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October 26, 2006

rocketbooming


"Rocketboom is watched by 350,000 people a day."
April 21, 2006: Rolling Stone magazine (link)

"[Rocketboom's] audience is up about 100,000 in the last month, to about 400,000 a day."
August 10, 2006: Dow Jones MarketWatch (link)

Q: "Since Amanda left, have you seen any change in the audience?"
A: "It's grown a bit."
October 11, 2006: Future of PR Conference (link)

"...over 300,000 downloads per day."
October 24, 2006 blog post (link)
Sure, his numbers aren't consistent. And the Alexa chart above shows that Rocketboom's audience does not appear to be "up about 100,000 in the [July-Aug 10] month".

Don't trust Alexa? Andrew used Alexa during the time period in question to demonstrate that Rocketboom was more popular than CBS (link). You can't use Alexa when you're hot and then claim it's worthless when you're not.

But Alexa is not the problem. The real issue is that nobody knows how to determine the value of a web property or web audience given loose concepts like "page views" and "complete downloads." Although Andrew's handling of this complex issue leaves quite a bit to be desired, the situation he's found himself in is not entirely his fault.
business is booming
MSN, YouTube and other sites are also Rocketbooming. They're all desperate to come across as popular, so they all present aggressive background statistics. On some gallery sites just browsing a page full of thumbnails increases the view count for all the items on that page. Other times you click a blurry video, immediately leave, but it still counts as a view.

Web browsers download web sites that you don't visit, just in case you wind up there. TiVo downloads shows that you don't watch, just in case you get the urge. iTunes will download a podcast long after you've given up on it. Everybody's reaching for the sky and rounding up, up, up.

Andrew's caught in the web of these fuzzy numbers. To him, "complete download" not only means a "completely watched show" but also a "unique audience member." He also touts his large subscriber base and brags how a number of software products download his show by default after they're installed -- without even asking the user if he's interested or wants that to happen.

Those aren't viewers, they're nickels. Grab a thousand; swipe $50 from an advertiser.
everybody's rocketbooming
Let's face it, everybody does it. It's only natural to exaggerate a bit when you really care about something:

     "I've got the most beautiful baby in the whole world."
     "Wagner is the smartest Golden Retriever ever."
     "400,000 people watch my videoblog every day."

Even I got bit: Newsweek published that 100,000 people watch my show every day.

According to my video host Revver, viewers downloaded my videos well over 100,000 times.
A report from Revver dated 8/24 shows my 08-04-06 video with over 170,000 downloads.

So what's wrong with that? If you go to the Revver site and click that video today, Revver now says it's been viewed only 27,000 times. Revver fundamentally changed the way it calculates views, for all videos from all producers. Oops, sorry Newsweek.


"To me, the most important stat is not the hits, and not the bandwidth but the page views."
June 25, 2005: Andrew Baron blog post (link)

"The core of the matter is not hits or page views... it's how many completed videos were served."
October 24, 2006: Andrew Baron blog post (link)
revver 1.0
But if so many people in the metrics game feed each other inflated statistics, why would Revver actually decrease previously published numbers?

For all its flaws, Revver provides one very useful statistic: complete views. Not downloads, not hits, but views. Because they serve a custom ad at the end of each video playback, they know how many people watch each video all the way to the end. These stats are available (on good days) for all to see on Revver's website.

That said, I'm not sure I'd hire anyone from Revver's accounting department to do my taxes.

But why the stat change? Let's imagine you made $170 in Revver ads across 170,000 views. That equals $1 CPM which is well below what Google pays for text links. By changing the metric from "downloads" to "completed views" now you make $170 on 27,000 views, or $6.30 CPM.

By that same logic, any site that's trying to sell advertising based on "downloads" is unlikely to have much success.

I did a quick analysis: across my videos you can take the number of complete downloads, divide it by 6, and that's a rough estimate of how many people watched to the end. This is a very rough approximation: autoplay, the speed of your site, the speed of your visitor's connection, and whether there's an actual human clicking a video or just a sleeping robot pulling down a file affects the Rocketbooming Coefficient.
eyeballs
Should we even care about eyeballs? I don't. I care about my audience, but my show ends on March 17th, 2007 whether I have one eyeball or a million. Given the current state of web metrics, talking about eyeballs seems to create more risk than value anyway.

Rocketboom might very well have more eyeballs than Ask A Ninja, Amanda Across America, or any of the currently popular video shows. But it's important to question not only what those numbers are and where they're coming from, but also whether the eyeballs these shows claim to have are even open.

