Nick.com, MeTv, and what the future holds

Continuing its lead in providing the most innovative entertainment content for today’s multiplatform generation of kids, Nickelodeon today launches the first-ever TV programming block featuring user-generated content provided by kids. Nickelodeon’s ME:TV integrates Nick.com and TurboNick, Nickelodeon’s broadband player, with Nickelodeon television to let kids help program the TV block themselves with their own original content uploaded online. The block airs live Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. ET/PT. Nickelodeon is a division of Viacom’s (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) MTV Networks.

MTVN’s Nickelodeon Introduces Unprecedented Kid-Driven User-Generated Entertainment Platform – Nickelodeon’s ME:TV – February 19

Having worked continuously on the concept “user generated content” for SF for a while now, it’s crazy to see Nick step up and tackle it head on, making it the jelly-filling in their usual after school block of cartoonage.

The general concept is amazing. KID EMPOWERMENT- YAHOO!! As for the premiere, I can see a lot of room for improvement. My guess is Nick will figure it out sooner or later, as this is a rocky first episode— lots of weird mistakes and missteps from the co-hosts (who more or less talk AT kids instead of to them).

But kids don’t generally notice such things right off the bat. They get it every where they go. (I sat next to this sweet girl after the Community Next Conference, and it was crazy to see how well she put up with the Flight Attendant cooing all over her. When she started talking to Joi and myself, listening to our schtick, her eyes totally opened up like… whoaaa, they’re like kids!! It was awesome.) I noticed it though, and I immediately didn’t like them. Side note: They just brought out Pick Boy from the latter renditions of “Slime Time Live” and I adore pick boy, so I was appeased.

Speaking of STL, they did a much better job when Slime Time Live first premiered. It was goofy, fun, and totally NICK, ya know? The host who started out with it was chill and just there to have a good time. The minute you try to act for kids, the lamer you get (re: these two hosts). I would have liked to see them bring an oldie back– like old “All That” or “Figure it Out” characters– like Danny Tamberelli, Josh Server, or Lori Beth Denberg (although on second thought, she always seemed a bit too negative). Kel Mitchell. He would have been great! Now that Kenan’s got that gig at SNL, Kel should stick to kids. You know what– why not even have a teen take over hosting? Some goofball like Josh Peck from Josh & Drake on Nick. That kid was a goof back in his All That days. Anyway, let kids lead the way.

I’m just uncomfortable with the “MTV TRL talks to little kids” vibe that ME:TV seems to be giving off.

The hosts of Me TV (I haven’t bothered to learn their names, yikes) mentioned talking about online forum questions. Their forum is a bit cold and not so friendly to navigate (not that I should talk, I’m suffering from the same problem). They’ll have to clean that up and perhaps make it more stylized– you know, more welcoming for returning forum members. Using online feedback to draw viewers to the site is BRILLIANCE. They’ve SUCH an opportunity to make a safe, awesome environment for their forum users that rocks the imagination and empowers them with the vibrance of television & 15 minutes of fame. Awesome concept.

The question for the future will be: is their community going to be a “one off for TV” or an actual thriving community? Time will tell. I lean towards the first, but would be happy to be proven wrong.

2nd Side note: MTV has a show on mondays that does the same thing: takes feedback from viewers in the forums and sticks it in a “catch up” program that looks a bit like a slumber party. Weird for MTv.

So far, looks pretty safe & simple for uploading content. They contact parents and so on. I can’t get too in depth without trying it myself, which, no doubt, i will do when I’m a little more in spirits (I’ve cold of evilness in my system). They also– VERY surprisingly, stick a phone number on their site. I have to laugh. When I was in college, my freshman year, I became OBSESSED with Nickelodeon (I wasn’t allowed cable growing up). I ate it up like chocolate chip cookies. And, strangely enough, I had it in my mind that I would get on “Figure It Out” with my rope made from pixie stick wrappers. I found their email off their site (it was the first page they ever put up with elements of their magazine, maybe a game, and a lot of marquee-nothingness). I emailed that damn address maybe thrice daily. When I got no reply, I forwarded them everything a college-student-in-the-late-nineties-when-forwarding-everything-was-totally-cool could possibily forward. So, now I can only guess how many phone calls they get a day. You can bet your sweet aunt betty that I will be calling them this week. Hot damn. 😉

As for the rest of the website, it’ll come together. They need more kid content on it, but that’ll come.

