Monday, 29 March 2010

WEBISODE? Is webisode the right term for your episodes? Or does it denigrate your work?

GREAT discussion on twitter over the term "WEBISODE" found via @richardhartley

webisode is it the right term to use for an episode of a web series or webseries

From Eric Mortensen
Bio director of content development @ beginner thereminist. cookie thief.

Please stop using the word #webisode. Is that really the message you want to send? Wannabe TV episode? Don't denigrate your work.

Here's his side of the conversation... (most recent first)

@AnthonyDeLosa Perhaps we'll have this discussion in person someday.

@AnthonyDeLosa So, to bring us back a few steps..does #webisode mean interactive? Does it mean something broader than TV?

@AnthonyDeLosa The web is largely where it's watched for now.Absolutely.But things change fast and thinking only in terms of Web = mistake.

@AnthonyDeLosa There's still a lot of work to do. An INSANE amount of work. But if the next 5 move as quickly as the last 5? BLAMMO!

@AnthonyDeLosa We've been grappling with that for 5 years now. This industry has moved forward at an astonishing rate over that time.

@AnthonyDeLosa We've been delivering web series to Sony TVs for 3 years now. Roku,Tivo,AppleTV, too. Content comes from the web, not to it

@AnthonyDeLosa But "web series" isn't about where it's watched. It's where it comes from. Why would someone make something just for the web?

@AnthonyDeLosa I have issues with "web series" and "indie music", too. But I see the logic there. They serve a purpose for the time being.

@AnthonyDeLosa Web series tells you where content comes from. It's sorta like "indie music". Webisode suggests "not quite a real episode".

@AnthonyDeLosa But who is looking webisodes? Who is looking to be entertained, but *only* by "webisodes"? What viewer even uses that word?

@nicolespag I really don't understand the word's purpose. I wonder who was the first to use it.

Head over to @podictionary for more on the word "episode".

"Episode" has been used in everything from Greek tragedies to Who Wants To Marry a Millioinaire. It's the right word for your show, too.


And on the other side of the chat... @anthonydelosa
Anthony DeLosa
Creator: Neighborhood Watch @TheHollywood Web Series

(most recent comments first)

@ericmortensen Thanks for an interesting discussion. One thing I can absolutely agree on, without a doubt there is a lot of work to do.

@ericmortensen experiences and worlds unique to the web not inferior versions of TV shows. I think there will always be a place for that.

@ericmortensen Whenever I look at web shows I ask "why does this exist on the web and not on TV?" I'm interested in creating interactive

@ericmortensen But does the average person view that way? How long before they do? Have to meet the capability of the average user.

@ericmortensen I think web series is where it's watched. If there is interaction and requires use of the keyboard that's where it needs 2 B

@ericmortensen I feel as an industry "WebTV" fails to let the average person know it exists and where to find it.

@ericmortensen Either you go to the audience or you hope the audience somehow finds you. Not just on the show level but on the ind. level.

@ericmortensen I always go back to hulu. They have the most known IP in the world but took to TV to tell people where to find it online.

@ericmortensen I think there will always be content made just 4 the web. That viewers aren't looking 4 is because they don't know about it.

@ericmortensen I can see where using web series and webisiode would be redundant. Fair enough.

@ericmortensen I have no love for the term but "web series episode"-"webisode", "tomatoe"-"tomatoh" IMO

@ericmortensen You could never just use episode by itself. You'd have to preface it with web series anyway which is the same as webisode.

@ericmortensen Where discovery is enemy#1 webisode is necessary. It makes it clear that it is an episode of something made for the web.


I hate the term 'webisode', but not as much as the term Web TV, which really does feel backward looking, and inaccurate (for failing to distinguish TV episodes merely uploaded from interactive storytelling)...

...but only because the word 'webisode' feels ugly and pretentious. But as Anthony says,
Where discovery is enemy#1 webisode is necessary. It makes it clear that it is an episode of something made for the web.

Someone out there must have a better term?
(we don't call TV programmes "films")
(for our friends in the US: we don't call TV programs "movies")


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Neighborhood Watch Production Blog said...

You have Eric's tweets attributed to me and vice versa.

To me a webisode is defined a segment of a show found on the web. Just as mobisode is a segment of a show found on a mobile device.

When a show is taken from the web and put on TV would the webisodes become TV episodes? Are the shows on hulu now webisodes? I can see the desire for a general catch all term.

As I tweeted I think there are web series that we have yet to have seen created that because of their interactive nature can only live on the web. And maybe they will need a different term someday.

I think the catch all term is probably something like digital content, digital media or digital video.

The average person knows the term episode and probably even digital video but if you talk about your show in those general terms, will they know where to watch it?

Right now we still desperately need eyeballs watching the content where it currently lives and that's the web or it never will even have the opportunity to live anywhere beyond it.

Neighborhood Watch Production Blog said...

Oh wait--my tweets are my tweets. The @ is who it's directed toward not who it's attributed too.

Neil Mossey said...

hey Anthony!

you're right -- it's not an attribution, but how it appeared on the feed...

...but it does look like quotes appear the wrong way round...

If you're reading this far, you've probably worked that by now...