Kevin Rose, Jay Adelson, and David Prager’s Revision3 webTV network suffers from a number of problems that make the network disappointing and disjointed.
The 37Signals people have often spoken of the problems with offering too many choices. Revision3’s viewer base is not so easily confused that so many choices may alone discourage them, but by spreading Rev3’s resources over so many programs, they’ve created many mediocre products instead of a few excellent core ones.
The cooking show Ctrl-Alt-Chicken hasn’t produced a new episode in months, and neither has thebroken, a show that preceded the network itself. And the production values vary widely between shows, with the Totally Rad Show featuring an impressively professional feel, while Infected‘s feel is anything but.
The Totally Rad Show has its own problems, though, with most episodes having about 20-30 minutes of real content and humor, yet runtimes of about an hour. I often find myself fast-forwarding through the low points, wishing that their editor had taken care of that already.
The site also doesn’t offer very good donation arrangements, either. To become an “Upgraded Member” of the site, you can either donate $5 a month, $10/month, or $50/year. There is no option to make a single lump donation, and all donation plans offer the same perks (which really only amount to early video releases and access to their one ‘member’s only’ video, the Revision3 Gazette). Their monthly donation plans are a lot of commitment on the part of the viewer, without much commitment from the network. There’s really no guarantee that all shows will update regularly, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what you’ll pay for.
An easy fix for this would be allowing for single, lump donations, but since this isn’t offered, they can expect that most people won’t pay them anything. Clearly they’re hoping that those who would prefer to just donate once will see no other option and just sign up to donate regularly, but this won’t happen. Those people, like myself, simply won’t donate at all.
Offering exclusive content for members won’t do much, either, because there’s no preview of that content. I can’t see any of the Revision3 Gazette, so I have no idea if it’s worth paying for. It certainly doesn’t sound like it, so I’m not going to pay for the privilege of finding out whether I’ve spent my money wisely.
Revision3 needs to pare down their content or restart stagnating programs (like they did with Systm). The shotgun approach to content doesn’t work when there isn’t a steady stream of it, or at least of quality content.
And they really need to provide better payment options, with more perks. Most people want to support things they enjoy, but they’re not going to go out of their way to do it.
I’m pretty certain that many people will disagree with my opinions here, so please post your comments and I may do a followup post based on your thoughts.