DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in YouTube (7)


'Sanditon' - A Town Built by Digital Immigrants

Welcome to Sanditon”, the highly anticipated sequel to the hit web series “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” launched on the web this week with a new, interactive twist: fans can create their own characters who interact directly with the storyline, thanks to the Theatrics collaborative storytelling platform. More than 100 Personas were created on Sanditon’s Theatrics site in the first 24 hours after launch, thanks to the huge and very involved fan base of the Bennet series.

Join the show to create your own Persona and learn more about how the Theatrics platform is helping this team of 21st Century storytellers bring their fans into their story world. The story’s home page is here. Pemberley Digital, the company producing both projects, selected LLC to provide a new component to their newest transmedia experience, complementing story and interaction on popular web platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Key to the Sanditon strategy is the formulation of their Theatrics site’s value for audience engagement. The overall storyline calls for residents of the town of Sanditon to “ beta test” a new type of online video software called Domino. The Theatrics site is where that “test” is being conducted, allowing fans to create their own characters and interact directly with the storyline in a completely new interactive experience.

Over the next four months the Sanditon content creators will use Theatrics tools to:

  • manage the characters created by the fans
  • download fan videos to share socially and for compilation edits
  • send “Calls to Action” to accounts that have created personas, so they can help drive the story forward
  • connect the Theatrics experience to the other social platforms where the story is also unfolding in other forms

If you have questions about how to use for your project during this beta test period, please feel free to contact me at 

Click to read more ...


Sometimes I just like a good flame war: The Week's Best Posts

Each week I go back over my Twitter and other posts to see what I found interesting. Follow me on Twitter (@nickdemartino) if you want the daily dose. Otherwise, just subscribe here and get the curated version.

Sometimes I just like a good flame war, those online arguments, usually among the tech elite, that carry a certain angry certitude about things that, meh, I can't really imagine getting so wound up about. Last week Robert Scoble launched one of them with his "open web" screed. You can read about the reaction here, and if you scroll down, there's a link to the original post. In addition, Dave Winer, mentioned therein, has his own flame to add: "Me and Facebook Are Over."


ON a completely different topic: I'm moderating a panel at the 2nd Screen Summit on Feb. 22 in Santa Monica called "Curated TV

The Impact of Celebrity, Expert, Influencer, and Ambassador Curation when exploring and consuming content." Please join me and 60 other speakers. 

I've also accepted speaking invitations for Transmedia Hollywood and WyrdCon, and a few others pending. I'll share details when they are firmed up. 

Storytelling and Transmedia

My post about BECKINFIELD, the fictional town in which an online sci-fi mystery series is set went live on my blog earlier this week. The interesting thing about the story-form is that all of the content is told via videos created in character by users who register on the site. Tribeca ran the piece on its Future of Film site, as well.  

I learned a bunch from this post about ebooks, transmedia, textbooks, and learning. bids a "fond farewell" to "This is Not A Game" -- the original mantra of ARG "The Beast," which set many of the templates embraced and revered by the alternative reality game community. I liked the POV and historical info in this post a lot.

Netflix launches "Lilyhammer," the Norwegian TV series starring Steven Van Zandt as a mobster on the run in Scandinavia. It's the first push (in a while) into the content realm for the online movie and TV platform. The Sopranos, it ain't.  

"Hollywood by the Numbers" take a look at the movie industry's business models by analyzing data, including the profitability of genres, the summer blockbuster syndrome, why there are no start ups in Hollywood, and the impact of TV on theatrical release patterns. Fascinating. (Thanks to Rob Tercek: @Superplex).


Verizon and Redbox are joining forces to offer a streaming video service, which of course will compete with Netflix, Apple and the others that are out there.  

Huffington Post's jump into online video continues to get a lot of attention. But, HuffPo isn't the only text-based publisher that's turning to video production and distribution, competing with the incumbent TV networks and cable channels. Everybody's doing it!

Oh, and online video viewing is up 43% in a year. 100 million Americans are watching. So are a LOT of TV execs!

The Tech Biz 

Silicon Valley's Dirty Little Secret is the fact that many, if not most "exits" for startup companies are "talent acquisitions," in which a larger company buys and often kills a company, just to lock down engineers or other talent in a very competitive labor market. 

Meanwhile, crowd-funding site Kickstarter is about to hit a new record, coming close to $1 million for a single project.

