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Rocketboom goes boom.
July 5, 2006 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Amanda Congdon leaves Rocketboom. Precise reasons seem to vary.
posted by crunchland (85 comments total)

 
I feel like the last person that's never seen Rocketboom. Are there any amazing single episodes I should watch or was it all just someone talking in front of a screen sort of doing the news?
posted by mathowie at 1:10 PM on July 5, 2006


Not really a surprise. I always thought the show had "springboard to other things" written all over it. They even telegraphed it in the name: Where do you find a rocket boom? On a launch pad.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:15 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm surprised you haven't seen it, since it was quite a coup for them to get their program downloaded on any net-connected tivo, Matt. It was sort of just as you describe it, but a little more. It featured internet meme type news stories (admittedly, usually a couple days old) as well as interviews and such. Each episode was about 5 minutes long. Mostly fluff, but recently, they did an interview with George Soros.

In January, they really hit paydirt when they managed to sell a weeks' worth of ads for $40k, and they started getting people lining up to do the same. (Though I don't recall there being much advertising, at least not on the tivo version of the feed).
posted by crunchland at 1:18 PM on July 5, 2006


RocketBoom jumping the shark: I can understand missing Rocketboom, but how do you get around missing CSI?
posted by pwb503 at 1:22 PM on July 5, 2006


I quickly become "addicted" to rocketboom, but in retrospective I guess I just like Amanda's look and character, plus "i wanna see what they will come up with next" innovation curiosity. Interestingly now that she's gone (or pretending) I don't feel compelled to look after more works of her , so I guess avaiability and quick access played a significant a role. In comparison the new host of the show will show how much of Amanda was in the show.

It's interesting to see I also like Ze Frank's videoblog and find he is trying hard to captivate audience : while he doesn't have the sex appeal of Amanda (at least from male point of view, metagirls wanna comment ?) he still manages to be entertaining in very small doses, and with a little more zest and weirdness then amanda.
posted by elpapacito at 1:24 PM on July 5, 2006


Matt - It's mostly snarky news/links/commentary, sometimes venturing into citizen journalism. Here's a piece I produced about using vlogs to fund a village's needs in Botswana. Also? Geek prom and Bruce Sterling.

Here's one of my favorite episodes. It makes me happy.
posted by Dok Millennium at 1:25 PM on July 5, 2006


What is rocket boom, who is Amanda Congdon, do I need a TV to know about this, and why should I care?
posted by keswick at 1:29 PM on July 5, 2006


I thought Rocketboom's explanation of net neutrality was pretty simple to follow and mainly because of Amanda. I've sent the link to people who may not know about it or understand why it's important.

It was good stuff and it will be interesting to see if Rocketboom is still the same with a different host.
posted by nramsey at 1:37 PM on July 5, 2006


My two favorites: Why is Presidnet Bush so awesome? and Do you prefer Internet Explorer or Firefox?
posted by Argyle at 1:37 PM on July 5, 2006


keswick goes for the trifecta.
posted by raedyn at 1:38 PM on July 5, 2006


Don't feel bad, Matt. I never watched the thing either.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:39 PM on July 5, 2006


trifecta quadfecta?
posted by raedyn at 1:39 PM on July 5, 2006


I agree it would be nice to get some frame for this story. I'd never heard of Rocketboom...
posted by vacapinta at 1:40 PM on July 5, 2006


I thought the only reason anybody watched Rocketboom was Amanda's breasts. At least, that's all anybody I know who watched it, talked about.

