We knew web creators were talented – technically savvy even, but what we saw last night was truly amazing. People from the internet all came together, and created a time machine – a machine that took us back to some of civilizations darkest days.
Now if we are being honest, most of us would blindly follow Chris Hardwick where ever he told us to go. As the head of one of the most successful partner channels on Youtube he has all the cred he’ll ever need within the online community. That said, it was obvious that Hardwick was nervous about where the night was heading.
An early appearance by Soulja Boy, had most of us antsy, but it was the scheduled back to back headlining acts of Hasselhoff and Vanilla Ice that we were most concerned with. It was like hearing two cars screeching towards each other at high speed on the road, all of this happening while a bunch of fifteen year old boys watched a live stream on youtube, ready to judge the whole community for the destruction that was imminent.
The twitter-verse was aghast, wondering what such acts had to do with web creation. Where were all the talented, ground breaking artists to be found?
But maybe we were missing the point? Maybe Soulja Boy, youtube song cover artists, David Hasselhoff, and Vanilla Ice are a better representation of today’s web than we’d like to believe.
Perhaps we have gotten so caught up in the independent spirit and creative freedom of working online that it is striking to see others view the online space from a more traditional, perhaps more realistic place.
The Streamy’s accomplished their goal. They were a condensed representation of the current state of web creation. The most popular channels were all represented, the clothes were trendy, the jokes were sophomoric. Their core audience of fifteen year olds ate it all up, having the same fun with Vanilla Ice that we had back when we were fifteen… and that was the beauty of it.It might be tough to swallow, but it’s true, web series creators are the ‘indie’ of the web – the indie, of indie. As much as we’d like to see truly innovative work be recognized in this field so much of it just isn’t really getting out there. Even though most of us do it for the love of creation it’s going to be even tougher to find an award show willing to cover that for the same reasons.
Is that group the IAWTV Awards? That ceremony suffered from a similar problem, in that most of the nominees and winners came from the biggest productions. And no matter how much we try to balance the playing field, popularity will always be a major factor. People will always vote without having watched everything, they will try not to drift too far from the crowd, and they will never pick the show they have never heard of.
It’s not just the Streamy’s either. Take a look at any award show, they all have a focus on popularity, it’s why the Oscars nominates ten ‘Best Picture’ candidates. Or something like the ‘Independent Spirit Awards,’ who praise movies that show ‘independent spirit’ rather than ‘independent movies.’
The Streamy Awards were on their last legs. Failure this year could have been the end, so they took a shot on having fun with some washed up celebrities. They focused their efforts on the things that work on the web, rewarding popularity and not taking itself too seriously. And what ended up being the line of the night? It was Chris Hardwick signing out, saying “Wow! I think we might actually see you again next year! This went really really well!”