While on an epic quest to discover the keys to creating successful web content and setting oneself up as an Internet star, Blast found two things: traditional media wishes it was as popular as online media, and our generation has little to no attention span.

Webisodes are hugely popular at the moment, and when Blast talked to Michael Buckley, from the “What the Buck Show,” Chris Hardwick, the host of the new G4 show “Web Soup,” and Christine Tse Kuecherer, from Take180.com, all three sources agreed that the success lies in the timing.

Take180.com creates Web series fed by viewer participation, like “Electric Spoofaloo,” but none are longer than 180 seconds. Christine Tse Kuecherer, Marketing Director at Take180.com, explained the reasoning for the time limit: “I think one thing we’re seeing with web video in general is that people may not have the long attention span that they might have with television. A great example is Hulu. They highlight Saturday Night Live skits and TV shows. That’s why we’re ‘Take180’ and nothing is over 180 seconds.”

The same concept applies to YouTube videos, and really any other content on the Internet. News ratings have plunged over the years, and it’s really no wonder why.

Michael Buckley blames the drop entirely on the Internet.

“I think people are just on their computers all day,” Buckley said. “They like to just read the little blurb, or they like to go online and see like a little one and a half to three minute video summary. They don’t want to watch thirty minutes, they just want ‘BAM BAM BAM.’ That’s what they want. Our attention span is so terrible anyway.”

While audiences don’t want to wait around to listen to all of the news, the web isn’t about to replace television as a whole any time soon. However, more and more television shows are beginning to produce their own webisodes and create extra content to keep their computer-loving viewers interested.

Kuecherer pointed out shows like “Heroes,” which have uploaded webisodes between regular episodes to keep fans coming back for more.

“TV is realizing that the web is a good way to get fans more interested “" they’re coming out with extra webisodes and back stories to create more interest,” Kuecherer said.

Buckley believes that TV will simply transform just a little more to cater to our culture’s growing need for speedy entertainment.

“Webisodes will probably be regular TV programming at some point,” he said. “The TV timeslots now are so strange, a lot of shows are like an hour and seven minutes or shows on cable channels are like 22 minutes, so I think that TV is going more the way of the web, and on demand. So I think it will definitely be an option to see five minute segments of all types of programming down the line.”

Television producers and writers have obviously noticed the trend, which can only explain the start up of a new spin-off of E!’s “The Soup” “" “Web Soup.” There’s enough interest in viral videos and webisodes online that now TV wants a piece of it too.

Chris Hardwick, tech expert and co-host of G4’s “Attack of the Show,” is now the host of the channel’s “Web Soup,” which is currently the top-ranked comedy podcast right now on iTunes.

Hardwick credits the web video craze to our culture’s descent into geekdom. “We’re coming back to that original definition of geek. A geek used to be a carnival performer who bit the heads of chickens and snakes, and now we’re back to where geeks put videos of themselves online where they’re biting heads off chickens and snakes. Geek culture is pop culture now. I had to suffer from it in grade school.”

And now he hosts his own show. “Take that, guy who stuffed me in a trashcan!”

“Web Soup” takes a critical look at viral videos and other random web hilarity out there with the intermittent appearance of guest celebrities like “Weird Al” Yankovic and the fill-in comedy sketch every now and then. The show won’t completely focus on videos, however.

“Someone had put a mixer online that was a soundboard of David Lee Roth,” Hardwick said. “If you can find it via the Internet, it’s fair game.”

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About The Author

Liz McClendon is a two-time graduate of Virginia Tech and now spends her time traversing the internet, where she writes and continues her seemingly everlasting quest to be gainfully employed.

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