Like Your Social Networking in Show Form?

If so, you’d best make friends with Revision3’s Social Brew, a 30-minute show each Monday exploring the ever-widening world of social networking services, from LinkedIn and Facebook to Twitter and Pownce. Here’s the debut episode, let loose last week:

Those high Rev3 production values are immediately on display (whatever you might think of that jaunty modern theme song), as is the show’s trust in host Irene McGee and a supporting “Brew Crew” cast to drive its standard news/talk format. Time will tell whether the crew gels enough to validate this decision, but after a few minutes you’ll likely agree that there are some dialogue/rapport issues to be smoothed out.

We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though (and not just because Josh, the Floor Director suggests at the 29:20 mark that there was little rehearsal), as shows like this sometimes need a few episodes to find their flow.

###It should help that McGee is an on-air veteran with a varied background – a dramatic, media maniuplated stint on The Real Word: Seattle in 1998, a  and subsequent success on the San Francisco radio show/podcast No One’s Listening.

There’s potential with the rest of the Brew Crew as well – Neha Tiwari’s focus on IRL meetups should provide some interesting stories; Moujan Z’s “SBNN” reports and sketches between segments are episode highlights; and we’re sure there will be something to “Music Guy” Johnny Hwin’s role as long as his vibe reaches beyond laid-back California dude.

All of this brings us to my main concern about Social Brew, and that’s the trouble with covering something like social networking through episodic web video. Like Jamison, I prefer “ text to talking heads” for most of my web coverage, and the social networking news cycle is one of the most competitive for eyeballs.  Social Brew will never keep up with the Techcrunch and Mashable firehoses when it comes to straight news (the pieces on services like Politweets and ping.fm felt dated to me, and for good reason ).

Of course, Social Brew may be aimed at a more casual audience, but there are ways to keep web junkies watching by focusing less on commoditized news stories and more on social networking perspective and individual sagas.  You can add more humor (we know that stuff works), more interviews with influentials (like this episode’s one with imeem’s Dalton Caldwell), or more guinea pig and investigative/storytelling stuff (McGee suggests that she’ll join online dating sites during the show, which could be entertaining).

Between its engaging cast, slick production, and opportunity for a more personal approach, Social Brew could provide a collective release for the faux social and over-networked digital masses.

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