April 27, 2006
Channel Frederator and Fan-Generated Content

Today's Metro here in Boston had a great story on Channel Frederator, which lists itself as "The World's Original Cartoon Podcast." The site, for "mature audiences only," produces cartoon programming for adults, a market that founder Fred Seibert feels remains unjustly underserved.

What's so interesting about the podcasted cartoons is that they not only produce their own work but also accept work from amateurs, which--if good enough--becomes distributed by Channel Frederator, making it a true community of production where the line between cultural producer and fan becomes a little hard to distinguish. The editorial function remains with the producers, who decide what does and what does not get distributed, but Channel Frederator seems to get that fans want content generated by them to not just be considered ancillary but to be featured as well, at least the best of it.

Amber Ray's story in the Metro, "Fan-cast-ic," mentions that some viewers of the site complains about the sometimes-amateurish quality of some of the fan-generated content, but the founder retorts by pointing out that the drawing quality of great animated series such as Beavis and Butthead and South Park does so on much less "beautiful" pictures as cartoons like Looney Tunes.