This is the interesting part of the conversation and I hope the web dialogue continues in the direction of answers and solutions. Producers cannot make intelligent creative or business decisions about their work without meaningful measurements. In the absence of sane metrics, we're already repeating the mistakes that turned television into what it is today.

(edited to add) business week article Bookmark and Share
Comments (92)

"Should we even care about eyeballs? I don't. My show ends on March 17th, 2007 whether I have one eyeball or a million."

Because you're doing it... for yourself... :)

Caring about eyeballs probably means that you're doing it for someone else... and not likely for your eyeballs either.

Posted by: gifa at October 26, 2006 6:41 PM

Please don't leave us on March 17th.
You've taught me too much already for me to you let you go so easily.

Posted by: Easilydistrac at October 26, 2006 6:55 PM

i look forward to the bigger and better things we see from you after the show is over. it will have been fun while it lasted.

Posted by: sk8dork at October 26, 2006 7:08 PM

ze, nice write-up.

one thing to note though... every day when I watch the show, my browser closes before the last few seconds of your broadcast, well before the ad would display. a few times it hasn't, but it is generally a sure thing.

might want to look into that with yr Revver account. i only bring it up now because of how you described the 'complete views' statistic. i don't care that it's a bug too much, but i want the showman to get paid.

i wonder if/how many other sports racers have this problem.

jon

Posted by: jon at October 26, 2006 7:09 PM

What a great post! There are definitely a lot of people that inflate figures in order to capitalize on a situation.

Posted by: Mick at October 26, 2006 7:11 PM

so what happens march 18th? is it just back to bk, back to the streets?

Posted by: thomocracy at October 26, 2006 7:12 PM

...is it just back to bk, back to the streets?

I think yes. Wearing a diaper on the outside of his pants!

Posted by: Doodle Bean at October 26, 2006 7:16 PM

I think that the internet has the potential for far more viewers than cable tee vee in the near future, even though there are way more channels, it's all word of mouth. Or IM or email. I havn't watched television in two years, and I've seen the quality of internet entertainment getting better, and pushing toward competing, ie my space and google video etc.
Just wait until March 17th, and see how many hits, i bet it's gonna be a lot.

Posted by: Fnordo at October 26, 2006 7:19 PM

"My show ends on March 17th, 2007 whether I have one eyeball or a million."

Dude, you suck. Nice reminder of our impending divorce. Please don't break up with us. She's not that hot.

Posted by: The Suckah at October 26, 2006 7:20 PM

I have the same problem as jon above me. You might be getting underpaid if your viewers don't finish the show even if they want to. Please look into this and debug so we don't have to.
--marc

Posted by: MarcNotMark at October 26, 2006 7:38 PM

Great, just when I thought I was going to have a good birthday next year, I get told all I get is the last episode of the show? Oh well, I'm getting too old for podcasts anyway.

Posted by: Jon at October 26, 2006 7:42 PM

I would totally Rocketboom if I could. I'd love to have 27,000 views to make stuff up about. 54,000. 64,000. Pyramid? Moore's subscribers, doubling every month until it required a metric named "The Disembodied Header" to explain the phenomenal popularity.

I don't though. I just have YouTube's "728 views". 728? There's NO fun calculations with that number. Maybe more bikinis...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyNxnM8lKrI

Posted by: The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos at October 26, 2006 7:42 PM

however many people may watch the show doesn't even depend on how many computers click on the download: i watch the show with zefrank with numerous other people regularly on one computer, and i assume a lot of people do this.

and i also have the problem of the show cutting out on about the last ten seconds occasionally.

Posted by: lovelyrita at October 26, 2006 7:47 PM

Ze, this is why I like you. You get it. I mean, the internet is in this state of funny money where the certain things explode based on pure bull****. I mean, YouTube is worth 1.65 billion dollars? What? An unlicensed copy of the Daily Show viewed because someone forgot to TiVo it is worth all that money because views and uniques don't make any sense in this time.

It's people like Andrew Baron who ruin the web economy because he believes that getting it out there in every possible way means it will be popular. If the content is terrible it doesn't matter.

Ze has the content because he understands his viewer and isn't trying to play them off as a number.

Posted by: Carlos at October 26, 2006 7:53 PM

ze, we like you best. go ahead and tell the others.

