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Colombian blogosthing reacts to the new concept of BlogTV

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The Medellín blogosphere experienced a communal “what the ?” about 3 weeks ago, when we discovered that a new TV show about blogging would premiere. My information source was Pablo from No eres tu soy yo [ES] (it´s not you, it´s me), a popular Colombian podcast on everything and nothing at the same time, who mentioned he was asked to be on a show to be produced by TeleAntioquia [ES], a regional network. Investigation ensued.

It was a bizarre affair… even after quite a bit of searching, there were no google hits, no Colombian blogs mentioned the show, no technorati tags. On the Medallo Bloguero [ES] meeting we speculated on the show. How would they handle hyperlinks? What would they talk about? Were the hosts bloggers, if so, who were they? Who would watch a blog show on TV? But the biggest question, and maybe so because it hit our Antioquia blogger status pride was: How come none of us knew about it? Why had no one posted about it? How were the producers expecting a TV show about bloggers to work out… when there was no blogger buzz? Maybe we weren´t the core audience… just the subject matter.

A few days before airing, newspaper ads came out advertising the new show, and teleantioquia posted information on its site [ES]. It´s name would be “Los Bloggers”. It was touted to be a “the first truly interactive magazine in Teleantioquia, bringing different media together”. A program designed for a young audience, it would bring computers and internet to the television screen.

Victor Solano who was interviewed for the show, got to meet the hosts and get an insider view. This is what he wrote before it aired [ES]:

Felicitaciones a Grisales y su combo; felicitaciones a Teleantioquia por apostarle a una propuesta novedosa que como todas las que van en vivo podría tener pequeños errores pero por encima de todo es un acierto que se realice una televisión para los jóvenes hecha por jóvenes y felicitaciones para los antioqueños que recibirán una nueva propuesta ética y estética de un canal regional que tiene mucho para enseñarle a los nacionales que en su arrogancia y sus pasos milimétricos en camino a los peoplemeters de Ibope le cortan las alas a la imaginación y a la espontaneidad. Este mundo de los blogs conquista un nuevo espacio y me alegra haber estado allí, unas horas antes de este parto.

Kudos to Grisales and his posse; kudos to Teleantioquia for gambling on a new proposal which like any live show could have small mistakes but above all it is great that television for youth is being created by youth, and kudos to the “antioqueños” who will receive a new ethical and aesthetical offering from a regional network which could teach a thing or two to the national networks, who in their arrogance and milimetrical steps towards the peoplemeters from Ibope (ratings system) have cut the wings from imagination and spontaneity. The world of blogs is conquering a new space and I´m glad to have been there, a few hours before the birth of this child.

The hosts and producers all commented on this entry, thanking Victor for the interview and information. Expectations grew. We waited… Then we finally got to see the show.

Los Bloggers [ES] is a magazine-style live show where there´s a daily topic and interaction with the audience that can take place through cell phone text messages displayed on screen, phone calls, and comments on their website. They use pre-recorded videos and interviews, flash animations, and also invite guests to their live show.

I had a hard time digesting that first episode. Maybe it was when one of the hosts, Diego Peña, admitted that he doesn't like blogs [ES]:

La verdad, a mí no me gustan los blogs, he intentado leer lo que escriben los autores de sus respectivos diarios virtuales y no he encontrado nada interesante en ellos.

To tell the truth, I don't like blogs. I've tried to read what authors write in their respective virtual diaries and have not found anything interesting in them.

Ouch.

Maybe it was when I saw the word “blog” written on screen twice during a “trivia” session.

Maybe it was because the rhythm was too slow. I got bored at times. It was somewhat obvious that blogging is a brand spanking new topic for these hosts, and when they started explaining about some key concept, got confused, and mixed up, it was even embarrassing.

But I sat through it. And I've watched the new episodes and I've seen it get better bit by bit. They are experimenting with this idea. As Victor mentioned on his post, they are betting on this show without knowing if it'll work out. They are following a hunch that this is the way to do television: realtime with audience feedback. And they, perhaps, are experiencing a bit of stagefright. Their blog gets feedback, people are calling the show, text messages scroll in the bottom of the screen… there does seem to be an interest in the show, and 315 users have already registered at their website. And my experience wasn´t unique.

Jorge wrote in La Fabrica de Cosas [ES]: I saw Los Bloggers and still don´t get it

Básicamente, Los Bloggers es un programa de televisión con presencia online. Presentan un sitio web donde incluyen los blogs de los presentadores (1 , 2 y 3 ) y la opción de registrarse para hacer comentarios. Me registré y pude ver que ya estaba registrado Patton [ES] , un conocido comentarista de blogs y blogger bogotano, así como Merks de Pirated Network, un blog que vengo siguiendo hace un tiempo, o sea que la convocatoria en la blogocosa colombiana ya atrajo a algunos de sus más fieles respaldos. El sitio es agradable, tiene una interfaz visual limpia y de fácil manejo, pero hasta ahora no presta más servicios que permitir comentar en sus blogs, claro está, que se encuentra en versión beta, lo que nos mantendrá a la espera de lo nuevo que se esté ideando el equipo.

Basically, Los Bloggers is a TV show with online presence. They have a website where they include the hosts’ blogs (1 , 2 and 3 ) and the option to register to comment. I registered and checked out that Patton , a known blog commentator and Bogota blogger as well as Merks from Pirated Network , a blog I've been following for a while, are already registered, which means that the rousing of the Colombian Blogosthing has attracted some of their most faithful backups. The site is pleasant, it has a clean visual interface and is easy to handle, but so far it doesn't provide any service beyond allowing comments on the blogs, then again, it is in Beta version, so we'll be expecting new things created by their team.

