We Are Heading to FutureM!

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Calling all Branded Entertainment FANatics!

We are SO excited to announce that we are hosting a session at this year’s FutureM in Boston, October 16-18. FutureM brings a one-of-a-kind experience to Marketing and Media trendsetters by debating the cutting-edge development and future landscape of Marketing. The programs are unique, forward-thinking, and will challenge, integrate and bring to life what tomorrow holds for businesses in the digital age.

 Our session “Better than RedBull: Converting Your Brand into an Entertainment Hub will be held on October 17th at 9:30 A.M. This interactive panel will involve YOU with our guest panelists Evan Rimer (Walden Media), Matthew Valentinas (Entertainment Legal Counsel) and Sharon Vosseler (FoA Entertainment). Come tell us a bit about your brand’s creative brief and we will pitch you social video ideas live on the stage! 

As a valued member of the ZoomTilt community, we hope you’ll join us – register for FutureM today at FutureM.org .

 

Look forward to seeing you there!

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Learn From Netflix: Why “Orange is the New Black” Totally Works

A colleague of mine has been buzzing about her latest gig for the past few months now.

Her email announcement that she landed a role on a new series created by the one-and-only-one, Jenji Kohan was super exciting both for her career and for me (yay! I’m officially one slice of Kevin Bacon away from Jenji Kohan herself).

The second part of that announcement was that the series was being produced and self-distributed by Netflix to exclusively be available on – Netflix; this part of the news was interesting, somewhat perplexing and I wondered if my friend would have a job after she wrapped shooting.

Now, however, we see that Orange is television and narrative storytelling history in the making.

A Fast Lesson in Distributing Original Programming

We’ve seen some Netflix original programming done before and quite well I might add.  House of Cards, was the content provider’s first original series and the revival of Arrested Development, which originally aired on FOX for three seasons, was a move to capitalize on an established fandom.  Orange is the New Black, although greatly different from these two programs, is the combined result of what made both House and Development work.

The reported budget on House of Cards was around 100 Million, according to this Forbes.com article. The network used analytics of subscriber activity to know that their customers would indeed check out a Kevin Spacey starring political drama produced by David Fincher. This number crunching and market research is nothing new for Hollywood; Q-Star ratings have been a mysterious method of evaluating blockbusters for sometime now. Netflix, however, had one thing working in their favor – they could deliver the content right to the viewer verses blockbuster which still functions under the “if you build it they will come” theater distribution model.

So, Netflix spent the dollars, set out to produce something that was for sure going to be streamed and delivered something stellar. I mean how could something touched by David Fincher that birthed performances between Spacey and Robin Wright not be wonderful? Seriously.

With House, Netflix established themselves as a distribution platform that could work for original programming and not just a platform where audiences are watching outdated content that may or may not be new to them. There was just one thing that Netflix had to ask themselves: how long would it take for Netflix to gain more subscribers from their original programming?

Which led to them asking the smarter question: how could they obtain an untapped audience without breaking the bank on marketing dollars?

Easy answer here folks. Find a series that has a large fandom that is currently not being fulfilled. Enter: Arrested Development, Season 4.

Arrested is a show that drives transmedia fandom. The cult following that ensued from the three seasons on FOX made Arrested a true “social” series with fans discussing its’ past and future on blogs, making up stories for characters and in some instances posing as the characters themselves.

There was no question that the fans of Arrested would chatter and cheer over the announcement of a 4th season on Netflix. (That’s kind of the whole point beyond “fandom” they live in the same world that the Bluth family does). The distribution channel reportedly grew its subscriber base by 600,000 when they announced the revival.  A good number but arguably not enough; but that was OK because Netflix executed the alley-oop just right, what was coming next in the world of original programming for them was the slam dunk. .

And then, Jenji Kohan parted the red sea and released all episodes of a first and original season at once…. 

This is a move that Netflix has made before – all episodes, all at once. There is been a lot of debate over whether or not this model works or hurts. I think that the correct answer leaves us in too much of a gray area but there are certain instances in which releasing all the episodes at once “works.”

Orange is the New Black is one of those instances and here’s why:

1. Jenji Kohan is most known for her ground-breaking, critically acclaimed series WEEDS. I definitely signed up for Showtime just to watch it and I definitely cancelled my subscription after the series finale. But if I need my fix I can still watch the series on Netflix..

Yes, Netflix has been able to analyze the analytics over who was watching WEEDS; a show with a female anti-hereo protagonist, that was watched by not only women but men as well.