Posted by: shabbosgoy at October 26, 2006 7:57 PM

I've never seen an ad on The Show. I download the quicktime, the syndicated one called video.mov.

Posted by: John at October 26, 2006 8:03 PM

I would like to think that web content will one day be made only to entertain, inform and inspire our intellects. The dumbing down of web culture is so troubling, thanks Ze for keeping it elevated.

Posted by: Blonda [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 8:10 PM

How come you posted this from the future? as I write this it is Oct. 26 5:12pm Pacific Standard Time.

It says it was posted on Oct. 27 2006. What's up with that?

Posted by: pigboy at October 26, 2006 8:11 PM

"Verified Earnings -157.42" What a whining bitch you are. Instead of complaining about how little money you supposedly make, why not try getting a real job. Oh, that's right, you can't because you're a narcissitic prick. Dance monkey boy, dance, and if you amuse me, maybe I'll throw some change in your tin pan.

Posted by: Dan at October 26, 2006 8:48 PM

Because of the inconsistency of the feed (jitter, delays, etc) and the inability of my quictime plugin (mplayer plugin) to skip ahead or back during a stream, I always download from the Share This Movie link and watch it from my hard drive. Besides, then I can resize it. And skipping back is important to me as I often end up missing stuff due to my laughter at earlier stuff.

I'm sorry that I don't count as a viewer just because I don't see the Revver ad.

Posted by: Chainsaw at October 26, 2006 8:49 PM

Re: Ending on March 17th 2007 ...

I'm glad I found theshow before ended, makes me feel part of something, a web Woodstock?

And while I'll miss it when it ends I really admire the humaness of "I'm going to try this out, do it for this amount of time, and then stop".

Reminds me that you're not a network, you're not a host that will be replaced, you're a guy that's trying something out and that maybe I should stop feeling inadequate and try something out as well.

And that's why the web is great ... and why numbers really shouldn't matter too much.

Posted by: modmonkeyqueen at October 26, 2006 8:53 PM

March 17th!! 2007!! Exclamation points!! I'm guessing that's his marriage date, it being a Saturday and all. In which case, congratulations!

Posted by: Alex at October 26, 2006 8:57 PM

Please don't leave us, we'll buy you a million bling duckies, enough you can drink yourself into such a stupor daily that you wont even cares about hits per day.

Posted by: ImageMangler at October 26, 2006 9:07 PM

I've seen Rocketboom a couple of times and I find it incredibly lame. It has no soul and no personality. I feel like whoever made it did so because they wanted to make a videoblog and seem cool, whereas Ze made his because he wants to entertain people and actually has something to say.
You go Ze! I'm not suprised you're finishing, someone should really be paying you for doing what you do
Much loves,
kristofski xx

Posted by: Kristofski at October 26, 2006 9:09 PM

That was a great report. The term "sane metrics" should become a buzz word.

Posted by: ManhattanBrendan@gmail.com at October 26, 2006 9:49 PM

I very much hope that this coming St. Patty's Day will not be the last we will see of you. It would be nice if when the show is drawing to a close that, if you intend to stay in the public eye, you let us know where we can look for you. I hope you enjoy The Show and I hope for great things and hapiness for you afterward.

Posted by: Bridget at October 26, 2006 9:56 PM

Saying "my show ends on March 17th" sounds alot like you're pumping up the final broadcast, so Revver will earn you alot of moolah and pay for this whole experiment.

Interesting post. It makes me wonder -- is one of the next big money-making web-based ideas going to be finding a way to accurately record statistics? And do stats matter much if you don't bring home the bacon at the end of the day (re: YouTube)?

Posted by: Spamboy at October 26, 2006 10:17 PM

I've watched both Rocketboom and The Show from day 1 and I'm under the impression that Ze could kick Andrew's ass any day of the week. And when it comes down to it... isn't that all that really matters?

I may be in a constant state of broke (no duckies or gems from me... sorry. assholes!) but my eyeballs are open and I appreciate all of the comedy your bring to my desktop daily.

Best of luck to you in March! We'll survive but we may need to kill a few mimes. (just for fun)

-G.B. Andrews

Posted by: G. B. Andrews [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 10:53 PM

Good writing here. The problem of fuzzy numbers for $ used to be relegated to the stock market and commercials, plus politics. Meta resume padding, in a sense, to garner more support.

Funny that you mentioned "caring about eyeballs"; was this some unconscious refernce to the blinking, pupil comments your viewers leave? Cause if it is, you DEFinitely have the lead in this realm!

finally, youe earned NEGative numbers from Revver? Dang, I might have to spring for a duckie when the paycheck comes.

cheers!

