The Elephant in the Room
We need to talk...
It's been over three weeks and the web series community has been waiting to voice their opinions to the International Academy of Web Television and the Streamys organizers about the future of the Academy and the awards. I sent an email a couple of weeks ago to Michael Wayne, Chair of the IAWTV, to suggest a meeting and he responded saying they will be holding two meetings (in NY and LA) very soon to address our concerns.
Since then, I've heard rumblings that the IAWTV may be trying to separate themselves from the Streamys organizers and "taking back" the Streamys. Sounds great! The thing is... Tubefilter were a big part in creating not only the Streamys, but also the IAWTV itself. As a member, I believe the IAWTV should be independent and representing our community interests. And frankly, if Tubefilter hadn't of founded the IAWTV, our community advocacy group New Media West would've founded something similar instead!
Today Tubefilter announced the launch of a new site called Rebuild the Trust. At first glance this looks like an admirable idea, but when you look at it closer you can see the agenda. This is a preemptive strike against the Board of Directors of the IAWTV.
Some quick points (because, otherwise, this would turn into a waaay longer blog post):
- Why a new site? Control. The ideal solution to the Streamys problem would've been to create a community discussion board on IAWTV.org, but since Tubefilter has already lost control over the IAWTV, it seems clear why they created a whole new site.
- What is the "Manifesto of Change"? Politics. It's a manifesto created by Tubefilter, but written to sound like it was created by the community. If they get lots of "signatures" they can then use it as leverage in negotiations with the IAWTV.
- Isn't Point 1 of the manifesto ironic? Totally. Why would we trust the people who established the close door policies in the first place? It's time for the community to take charge, without having words being placed in their mouths.
- Why is Point 4 of the manifesto a really bad idea? More control. Privately a lot of community members agree that the Streamys organizers (Tubefilter) is to blame for the StreamyFail. That said, why would we tell them it's a good idea to "officially" partner the IAWTV with the Streamy Awards? In my opinion, the Streamy Awards still have a lot to prove and making a formal agreement this soon is a bad decision. We need to give this relationship time and figure out what works along the way.
- Why now? Preemptive strike. The IAWTV is finally having meetings with its' members (today there was a meeting in NY, and a meeting is being planned for LA next week). It seriously looks like Tubefilter launched the site today as a way to place blame on the IAWTV first and to get reactionary responses from their readers before listening to members' opinions at the meetings.
The real community to me is the non-profit that is the IAWTV. Granted, they've been slow to get a decent web site together and it takes them forever to plan meetings, but these (among other issues) are all concerns that will be addressed at the upcoming meetings. I ask that you do not react to the new Tubefilter site thinking it's the real opinion of the community. And be sure to read and understand the manifesto thoroughly, and make sure you understand the intentions behind it, before you decide to sign it. I will not.
I look forward to the IAWTV members meeting in LA. I don't have the details yet, but I'm sure it will be a very heated and productive day.