Oscars, Obama, Twitter Glam & Jonas Brothers? New Media Moments

otrcFeb. 24, 2009 I’ve been asking tweens/teens whether they watched the Oscars on Sunday to get a feel for the youth zeitgeist when it comes to the Academy Awards show as an entertainment draw in itself.

After all, the inauguration became a Web 2.0 livestream CNN/Facebook happening, and the interactive tradition continues today with Obama’s Address to Congress (live 9pm ET)

So how are youth using media differently these days?

Tonight, for example, the red carpet unfurls AGAIN, with livestream coverage of the world premiere of the movie Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience (live 8pmET, 5pmPT) promising kids all kinds of starstruck hoopla and behind the scenes snippets. Are the Jonas Brothers the  ‘warm up act’ to the Obama address on the ABC7.com network?

Moreover, how does new technology, web-streaming, mobile TV and multitudes of new media platforms impact the way youth tune in to entertainment and engage with same?

obama-addressHow does this alter the landscape of information ‘served’ to kids as a ‘distribution channel’ as they seek authentic backstory and digital access  to popular entertainers/politicians.

How does the messaging itself, sent in ‘soundbite’ form impact the understanding of complex analysis? Critical thinking skills? (from voting to PSAs to health advocacy, etc)

Will new media impact money-making models as marketers scramble for kids’ interest as influencers? I’ve written about the brilliance of the social media playbook that Team Obama used. (Edelman/agency toolkit on Steve Rubel’s blog here) Will we see more new media interplay in large scale events and less ‘traditional TV’ and print media?

Here are just a few more tidbits of media fluidity and adaptation with lightening speed (using the Oscars as a benchmark for a fresh overhaul)

oscars-posterThe Washington Post reported that ABC purposely did NOT live-stream the Oscars, and according to Media Memo the network has been trying to keep video clips from the show off of YouTube in favor of their own Oscar.com portal with videos, clips, posters and such.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has their own .org site and YouTube Oscars channel here.

But consider…can any of this be truly ‘controlled’ in this open media gambit of showbiz where everyone is reporting their own story their own way?

ABC7.com heavily promoted On The Red Carpet.com as the ‘go to’ source for visuals, a bounty of Oscar slideshows and basically all things celeb on the web…

twitter-oscarsHuffington Post (at left) reported extensively on Twitter feeds, and On the Red Carpet’s au courant Twitter feed offered ways to ‘add a tip’ or a topic, virtually ‘attend’ some of the after-parties in ‘you are there’ mode with attendees and track the usual gossipy star questions like who was awol/MIA and why? (e.g.”Where was Jack Nicholson?”And what about George Clooney? (evidently Clooney missed the festivities as he was discussing his recent trip to Darfur in a meeting with President Obama!)

So you see how all this media overlap with  pop culture and current affairs gets a bit blurred…Will there be a huge Twitter feed for the Obama address tonight? A news-sponsored mashup like they did at ‘GlamTV’…

glam-microbloggingVenture Beat digital reported how Glam Media made money off of the Oscars using this edited and sponsored Twitter conversational widget (shown at left)

Glam.com and all the other social media/techno hubs did a deep dive asking core questions about whether or not this means Twitter actually has a ‘model’ for revenue now…As VentureBeat wrote,

“Though Glam chose to support Twitter for this event, it will support Facebook and Friendfeed for other events going forward. The micro-blogging widgets are significant because they’re one of the first ways a company has tried to monetize microblogging through editing. Glam is calling its edited news wire “gWire.”

Until now, microblogging has largely been either one-to-one or open to all. Glam lets both its own publishers and other third-party publishers embed the widgets on their websites (complete w/automated audio)

Glam chief executive Samir Arora said he’s been surprised by the reception to the idea: Glam first launched the feature last week for Fashion Week in New York, and he said within three days top bloggers and fashion reporters were participating. Glam is maintaining a list of freelance curators it can trust to maintain the streams in order to reduce maintenance cost.”

…Wow. Do you see what I’m getting at? That’s some fast ‘go to market’ turn time!

All that Oscar twittering makes me wonder WHO if anyone is WATCHING, gulp, old-fashioned TV? (Much less the Presidential address to Congress this evening) Media is changing at lightening speed, and the instantaneous adaptation of ‘real time ALL the time’ puts life into ‘livecam’ mode.

Nielsen ratings show a 13% Oscar ratings increase from last year’s record low (and Canada’s Winnipeg Sun notes ratings ‘jacked up’ in the US too; alluding to host Hugh Jackman) but TV By The Numbers reports TV ratings were still third lowest in history. Ever.

I asked around about the Oscars locally (ok, Facebook too) to check in with kids (only talked to about 40) and compiled a few common responses so far:

Kids 8-18: “Did You Watch the Academy Awards?”

oscar“I watched some, but I knew I could catch highlights online.”

“I had homework, so I Tivo’d, so I could fast forward through it later.”

“Not really. My parents watch. I don’t even know who half those people are!”

“I always tune in for the dresses and the red carpet part, but I haven’t even seen most of the movies that are up for Oscars.”

“I saw the nominees on their YouTube channel; and it’ll be all over the internet… I don’t have time to sit through all the ‘who won best makeup artist’ kinds of details.”

“I’m glad WALL-E won, but most of the Oscar movies are for adults. ”

“Anne Hathaway looked like a REAL Princess…And Natalie Portman is SO smart and elegant, TOTALLY ‘pretty in pink.’

“omg, Did you see Robert Pattinson present?”

