A little birdie with tiny rabbit ears growing out of its head—an older cousin of the Twitter mascot—tells me that the new TBD blog network is encouraging members to get Skype video going.
Then the bloggers can appear on TBD cable TV, not just online, at the request of the news gods.
No, the Skype won’t be mandatory, but since video cams sell for less than $50 and many laptops come with ‘em, I suspect that a number of TBD network bloggers will oblige. TBD may also bring bloggers into the studio.
So much for the stereotype of bloggers just typing away in their underwear. Of course a blogger could put on just a nice shirt at home and trust the camera angle, opening up all kinds of comic possibilities if the vidcam slips and points too far South during a live broadcast.
In a related move, “TBD” will be the new name for “NewsChannel 8” as the new operation melds with the existing cable one. That makes sense, especially if you consider the rise of net.TV and all the related linking and on-demand possibilities. I’ll also be curious to see if the Skype initiative encourages local bloggers to be more video-oriented on their own sites.
Still unclear is another matter—the extent to which TBD’s bloggers will be genuinely neighborhood- and community-oriented, as opposed to just sports- or hobby-oriented. TBD remains a work in progress, with both bloggers and staff people involved; and I’ll hope that it can succeed at this, just as I am rooting for the Post to come up with a good formula for hyperlocal coverage.
I wonder, by the way, what the Post will do with video. Aim for a D.C.-area cable channel? Or forge an alliance with, say, an existing cable broadcaster? If TBD can get the neighborhood angles right, the cable broadcasts could seem awesomely omniscient.
Meanwhile stay tuned in the next few days for a post directed at both the Post and TBD—with ideas to help them grow closer to their readers. And if the Examiner wants to borrow a few concepts, fine.
Details: I’ve invited TBD’s Steve Buttry—not the rabbit-eared one—to add details. Via a quick Tweet, he confirms the above and says staffers will also have video equipment. TBD hopes to launch later this summer. Skype screenshot is from the Internet phone company’s site but doesn’t necessarily show the latest interface.
I’m out at lunch and on my iPhone so I can’t find the link just now, but we almost had our first blogger on TV this morning. Turned out we sent the request on too short notice, but, as I tweeted, we would normally have it planned out much further in advance. Check my account or @tbddc for the tweets.
Congrats to TBD, Daniel, and thanks for the update! Via this comment area, let us know when the blogger-affiliate TV happens for real. David
Update: Here’s a link to a related Twitter image from Daniel. It shows Mandy Jenkins, a social media producer with TBD.
Thanks for noting the TV aspect of TBD, David. The integration of our web and TV operations will be an important part of TBD, and we are pleased that bloggers are interested in participating.