All in all, I’ll be interested to see if kids really enjoy this tv show after a while. Seems like using random kid-content could be a fad, and if the content isn’t integrated in a better way, it could get boring. Ex. “Oh look, so-and-so put a tomato on his head, that’s so funny”… It could get tiring. Now who knows, this IS their first episode, and perhaps I’m being too harsh. Give it time to nurture and grow. Which, I will do. I love Nick. Nick evangelist here. This is just my opinion from what I’ve seen today.

That’s my 2 cents.

To see Nick’s ME:TV Part two, click here 

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  1. Catherine
    February 22, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Hey,
    I dont get what ME TV is. Kids just talk for 2 hours?? Do they ask you to do something? Nice Article! lol!
    write back
    – Catherine

  2. February 22, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Hi, Catherine!

    I WISH it was goofy kids just talking for 2 hours! I’ve been around some wacky kids in my camp counselin’ days (teaching too), and they’re far more entertaining than people give them credit for 😉

    Actually, Me Tv is like a TV program broken up into segments that are placed before, during, and after regularly scheduled cartoon line-ups and almost always sandwich (or bookend, if you prefer) commercial breaks. Me TV acts like a “host” to a selected line-up of shows.

    What Me TV is designed to do is give viewers a voice. Not just the viewers in the audience, and not just viewers outside the studio– but viewers from home. The mass public. It’s giving kids their “Fifteen minutes of fame”

    Me TV has it set up so you can submit homemade videos of yourself to be aired, you can contribute to their online forum and have your responses read on air, or even be selected for their “Web Wall”– where kids with webcams get to wave in the background as the hosts of Me TV talk. Sometimes games (like they had on Slime Time Live) are played with the webcam kids, or kids in the audience. They have an open call for audience members willing to travel to New York to sit in on the show. Only the kiddies though (they’ve thwarted me again).

    It all sounds amazing from a kid-fan perspective. Again, my question remains… will the set up get boring (it seems as though it might get more tedious than America’s Funniest Home Videos… oo diss! sorry)??? Or, will the hosts/show set-up/Set design get a little more “Nick-i-fied” (I’d like to see more colors, some slime, and some good ole kid goofiness added) so it has long-lasting flair???

    The more I think about it– the more I would like to see explosions of fun worked in… and not just “Look, it’s Martha, she’s waving on that wall from her webcam” or “Look, it’s Danny doing something funny with a pineapple slice on his nose in that video” Ya know? Surpise us, Nickelodeon! That’s why we love you! That’s why I’m in my late 20’s and still an uber-guber fan!

    It’s a great idea with great potential. It’s why the Bozo show stayed on so darn long. (by the way, my sister was on the Grand Prize game. No matter what Cookie said at the time– their life time supply of Big League Chew was not a life time supply, and was actually something you could get at Sam’s Club).

    Does that help answer your question, Catherine? Thanks for stopping by and asking it!! I might just post this as a new entry… I suppose I’ll decide in the morning. Let me know if I can help with anything else!!!

    -izzy

  3. March 9, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Okay… it’s March 9th. And, I hate to beat a dead horse here (not to mention, hate to use such a lame cliche), however–

    I really, really plead with Nick to do something about their hosts: Jordan & Alex. Give them some sugar, or a coffee, or SOMETHING. I really don’t want to make this a personal thing against these two people… I’m sure they’ll be great once they get a job on MTV’s TRL. But… seriously.

    I’d like to see someone HAPPY to be there. Someone who generally ENJOYS the fact they’re empowering kids on NICKELODEON– this is NICK– King of Edgy kid/tween entertainment. An HONOR! There should be a pride factor apparent in these two hosts. I feel like they would be better suited for an art house, or interviewing some musician.

    Kids & tweens need to be happy to be who they are– jumping around, acting goofy, having a great time. Encouraging the audience & the viewers to be excited to watch, happy to be a kid, and eager to join in the fun. Everything that Alex & Jordan say is rehearsed, if not forced.

    The shows they have in the line up have so much kid-love & enjoyment & energy, then you get to the MeTv bit and everything just drops. Please, PLEASE– for the sake of your show, don’t let it fade into oblivion with the dullness of the hosting.

    This comes from a place of love, I promise.

  4. March 23, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    HI

  5. March 26, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    if i had to pick i will rite becus i like to rite funny stuff

  6. March 26, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    if i had to pick i will pick riting becus i like to rite funny stuff

  7. May 16, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    if i had to pick or could i will pick #1

  8. May 24, 2007 at 2:02 am

    cool

  9. June 5, 2007 at 1:39 am

    My favorite show on METV is SpongeBob SquarePants!!!!!

  10. June 5, 2007 at 1:39 am

    spongebob squarepants is the best!!!

  1. February 23, 2007 at 12:17 am

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