Posted by: gypsy sister [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 10:57 PM

I used to think I was getting a lot more views than I was getting but then I discovered that there was this thing called Microsoft Bits that totally inflates your download stats. One download from a Bits client looks like oh I dunno several hundred to your server because each file is requested multiple times--it's getting the file in pieces (or bits?) anyway it screws every thing up.

Umm yeah ... So there's that.

Posted by: Bill Streeter at October 26, 2006 11:34 PM

I look forward to The Show every day, but I have a feeling I'm going to look forward to whatever you do next - in the public domain - even more.

Posted by: meg [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 11:39 PM

iTunes will stop downloading a podcast after it gets six unconsumed entries. That's not very long.

Posted by: tim lindner at October 26, 2006 11:46 PM

Honestly,
i think that statistics are bullshit, no matter where they come from. Someone always has deep enough pockets to influence there numbers.

My college statistics class shows me how much bullshit are in numbers too. there are three ways to get averages for example, mean (all the # added together then divided by the amount f #'s), median (list of all #'s least to greatest then find the middle number), and mode (the # that occurs the most).

Lesson is #'s lie.

ACSII Lives on
-coop

Posted by: jesse at October 27, 2006 12:11 AM

Hi Ze, great writeup. The only question I have is what do you mean by making the same mistakes as television-- do you mean that soon Web shows will have high barriers to entry and filled with commercials? If so, I disagree as people will continue to make Web shows for different reasons. There are still a few different models for making money off the stuff-- Apple iTunes is trying one out with charging for shows. CBS is hoping that you will still want to watch their shows on high def plasma TVs, and only download the Web shows if you miss one, or want to carry it around. I don't think they'll invest in the infrastructure to stream HDTV over the Web. The eyeball tracking issue has been around since Doubleclick became a banner ad powerhouse, and the ad agencies will continue to upgrade their software and metrics to gauge influence. Nielsen will get more involved. Big money is coming into the picture to solve these problems. That's why YouTube and MySpace are highly valued. They are the hot properties, the Yahoos and GeoCities of today. If that's what you mean about repeating the mistakes of television--that big money will dictate the direction-- I don't see how that is any different from any other technological innovation. More likely is that the Web will continue to make the mistakes of its own past-- hype and buzz will trump true innovation, and today's stars will become tomorrow's old news.

Posted by: Yves at October 27, 2006 12:14 AM

I know that page views are sort of a dick measuring contest, but from a $ standpoint why do you care? Revver (and Google etc...) pay per click, not per impression.

It doesn't matter if a billion people watch your show to the very end. You don't make money from Revver unless people CLICK the ad. (correct me if I'm wrong please, because I could make a lot more loot from impressions!).

If you want to track your actual number of impressions say.... to impress people at big companies who might buy you... install google analytics (which rocks btw).

Ps... have you ever thought about making The Show available via mobile phones? I'd take a daily video clip, and you could probably make some money from the phone companies from the data... just some phone geek advice. Your show is great, hit me up if you ever want to talk mobile (or advertising).


Good luck!
Todd

Posted by: Todd Allen at October 27, 2006 12:21 AM

march 17?

i love the show but it's much more important to me that the show not make you cynical or bitter.

what's exciting to me is that you've used the show as a forum to create community, encourage creativity and prove that throwing it out there can be the start of something great. if you're giving up on those ideas, then i'm really bummed out. if it's just about the money, then i don't think you've given us enough information or time to make it worth it to you. i'd send you a check every month for the rest of my life to support you as an artist because you're paving a way for me and other creative people. i value that so much.

if it's about making a clean break because we (the fans) are pathetic and overly needy, then i send you on your way in peace. at some point, having an audience is counterproductive to being creative. i get that.

sigh. i'm sorry the whole thing is hard. i hope you know you've made a difference. i hope you have everything you need for your next step.

Posted by: jenlemenicious at October 27, 2006 1:04 AM

Are you conspiring with Amanda Across America? She did an op-ed piece on duckies!!

Posted by: Jyotir at October 27, 2006 1:22 AM

I agree. Completely.

Posted by: JASON at October 27, 2006 1:59 AM

This might sound odd, but why disregard partial views? Just because I watch a few minutes of a program and then (for whatever reason) don't finish it, that doesn't mean I don't retain what I did see.

