(In this text, I’m talking about the produced shows and content made by my small team during this past year. We used to call it "Seesmic production"…😉
The bet was bold, we were entering the unknown. To create "content" on a closed site, in alpha, in a country we were just discovering, tip-toeing on usages and behaviors still unexplored, while hardly speaking their language.😉 We made the bet on content in Seesmic (produced by Seesmic) together, Loic and I, and together we’re ending it. It’s a logical and rational decision. The objective had been to facilitate conversations, enrich them, and deliver value. To take the best of this collective intelligence and share it with the rest of the world as eye-witness accounts of a point in time, of a story that unfolds with us everyday. With my team, we tried, attempted experiments, used the images in different ways, brought in guests, and provoked discussions, both serious and lighthearted. We wanted to invent a new kind of content – hybrid shows both editorialized and user-generated. It was a complicated bet, but so exciting.
Looking back on it all, some exceptional moments come to mind: the interview with Spielberg and the cast of Indiana Jones in Cannes, the video for Ingrid Betancourt, the mash-ups and shows conceived by the users (Hache, Virginie, Béatrice), the Intro Video (and its Behind the Scenes), the Great Village on Ground Zero, the success of Rachael and Sukhjit (overcoming the obstacle of breaking into a community within a few short months), more than 250 episodes of all the shows (Seesmix, Seesmic Café, Seesmic du Jour…), Kevin Smith in L.A., the Republican and Democratic Conventions (thanks Dan), the tribute to Craig Mangenello (a Seesmic user who passed away), the Seesmeetups and gatherings in Austin, Vegas, or New York, the day with Monty Python’s John Cleese, etc, etc… To make a long story short, mind-blowing things happened EVERY day.
It was necessary to produce content. We had to create a backbone for this service of a new genre, to provide points of reference, rendez-vous and perspectives, to conserve traces of these conversations, to archive these hours spent discovering one another, to propose subjects and encounters. This graft between the natural and the scripted, between the spontaneous and the rehearsed, had to be attempted to accompany the baby’s first steps. But the graft content/site has a price tag incompatible with the product’s progress and the difficult times ahead. Despite all the pleasure that we shared, and procured, Seesmic is first and foremost a tool, a platform that must permit each person to communicate and exchange without necessarily becoming an actor for "content". Seesmic is not a UGC platform (User Generated Content). The seesmicers don’t generate "content", they talk to each other, they share, they discover themselves and experience emotions. What they generate is life, not a show. The simple act of participating in a conversation with images does not turn those images into "content". A text with words that rhyme doesn’t always result in a poem.
Loic and I remain convinced that the idea was good, but undoubtedly initiated too early and, as a result, a luxury in relation to the reality of the product: unfinished, not monetized, not yet mature. We made this decision together, as adults, just like we often did this year with regard to a variety of topics. I will therefore no longer be full-time at Seesmic, but I remain a shareholder and will continue to collaborate and undertake occasional projects in other areas. The adventure has only begun!
PS: Thanks again to Alicia for the smart translation…