March 07, 2007

Move the chains

The folks behind Battlestar Galactica have long been trying out some smart stuff in terms of engaging their audience via the web. For example, the director's commentary podcast for each episode (I listened to a bunch of them, but gave up at some point). Also, the pre-season three webisodes (great idea, turned out they weren't that compelling).

I'm pretty excited about their latest venture, the Videomaker Toolkit. They've released a whole bunch of digital assets (video clips, audio, graphics) and have encouraged folks to make 4 minute battlestar videos of their very own.

I love this. Television and movies have long been these monolithic forms of media that are only meant for the masses to receive, not participate in. Battlestar know which side its dorky bread is buttered on and is putting some of its IP in the hands of the fans. Hot.

My quick read of the TOS suggests they've got the right idea in that they stress that the fan-creators retain ownership over the videos they create ... altho' you grant SciFi the right to make money off of what you produce.

The only truly bonehead move is that they don't want you posting your video on YouTube. Given that you're obliged to include a promo clip at the end of your video (which seems reasonable to me) why wouldn't SciFi want these videos distributed as widely as possible. What benefit do they get by keeping them all on where, I'm guessing, approximately 95% of visitors are already fans of their flagship show.

But still, progress. It's only a matter of time until Baltar starts blogging.

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