2. It is funny yet has its truthful moments, this is provided because Orange’s cast of characters live within a very, very specific world. That world is the prison system. It is one that you and I don’t live in but one that when we enter into “fandom-land” translate into transmedia-like properties, for example: “Red’s Cookbook”, an online Orange themed store called the “commissary,” beauty tips from Laverne, stretch of the day with Yoga Jones, Catch the Chicken Facebook game, etc. you get my point. (BTW if you are a representative of the Netflix marketing team you can reach me at amydepaola [at] mac [doc] com, should you want to develop my ideas.)

3. A show in a female prison and therefore a 90% female cast is something to talk about.

How many of us have peered inside a women’s prison before? Not many. The majority of content out there that focuses on the prison system is focused on men. Mean men. Dramatic men. There is SO much to talk about here. We are seeing content we’ve never seen before. Releasing all the episodes at the same time has had the complete opposite effect. Ever since the series aired its’ hashtags and reactions from viewers have been crowding my newsfeed, on Facebook and on Twitter. I argued just the other day with a friend of mine that that was absolutely genius. Having the content there all at once allows fans to reach the point of obsessive, they, we are ultra-consumed by the show’s content.

It is a different kind of social chatter that is occurring when the series is available all at once to viewers. Unlike the social chatter that I see crowd my newsfeed on a Tuesday night before the new Sons of Anarchy. This chatter is not only an announcement that “I can’t wait for it to come on” or “yay, it airs tonight” or “can’t wait to have a glass of vino and watch it tonight,” the conversation is about the content within the program:

“Did she really see the chicken” appeared in my newsfeed.

“Did Bennett sleep with her mother?!?!” Also appeared in my newsfeed.

Why? Because we are ultra-consumed with something when we are given the opportunity to experience it all at once. That is how you tap into audiences imaginations, by inviting them 100% into the world. (See: Walt Disney and the Magic Kingdom).

What Happens Next?

Rumor had it, way back when, that Orange was going to be produced by Netflix but was possibly going to be sold off to a more established original programming network for distribution.

Lucky for Netflix that did not happen. In fact the series has been greenlit for a second season and another excited email popped up in my e-mail earlier this week announcing the start of production on season 2.

Orange is the New Black not only set the standard for Netflix but is going to change the landscape of original programming – and possibly episodic narrative programming as we know it.

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Stay tuned from more insights on Netflix from ZoomTilt’s Community Manager, Amy DePaola and follow her on Twitter.

Memoir of a Web-series Producer

I’ve been hitting the pavement in the independent production scene since 2008. I currently serve as the Manager of Brand and Community Relations for ZoomTilt and am obtaining my Master in Fine Arts in Media Art from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Below is a recollection of how I became a web-series producer and my opinion on the status quo of web television. My opinions are my own and do not reflect the overall opinion of ZoomTilt or Emerson College.

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My first job in the world of production back in 2008 was with an independent, non-profit, production company that focused on women’s programming in New York City. Back than we received hundreds of feature film and play submissions from hungry, powerful, talented women writers. Our involvement with a winning 2006 Sundance Film Festival as well as our long list of female celebrity endorsements and our core messaging made this production company one that everyone wanted to be involved with.

However, we were just as broke as the hungry, powerful, talented women writers that sought us out.

True, there were a few celebrity writer/directors that were vying for us to produce their work. One well-known TV actress/writer and director in particular submitted three feature scripts to us during the summer of 2009. I wasn’t overtly impressed with her work. Three years later in 2012, one of her scripts that she submitted had made it to production and further than that into the Sundance schedule. As I predicted three years earlier, her work wasn’t well received, but it was still her film I was watching on the screen and not my former production company’s film.

The actress/writer/director in question had spent, seven – I repeat seven years, getting that script from paper to screen. And when I say it wasn’t well received, I really, really mean it wasn’t well received. One veteran producer I had breakfast with the day after its debut said and I quote, “I’ve never walked out of a Sundance movie till last evening.”

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I moved out of New York City during the summer months of 2010 to pursue my graduate studies and re-evaluate how I was going to find my place in this business. In the fall of 2010, I embarked on executive and supervising my first web based series, a concept that mimicked that of Friends and Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and was the brainchild of a Boston filmmaker. I show ran the concept, built the production team, as well as the cast and tried to break the mold by keeping a TV standard for the series, releasing a 24 minute pilot online in late 2011.