Tech superstar Pinterest has hit 10 million US monthly unique visitors in record time

Check out Zeega, a new open-source HTML5 platform for creating Interactive Documentaries.

Innovation Strategy is explored in this useful short post.

(BTW: I posted two book reviews this week: George Pelecanos' THE CUT, and Stephen King's 11/22/63. You can read all of my reviews archived here on


Best links of the week NOT about the damned Facebook IPO

This was a week when we needed an app that would filter out all of the lame (and occasionally non-lame) patter about the pending Facebook IPO. (Example: The Guardian tells us six things we need to know about the IPO, as if somehow its readers were considering a purchase)

Underlying all the link-fodder, of course, is the extraordinary transformation that Facebook has wrought on the web, and everything that has come to mean in people's lives, as the latest Pew Internet survey reveals.


I spend a lot of time in my work trying to figure out how innovation comes about. So I was fascinated by two articles from the mainest of the mainstream media on the topic this week: Why Brainstorming Doesn’t Work is a long read that appeared in The New Yorker, ironically, during the same week as the NY Times issued a similar jeremiad against "groupthink". 

Trend-wise, highly respected (and followed) tech guru Robert Scoble suggests that the intense tech disruption of the last 8 years may recede this year as a new class of enabling companies step up to help others scale their businesses by leveraging the transformational aspects (like the cloud, apps, social, etc,)

From the department of geek, part 2 of RWW's interview with Netflix's Daniel Jacobsen posits a future when the "app" experience we are seeing on mobile becomes a standard on laptops and certainly televisions.  

Super-hot social blogging platform Tumbr has begun to hire experienced editors and writers to help its users make sense of the mass of content produced on the site every minute. A trend?

Marc Andreesen opines about the VC and startup world in the wake of his new $1.5 billion fund. Worth the read.

Buzzworthy start-up CodeAcademy, which provides online training for software programmers, has now become a platform that supports outsiders who want to create their own courses. I mention this because I was one of 100,000 people who signed up for free training in a single two-day period in January. I'm also one whose head hurt after the first lesson. I'll never be a hacker, I fear, but it was fun trying.


Time Mag looks at YouTube as of 2012, but since the whole article is fire walled, check out Kevin Nalts' summary. BTW the headline is great: "The Beast with a Billion Eyes." 

Will Richmond of VideoNuze tells us why cable doesn't "get" YouTube, and he thinks they sound like broadcasters back when cable was the disrupter. 

In case you hadn't noticed, YouTube isn't the only online video provider that's investing in original content. Here's a quick update.

Are you a member of the "Content Creation Class"? Check out this post, which divides us into creators and consumers in a way that you may find useful, or perhaps irritating, or both. 

"Temporal Metadata" may be a term that gives you a headache, but as this very smart post explains, new forms of tagging the meaning and content within videos may hold the key to creating value for online video publishing. Efforts in Europe like the NoTube initiative are addressing it. 

Two startups, Frequency and Showyou, are among the new breed of startups trying to make sense of the tonnage of video now available via the web. Trust me, there will be more (both tonnage and startups trying to help curate, manage, prioritize, contextualize and discover online video). It's a big opportunity. 

AOL steps up its investment in online video with a plan to generate 12 hours of video per day from its HuffPo subsid.  

One of my frequently-used sites, Goodreads, bailed on Amazon as the provider of its descriptive book data, and this post explains why, indeed, explains the complexities of online businesses that rely upon outsourced metadata generally. 

A smart post from the Atlantic called "Why the Future of the Book is the Stream," which suggests that the Netflix on demand sub model will work with books.  

The NY Times ran a ginormous story on Barnes & Noble this week, "The Bookstore's Last Stand"


Life is not easy for the indie filmmaker, as this Sundance wrap-up post from IndieWire makes abundantly clear, along with some great tips. 

Lina Srivastava has done a lovely job of aggregating examples of "Narrative Design for Social Action" using the Pinterest platform, the first time I've seen it done so well. It looks a bit like my Delicious "Stack" on Transmedia, only Pinterest presents a denser, tile-based UI. 

Leave it to Frank Rose to provide great context, as with this analysis of the "Game of Thrones" transmedia components on his Deep Media blog (The banner: How the Internet is changing storytelling)

A couple of posts about content marketing & transmedia caught my eye this week, one by Marc Binkley that incorporates some of the ideas from Ernest Barbaric's post, "What is Content Marketing" 

As Sony replaces CEO Howard Stringer with Kazuo Hirai, it's hard not to feel a bit sad that the giant tech/media company has fallen so fast and so low. Stringer is class A human, who could not turn the battleship around,

Vimeo has launched a "Focus Forward" program to stimulate documentary shorts about tech innovation. Worth keeping an eye on. 