I think future statistics need to take partial views into account. You don't need to view an entire ten minute video to see product placement in the first two minutes, for example. And the creator who manages to hold an audience's attention for 3 of 5 minutes should still be compensated for those three minutes.

Otherwise, what's to stop (vindictive and petty) viewers from consciously NOT finishing videos?

Posted by: Justin Kownacki at October 27, 2006 2:17 AM

A spirited stats debate is good.

Alexa "how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?
"127 per million"

Posted by: Joseph Hunkins at October 27, 2006 2:30 AM

The only two eyeballs that really matter here are yours, complete with mismatched pupils. :)

Sometimes, we forget that you're not here for our entertainment. "The Show" was your idea, and you determined the length of its run at the outset.

So, we're past the halfway mark. I just plan to enjoy the second half as much as the first half. And I look forward to seeing what happens next!

P.S. I still remember when I got that first forwarded email of you dancing (my favorite was "Elaine Ripped Me Off"). And it's still fun to be able to experience your talent (dancing and otherwise).

Posted by: Kimberlyesque at October 27, 2006 2:35 AM

ooooooo. you called rocketboom fat...... beotch no likey.
but you know this numbers game is just a debate with no end in sight, right? theres no universal consensus on web stats coming anytime soon from what I can tell, as different business models have different business needs that different measurements best address and since the competition is fierce and the west is wild, profit comes from casting doubt on the competing measurement services' datasets, which doesn't help stop the confusion at all.
seems to me that most content providers are too busy navel gazing to be objective in this discussion - they’re caught up in the neat mechanisms that quantify, but advertisers want the juicy qualifiers not delivered by raw usage data. they want to increase commercial transactions, and page views or download metrics can’t tell that story alone. the real value prop is not in simply measuring the numbers of visitors, but accurately monitoring and influencing their behaviour in a way that will translate to transaction. but you know this. vacumn dress-ups, right? excellent.
on another topic... why aren't you in discussion with these guys??
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/technology/25agency.html?ex=1319428800&en=108d1712877c6f09&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Posted by: LezaLongEEEza [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2006 3:08 AM

Good things never get better infinitely. There has to be a planned end to something in order for it to retain its awesomeness throughout its lifespan. Because we know exactly where your "the show" will end, and because we can reasonably expect the content of the show to remain pretty much the same for its duration, we can be assured that it will be awesome until it's finished. There won't be any gimmicks, there won't be any plugs, and there won't be any frantic attempts to resurrect it.

I like that.

Posted by: Rocco [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2006 3:35 AM

I'm very sad of the fact that your show ends on march 17 since my birthday is on the 19th and I'll have to have a birthday without the show, any reason it's ending at that date?

Posted by: Thorbjørn Kühl at October 27, 2006 4:27 AM

"My show ends on March 17th, 2007 whether I have one eyeball or a million."

Shields Up Mr. Sulu!

Posted by: protective gear at October 27, 2006 6:52 AM

Ze,

I think it's far better that people like you start the conversation about the limitations of current metrics now, while "new" media is still emerging. I think LezaLongEEEza's comments are useful here too. If a gazillion people see an ad on ZeFrank, Rocketboom or Ask A Ninja, but only 300 of them are moved to buy the product, then where's the value?

That's from a strictly commercial construct, which is important to some and not to others. Having said all of that..the most important thing to point out is that YOUR SHOW KICKS ASS! you GET IT. For now, I work in "dirty" media (nbc news). As i watch them struggle to ape and mimic what's happening in a natural and organic way because of people like you, it's clear to me that they really don't get the idea of CONNECTING. You do... keep it up!

Jim Long

Posted by: Jim Long at October 27, 2006 9:05 AM

But you have terrific teeth.

Posted by: Phil at October 27, 2006 9:58 AM

i really enjoy the show.
its has the appeal of the daily show, but actually states the facts and even though i try my best to stay current on the new and politics, your show helps give it some perspective. plus ilove the songs.

Posted by: Alex Spivey at October 27, 2006 10:05 AM

Ze,

Your points seem to be valid. However, this discussion would be more meaningful coming from venture capital firms or advertising agencies in place of the content providers. The way it sounds to outsiders now is:

Mr. 1: "I'm worth more money!",
Mr. 2: "No, your metrics are crazy, I'm worth more money!",
etc.

It would be nice to hear what the people actually paying the money think. In this way your comments about Revver are the most revealing although Revver has interesting incentives since they also host the content and thus need to balance advertising revenues and hosting costs (which may be the reason they have changed their metric--to kick people off the site quicker).

