Celebrating The Web: Take 2

Last Sunday Epic Fu was honored with a Streamy Award for Best Web Series Host. It was the first award of the night, and Zadi and I were obviously thrilled and rather surprised given the calibur of people who were nominated in the same category. Kevin Pollak, Michael Buckley, Alex Albrecht, and Kristyn Burtt are all people who either have well-established followings or are in the process of building them. So that was an honor. We did not expect to be nominated, so the win was truly unexpected and immensely appreciated.

Since that eventful night, the Streamy Awards themselves have been the subject of much discussion. Suffice it to say there were technical problems and tonal problems and length problems and other problems that left much of the online video world confused and dismayed. This blog post isn't about that night. This is about last Thursday at an event called the Streamy Winners Celebration, a.k.a. Celebrate the Web, organized by Kim Evey and Jenni Powell, and sponsored by and Jinx. Celebrate the Web was designed to wash away some of the bad taste left in the mouths of attendees and viewers of the Streamys by getting a community of content creators together in an intimate atmosphere to enjoy the things that got us here, with no distractions of pageantry, awards-style comedy bits, or pretension.

Screen capture of the live stream

The Streamy winners were invited to get onstage at the ACME Theater in Los Angeles to speak for two minutes "...about their creations and what working in web video means to them, why they love working in web video, and sharing thoughts on the issue of net neutrality." It was fun, fast, and a great idea by Kim and Jenni. Unfortunately Zadi was out of the country at the time, and I didn't expect to speak on her behalf, so when they called my name I had nothing prepared. I said a couple of words, but mostly mumbled into the lecturn about some of the things on my mind from that day.

If I had it to do over, this is the speech I would have given on Zadi's behalf:

We've been enormously lucky to be a part of this time. Despite the ups and downs of the web, working in this medium affords us a luxury that no other can provide; true connection with like-minded people who care about the things we care about, and who take the time to watch the videos we make and become a part of our lives. I remember a time in 2008 at SXSW when Zadi and I were going through incredibly difficult negotiations with our licensing partner at the time; people who had helped build this industry, people we respected, and people who were our good friends. After a particularly difficult call we left our hotel and went out to a bar in a pretty despondent mood. When we got there, two Epic Fu fans were waiting to say hi. When we started talking to them, we found out that they were from different states 1500 miles apart and had met each other and become friends because they loved Epic Fu and were a part of the Epic Fu community. They had come to SXSW together, and would have never known each other if not for Epic Fu. Well, Zadi and I looked at each other and smiled, and that tough day just melted away, because we knew right then and there that all the struggle and stress and late nights were worth it. Zadi thanks you very much for this honor, and we both want to thank the people who made Epic Fu more special than any other experience we could have had. We owe you.

And that's all I have to say about that.


modelmotion said:

We still need to work on "putting the W back in the www!" The concept of an LA-centric centric awards show let us down. Now we need to return to our roots on the web..... The World Wide Web!


Jenni Powell said:

Thank you for this Steve and I apologize for putting you on the spot Thursday...we just so wanted Zadi and Epic Fu to be a part of the event.

Your post-events comment though are something that so touches my heart. I know you, Zadi, and I have such similar feelings when it comes to community and why we do what we do and it's always inspiring to hear it vocalized!


Steve Woolf said:

modelmotion: agreed that we need to get global and start dealing with the divisions across the world of online video.

Jenni: no apology necessary, I was glad to be a part of things! Kudos on your effort to pull that together so quickly.