Vanity Fair displays new media acumen with "Blogopticon"

Jackson West · 06/13/08 10:00PM

In a wonderful piece of linkbait, Vanity Fair produced an illustration featuring a number of popular "blogs" arranged in a cartesian graph from "Scurrolous" to "Earnest" on one axis and "Opinion" to "News" on another. While we're trying to grasp how the 'Wag ended up on the earnest side of the scale, more confusing is the inclusion of Salon and Slate. Apparently, if you're not printed on paper, you're a "blog" — even though both publications predate the term. But where the chart really gets things wrong is in using the disembodied head of Amanda Congdon to illustrate online video program Rocketboom. If the authors or illustrator actually watched the show or read many of the listed blogs, they'd know that Joanne Colan took over as host after a very nasty and public departure from the show by Congdon. Keep trying, guys, you're bound to figure out this Internet thing eventually!

Andrew Baron bags a Rocketboom distribution deal

Nicholas Carlson · 06/06/08 10:20AM

Lucky to attend the Founders' Club party, we bumped into Rocketboom creator Andrew Baron last night. Baron told us Rocketboom will sign a "fat" deal with a major content company as early as today. "Is that phat with a ph?" asked a bystander about the boast. "Fat in all meanings of the word," Baron said. "I just don't want to jinx it by saying who it is." He held up his hand and made a C with is thumb and forefinger to indicate, what, "a fat stack of cash?" I asked him. "Exactly." We asked if the deal was with Quincy Smith and CBS, because of Smith's deals for Wallstrip and Moblogic. "No, someone bigger than CBS," Baron said. Our second guess? Viacom. We haven't heard a no on that one yet.

Host Joanne Colan Leaves Rocketboom

Nick Douglas · 05/27/08 06:34PM

According to a source at the Creative Artists Agency, host Joanne Colan is leaving Rocketboom, one of the Internet's first prominent news videoblogs. During her tenure, Colan never managed to transform the show (directed by creator Andrew Baron) from a quirky but inscrutable cult favorite into a mainstream online news source. (See for yourself below by watching today's weird episode.) Nor did she achieve the same web fame as her predecessor Amanda Congdon, who left a job with last year.

Rocketboom creator takes on Calacanis

Nicholas Carlson · 11/14/07 11:21AM

Jason Calacanis's human-powered search engine Mahalo is "fundamentally flawed," says videoblogger Andrew Baron. Well, we could have told you that: It's basically Yahoo's directory, 12 years too late. But Baron, best known for creating Rocketboom, trashed Calacanis's service not for its lack of originality, but for its lack of critical applause. "Mahalo is not a worthwhile product," Baron wrote, "I have never seen a single positive review of the site." What's got the guy so worked up?

Vlog Hot: Babes Semifinals Heat 1

Chris Mohney · 03/05/07 01:00PM

The first 16 heats of the Vlog Hot reader poll have concluded, so it's time for the semifinals — four heats of the top vote-getters (two heats of ladies, two heats of gents). Voting will run through this week and conclude at noon Eastern time on Sunday, March 11. You can vote in all heats once per day by clearing browser cookies from The four semifinal heats will be announced throughout today. In this first heat of womens, we have Katrin Bauerfeind, Christine Gambito, Joanne Colan, and Adriana Gascoigne. Hit it after the jump.

If you can't see the voting mechanism below, we can't help you. We don't know how it works either. You might try turning off firewalls and turning on cookies. Note that you can now vote more than once! And why not? You should be able to vote once per day in any of these polls, showing true devotion to your favorite vlogger by suborning the more casual, ephemeral love showered on her or his opponents. Again, if you have technical problems with that, don't call us. For amusement only, far as you're concerned.

Sing-along: Don't you vlog me baby

Nick Douglas · 07/22/06 08:47PM

The star has gone, the glamour's worn thin, and Rocketboom's former vlog host is already fading from memory after her public fight with her producer Andrew Baron (scroll through this page for background). In celebration of Amanda Congdon's rapidly ticking 14th minute of her 15 minutes of fame, Valleywag presents "Don't You Vlog Me, Baby."

Who's better at Rocketboom, Amanda or Joanne?

Nick Douglas · 07/14/06 04:37PM

It is unfair to pit a former host and current host of a show against one another in some kind of popularity contest, especially when the current host has nothing to do with the fight that ended with the former host's exit.

Rocketboom's New Bird

Chris Mohney · 07/12/06 04:00PM

So after some minor delays, "interim host" Joanne Colan has her Rocketboom debut. A tipster familiar with her body of work correctly describes Colan as "no balloon smuggler" in comparison to former host Amanda Congdon (herself the subject of a gentle chat-job from today). She does, however, have a certain E! level of professional broadcasting polish that Congdon lacked. And she even does accents! Beyond that, it's the usual routine of taking an Internet joke and re-enacting it in real life, which works just as tepidly well regardless of the chick doing the tittering.

Rocketboom wants Amanda Congdon back

Nick Douglas · 07/12/06 02:02PM

The nation's hottest video blog is back, and it's snappy. Rocketboom interim host Joanne Colan (pictured here holding a symbol for triumph) displays the polish and ease that many viewers felt long-time host Amanda Congdon lacked.