I had spent about 9 months promoting the series before its debut. My knowledge and PR skills came in handy as did my social media accounts. The pilot episode at its length received over 24,000 views in just the first week.

But that was it. We only had money for one episode. How on earth were we going to continue this?

I’ll admit I was slightly stubborn at the time. I wanted to present this power and stay firm in my decision to keep the series at television length. It wasn’t until one epiphany in the shower that it really hit me. “Don’t break the mold, follow the status quo – follow the rules.”

We than re-released the series into 5 parts. One “season,” when combined was now the length of a standard TV episode. And for the two years of work that it took us to film two “TV length episodes” I was able to say instead that I produced two seasons of a web series concept, ten episodes in total. The numbers in our new scenario just sound much more impressive. And made me feel slightly accomplished.

The success and buzz over the “Friends-esque” web-series led to the production of several short films that I produced as well as another web-series concept, this one though, was a competition based reality show that was shot and edited in a 7-day turn around period. We had established reality personalities built into the concept but alas did not give the series that much build up regarding our PR efforts and therefore received less views than we had hoped. We also faced the difficulty of having some production restrains. Here we were working less with quality and more with quantity and proof of concept.

This past year at Emerson College I began to wonder about narrative complexity. That little theory based yada yada that formulates why storytelling is effective, how it is structured and as a result resonates with audiences. Narrative complexity theories have since been translated into television and I figure that the same must go for web series content, right?

So, as I begun studying to understand whether or not narrative complexity existed in within web series I discovered a lot more than I expected. Or more correctly, I heard a lot of what I “didn’t want to hear.”

Realizing you made mistakes is never something easy to admit. However, it is important to realize the mistakes and grow, learn and move forward with them.

Looking back on my time working for the NYC based production company, as well as my time producing web-series and short films as well as my time at Sundance (and SXSW and CES and TriBeCa), I’ve learned one thing that I hope to leave you all with:

Be inventive. Embrace innovation. Think outside of the box.

Whether you are producing narrative content or running a small marketing firm. Sure, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but I believe that there is an overflow of what is out there these days and even those who are getting praise and recognition are not looking to alternative methods or allowing exploration of “finding the new.”

One thing is for sure if you are like me, interested in spearheading your own projects, take a moment to think about it? How has this been done before? Has it worked? I guarantee you that nothing that has been done under the sun – or made it to Sundance for that fact was simply out of “luck”.

 

 

Web Series Creator Spotlight: Katie Shannon and Audrey Claire Johnson

Let’s face it, Hollywood and their blockbusters have been dominated by men for decades now. Television has given a slight rise to powerful female centric programming with shows like Weeds, Sex and the City, GIRLS, and The Big C, all of which is on premium, pay-for television.

Independent filmmakers have turned to the web to generate programming and stories that they believe is missing from the likes of Hollywood. Programming that can be made accessible to a much broader and larger audience. But with the likes of Machinima and Rooster Teeth it is safe to say that the “Hollyweb” is also favors a slight edge towards content that is generally considered male-centric.

Alas, we over here at ZoomTilt have stumbled upon the dynamic duo of Katie Shannon, writer/director and Audrey Claire Johnson actress/producer; both funny-gal extraordinaires. that are embarking on their first collaboration together: K&A, which stands for Karley and Alex.

Written and Directed by Katie Shannon of Thompson Films. Starring Audrey Claire Johnson and Ashley Elmi. Produced by Katie Shannon, Audrey Claire Johnson and Michael Madden.

Written and Directed by Katie Shannon of Thompson Films. Starring Audrey Claire Johnson and Ashley Elmi. Produced by Katie Shannon, Audrey Claire Johnson and Michael Madden.

Katie and Audrey worked together previously on 617, The Series, which also included producer/actress, Amy DePaola (sound familiar?) You can view the second season of 617 on ZoomTilt’s YouTube page.

@ZoomTilt: Ok, first off, this question is for Katie. Tell us about the concept of K&A? How did you come up with it? 

@KDuffShannon: K&A is a comedy about the friendship between Karly (played by Johnson) and Alex (played by Ashley Elmi) as they navigate their complicated lives in the city of Boston. One of my favorite shows is “Sex and the City” because it is honest and truthful about women today and their relationships with one another. It reminds me of my relationship with my best friend [from college], who currently lives around the corner from me. However, their is one huge difference between us and the ladies of SATC; I’m gay and she is straight. A lot of the ideas for the series come from our relationship (not all but some!). For storytelling, it’s a character dynamic that hasn’t been explored all that much. When I hear or see something I think would be great for the show, I write it in my phone. If someone ever read the list, they would probably think I’m crazy!

