MidLifeBloggers–speaking about us as the papal or editorial we–belongs to something called Tribal Blogs. It is an on-line community of writers that started out, I believe, as an on-line community of humor writers. Now they’re letting those of us who are a bit more dour in, and I joined–just because some virtual friends of mine suggested it.
Last night a group of us gathered for a virtual viewing of the Oscars. You saw the invite for it here with a link so that you too could join us. Maybe you did. If so, maybe your experience wasn’t damaged beyond words (however, I will try to convey that damage in words now) by the software that was used to link us up together. It is called CoverItLive, and it would seem to be an incredibly nifty tool where groups of people large and small can join together to participate virtually in a single event.
It would seem, and I believe members of my “party” believed, that CoverItLive is another of the many startups, run by young geeks who just live to code, code, code. You’ve seen The Social Network; do I have to spell it out for you. Geeks come up with a cool idea, make it happen on a shoestring and every once in a while (if your name is Zuckerberg), the cool idea turns into a money maker. This is what drives Silicon Valley. This is what those of us who are interested in the various cool ideas are willing to put up with a lot just to support the geeks who are doing this on a shoestring.
That is not CoverItLive. They’re part of Demand Studios–you know, the content farmers that are responsible for (a) polluting the virtual world with badly written, relatively useless splurbs on how to do anything, and (b) paying all writers, no matter their talent and experience, Third World wages to write these splurbs (yes, I’ve made that word up–it means explanation-blurbs). Demand Studios just made it’s initial public offering with a market value of $1.5 billion. They are not geeks coding in the closet; they are venture capitalists–you can read about them here–who are looking for new streams of gold to mine from the internet. They believe they have found it in CoverItLive.
Here’s what happened last night. We signed on, we live blogged, we made snarky comments and watched the Oscars together. And every ten minutes, our CoverItLive screens were taken over by commercials from the likes of, for example, Frontier Airlines and First Five California. Thirty second spots for some–do you know how long that is in Oscar time? Sometimes, if I was fast enough, I could hit the delete X; sometimes there wasn’t one there, and I–we all–were captive audiences.
So let’s talk about what Demand Studios/CoverItLive made for the evening? Perhaps not Superbowl ad rates, but this was the Oscars and we were, presumably, that golden demographic. Add it up for me, will you. I’m still too pissed off to bother.