It is a testament to the success –and the loyalty/passion of the audience– of an online video Podcast when its viewer base will go out of its way to organize large-scale offline gatherings based around viewings of an episode of the show. One podcast to reach such success is Digg.com’s Diggnation.
Watching a video Podcast on your iPod is satisfactory, and on your computer is decent enough, but for some people this just doesn’t cut it. According to the founder of Diggnation on the big screen, Steve Searer,
…I usually watch the show on my computer. But sometimes watching it on my computer monitor just doesn’t cut it. For those days, I go watch it on the television downstairs for a much larger picture. However, even then a large television set just doesn’t always cut it. In those cases I usually ask myself why I don’t just watch at the local movie theater. Luckily, I know a guy who knows a guy, so this time, I was actually able to do it.
With over 3400 Diggs and over 100 comments, needless to say the idea has the Digg community hooked. And while Steve conceived this as a free event, another Digg user has already held a paid version of the same in New York. So if you’re in the area, and are interested in watching an episode of Diggnation on the big screen, with networked video gaming afterwards, here are the details:
Who: Anyone that wants to come, all ages are allowed.
What: Diggnation on the Bigscreen, followed by Video Games on the Bigscreen.
When: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 at 9:30pm. Video gaming will be immediately following the showing until 1:30am
Where: Temeku Cinemas, 26463 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA, 92591 (google map) In the Food 4 Less/Mervyns/K-mart center, not at the Promenade Mall.
Alcohol is not allowed on the premises.
More details are available from Steve.
I also had an opportunity to talk about this with the founder, Steve Searer.
What kind of turn out were you initially expecting and how many people have confirmed attendance so far?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, besides a high percentage of males. I think there have been around 45 people that have confirmed, some might be bringing people, some might not show. I’ll just have to wait and see I suppose.
How will you manage to make this economically viable if the event becomes a recurring thing rather than just a one time meeting?
I was lucky to get a great deal for this first event, but I wouldn’t expect most events to be free. There is always the option to charge at the door or if I am lucky enough, get a couple of sponsors.
I know that your site was covered on Diggnation and if I remember correctly, they loved the idea. Do you think in the long-run they might clamp down on ‘Digg on the Bigg’ for copyright or other reasons?
I am not worried about that at all, if anything, Revision3 will be excited as it gives their viewers a fun opportunity to get out from in front of their computer screen to hang out with each other. If they are reading this, I would love to get in contact with them about future events.
There are two interesting byproducts of Diggnation on the big screen. Unless Steve decides to alter the video files (which I don’t think he has the intention of doing) the brands that are advertised on the show will be further advertised (for free) on the big screen! Extending their exposure further than initially anticipated; especially if this becomes a regular event. The second byproduct is extended exposure for the urls from which the stories are featured on the show. For example, if a story about super-human strength from newscientist.com gets featured on the show, (first through the audio/video podcast and then through the big screen event) more people in the audience are bound to become more aware of the featured site and submit more content from the site, which ultimately has a better chance of being promoted to the home page since the url becomes increasingly Digg-friendly.