I found Ze Frank a lot more entertaining; he made me want to watch more than one episode of his program.
posted by mrbill at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2006


Another vote for 'What the Fuck are you Nerds Talking About?!'
posted by i_cola at 1:44 PM on July 5, 2006


I think it's something you'd need tubes to know about.
posted by ninjew at 1:45 PM on July 5, 2006


I saw her interview with John Edwards, and that was the first and last Boom of any sort that I needed to witness. Actually, it was more akin to a Fizzle.
posted by prostyle at 1:49 PM on July 5, 2006


Although I suspect that Amanda's use of the tubes helped delay the Senator getting his office internets. Whatever.
posted by wendell at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2006


Lovely woman, uninteresting and technically deficient show. She can do better.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2006


*sadness*!!! I would start every work morning with some Rocketboom over my morning coffee. Now... what? I hope as time goes on we find out more of the real story AND i hope we get more Rocketboom AND Amanda, in any aspect.
posted by indiebass at 1:51 PM on July 5, 2006


while he doesn't have the sex appeal of Amanda

ze frank has a weird kind of off-kilter sex appeal... i don't know how much it has to do with why I check out ze show now & then/when I think of it, but it certainly could be a factor. Whereas amanda seems generic and uninteresting from what little i've seen.
posted by mdn at 1:55 PM on July 5, 2006


never heard of any of this evar. how sad either for me or for Rocketboom.
posted by Dantien at 1:56 PM on July 5, 2006


Whoever she is, she has nice cans.
posted by wfc123 at 1:58 PM on July 5, 2006


Is this a parody of the Star Jones Reynolds departure from The View or is the timing just a coincidence?
posted by rwatson at 1:59 PM on July 5, 2006


I have a very good feeling that this is all bunk! The Congdon/Baron partnership was seeing way too much success to end so abruptly (especailly when you listen to Baron on TWiT a few weeks back).
posted by JPowers at 2:02 PM on July 5, 2006


zefrank is wicked hot!
posted by tristeza at 2:09 PM on July 5, 2006



I landed on this whole 'video blog' thing awhile back and mainly ate Ze Frank and Amanda's shows. Ze Frank struck me as 'Someone who has other income means which allows him to spend time doing creative things every day'. Rocketboom struck me as 'Trying to break into the old media world by being hip and internet and edgy'. It's not suprising to me that Amanda has left to whatever new job or contract, but it's bizarre to me that Rocketboom is still going on with different people. I had naively thought Rocketboom WAS Amanda's.

and Yeah, actually Matt I'm suprised you hadn't seen it -- I about went 'ZOINKS' when I was playing with my S2 TiVo last night and discovered they had managed to get a nod from TiVo of all people.
posted by cavalier at 2:15 PM on July 5, 2006


And btw, the Rocketboom stuff (and Videoblogging in general) blows my mind. 5.2Megs for a single day's post for a single viewer. I just don't understand how that's feasible with any large kind of viewership. Ze Frank keeps his stuff muy compressed and squeaks by, even then he has had to limit archives or past shows while he worked out bandwidth. Rocketboom must bleed money every month for whoever's footing the bill to get a job.
posted by cavalier at 2:17 PM on July 5, 2006


The only one I've ever watched is the one where she chugs a beer every time whatshisname says "ongoing investigation" in his press conference about Rove.

Is this a parody of the Star Jones Reynolds departure from The View or is the timing just a coincidence?

Show us the gastric bypass scar, Amanda!
posted by Gator at 2:24 PM on July 5, 2006


golly, she DOES has nice cans.
posted by keswick at 2:40 PM on July 5, 2006


Who? Leaving the what?

On preview, I see keswick beat me to it.
posted by scrump at 2:51 PM on July 5, 2006


So amateur hour -- people really have low expectations for Internet stuff, don't they? Who cares about this girl?
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 2:53 PM on July 5, 2006


I feel like the last person that's never seen Rocketboom.

You're not, Matt. I am.

I can't believe that pop culture is getting away from me. I used to be on top of this stuff.
posted by dw at 3:07 PM on July 5, 2006


boom! poop! Ze > Rb.
posted by shoepal at 3:07 PM on July 5, 2006


I hated the whole loud CLICK CLICK CLICK thing she did with the old school keyboard sitting in front of her. Very annoying. Obviously it wasn't her controlling what the camera was showing.

