BoingBoing Finally Goes Fully Hollywood

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.


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