In April of 2001, a dot com bubble baby named Kozmo.com laid off over a thousand employees because its business model of delivering everything from ice cream to office supplies straight to your door, free of charge was…insane. A classic example of our hopes for what the Internet could be clouding our judgment about what it was and, moreover, what textbook commerce is – if you don’t charge customers for a service, you won’t make money. Kozmo went belly-up, and now, we have Amazon.
This week’s video selections could be our Amazon in the wake of a Kozmo-esque web video failure that saw the proliferation of narrative digital series, created by anyone with access to a camera and a keyboard to shoot out self-important press releases. With a few notable exceptions, web series flopped (insofar as success equates with a lot of people watching and caring).
Now, as more and more digital publications move from articles to videos, there’s pressure to deliver on view count promises made to advertisers and, thus, publishers are spending big money on content teams charged with cutting through the internet noise to find out what “works”. Right now, that ain’t multiple episodes. It’s short one-offs like Doctor Neighbor and Rooftop Bar Friend that have no grand plan but to entertain us for a few fleeting moments, until we decide to click away to order some more shit from Amazon.
Doctor Neighbor (The New Yorker)
Rooftop Bar Friend (Huffington Post)
Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.