Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

tak: “I think they started drinking way before it started”

July 1, 2009

heath_skate_talk
“You guys live in little shelters where you don’t answer questions”

I hadn’t tuned in to Patrick O’Dell’s “Skate Talk” live internet webcast chat call-in show before tonight, because I generally forget about this stuff until I read about it elsewhere a dozen or so times, but for whatever reason I recalled that Heath Kirchart was going to be taking questions from the assembled minds of the web-enabled skateboard community. So I cued it up in the background while I parsed the canned statements around the Active purchase and after a half-hour was set to write it off as another failed web 2.0 experiment, like message-board interviews with freeze-ups and a fuzzbox phone… until the slurs got the better of Heath Kirchart and he started demanding to know why it took them five (?) weeks to slot him as a guest on the show.

“I mean, you guys are my friends…”
“Why was I not a guest?” (Asked every 15 seconds or so)
“Why did you only ask me after Nick Trapasso defaulted??” (asked when the point was made that Heath Kirchart was a guest right now. He kept returning to the word “defaulted” which I thought was interesting for whatever reason)
“Why am I only being asked now. Why”
“Why did it take five weeks to have me on?”
“I’m your backup”
“Boosh, you’re not in a position to be making decisions”

To some extent skateboarding is about exerting control over your environment, sort of, and it speaks to the mastery of Heath Kirchart that he’s apparently able to do this in social situations as well, since the last 20 to 30 minutes of the show were basically variations on this theme. Which was far more entertaining than watching him roll his eyes at questions about Berrics strategies. Though he did lay to rest the question that has kept many a skateboard blogger awake nights: “was your last trick in Mind Field a tribute to Josh Beagle?” Answer, no.

Five signposts en route to the grave of 411VM

July 25, 2008

This week brought the long-anticipated but no less vaguely sad news that 411 Video Magazine’s life support was finally pulled by the core bros over at Wasserman Media Group. (Commentary by another recent Wasserman acquisition: “I’m still creatively in control of the site.” Live and learn…)

411 has existed on the fringes now for a good while, and it’s been like a decade since new issues were met with any kind of anticipation. So in a way it’s impressive they made it this far, but wonders never cease when it comes to beating dollars out of dead horses in the skateboard industry. Look at NSS. Shit, look at Duffs.

These days, though, it would probably come as a surprise to your average New Era’ed hardflipper that people used to pay for 411s, much less subscribe to get it in the mail. And among those who do recall 411’s glory days, you’re hard pressed to find anybody wax nostalgic about any issue past 30, with the exception of the Gino/Keenan/Pupecki “Roomies” in 38. I’ll go as high as 39 myself, but you know I stay having low standards.

The point is, 411’s demise has been written on the wall for some time now. A few of the telltale signs along the way:

Es Menikmati released

Fred Mortagne’s biopic/skate epic ushered in an age of blockbuster videos, washed down with a generous helping of slow motion, fancy graphics and generators. For better or worse the Es super team helped raise the bar as far as tricks, lengthy parts and production value, and in a matter of years poor 411 would find it more difficult to source footage of high-profile dudes to sprinkle between the up-and-comers and washed-ups in the Chaos sections.

411 decides to put dudes’ faces on the cover

The Skateboard Mag tried this one too, with the fairly impressive result of making Dave Carnie somehow feel like more of a pervert than he already is. The Stance approach didn’t work for TWS, and even in this age of rock star pro skaters, what self-respecting 14-year-old really wants to look into Muska’s stoned bedroom eyes every time he puts on the Cliche chaos? Note to all those still considering a portrait cover: use artwork.

Lance Mountain stops hosting

The little things, you know? I appreciate Mikey Taylor and his undying devotion to Roc-a-Fella as much as the next guy, but it just ain’t the same. Like when they tried remixing the theme song.

411 911

You know you’re running out of ideas when you start taking cues from ESPN and MTV. At this point it was pretty clear they were getting hard up for money. Speaking of, didn’t 411 also put out that video of Mike Vallely’s fights?

Youtube

Podcasts and Field Logs and Wednesday Woes too. Free, quick-downloading video in tolerable quality has skateboarding on a 24-hour footage cycle now, and whatever scraps Company X might have thrown to a 411 in the past now go to the website, the Youtube channel or the “Special Edition” DVD*. Videographers like Josh Stewart will happily tell you at great length how difficult it is to sell even hotly anticipated DVD releases in this day and age, and although Weiss somehow keeps pumping out Digitals, 411 a couple years ago gave up trying to charge American money for their videos, and in the process turned each new edition into a branding vehicle for this company or that. They’ve made some effort at orienting their site around new clips, as well as something bizarre called 411VS that appears to be some kind of fantasy skateboarding league, but there’s a lot of footage out there now, and only so many minutes in the average skateboarder’s Internet day, in between checking the Slap board, cleansing the browser history of porn links and reloading the bong.

Today 411’s website offers you a look at a flyer for a Krux kickflip challenge. Meanwhile the Berrics has new footage of Sean Malto, Eric Koston, Mike Barker and Erik Ellington. You see where I’m going with this. So long 411.