If the rise in digital storytelling continues, there will inevitably be a surge of new tools to help content creators who don't want to reinvent the wheel. To wit, the buzz all over the web around TumbleCloud, a cloud-based collaborative storytelling platform 

Three tools that were new to me -- HipGeo, StoryWheel, and CowBird -- are described in this post from a self-described uberGeek. 

This post offers a nice survey of "journalism 2.0" tools. 


Curating the Week's Best in Film, TV, Video, Transmedia & Digital Business

Each week I offer my own (human) curation of links, posts, and articles that have informed me in the markets in which I actively consult -- film, television, video, transmedia, and digital business. You can scan the summary, click through, or go to my Twitter account (@nickdemartino), where the items below are among those "favorited" with a star. 


  • It will be interesting to watch the new TV venture from Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, CAA and AEG, reported here in Variety (a gated community). 
  • Long Tail Video created a really excellent overview of HTML5 by cramming a ton of info into easy-to-digest charts and graphics. This is a model of clarity in presentation, especially  if you're into tech subjects.
  • Cable networks are emerging as the most innovative users of social TV apps, as noted in Mashable's rundown of efforts by FX and USA.
  • As part of Netflix's resurrection campaign the company noted that its streaming service is now available on more than 800 devices (!) and that mobile is taking over. 
  • Think Netflix is worried about Hulu and Amazon catching up? Nope, the threat is "TV Everywhere," according to this TNW post.
  • Maybe they should worry more about Apple TV, which GigaOm asserts is finally gaining marketplace traction. 
  • I loved this piece on the impact of VOD binge viewing on future TV business models, posted on WIRED. I'm a binger, aren't you?  
  • YouTube's Reach Begins to Eclipse Television, claims Read Write Web, based upon recent data.
  • As it shifts towards more professional content and a channel-based interface, YouTube reached out to its base of member-creators this week
  • John Seabrook's analysis of Robert Kyncl and YouTube: Will it Revolutionize Television? New Yorker 
  • Perhaps in reaction to YouTube's strategy, Vimeo this week released new features, including a new player and a streamlined look. 

  • One YouTuber who is jumping quite a shark is Dane Beodigheimer's ANNOYING ORANGE, which announced a deal with Cartoon Network this week. 
  • Video is powering a global classroom, according to this story from Mashable.


  • Check out this beautiful display of components that comprised the "multilayered transmedia campaign" in support of HBO's GAME OF THRONES by Steve Coulson who presented this week at the newly named STORYCODE meet up group at Lincoln Center. 
  • Finally, SXSW announced the finalists for its Interactive Awards with a list of links to products in each area, including activism, amusement, art, business, community, education, experimental, film/TV, music, motion graphics and so forth. So helpful if one wishes to actually check out the sites.


  • With the announcement of the Oscar nominations, we move into the home-stretch of the movie biz annual race. the web awash with analysis and predictions, like this one from the Reporter, offering "key factoids." 
  • At the other end of the biz --perhaps in honor of Sundance which is in session-- check this out: Jeffrey Winter, Sheri Candler, and Orly Ravid, three of the four authors of "Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul" offer another batch of DIY distribution success stories, posted on Ted Hope's blog.
  • Indeed, Sundance's Robert Redford opened the festival with a nod to alternate distribution. 
  • Cinedigm joint venture seeks to help indie filmmakers compete in the digital space. 


  • Apple's entry into the textbook market got lots of attention last week, including a nice post from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, "The Day the Bookshelf Shook." 
  • Though "the network effect" may be the holy grail for digital business, maybe not so much, according to this really smart post from the Business Insider. 
  • The impact of the epic struggle over SOPA has resulted in some interesting long-view posts, including Chris Dorr's analysis, which centers on the fundamental differences between the technological networks employed by the adversaries (Hollywood, Internet). 
  • The Hollywood Reporter dives into "what went wrong" for Hollywood in a nice piece of reporting by Kim Masters. 
  • One sign that a company is important is how much new it makes when it introduces change to its user base. Hence, Twitter made news with a shift in how it "withholds" certain tweets -- is it censorship? The twitterati are atwitter.
  • That will be nothing, however, compared to the online flutter that will attend to the long-awaited filing by Facebook of its long-awaited Initial Public Offering, rumored to be as early as next week.