I much prefer Ze Frank. I've watched him every day since April or so.
posted by drleary at 3:17 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm pretty sure that "old school keyboard" was a TI-994A. On googling around now I see that it appears to be an homage to Andrew Baron's first computer. I don't think they're trying to fool anyone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:26 PM on July 5, 2006


Annoying, nevertheless.
posted by drleary at 3:35 PM on July 5, 2006


I watched RB for awhile. As much as I hate to admit it, a lot had to do with Amanda's attractiveness, and me -trying- to love it (cans shmans..it was her smile that drove me wild). There was some niftyness, but overall, I felt her delivery was this annoying brand of canned quirkiness.

I just watched ZeFrank for the first time (today's episode). Is he generally that awesome?
posted by zerokey at 3:55 PM on July 5, 2006


One way or another I'm done with Rocketboom. Either Amanda is really gone and I don't care to find out who sits at the desk next or this is a stunt and I really don't care who sits at the desk next.

I rather hope it's not a stunt. Either way, the rocket has boomtubed over the shark.
posted by djeo at 4:24 PM on July 5, 2006


I just watched ZeFrank for the first time (today's episode). Is he generally that awesome?

Yeah, pretty much. Although his mismatched pupils do freak me out a little.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:39 PM on July 5, 2006


Really, I find them quite Bowie.

I just tried Rocketboom, I don't know if this announcement was there earlier:

Amanda Congdon has decided to move to L.A. to pursue opportunities that have arisen for her in Hollywood.

We wanted to meet her demands to move production out to L.A., however, we are a small company and have not been able to figure out a way to make it work, financially and in many other ways at this time. While we continue to remain with open arms, Amanda has in fact quit and left Rocketboom. So sadly, we bid Amanda adieu and wish her all the best.


So there you go, found the stepping stone -- though geez, wasn't she doing this for like 3 years? Quite a long step!

I still don't get how anybody else can be behind the show, I mean, it was really just her the whole time. Owel, g'luck Mr. Baron.
posted by cavalier at 4:54 PM on July 5, 2006


well thanks for this, as I've now been inducted into the church of Ze Frank...
posted by hototogisu at 5:18 PM on July 5, 2006


Never heard of it, don't care. Chick looks like she has a nice rack though.
posted by puke & cry at 6:17 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hallelujah, Brother hototogisu!
posted by drleary at 6:28 PM on July 5, 2006


Why yes indeed my good mefites, though no one has dared to yet say it, this young woman appears to have a most attractive, nay -- a CAPITAL set of mammary glands!
posted by drinkcoffee at 6:38 PM on July 5, 2006


I hope her new job in LA involves getting her shirt off.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:04 PM on July 5, 2006


The amount of breast comments are really depressing. No I'm not better than any of you, I likes me the female form, but come on. Shit. It's 2006.
posted by cavalier at 7:16 PM on July 5, 2006


Apparently, rocketboom inspires people to publicly inform others that they haven't heard of it. That alone is a noteworthy achievement.
posted by yorick at 7:39 PM on July 5, 2006


Rocketboom, the daily three-minute online newscast which Salon ranked as "one of the most popular video blogs on the Web."

Huh, never heard of it. He-said/she-said 'Internet drama' filter, wheeeee.
posted by SenshiNeko at 8:14 PM on July 5, 2006


Hm, her glamor shots aren't too good. Plus the entire website being in flash is quite annoying.
posted by puke & cry at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


The first link now contains a newer post from Amanda about exactly what happened. Not only has it gotten ugly, it's also gotten REALLY BORING.
posted by dhammond at 9:43 PM on July 5, 2006


Those aren't cans.
posted by Balisong at 10:32 PM on July 5, 2006


I feel like the last person that's never seen Rocketboom.

Apparently, rocketboom inspires people to publicly inform others that they haven't heard of it. That alone is a noteworthy achievement.

