Google Launches A Distributed Media Cavalcade

The entertainment industry has to date taken somewhat of a field of dreams approach to creating content – build it and they will come.

But Google, which up until this point has avowed not to be a content player, is taking a different approach that leverages its existing adsense infrastructure beautifully.

Rather than creating a new comedy series and hoping the audience will come, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has teamed up with Google to distribute his new comedy series exclusively via the web.

Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy will be syndicated to sites that are determined by the Adsense system to be the right profile for the demographic the series is targeted at. Cavalcade video clips, with a variety of pre-roll, banner and other ad formats will be streamed instead of static Adsense ads.

This Google Content Network is both a brilliant way of leveraging an existing infrastructure and a great example of a distributed content model at work.

[via NY Times]

Sugar Gets Sweet With StarBrand Media

Women’s lifestyle blogging network, Sugar Inc has added StarBrand Media to its portfolio.

StarBrand represents a useful ecommerce addition – this LA-based online marketplace enables the purchase of clothes and other items viewers see on TV shows.

[via TechCrunch]

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A Call For Worldwide Solidarity: Global Mourning Period In Support Of China’s Earthquake Victims

The Chinese government has called for a 3-day mourning period to honor the passing of thousands of civilians killed in the recent Sichuan Wenchang earthquake.

As part of this call, they have issued an edict that entertainment-based websites and programming shut down over this period.

A bitchmeme sprung up around this on Friendfeed with some high profile bloggers jumping into the fray and causing tempers to rise amongst Chinese bloggers.

I can understand the tug between total freedom (as perceived¬† by many of us westerners) and the authoritarian approach of the Chinese government. However, looked at in context this is a significant inflection point. Paul Denlinger explains that in terms of China’s track record of not openly recognizing calamities, calling for this 3-day mourning period is a significant step forward.

Looked at in the broader 2008 context of the upcoming Olympic Games and the growing level of angst and misunderstanding between the peoples of China and the West, I believe we should come together and embrace this mourning period globally.¬† In the spirt of unity that the Olympics signify let us unite around Paul’s simple rule:

If you reach out and treat people like friends, they tend to act like friends…

Remember, earthquakes are a global phenomenon and can happed anywhere, anytime — how would you like to have the world react to such a disaster happening near you. As I was writing this a small earthquake was recorded in Central California measuring 2.6.

[Picture courtesy of yelingyang]

iPhone Gets Kicked Into Orb(it)

Orb Networks has enabled TV on the iPhone. By installing the OrbLive app users can stream any video format to their iPhone.

There are a few hoops to go through before you can stream your favorite basketbal game though:

  • You need a PC or Parallels
  • You need a TV tuner card
  • Your iPhone must be jailbroken.

We understand that iPhone 2.0 will support video – will it go so far as supporting live TV streaming?

Playboy Embraces Social Media

Playboy has dived head first into the social media arena, setting up partnerships with Break, Howcast, Metacafe, Veoh and YouTube.

The entertainment-lifestyle brand sees this move as a great way to leverage off of the success of “The Girls Next Door” and create the Playboy Audience Network.

Mixercast will also be developing ad-supported content and contest widgets for use on the network, which will move to short-form content franchises. This suite of marketing and interactive content widgets will be used to extend Playboy-branded experiences to social networks and also to blogs and start pages.

A talent search is currently underway on YouTube to find the 55th Anniversary Playmate.

Playboy is aiming to create more of the interactive engagement in their digital business that they’ve achieved through the high-touch world of parties, events, location-based entertainment venues, and retail stores.

Atari Releases Roll Your Own Game Adventure Editor

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Atari has released the D’jinni beta adventure editor, which will allow users to roll their own adventures within The Witcher, a role playing game based on the universe created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

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Players are put into the role of Geralt, a professional monster slayer who exists on the fringes of a complex society troubled by the kind of problems more commonly found on the front pages of newspapers than in a fantasy universe. Taken as a child, mutated, and trained in the arcane ways of the witchers, Geralt is a reluctant hero, who nonetheless finds himself all too frequently in the heat of battles that are not his own. In this world there is no right or wrong, only decisions and consequences.

Users can create new stories, cut-scenes, graphical effects, dialogue and gameplay actions.

Very cool stuff. Kudos to game creators CD Projekt.

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