This is the Week that Was, in both tech and content. Wow!

This was a very busy week for news in both the blogosphere and the content world, so this post will probably be newsier than most. Dig in, and I promise, there'll be some long reads popped in as well.

But first: on Monday I gave a lecture on the emerging market for transmedia this week which I call "Transmedia Sorting Hat." Check out the presentation slides and notes if you missed that post. I incorporated some wonderful new discoveries and content, including an info graphic from Steve Peters and a look at the work of Jan Libby.  Related links: Musician and protogeek Thomas Dolby is interviewed by Steve Peters (audio) about his big project, The Map of the Floating City, on ARGNetcast. Transmedia and ARG producer Jan Libby is interviewed (in text) by a Berlin site.


Certainly the biggest news from the digisphere this week was the astonishing collapse of the effort to pass restrictive bills targeting internet piracy. Both the House and Senate versions were dead by Friday, victim of an amazing run of events this week, starting with a cautionary announcement from the Obama White House (which may cost him campaign contributions from some studios and other Hollywood types) and capped by a day-long protest online, as many sites went dark or urged their audience to call or email their legislators. The MPAA, which dominated the coalition that pushed the bills, has cried Uncle, with its President and former Senator Chris Dodd admitting as much

Related, of course, was the Justice Department shutdown of  file-sharing site MegaUpload, and, in retaliation, some of the most widespread hacker attacks, with responsibility claimed by Anonymous.

And perhaps coincidentally, the Supreme Court decided to rule this week that Congress should be able to "re-copyright" public domain works. Wow. 


Analyst Will Richmond posits that we're entering a virtuous circle for "online-only original" production (what GigaOm this week calls the "golden age of content"), taking on Marc Cuban who is the biggest cheerleader for conventional broadcasting one can find. Cuban himself was in the news with the announcement of AXS, a reformulation of his HDNet channel with heavyweight partners AEG, CAA and Ryan Seacrest. Andy Wallenstein at Variety focuses on the channel's innovative business model. Cuban's partner AEG is front and center in a well-researched New Yorker profile called "The Man Who Owns L.A.," namely AEG's Tim Leiweke (and his boss, Phil Anschutz).

Sundance 2012 launched this week with a flood of reviews, gossip and all the rest. I found the opening remarksfrom Redford and his Sundance colleagues on alternative forms of distribution pretty interesting

YouTube announced its own short film festival this week, as well, called "Your Film Festival"  in conjunction with Ridley Scott, the Venice Film Festival and Emirates airline. Big prize is half a million bucks for production.

Speaking of new forms of distribution, Marc Schiller and Mike Lee of Bond Strategy posted a smart piece on Tribeca's site about film marketing and the social graph. 

Speaking of YouTube, the New Yorker's John Seabrook baked a nice slice about the pending shift of the video site towards professional channelization. Nothing really new, but it's mainstreaming the obvious. 

Nature, the UK-based science journal, ran an interesting story about how scientists are now beginning to use crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter to fund their research. Fascinating. 

Also, the LATimes' "Hero Complex" blog digs into the "making of" the new STAR WARS: OLD REPUBLIC video game, calling it 'a galactic gamble.'


Apple made a big announcement this week focusing upon the educational and e-textbook markets, with predictable mega-coverage. Some analysts decried the move as greedy and evil. Or Apple at its Absolute Worst, shouts Business Insider. Other coverage compared Apple's strategy to Amazon's failed bid to capture the textbook market three years ago. The Atlantic offers a longer read, namely a brief history of textbooks, calling Apple's announcement "actually revolutionary." Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab offered four lessons for news organizations, though I found them useful and I'm neither. 

Twitter bought news delivery platform Summify this week, evidently with the goal of ingesting the Vancouver-based team that built it, as TechCrunch reports, noting that some of its features are being disabled.  Web designer Mike Davidson offers insight into why: as does WIRED. I'm a daily Summify user, and I find its daily email summaries quite useful as a filtering device, along with Zite and Pulse on my iPad. I hope Twitter doesn't screw it up.


  • Kodak files for bankruptcy. 
  • Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo.
  • Google misses its numbers Lots of controversy over a move by Google to emphasize its own social network (Plus) in search results. Here's an especially pointed post by John Battelle, suggesting that Google may succeed in forcing brands (and people) to use its social network in order to show up in search results.