more about any and all of this when we’re able to connect.

    Mathieas, if you joined to be involved in an Awards show, we’d love to have you join the Awards Committee, too. You will have more than a direct say in what the Awards will look like.

    And Patrick, we have a lot of work going on with the IAWTV, including the Standards Committee work that Jim Lauderback is leading. I’d be happy to provide an update if you’d like or you can track a lot of what’s going on in the forums. We’ve also had regular in-person membership meetings for the past 6 months. Have you attended any of them in New York or L.A.? I’d be interested in hearing more about your experiences.

    Mingle Media, which committee(s) are you on? I’d be interested in hearing more about which one(s) you’ve volunteered for and how the calls and in-person meetings are going. We’re always open to hearing about how any or all committees can better suit the interests of IAWTV members.

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    1. Dina – I am not on a committee – as you probably have guessed from my comments, the IAWTV has NOT accepted my application this spring or has not processed my application as was indicated on 10/13…

      With that said, IF I were to have been accepted and I volunteered to help, the organization, the IAWTV would have benefited from my expertise in the NonProfit space (past president of 2, co-founder of one and adviser for 2 organizations), ideas on how-to turn the IAWTV around to a positive for the community not keep the negative air that still surrounds it (20 years in Marketing/PR) and knowledge of how to help web series creators with the business side of things. But I digress…

      As you don’t know me, you probably don’t know what I am doing to support the community specifically women creators and content which has been largely ignored. (FYI – Started doing this online 20 months ago producing long form video content, Last year my online network was voted in the TOP 5 of TV Networks online… not to sound self-righteous, you can Google me or email me stephanie at minglemediatv.com if you want to know more about my qualifications).

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    2. I am a fan of yours as well Dina and you’ve always been there to support me. I would love to chat with you anytime. :)

      I want to reiterate that the point here is none of us are not fans of each other, there are huge amounts of respect running through this community, and THAT is why I’m speaking so passionately about this…this community DESERVES the best decision made for it and it only pulls away from other important things we need to do to further our industry when decisions like this are seen as so “controversial”.

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  9. Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer on the IAWTV awards committee.

    I think that ultimately, this is the right decision to make. Yes it’s going to be tough for a short while, but I think it’s better to have a relatively small amount of discomfort now versus a much tougher decision later. The simple truth is that the two companies are incompatible in their current state(s), and my opinion is that there wasn’t a really good solution either way – so you pick the situation that you believe will be the best in the long run regardless of the short-term fallout.

    I don’t think this decision splits or otherwise negatively affects the community as a whole, other than giving individual shows two opportunities to be showcased and lauded. Each group had their own opinions and ideas of how an award show should be handled and now each gets to execute on those. I don’t think there will be a “winner” here, only different interpretations of how online content should be praised and celebrated. In the end, both exist simultaneously and both express the best in online content according to their interpretations. Who wins in that scenario? Online content and its creators do.

    While I can’t comment on any backdoor dealings (being that in the nature of backdoor dealings, they would have been secret), I will note that any IAWTV member was welcome to join the committee, many professed interest, and few actually participated. I can’t comment to availability for those outside of the membership to participate because I honestly can’t remember the rules on that, but will note that membership has been opened widely so that in the future those who wish to participate can.

    Look, we’re all opinionated, we’re all proactive, and we’re all doers rather than talkers. Within that context of inherent independence, not everyone’s going to agree, and not everyone’s going to feel compelled to accept a decision. Any decision that was announced today would have been met with concern, anger, frustration and vocal objection. That’s just the truth of the matter. The other truth is that sometimes a decision needs to be made regardless of whether it will be met with initial support or disdain. With that in mind though, I honestly and without reservation think this is the best of the two most discussed scenarios. It puts the IAWTV, and the content creators it represents, embraces, and lauds, into a better situation than the alternative. Will it create in the short term more work? Likely. But the long term benefits outweigh the short term pain.

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  10. Does this mean that the IAWTV will be adding a conflict of interest clause to their By Laws:

    http://www.webseriestoday.com/2010/05/iawtv-bylaws-article-436.html

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    1. Hey mm,

      You clearly have a lot of ideas, which are worth exploring. Have you considered joining the IAWTV in order to suggest these at our membership meetings?

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      1. Actually I prefer the view from the mosh pit. But I will be watching… and you can read all about it on Web Series Today.

        :):):)

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