I guess that's why you refer to it as a nerd fight. As with so many things, you've correctly guaged that this topic isn't worth an entire show (the piece you did on it a few days ago was perfect.)

Thanks for all your hard work.

Posted by: Thanks at October 27, 2006 10:08 AM

What if I gave you ten bucks? Would that buy us another year?

Posted by: this0is0lindsey at October 27, 2006 10:17 AM

"...[Revver] serve a custom ad at the end of each video"
Just so you know Ze, I've never seen an ad. I just get the QuickTime logo animation on the screen after the show. You still getting paid for my view?

Posted by: Mike at October 27, 2006 10:19 AM

Nice analysis.

We're in the early days of something big and powerful and nobody knows what the hell they're doing.

I'm not sure the world will be a better place once the bean couners and their rubrics and metrics get control of the whole thing (about two years out, I'm guessing).

Meanwhile, Ze clearly knows what it's all about: Bling Duckies.

Posted by: inkslave [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2006 10:22 AM

Raw downloads may inflated viewers but using the viewership of the ads on revver clearly under reports the audience as well.

Revver ads only work in newer Apple Quicktime. Most of the quicktime players don't support it, you can watch the video just fine but not the ads. Revver's model also does not work for non-connected players like ipods.

My guess is that Ze should multiply the revver numbers by at least 2 to get his real viewership.

Posted by: Dan at October 27, 2006 10:31 AM

all i can read is that your show is ending... i already knew it but serisouly can't you go on... some how some where.... i need my ze fix daily.

Posted by: tagi at October 27, 2006 11:00 AM

revver doesn't count people that can't use the embedded video player (browser that it doesn't support, or in my case, entire operating system that it doesn't support). I watch The Show by downloading the video file and playing it in mplayer.

There never was a way to accurately measure people apart from an official census. Even before the internet, how do you measure how many people look at a sign or read a paper/magazine/book? You can count sales, but that doesn't mean that they actually read it. And it doesn't include people that give it to somebody else to read. All you can do is come up with an estimate, and so long as you're using the same method to compare multiple sites, the numbers should be comparable.

Posted by: jeff at October 27, 2006 11:05 AM

Ze you rock. You explain everything so well....dang...

Posted by: nixter at October 27, 2006 11:14 AM

I hope that some time around April 1, 2007, after two weeks off, you realize you miss the audience/ forum /soapbox -- but not the daily pressure -- and bring back The Show as a weekly.
Good luck which ever way you go --
Paul

Posted by: Paul Worthington at October 27, 2006 11:39 AM

Ze,

Although I came in around show # 21 or so, and promptly tore my way through your back file, I don't remember you setting an end date for The Show, but, Lordy, I'm not surprised.
Putting out five minutes of fresh — fabulous — video five times a week is a Herculean (not Sissyphean) task.
I stand in awe of what you've accomplished so far and what you've taught me, not just about comedy and video, but about building a community of viewers.
Of course I'll miss my daily fix - desperately - but we've always known this day had to come.
bd

Posted by: Typist at October 27, 2006 2:11 PM

Ze-

It's a shame that you've only committed to a year. Your vlog is great and the only one I watch regularly. I understand, though, with production probably taking several hours on some days.

You've inspired me to get into self-produced digital communications, and I'm working on podcasting some stuff for a class here at UW-Madison right now.

Thanks for making it fun, and keep it up for the next few months.

-Collin

Posted by: co at October 27, 2006 2:50 PM

Shake it up Ze! Make your site go in reverse & opposite mode for a day to see.

Make people leave a comment in order to watch the show. Leaving a comment earns you a code, after the show, that code gives you the opportunity to win a huge prize (small print: make your odds the same as McDonald's Monopoly; 1 in 8 trillion chances of actually winning).

Posted by: Brett H. at October 27, 2006 4:06 PM

If the internet follow the path television has blazed, I think all of us would be terribly dissapointed. It's like you said Ze. The narks are gonna screw it all up

Posted by: junebug at October 27, 2006 5:21 PM

Sometimes I just want to comment, not discuss. So I put this here instead of the forums.

I just watched todays show, (twice) and I gotta say it actually made my bad day good. Your comment on women going to self defense classes made me warm and fuzzy, like an older brother worrying about a younger sister or something. I dunno, you just sounded sincere, and I appreciate that. I also like the Sportsracer reporter. That was nice. Can we still be Sportsracers after St. Patty's Day?

