Dave Winer is rooting for Rocketboom to succeed as it embarks on life with a new public face, former MTV vj Joanne Colan.
Rocketboom is bigger than two people.
It plays the role this weblog played in the early days of blogging. It distributes attention to all kinds of creative people doing coooool stuff. Lots of chuckles and lots of bings!...
But without Rocketboom we are less. So why should we deliberately try to be less? I don't think we should.
Rocketboom’s success in viewership is due to its “lots of chuckles.”
From a financial success point of view, however, it is unclear whether “lots of bings” are translating into lots of cash. Among the many rumored reasons for the split between Rocketboom partners Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon: poor financial results.
In true Web 2.0 fashion, Rocketboom “distributes attention to all kinds of creative people doing coooool stuff,” but it doesn’t necessarily distribute money to the creators of the “cool” content.
Rocketboom obtained massive press coverage this past Winter with an eBay stunt to auction off its first week of Rocketboom advertising. Winning bidder TRM, an ATM services company, reportedly paid Rocketboom $40,000 for several spots featuring TRM and its services in Rocketboom-style skits.
Rocketboom’s successful public relations blitz of its inaugural ad placement, coupled with its posting of a high-priced rate card at the Rocketboom site, led many to assert that Rocketboom is attracting $85,000 worth of advertising weekly.
While such revenue numbers are difficult to confirm, TRM’s reaction to its $40,000 Rocketboom ad buy was reported by CNNMoney.com last April:
According to TRM spokeswoman Janet Lennon, reaction inside the company was mixed. 'It wasn’t what we anticipated'…But TRM is still bullish on vlogs as a way to reach forward-thinking viewers. 'We feel like this is an upcoming trend in marketing and advertising'…
Madison Avenue firms aren’t lining up to buy ad space just yet. After all, this is a quirky, do-it-yourself medium where content ranges from the sublime to the unwatchable. 'There isn’t enough critical mass for us to go to a client and say, This is something that’s going to work for you’, says Charles Pinkerton, partner at New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners’ The Media Kitchen.
Of note: At about the same time that TRM was paying Rocketboom $40,000 via an eBay auction, TRM announced “TRM Corporation's Auditors Expressed Going-Concern Qualification”:
PORTLAND, Oregon: April 7, 2006 -- TRM Corporation (NASDAQ: "TRMM") announced today that in its 2005 financial statements included in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 31, 2006, the audit opinion of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP contained an explanatory paragraph raising a question about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern.