This is one of the best-designed niche social networking sites currently available. Which is a surprise, because it was made by TBS. These days, it seems like every media giant has its own comedy video site, but Turner Broadcasting System’s January 2007 entrance into the arena is notable for fusing original and user-submitted programming with all the user interaction and artist promotion of MySpace. According to General Manager Drew Reifenberger, the site “is focused on original, television-quality programming, presented with a distinct editorial voice and in a highly interactive and social environment.”
This site is a rare example of where the flow between user-generated videos and contracted original content blends into a perfect, palatable mixture. Video quality ranges from webcams and basic animation to well-financed shorts from David Foley, Maria Bamford, and Richard Belzer. All content can be searched and located with ease (which already sets the bar above Motherload and DotComedy), but also browsed by type (series and shorts) and creator (artist and people—the difference being that “artists” are contracted by the site for regular work and “people” are the common folk who upload their material free of charge). Online phenomena like Brad Neely and Quack Media are just a few of the new media superstars that Super Deluxe tracked down and hired to create exclusive series for the site (Professor Brothers, I Am Baby Cakes, and Robots vs. Dragons). Viral videos that aren’t already on the site can be found on their blog with comments and criticism. It’s also worth noting that the site is as hilarious to read as it is to watch. From artist descriptions to the standard “About Us” page, it’s clear that these are some funny people. Also, registered users can upload their own videos, create site profiles, and interact with personal comments pages.
I think I watched Brad Neely’s “George Washington” video on YouTube about 40 times before I stopped myself. Then I watched it another 10 times about a week later. So it was joyous for me to see that they had hired Neely to create episodic content for their site. Check out “Bible History #1” from the Professor Brothers series to find out what really happened in Sodom and Gomorrah.