Velvet from Piso Tr3s (Third Floor) writes in MedalloBloguero as a reply to both Victor's and Jorge's posts.

Ya había escrito Jorge en Fábrica de Cosas que no entendía muy bien a «Los Bloggers». Bueno Jorge tal vez te anime saber que no estás sólo… yo tampoco lo entiendo muy bien. O para decirlo con más precisión no entiendo muy bien qué tiene que ver todo el cuento de los blogs con el contenido del programa. Para ilustrarlo, aunque ahora escribí que en la primera emisión intentaron explicar lo que es un blog, pues parece muy evidente que ni ellos mismos lo sabían con mucha claridad. Es más uno de los presentadores dijo con sinceridad —algo que se le abona— que a el no le gustaban los blogs (!). Desde ese momento me desencante del programa. Es que lo que pensaba yo y creo también que era lo que esperaban los demás bloguers del país, por lo que puede uno inferir de los comentarios en este poste del profesor Víctor Solano, era que «Los Bloggers» iba a ser un programa sobre blogs o que al menos iba a girar en torno a ellos algo que según se ha hecho evidente en esta primera semana no va a ser así. Tampoco nos imaginábamos como iban a lograr semejante portento, (¡¿un programa sobre blogs en TV?! WTF?) pero ahí estaba precisamente nuestra curiosidad y expectativa.

Jorge from Fabrica de Cosas (the Thing Factory) said that he didn´t understand “Los Bloggers” very well. Jorge, maybe it´ll cheer you up to know you aren´t alone… I don´t understand it well either. Or to say it more precisely: I don´t understand what blogs have to do with the show's content. To illustrate, even though I previously wrote that in the first episode they tried to explain what a blog was, it is quite evident that not even they have it clear. As a matter of fact, one of the hosts said that with all honesty – something that has to be acknowledged on his behalf- he doesn´t like blogs (!). From that moment on I became disenchanted with the show. Because what I thought, and I believe that other bloggers in the country thought as well, according to comments to this post by Victor Solano, was that “Los Bloggers” was going to be a show about blogs, or at least it would revolve around them, something that is evident this week that won´t be so. We didn´t have an idea on how they would manage that (A show about blogs on TV! WTF?) but that was precisely what perked our curiosity and expectation.

However, something all three quoted posts have in common is that they end in a positive note towards the show, a perspective similar to what Patton adds in the comments to Velvet's post:

Pero me gusta que tienen la actitud de aprender, están abiertos (y hasta se les nota desorientados) al cambio, a las sugerencias y con ganas de posicionar el programa, de consolidarlo.

Yet I like that they are all ready to learn, they are open (they seem a bit disoriented) to change, to suggestions and seem interested in positioning the program and consolidating it.

He also suggests ways in which to improve the show by adding more blogging content: perhaps by adding daily blogging tips such as “for decency's sake, please credit the sources from which you get your pictures for your posts” for example or to write a recap of each episode as a blog post with links to the different host's blogs and perspectives. They could also add content such as interviews and notes, memes, and material taken from other blogs to shine the spotlight a bit on local and international blogs.

And it seems those who work on the program are REALLY listening. The TeleAntioquia webmaster answered Velvet's post [ES] and all previous comments, giving us feedback on what the show's intentions are:

Es decir, Teleantioquia le está apuntando a la convergencia, la tecnológica de la que todos hemos oido hablar ,y además, está traduciendo ese concepto de convergencia a sus contenidos, allí pensamos que hay innovación en la forma de hacer televisión.
Con todo el respeto por los bloggeros de trayectoria queremos aplicar la dinámica del blog a la televisión: un contenido es puesto en discusión y como un espiral va creciendo con los comentarios de sus “post” para desde allí crear nuevos contenidos que hayan sido construidos entre tod@s. Esto además de poner a disposición en internet otras herramientas clásicas del medio.
Por último, tal y como lo comenté en el blog de Victor Solano, quiero invitarlos a hacer efectiva la versión BETA de Los Bloggers para que logremos construir un espacio que de verdad sea inclusivo y agradable para todos. Ojalá mi comentario sea un estimulo para que sigamos leyendo sus críticas y sugerencias sobre Los Bloggers. No dejen de seguir Los Bloggers y tampoco dejen de comentarlo.

What it means is that Teleantioquia is pointing towards convergence, for the tecnological one we've all heard of and it's also translating this convergence concept to its contents, and that's where we think there's innovation in how we make television.
With much respect to those bloggers with history, we wish to apply the blog dynamics to television: a content is placed open for discussion and it will spiral out with the comments for the “posts”, and thus create new contents which will have been created between all. This will also add to the classic internet media tools.
Lastly, just like I commented on Victor Solano's blog, I'd like to invite you to make effective the BETA version for Los Bloggers so we can all build together a space which will truly be inclusive and pleasant for all. I hope my comment is a stimulus for us to keep on reading your critiques and suggestions about Los Bloggers. Don't stop watching Los Bloggers, and don't stop commenting it either.

We won't. And if you want to, you can check it out as well here from Monday to Thursday at 6:15 pm, UTC-05.

1 comment

  • I watched the first episode and I agree with Velvet and Patton. I hope this show finds its own way and becomes a good television show… but it seems it will be on “beta” stage for a while…

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