@ZoomTilt: What makes Karly and Alex’s story different from some of the more popular female duos that are currently out there? (ex: “2 Broke Girls”) 

@10ThousandHangs (Audrey’s Twitter): The combination of one straight and one lesbian lead protagonists is blatantly underexplored in sitcom format. Television comedies with a broad audience have found success with straight/gay leads, normally shown as leading/supporting man/man or man/woman. Because of the female straight/gay premise, I’m already interested in their history, their friendship, and their chemistry with other characters on the show.

@KDuffShannon: Both these characters don’t hold back. Their lack of caring what people think has allowed me to explore so many story lines. I’m partial to comedy shows like Family Guy and It’s Always Sunny Philadelphia for never apologizing for what they put out there and talking about topics that many of us think about, but are too afraid to bring up.

@ZoomTilt: What are the benefits of distributing the series online? What are also the challenges?

@KDuffShannon: Online distribution gives us the benefit of being able to reach anyone in the world and have a much broader audience for that. The challenging part, however, is to get people to discover it in the first place. Anyone who has a camera can make a web ddfseries these days. You need to think to yourself: what makes your [concept] different? Why should someone take time out of their day to watch? It’s also even more challenging with bigger and bigger names getting into the web series scene, so you really need to take the time and steps to make your concept stand out.

@10ThousandHangs: If you’re a creative artist in any medium, you will have challenges deciding on the best way for your work to be seen. Not just any way, the best way – and one that is financially doable. With K&A we’ve studied other projects that have been crowd funded, how they interacted with their audiences and where their content was eventually hosted. Its been a huge help.

@ZoomTilt: Interacting with audiences is important online, how are you both hoping that audiences will interact with K&A? 

@KDuffShannon: I hope people find the show as funny as I think it is (obviously I’m partial). I hope people can see that females can be just as funny as men. And trust me…these two ladies are.

@10ThousandHangs: Goals would be to have a hefty number of subscribers on our YouTube channel and dialogue on social media about each episode as they are released. We’d also like our fans to share their stories about their exterminators with us, and, of course, get 1,000,000 signatures on to petition HBO to pick it up……..obviously.

@ZoomTilt: So, what are some points of the series you are looking forward to shooting? Can you give us some secrets about what to expect? 

@KDuffShannon: I’m looking forward in shooting the episode “Doing Nice Shit For People” because in that episode Audrey’s character gets tasered. We read that episode during our auditions for the character of Alex, and her [Audrey] performing the act of being tasered made me laugh every single time.

Karley takes a much needed rest on Alex's lap. (From L to R: Johson and Elmi)

Karley takes a much needed rest on Alex’s lap. (From L to R: Johson and Elmi)

@10ThousandHangs: There’s an episode about a rat in the apartment. I am paralyzed by rats, phobic to a traumatic degree. K&A stand and huddle on the couch while some weird stuff goes down off camera. It’s classic suspense, not seeing the “violence” on screen while we react in horror. I can’t wait to play that scene.

@ZoomTilt: What are some female-centric web-series out there that you enjoy?

@KDuffShannon: I was an intern on set once for the filming of The Guild, so I really enjoy that one. There was also a lesbian web series called 3Way, which was one of the funniest web series I have ever seen. It’s sad but the lack of female leads in web series is a reflection of what you see on television. Obviously as a female filmmaker you want to try to change that as much as you can. I’ve never made a project where female characters weren’t the focus and I plan to stick to that.

@10ThousandHangs: I worshiped Broad City, would die to have been on Delusional Downtown Divas by Lena Dunham. Other web sketch groups that do incredible work are Good Neighbor, Olde Payphone and Paulilu.

The admitted lack of female genres within the web series community is a reflection of the industry as a whole. I spend my energy focusing on women crushing the scene online, on television and back to feature length blockbusters. They are my inspiration when choosing projects, writing scripts, and aspiring to be a great comedic actress.
Touche. Thanks for your time ladies! We are happy to support you. Please let us know when we can expect the first episode!
Support K&A by taking a visit over to their Kickstarter page and learn about their team on Facebook and stay up to date with them on Twitter.
If this photo is any indication of the realistic bond between these two ladies, we are extra hyped to watch!  (From L to R: Elmi and Johnson)

If this photo is any indication of the realistic bond between these two ladies, we are extra hyped to watch!
(From L to R: Elmi and Johnson)

Online Video, the Catch Twenty-Two of Advertising?

