Today marks the launch of a new Internet video show from Amanda Congdon, well-known in Internet circles as the former host of Rocketboom. The early star of one of the first massively popular video weblogs, Congdon has worked more recently as a video blogger for ABC News. The show will focus on Congdon's life in L.A. as well as her current occupation.
According to a press release from Blip, both Paltalk and Dove have signed on as advertisers.
The rise of online video personalities and Internet television in general has driven the question, that I discussed in more detail last week, as to whether Internet television distribution was becoming a more viable mode of distribution for independent voices to reach larger audiences.
Congdon's rise to fame and her current association with a respected news entity is an early demonstration of the power of gaining a grassroots following and building that interest into something more substantial in traditional circles.
That article was particularly focused on situation comedy. However, I asked, "And what about genres other than the situation comedy? Most of the focus so far has been on online animation and sitcoms. In many ways, the sitcom drove early innovation in television program, and it's helping pave the way onto the Web for independent producers now as well. But what could be coming after it?"
The popularity of video blogging, and especially the type of show such as this one which will follow someone known for being a video blogger through a Web-distributed show, provides an interesting model in which Internet content becomes an extension of other Internet content, and these type of channels--when added together--provide all the legs for celebrity that scholars have been writing about for some time. In other words, Congdon is using both her primary Internet celebrity from video blogging and then other products through the Internet covering her backstage life in producing video blogs, to further establish herself as a celebrity figure.
It's interesting to see what this reveals both about the growing power of Internet content and also the process of celebrity-building.