Crikey, I spend 8 or 10 hours a day online - on an off day -- and I've barely even freaking heard of it. Until I read a few comments in this thread, though I'd read the word in the past, I still didn't know what it referred to.

I gotta get out of my Mefi-FiPi-SA-(super sekr3t torrent sites)-Bloglines rut.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:57 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm going to submit my two cents about zefrank being candy for my ritalin-deprived soul.
posted by redsparkler at 11:12 PM on July 5, 2006


You remember when ZeFrank acted out the Nigerian scam letter.

Man, that shit was awesome.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:26 PM on July 5, 2006


Ze's better, but RB has been all right -- I just have never had much interest in the TV aspect of things (heck, I still skip most YouTube links). She's engaging, slightly more attractive and less witty than Tina Fey, doing something that would fit as a Daily Show segment perhaps, but they're not primarily going for laughs. If it were as deeply serious as Jon Stewart I might have been more interested, but as it is they're just doing entertainment for smartish people instead of smart TV disguised as entertainment. Or something like that.

Congdon is not in LA, and probably won't be anytime soon, from her side of things. At least Baron will have to buy her out at some point. Sounds like a dick who kicked his cash cow to the curb. Which means there may not be anything left to buy her out of ...
posted by dhartung at 12:03 AM on July 6, 2006


ZeFrank? Amanda? Just more youngster cam noise trying to do something funnnnny.
posted by homodigitalis at 12:10 AM on July 6, 2006


Oh the scandal ! Amanda reveales she just was shacked because she got 49, the other got 51. For some reason I don't have 69, go figure.

In other news, scarcity increases appetite, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
posted by elpapacito at 2:26 AM on July 6, 2006


"I feel like the last person that's never seen Rocketboom."

Don't worry Matt. You're not alone. I share your bewilderment.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 3:21 AM on July 6, 2006


That video was what I originally linked to, elpapacito. Thanks for relinking it.

Since most of you have never even heard of rocketboom, it's probably a waste of time to ask, but is this an example of two lovers going into business together, and then when their relationship goes south, so does the business? I've only watched the episodes. I've never looked into the backstory until now.
posted by crunchland at 4:36 AM on July 6, 2006


nevermind. reading amanda's update, it's clear that it wasn't ever romantic.
posted by crunchland at 4:39 AM on July 6, 2006


I really couldn't be any less interested in these people than I already am but I'll keep trying.
posted by inoculatedcities at 7:27 AM on July 6, 2006


I'm not trying to be one of the "never heard of it, don't care, aren't I just so jaded and cynical?" crowd, but I will say that I was shocked to hear this story reported during the five minute top-of-the-hour news break on the radio just now.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:36 AM on July 6, 2006


One man's "ho-hum, blah blah blah, I'm completely out of touch and proud of it, too" is another man's news, I guess.
posted by crunchland at 11:06 AM on July 6, 2006


Rocketboom was really horrible, although cute in a way, and was part of the video-blog-whatever infancy, which is (was) important.

Zefrank is fucking awesome.
posted by blacklite at 12:59 PM on July 6, 2006


The amount of breast comments are really depressing. No I'm not better than any of you, I likes me the female form, but come on. Shit. It's 2006.

I think it's clear from her wardrobe selections that she knew how important her breasts were to her audience. She was trading on her sex appeal, so comments on her tits are fair game.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:23 PM on July 6, 2006


Huffington Post is reporting that the replacement for the person you've never heard of is probably someone else you've probably never heard of.
posted by crunchland at 8:30 PM on July 8, 2006


I think it's clear from her wardrobe selections that [...] She was trading on her sex appeal, so comments on her tits are fair game. - Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese

By that logic any woman who doesn't wear a turtleneck is "fair game" for comments on their breasts.
posted by raedyn at 7:17 AM on July 10, 2006


By that logic any woman who doesn't wear a turtleneck is "fair game" for comments on their breasts.

