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Beach Walks with Rox is a remarkable show. In an online video world dominated by sketch comedy, techies and how-tos, Roxanne Darling’s musings while wandering the lush coast of the Oahu defy categories. it can probably best be described as a variety or lifestyle program, and topics have included everything from CEO pay to travel tips and Hawaiiana. Along with “secret cameraman” Shane Robinson and lucky dog Lexi, the show has been running daily since February of 2006.
The team has been a big promoter of local band Mighty J, who developed their own online show along with local producer and fellow video podcaster Doctor Trey. The latest episode features the band at its CD release party.
Darling has decades of experience in coaching, which helps to explain her serene and confident presence even though the show is unscripted. Her goal is to get across a positive message in the hopes of brightening someone’s day. “We started it as a test, it has a life of its own,” Darling told me.
The pair have day jobs doing web production, building database-driven sites for small to medium sized businesses starting in 1996. With the success of their show, clients are now coming to their production company, Bare Feet Studios, for help with new media efforts. “We love helping small, medium-size companies figure this stuff out,” said Darling.
“There are a lot of industries that don’t have a thought leader online,” Darling pointed out, giving as a rhetorical example a professional drycleaner who put together a show explaining why their service was top notch and offering advice to their customers. Robinson agreed, saying “I would tune into something like if they just had a weekly cleaning tip.”
As for generating revenue from their own show, Darling has a unique idea — licensing it to corporate HR departments to give employees a compelling reason to visit the company intranet every day. “We go so much feedback from people who use it as a stress management tool,” said Darling of comments and emails from fans, including some who told them that their entire office tunes in daily.
They admitted that Beach Walks doesn’t have the broad “viral” appeal of comedy clips, but the audience did grow by word of mouth with no promotion necessary. While not for everybody, the show’s fans are very passionate. And it’s a great example of how you can take a small idea, try it out online to see if it works, and if it does, extend and develop it. “We started as a volunteer project but now we think it has tremendous value,” said Robinson.