“I watched it. But I didn’t really recognize (m)any of those names at all besides Miley Cyrus and Angelina Jolie. Oh! And the Batman guy, that was sooooo sad.” (Heath Ledger as The Joker)

As for power of the golden statue and box office pull with youth?

Other teens said things like,

“The awards help me decide what’s supposedly worth ten bucks vs. a Netflix rental, but it doesn’t mean I’ll go.”

“The topic has to appeal.”

“I watched Slumdog Millionaire using Bollywood links for free when it first came out.”

“I go to movies socially, so mostly see date night movies.”

“We had a bunch of people over for an Oscar house party, but it got kind of loud so I missed a lot. It’s mostly just a good excuse to hangout on a school night.”

How about you? Students? Teens? Parents? Industry folks?

How did YOU “attend the Oscars?”

Or did you at all? Curious.

Also wondering how this will all impact how youth use media as the many slideshows from Mobile Youth.org convey in terms of the ‘third eye’ of the tiny screen…meaning the cellphone.

Will kids be absorbing media in 140 character nuggets of data with video widgets embedding the live portion of a State of the Union highlights?

That sure puts a lot of power in the hands of who edits and how…

Here’s more on web world streaming of youth/media happenings today:

address-to-congressLive Schedule of State of the Nation Coverage (ongoing now)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Eastern Time

CNN.com’s State of the Nation coverage; 11am

State of the Union with John King 12pm

Christiane Amanpour analyzes U.S. foreign policy 1pm

State of the Economy Special with the CNN Money team 3pm

Suze Orman takes your financial questions

President Obama’s Address to Congress 9pm ET/6pmPT

jonas-brothersAnd…on a lighter note…

Jonas Brothers fans, just for fun, here’s a slideshow ramp-up to the livestream of their red carpet premiere of their 3D movie tonight: 5pm Pacific time, 8pm Eastern time.

Also, for all of the Robert Pattinson patter going on among youth about the ‘Twilight’ saga, here’s a 1:51 clip of him being interviewed by E! on the red carpet.

He seems genuinely overwhelmed by all the fuss about the flick, taking solace with Natalie Portman to stay grounded. (per this MTV ‘truemor’ someone just sent me) The Twilight star also made this insightful comment about the hoopla and expectations of teens mixing up his persona (most either love or hate his role in the film)…which I think is important to deconstruct and differentiate fantasy and reality, charm, harm, or otherwise. He maintains a bit of a tabula rasa approach to starstruck fans, saying,

“You just have to be a canvas for other people’s ideas.”

Well said. Pattinson has a future as a politician…;-)



  1. Amy,
    I posted a blog on http://www.TheWrap.com about the two young kids, Azha and Rubina, who starred in “Slumdog Millionair”. I couldn’t find info on the alleged trust funds or homes they are supposed to be getting from the director and producer, and the Indian government.
    If you have more information you can add, it would be great.
    Check it out under Guest Blogs at TheWrap.com
    Keep in touch,

    Suzette’s last blog post..San Diego "LOOT-ed" by Sharon Waxman

  2. I’ll look into it pronto, as I’ve been wanting to do a story on the same thing…Thanks for the heads up. Meanwhile, speaking of Hollywood, and Celebs for a Cause and such, we’ll be going live tmrw. at midnight with the new FB Mktplc. app paired with Doug Engelbart (inventor of the mouse) re: media shaping youth…so if you have any items you don’t use anymore, pop ’em up there and join in the fun! 🙂 (great way to feed the alleged coffers, since donor dollars are off the radar these days…sigh.) http://tinyurl.com/aptqsc

    Gotta keep the lights on… 🙂

    p.s. I was wondering about the approach to residuals for Slumdog Millionaire…seems to me they could’ve negotiated a longer term win-win percentage of proceeds that would net out in a much more equitable manner. Just an idea…Will check your piece and see what you’ve found. Maybe you’ve already suggested same.

    Thanks again for the link…DO keep in touch, Amy

    Amy Jussel’s last blog post..Serious Fun! Making Media to Study for SAT Exams

  3. Jonas Brothers is one of my favorite bands. My favorite song from them is S.O.S. , i really like the tune.

  4. my teenage kids love Jonas Brothers. they are even saving some of their allowance to watch for their upcoming concerts.

  5. Yes, they’ve got quite the following…did your teens say anything about the ‘break up breakdown’ on stage re: the emotional upheaval amidst the ‘world watching’ stage? Seems the news media was atwitter about it, and all I could think of was ‘thank gawd I didn’t have to live my life that publicly as a teen where every tear was tracked.’ Choices, I realize, but still. The media mass is dauntingly surreal.
    .-= Amy Jussel´s last blog ..Blame Drew’s Cancer For My Attitude of Gratitude =-.

  6. i am an avid fan of the Jonas Brothers. their songs are so cool and they are cute looking guys too.

  7. Jonas Brothers is the best teen band today. they are very talented and very handsome.

  8. This is a very good read. Im gonna be tweeting this post. Jonas Brothers are awesome!

  9. So many fans, those Jonas Brothers have…people keep finding this post so I’ll add another…Have you seen how they rocked the stage at the We Day fest in Toronto?


    Thousands of screaming teens for a grand cause, they earned brownie points in my book for lending their name and time…hopefully it was gratis. 😉
    .-= Amy Jussel´s last blog ..Why 350.org? Fun Edu/Eco Activism Today For Int’l Climate Chg! =-.

  10. Jonas Brothers is the coolest band i know. Joe Jonas is quite handsome and he has a great voice too.

  11. Jonas Brothers is awesome, i watched their live concert when they visited our home city. my girlfriend loves Joe Jonas so much. |

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