The online video production and online video advertising industry insiders were buzzing yesterday when this Tubefilter article was published announcing that 80-85% of video ads are skipped.

REELSeo responded and published this article, which asks the question, “are we too optimistic when it comes to online video advertising?”

Is everyone really as shocked as they are writing? Online video and video on demand services have allowed us to skip advertising for years now. Skipping advertisements is almost the pioneering purpose for why people have turned to watching online video in the first place. At least, my thought has always been:

“If I watch my video online than I can watch what I came to watch and that is it. I don’t need to sit through an ad that I know is intentionally trying to sell me something.” 

First and foremost, however, I watch video online to be entertained. If I can’t skip an advertisement I am still pretty hell bent on watching a video, however I am just going to walk away really quickly and come back when the video is on.

I continuously search for the best in online video so that I can share with my friends and they can see that I am knowledgable of what is out there and also portray that I am a funny, witty and carefree kind of gal.

Due to an increasing use of tablets, smartphones and the like, mobile and online video numbers are on the rise according to this Business Insider article. I have to ask advertisers: is online video the “catch twenty-two” of advertising? 

Since it seems inevitable these days that some thought needs to be given to online video but online video advertisements are only watched about 15% of the time, how can advertisers guarantee that their message is going to be viewed?

This is a call to big ad agencies and ad executives: Tell me, how do you feel about this? What are your plans to handle this? Do you think it will change? Can it and how will it?

I think the answer is simple, advertisers need to consider putting their dollars towards entertainment. Less ad focused content and more entertainment focused content will guarantee that your dollars are being spent wisely. Think about it. If I am going to watch a video, skipping an advertisement, you might as well find a way to make the entertaining video somehow your advertisement.

I’d like to hear some thoughts on this. Tweet me @TheeAmyDee.

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Need to learn more about how to create an entertaining video for your brand? email Bryan Ryczek, Business Evangelist at ZoomTilt;  bryan [at] zoomtilt [dot] com.

YouTube Creator Academy: Lesson 1 – 3

This week our Manager of Brand and Community Relations, Amy DePaola (also known on Twitter as @TheeAmyDee), dove into her first ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with the YouTube Creator’s Academy.

Amy, who has produced several web based series, including 617 The Series and the second season of The Rookie Bartender, decided to let us in on some of the secrets that only 32,000 YouTubers are partaking in.

In lessons one through three, which were led by Tastemade’s SORTED Food, Amy learned the difference between subscribers and non-subscribers and how they effect “watch time” and “clicks.” Ultimately, it is subscribers who up your channels “watch-time” and the YTCA is divulging insight into how to increase your subscriber base. In fact, in the new welcome module that YouTube deployed, your subscribers and your non-subscribers see two different page set-ups. Non-subscribers are prompted with a welcome teaser video while subscribers are led right into a channel’s playlist and related content. Both of which creator’s can control.

In addition to how to gain subscribers and design/layout, Amy learned about branding, which brought some perspective as to how you should treat your YouTube page. That is if you are serious about making yourself or your creation about a business. Amy has mentioned that this experience has been motivating for her and she would love if you will follow her as she rebuilds her individual YouTube presence.

YouTube Creator Academy: What is a MOOC?

This past Monday I began taking my first ever MOOC with the YouTube Creator’s Academy.

What’s a MOOC? Well, its a Massive Online Open Course, of course.

I took an online course at Harvard Extension School a few years back, it wasn’t the best experience for me. A MOOC is different from what we’ve seen with “web-based education” to date because unlike online courses from selected colleges, MOOCs, don’t have a cap on the number of registrants.

In order to better understand a MOOC and how the creative industries can benefit from them I took to my Emerson College colleague, Loudon Sterns, who is also a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Loudon has been teaching online courses for several years now and recently dove into the grand task of organizing and instructing his first ever Music Production MOOC with Coursera.

@TheeAmyDee: I know you had experience with a Massive Online Open Course, can you tell me why you chose to get involved with one? Seems really daunting to organize.

