30 May 2006

What Does It Mean?
In 1997, writer director Kevin Rubio unleashed upon the world a Star Wars fan film that spawned hundreds of other Star Wars fan films, and kicked off our modern age of internet video. Troops is the most significant fan film since the utterly insane Hardware Wars of two decades prior. It is a testament to the strength of "pro-am" content production (although to be fair, Rubio is far more "pro" than "am".)

So imagine my confusion at seeing this video lumped together with grilling tips and funny animal videos on the MSN homepage this morning. Go on, imagine it.

Maybe I should explain: Troops is as important to online video as Steamboat Willie was to feature animation. Yet here it is, being passed off as an AVERAGE piece of content. How so? It's being positioned alongside "Sasquatch Festival highlights" and "Attack of the vicious show cat" for crying out loud! This beacon of the media is being treated in a disposable manner (it's already off the MSN homepage.)

I'm glad that it's still getting some play, I'm just astonished at how shallow and superficial MSN is. Will the death of the internet be mindless opportunism? "Oh - a Star Wars parody! Our metrics indicate males 16-24 enjoy this sort of thing. It will improve our click-through and page impression numbers by a fraction of a percent! Ad revenue here we come!"

Yeah, I'm probably overreacting.

1 comment:

Garrick said...

It's fine, man. All of the cool people saw the video as it was intended, not linked off MSN.
I think MSN picks up these things intentionally late, to cater to an older crowd. MSN has older demographics, but the marketing people know their audience will "email this story" to their kids, prompting click-throughs and mom-driven "guilt traffic" of cash heavy 18-24 year olds.