It started as a hobby almost 2 yeas ago. A media producer approached a theologian and said, “Hey, you’re a theologian charged with engaging the public sphere, I’m a media producer. Let’s make something!” So we adopted the branding that Dr. Brian Mattson was using for his digital publishing efforts and created a 5-7 minute weekly YouTube “Commentary” called Dead Reckoning TV. Brian and I would sit at a little cafe and I’d pitch him questions on cultural happenings and he’d look at them “through the lens of our Christian faith.”
Fast forward two years and not much has changed in the scope of our efforts but much has changed in how we deliver and where we want to go with this. We made the decision at the end of last season to “go pro.” Dead Reckoning has expanded to become an entertainment brand and our flagship show, Dead Reckoning TV is now an almost one hour show with a segment featuring our banter and engagement with world events, arts, news, and other interesting tidbits. Following that we have an almost half hour segment featuring conversations with a new generation of cultural thinkers on a variety of topics. And we’re in discussions with a few of those thinkers to create additional standalone shows.
Our delivery method has expanded as well. What started out as “let’s hit all the online video platforms on the web” (YouTube, Vimeo, Google, DailyMotion, Viddler) became, “let’s just do YouTube” to “YouTube is terrible for this kind of delivery, let’s move to a standalone platform.” Which is where we are today – utilizing the 24/7 streaming platform from the new tech start-up, Glorystone.TV as the basis of our web delivery. Full episodes then get later uploaded to Reelhouse.org where we can offer them for download for a small fee.
It’s a rollercoaster of start-up. While reception has increased, so has push-back. One day, we’re on a high having received great feedback, shares, likes, etc. only to be followed the next day by a big blow from particularly cutting feedback, a potential financial supporter backing out or a major technical hurdle.
We’re paving brand new ground though in both content and technology. After a fair shake of market analysis and research, there isn’t a single outfit doing exactly what we’re doing. Online efforts are either bolstering a primary traditional broadcast or print efforts or it’s a one-off effort vying for traditional broadcast. Consequently, we struggle with technology that doesn’t yet fully meet our needs or we fall into a gap where sponsors or big media houses don’t know exactly what to do with us.
But we’re figuring it out and our audience is figuring it out and it’s exciting. We’re exploring and utilizing new technologies and brainstorming how to communicate content intelligently and effectively in an entertaining fashion. We’re also strategizing with other organizations to disseminate information in a way that reaches Millennials in an increasingly fragmented culture driven by mobile devices in pants pockets.
It’s fun. Not sure if we’ll succeed in anything beyond what we’re doing now but gotta push forward and besides, it’s the only thing in which I have any smidgen of knowledge! I’ll probably blog about it more frequently. I find some of this so fascinating, I’m inspired to blog about something again.