Posted by: Bridget at October 27, 2006 7:56 PM

Please burn the corduroy jacket before the end of The Show.

Thank you, sincerely, for everything.

Posted by: Flood at October 27, 2006 11:08 PM

i keep tellin people we need a universal i.d., then we could use it to log onto the net and this whole mess could be cleard up

sounds pretty simple to me

Posted by: zemuthalode at October 28, 2006 3:55 AM

Uh... ends March 17, 2007?

Dude. That's like knowing all along you have terminal cancer, but waiting until the 15th date to let her know. You'd think something like that would be in the FAQ, you know? I mean, we get it - one year. But we don't like it, nope.

Posted by: Tom at October 28, 2006 4:45 AM

It's actually brilliant that you're ending the show at a specific time. You've got both enough interest and talent that being forced to commit to The Show robs you from other contributions.

One thought I had: when you subscribe to a magazine, pay for it, then let it gather dust because you never read it, the magazine's publisher still counts you as a subscriber. If a person is too lazy to ever turn off their podcast subscription after swearing off Rocketboom (or whatever), it is still Andrew's right to call it a subscription and a view.

Posted by: Spamboy [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2006 12:40 PM

I don't want the show to end - It's pretty much the ONLY vlog I watch - because It's the only one I find worth watching. That's okay though - such is life. And whatever you do next will be the best I'm sure.

Posted by: ++SC++ at October 28, 2006 1:15 PM

Spamboy, the magazine analogy is an interesting one, but magazines sell a lot of advertising whose efficacy can and does get measured. If a magazine were to Rocketboom or if a significant portion of its readers never cracked it open, eventually advertisers would avoid it.

Posted by: Noonan at October 28, 2006 11:59 PM

The Rocketbooming video left me thinking long and hard about my own web video experiments - and in the end all I could come up with is that it's not the number of viewers you have, it's what you do with them.

For example, according to the stats my web site (I teach folk guitar and frailing banjo online) reaches between 400 and 1500 unique visitors on any given day. In the zany world of Web 2.0 that's a fart in a windstorm. The sea is so great, my boat is so small and all of that good stuff.

The funny thing about my small audience is that I'm making a pretty good profit every month. Not from advertising, but from direct sales of my books.

For me, it's a darn near perfect setup because I can provide free instruction without worrying about keeping advertisers happy, and because I don't have to sell my viewers eyeballs to an ad agency I don't have to rockeboom the numbers.

I don't know if what I'm doing would work for everybody - but in a teaching situation where I need my audience to trust me (I'm asking them to "try" after all, so trust is an important factor in what I do) it really helps to be able to treat my viewers, students and customers and individuals rather than numbers.

-Patrick

Posted by: Patrick Costello at October 29, 2006 10:13 AM

How is the advertising industry getting accurate data on my viewing habits? Do they know that I'm using those commercial breaks as an opportunity to relieve myself in a variety of ways: enjoyable or necessary? Unless those media control-freak network execs finally have sensors to monitor my every movement??--assholes--- Sounds like a job for Sportracers!
Thanks for sharing the info.

Posted by: Djdingdong.com [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2006 3:26 PM

Kek:p tbh keep on making the show till u die then evrythgnn will b k

Posted by: SWalton at October 30, 2006 4:00 PM

While I will painfully miss this show, I find it admirable that Ze has opted to take an early retirement from the medium. If only more artists stopped before they went down hill. Eg: George Harrison is probably the unsung musical genius of our time. But then, in the 80's he recorded "Got my mind set on you." WTF? Or much worse, Michael Jackson. One minute he records, "Don't Stop" one of my favorite R&B songs of all time, and the next minute he's playing with a chimpanzee, erecting giant statues of himself, and getting hauled into court on pedophilia charges. Some people just don't know how to successfully fade into obscurity without attatching themselves to the brand of mediocre has been. So, while I will be sad to see the show end, I remember what happened when The Brady Bunch tried to stretch the show a few more seasons. They gave all the guys perms and introduced Oliver, the annoyingly cute braniac cousin. Please Ze, don't give us an Oliver!

