I was not able to make the meeting last night for the IAWTV due to Guild shooting. I was very upset not to be able to be there, not only because I am a member of the IAWTV board, but because I am a passionate member of the web video community. I am 100% invested in the idea of a legitimate organization dedicated to forwarding the profile, standards and legitimacy of web video. I believe that the IAWTV IS that organization. It is in its infancy, but it is the seed that we need to work with, and grow it into a thriving representative of the world of web video.
After the Streamy Awards debacle, the community has gone through a period of turmoil, and rightly so. I have generally stayed out of it publicly, which has caused some people to wonder where my voice was. (Generally, it was on conference calls and email chains between the board, but that’s something I can’t speak on in specifics, except to say those on the board ARE aware and active of not only the stakes, but of the problems that need to be addressed.) I hope this blog clarifies a few of the points I would have brought up for discussion were I able to attend last night. To be clear, is not the official opinion of the board at large.
The IAWTV organization’s #1 priority needs to be creating an identity outside of the Streamys. This has been my mantra from day one. Personally, I would advocate becoming the IFC for web video content, not aiming to become the Academy of Motion Pictures, but I think the best way to figure out how to best service the academy members is to hear what the MEMBERS would like to see from the IAWTV themselves. The suggestions should be surveyed and implemented. And it needs to be done ASAP for the good of the community. If you are an IAWTV member, please know that your voice needs to be heard NOW and register at the IAWTV forums.
The only way we can figure out what this organization needs is through dialogue, which has been sadly lacking up to this point. There are many divergent needs in the space that I would never think about, like points included in a blog by Jim Louderback about standards and viewer count, and NUMEROUS others that I have tagged in my Delicious account. I think that the sheer number of interested people clamoring for change shows that a legitimate organization is NEEDED, but we need to formulate concrete steps to make the IAWTV a value-adding organization. And it needs to be done QUICKLY, not at an old-media glacial pace. Let’s dive in and figure it out. We need leadership to get through this. If you have an opinion, voice it.
There are brilliant people on the board of the IAWTV. However, I believe there is a problem in the composition. In my opinion, the board needs to reflect a wider range of web video interests, including more content creators, and a broader cross-section of them. Web video is very hard to define, and the opinions of everyone from YouTube vloggers to network-backed web series should be heard and represented. Whether this means a change in leadership or addition of board seats, I believe it needs to happen, again, quickly, in order to regroup and proceed forward. Personally, I would be 100% willing to step down from the board and be merely an advocating member if it would help get this organization on track.
Awards are fun. Everyone loves a party. But at the end of the day it’s about the work. I think the overall vision of the IAWTV needs to come BEFORE all this wrangling for the Streamys name, or any other planned celebration. I do feel like the IAWTV needs to have SOME awards show, because the community needs a legitimate way of recognizing excellence in web video outside of awards like the Webbys, which is for-profit and prohibitively expensive for the average web video creator to enter. What DOES need to be worked out by the non-profit IAWTV is solving some of the problems that were inherent in this year’s awards procedures themselves; like IAWTV membership requirements, nomination categories, and nomination procedures. The technical production, name and venue should be the last thing the IAWTV focuses on. The wrangling over the Streamys as a name and event is just stalling what should be the focus of the IAWTV, which is a structuring of vision and leadership.
I don’t aim to solve any problems with these points, but to encourage dialogue, and express faith in the fact that we can pull together and use the recent events as a make or break wake-up call to get organized.