@LoudonStearns: I have been teaching online for 4 years now through Berkleemusic.com. I found the transition from classroom to online teaching quite easy. At BerkleeMusic I have class sizes of 20 people or less and I have weekly contact with every student through e-mail, assignments, discussions, and realtime audio video chats. With the introduction of MOOCs that has become the traditional online class. It is kind of funny that we now have “traditional online teaching!” Berklee is creating a series of MOOCS in partnership with Coursera.com and asked me to author one. I jumped at the idea because I love a new challenge. It was a chance to experiment with new modes of education and have a wide impact on the world. Also, as a music teacher I think I have a responsibility to try new teaching methods. Hopefully what art educators discover works(and doesn’t) can provide examples for other disciplines.

Personally, I was also very interested on what impact this would have on the teacher. It seems like a huge amount of exposure, which is unusual for a teacher. I was curious how being a public figure like this would impact the rest of my life. As a musician I am comfortable, even excited, by this type of exposure. In the end the personal impact wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, but that was one of my reasons to get involved.
@TheeAmyDee: What were some of the take-aways for you? Any lessons learned? or Advice you would give someone on how to maximize the potential of a MOOC?
@LoudonStearns: Humans are amazing! Every day, as the MOOC ran, I saw people helping each other, treating each other with respect, and working hard to understand this difficult topic. The community was wonderful and I was blessed to be part of it. The biggest lesson would be the need for research and iterative design. We can’t expect to know how to do this right the first time. Every class I have ever taught got better after 3 or 4 runs as I refined my presentation and what I expect of the students. The same must go for a MOOC. Teaching here is quite different. The teacher must think statistically instead of personally. A single student’s problem is my problem in a traditional classroom, but in a MOOC I must focus on the community. This shift is tough to adjust to, and I think any teacher will need to run the MOOC, adjust it and run it again before the MOOC will really work perfectly. We are running my MOOC again later this summer and I am really interested to see how the course changes with the adjustments we are making to the assignments, grading, scheduling, marketing and class communication. The other big lesson was the importance of a team working together. In a traditional classroom the space belongs to the teacher and the teacher is largely autonomous. In my MOOC experience I realized how important it was to have a strong team working together to make it work well. Because of the large community and the teaching team, it felt that success of a MOOC really revolves around communication. Clear communication between the team members and within the community is essential. Because of the highly international student body the communication must be carefully crafted and I found myself really examining how I communicate with that community in mind.
@TheeAmyDee: As an artist, it seems strange to think about a MOOC. I’ve been concerned with this as I dive into the YouTube Creator’s Academy; do you think that MOOCs have the capability to promote individuality?
@LoudonStearns: They definitely promote the teacher’s individuality! The thousands of students that finished my course watched 83 videos of me teaching music production, so they got a good dose of Loudon for sure.
I think there are opportunities for students to promote themselves. Within the class forums is a large community of fellow musicians. I am not sure that was the best place to promote their music, but it is a great place to get honest feedback about their music. In looking through the forums I found many great supportive comments and some insightful feedback.
On the whole, I think people were at my MOOC to learn. While it is a community, and socialization is part of that, the most important thing is to create an environment focused on learning. I had expected more socialization and personal relationships in the course, but there is this huge crowd feel to it. And now that I think of it, I have rarely met someone within a huge crowd that I have maintained a lasting relationship with. I think to really promote individuality we need to find ways to create smaller groups within the crowd. This is a known issue with MOOCs and one that I tried to solve in a few ways while running my MOOC, and I know of other teachers that have tried it with various amounts of success. Really, I think it is a design problem, and this is an evolving learning/teaching format. As it develops teachers and students will work together to improve the environment. Right now I feel that we are just starting to understand how this works. We should be careful about judging the success or failure of this format for a couple of years. Give the teachers and software developers time to identify and solve the issues. Right now there is amazing support for MOOCs from colleges and they are creating so much of this amazing content and supplying it to the world for free! We really owe a huge debt to the colleges, like Berklee, and the individuals that are taking the risk to create these classes. Creating these classes takes time and money and the rewards are uncertain. I could go on and list other issues with the current MOOC situation, but that pales in comparison to the one thing that I do know: thousands of people were able to study with me, a Berklee professor, for free, and that is an amazing thing.
@TheeAmyDee: Thanks so much Loudon! This has certainly made me more excited about participating in the YouTube Creator’s Academy MOOC. I’m going to keep an open mind and embrace it with full force.
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For more from Loudon Stearns follow him on Twitter: @LoudonStearns. You can also register to be apart of his next Music Production MOOC with Coursera here:

To stay up to date with our experience and opinion on the YouTube Creator’s Academy follow ZoomTilt on Twitter: @ZoomTilt