Posted by: Travis Bickle at November 1, 2006 10:33 AM

Well, Ze sure seems to be making a lot of money in donations. $7,500+ in a few days. I was wondering if it is legal to accept donations in this manner if he is not a charity. I just did some quick research and read that it is a third degree felony to solict fundraising support from the public without first getting registered with the Dept. of Consumer Services. Ze posts different "sponsorship" levels...doesn't "sponsorship" imply he is seeking a donation? Is the donation tax deductible? Because as I understand it, if you have a Paypal donate button. then under US Federal law you MUST put a clearly worded statement indicating that you are NOT a registered charity. Does Ze do this? Ze is a smart person (thinking so we don't have to) so I imagine he has checked everything out, and the IRS isn't going to come after him. I know he referred to Google as "Jackass" when they said he couldn't receive donations through their service, but then I read that they changed their stance recently. Confusing. It's all very complicated.

Posted by: Sam at November 1, 2006 9:23 PM

Sam: It's not complicated, you're just confused. Can't blame you: I put your post in quotes, pasted it into Google, and found the ancient forum post you lifted it from. Reporting requirements for taxpayers and disclosure requirements for businesses have changed greatly as a result of the internet. Check the IRS website or PayPal terms of service and read up if you're genuinely interested in this issue.

Posted by: tinydick at November 1, 2006 11:38 PM

Ze,
I use Firefox version 1.5.0.7 and often the video will freeze and all open windows will close roughly 5 seconds before the video ends. This probably means that my view isn't being counted. However, as you have indicated that you don't care about numbers, I am telling you this because I hope that maybe you know something about this issue. I have read that other people have had this problem as well, so I hope it can be addressed. Thank you for your amazing show. I wish I had the initiative to speak out like you do. :D I look foreward to any future projects you come up with.

Posted by: Beps at November 3, 2006 3:21 PM

I know the show is intended to end March 17th, 2007. I think that is a tragedy and that you bring something totally unique to the global conversation (someone hug a tree and hold up a lit lighter). Is there anything we can do to keep you on the air?

Posted by: Matt at November 4, 2006 11:15 PM

Incredible amount of users.

http://www.babynamepicker.com

Posted by: pjbs39 at November 7, 2006 12:09 PM

You're ending the show on Patrick's day!? How about keeping it going just one day longer, so we can see what state you get yourself into?

Just *one* day longer.


Thanks for all the fun, Ze! I'm already looking forward to what'll be coming next.

Posted by: braindelay at November 8, 2006 6:25 AM

Why do you have to stop on March 17th? Can't you keep doing the show?

Posted by: Caroline at November 10, 2006 9:05 AM

Haven't seen any posts lately, still alive? ;)

Posted by: Say No to Crack at November 11, 2006 1:46 PM

I use democracy to watch your shows via the feed and have never seen an advert!

I think you should check that out!

Al

Posted by: Al at November 13, 2006 2:25 PM

No, I'm not the web-based Alexa. Although I have been known to crunch stats from time to time.

But I'm an Alexa who loves me some the Show with Ze Frank. I'm going to be desperately sad when it's over. You've got unbelievable talent, and you manage to get right to the core of issues with a wit, humor, and eloquence that I've never seen before. I wish I was that articulate.

And I'm glad that someone else looks at the world a lot like I do. Thank you for making me laugh out loud every day. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. I wish you success in all your future endeavors.

Your loyal sports racer forever,

Alexa

Posted by: Alexa at November 16, 2006 9:29 AM

Very good site. Thank you.


Posted by: designer handbag sale at March 24, 2007 8:36 PM

For example, according to the stats my web site (I teach folk guitar and frailing banjo online) reaches between 400 and 1500 unique visitors on any given day. In the zany world of Web 2.0 that's a fart in a windstorm. The sea is so great, my boat is so small and all of that good stuff.info

Posted by: adam smith at April 12, 2007 7:07 AM

While I will painfully miss this show, I find it admirable that Ze has opted to take an early retirement from the medium. If only more artists stopped before they went down hill. Eg: George Harrison is probably the unsung musical genius of our time.

good!

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Posted by: Unreniweedy at September 23, 2007 10:19 AM

reading this on 1/1/08-- still prescient, still valuable. what's "valuable" about content like this may not be (entirely) monetizeble. Hope this isn't gibberizibleish. anyway, value doesn't always equal money (no quotes, dammit.) But I want you to be able to keep doing stuff like this-- do I sent you five bucks via paypal, or root for you to be on Saturday Night Live?
Maybe I better make it ten bucks..... shit, it's the art v. commerce crap all dolled up in electronic garter belts and leather. No panties, tho.... dammm......................paypalllll

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Jane.

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Jane.

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