No, by my logic, in the context of a video show on an emerging medium, (remember that emerging media historically attract a predominantly male, sexually-motivated demographic), an actor consistently framed by the camera in such a manner as to reveal a stereotypically attractive figure who chooses to highlight her breasts by a carefully-selected, extremely tight-fitting wardrobe of too-small t-shirts and cut-off shorts, is inviting comment on her sexuality.

But if you want to play with extemes, let's try it in the opposite direction: I would also assert that it's fair to comment on the breasts of a porn star.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:17 AM on July 10, 2006


KAC, every young woman I know dresses like that at least as often as Amanda does, season permitting. Hell, Amanda is comparatively modest, in that you don't see a lot of cleavage or nipple bumps. The fashion has been for very tight closthes for women for at least six or seven years now. (A pretty extreme gender dimorphism in fashion, considering that the style for men has been for huge pants and shirts -- men show nothing, women show everything. Wonder what that says about our culture right now.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:34 AM on July 10, 2006


Yeah but george you shouldn't be comparing Amanda to other ladies on the street, you need to compare her to other people delivering the news for the camera. It's about context, and in that context even mildly suggestive clothing will of course bring comment.
posted by cell divide at 11:41 AM on July 10, 2006


It might be more appropriate to compare her to other vloggers. (Brief pause as I wince because I said 'vloggers'. Please kill me if I say 'blogosphere'.) They invariably seem to wear street clothes.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:53 AM on July 10, 2006


in that context even mildly suggestive clothing will of course bring comment. - cell divide

Why of "of course"?
posted by raedyn at 1:06 PM on July 10, 2006


Saying "because she was dressed attactively it's A OK to talk about her rack/tits/cans" is pretty much a watered down version of saying "she was dressed slutty, so she should expect to get raped".

I don't mean to suggest you'd say the second thing, but what is the logical difference in the two arguments?
posted by raedyn at 1:18 PM on July 10, 2006


"With those clothes? The bitch was just askin' to be raped!"
posted by crunchland at 2:12 PM on July 10, 2006


er... or what you said. (oops.)
posted by crunchland at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2006


raedyn, do you think it's fair to comment on the breasts of a porn star?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:11 PM on July 10, 2006


(assuming proper context, I mean. Say for example, during the screening of a porno flick.)
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:12 PM on July 10, 2006


Sure, in the proper context. What's your point? In the case of potn, the look of her body and what she's doing with it is what she's selling. That's not the case here where we're talking about video blog which is closer to entertainment reporting than porn.
posted by raedyn at 8:07 AM on July 11, 2006


potn porn
posted by raedyn at 8:08 AM on July 11, 2006


My point is that I see similarities between the porn star and the news caster, who, to me, is also capitalizing on "the look of her body". Why is it okay to comment on the one but not the other?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:03 AM on July 11, 2006


But it's you that's decided the broadcaster is capitalising on the look of her body.
posted by raedyn at 9:22 AM on July 11, 2006


What she's selling is the stories she's talking about, not her breasts.
posted by raedyn at 9:23 AM on July 11, 2006


What she's selling is the stories she's talking about, not her breasts.

If that were the case, the news would be read to us by robots or by TV news producers (not a pretty sight, trust me). People like to look at attractive people on TV, that's a fact, and to suggest Rocketboom isn't actively taking advantage of that is ridiculous. While it's totally vulgar to insist that she's 'selling her breasts', it is in fact a visual medium and everything visible onscreen is being considered by the producer(s) and presenter. It's a conscious choice to wear outfits which are more revealing then anything you'll see any other newsreader wear, so in that context it's a statement and is not evil to comment on. I personally would not normally comment on something like that, but I don't think it's wrong to do so.
posted by cell divide at 9:37 AM on July 11, 2006


It's a conscious choice to wear outfits which are more revealing then anything you'll see any other newsreader wear, so in that context it's a statement and is not evil to comment on.

Exactly.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2006


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