Archive for November 2011

ART as LIFE Project takes Schmooru to #4 on ComScore

Monday, November 28th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — [PRNewsire] In its first month, Schmooru’s ‘Art as Life’ video project propelled the Schmooru Network to the #4 of YouTube partner channels by unique viewers according to Comscore.

While retaining the project’s purpose of bringing art to the masses, the ‘Art as Life’ videos have been viewed over 30 million times on Schmooru’s online video platform partners.

“Our purpose was to spread experimental art far and wide, and disrupt everyday people in everyday circumstances” said Dan Beckmann co-founder IB5k. “We aim to use the preeminent distribution platform of our era – the whole internet – to bring some humanity to the constant stream of ads that the world has to sit through on a daily basis.”

Schmooru has received several dozen submissions to the project from its closed network of professional film-makers, graphic designers, painters and artists – a community of creatives that counts in the thousands and hails from around the globe.

“Our community was just tired of having every creative idea ruined by committee,” said Beckmann, “so we let them have free reign of our network and pushed out whatever their minds could come up with.”

The ‘Art as Life’ project is ongoing, with new releases set to occur several times a week on a rolling basis through early 2012.

If you are interested in submitting to the ‘Art as Life’ project, please check out:
To see all of our contributions go here: is an independent video destination backed by a community of creatives spanning the globe. Schmooru is wholly-owned by IB5k, a civically-minded, creative development firm born out of Obama’s 2008 New Media campaign.

For Press Inquires please contact:
Dan Beckmann, Co-Founder IB5k

Why We All Should Care About the Old Crank

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

If life were to be cut into three acts, if we all were permitted to live as long as Andy Rooney– his third act starting at the age of 58, was certainly his most culturally relevant.   What do I mean by that?   Yes, he was a journalist during World War II and a writer for many well known television people for many years– but the reason we all know his name is because of his few minutes with Andy Rooney that started in 1978.   His third act came latest and lasted longer than any other act–in a world so fascinated with youth and prodigal genius, his tardiness is an inspiration to us all in whatever we do.

If you watch several dozen Andy Rooney clips, as I’ve done the past couple of days, you will also notice the tone in which he’s introduced.   I’ve noticed a different tone between some of the older gaurd at 60 minutes and those newer to the train.  It generally ranges from suspicion, to light contempt, to wink wink, the old crazy man’s about to speak.   In his passing, what these esteemed colleagues and ego maniacs have seemingly all agreed on are at least these two points:

1) The guy was memorable – Andy Rooney is the person most people ask them about when they’re out in the field.

2) He brought in the numbers – When Andy Rooney was suspended in the late 80s, Don Hewitt begged for him to come back as soon as possible because the ratings were starting to go into the toilet.  The ratings tended to go up over the course of the hour despite the fact, the producers generally put their most impressive story at the top of the show.

As someone who has had introductions similar to Andy’s throughout my entire life, and who generally associates with others who do as well, I consider Andy Rooney & Don Hewitt trailblazers in the respect that the first parts of 60 minutes clearly are the ones people SAY and want you to think they are watching for– when the truth is, a lot of people actually stuck around each week for Andy, whether the bigshots in the beginning had duds or not.   Don Hewitt tried a lot of crazy things at the end of the show before he got to Andy(point/counter point?).  It took guts to not only give a frumpy writer who had never been on a television a shot, but to keep him there long enough for the American people to understand the truth in what you saw.

Broadcast television is a hard business and when someone like Andy Rooney dies it also reminds one it may soon be a lost art.   At Schmooru, we still consider ourselves broadcasters, even on the internet.   Its a lot harder to attempt to make programming that in some way can relate to the largest audience you can find out there, than to preach to a certain choir–and still have it be interesting.   Andy Rooney, in his longevity and in his controversy is exemplar in how to do just that.

Meanwhile– F. Nick Michaels, doesn’t like Milk:

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RATED: What Would Ralph Nader Do?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

It was the 2000 Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. The match up, Al Gore’s ‘lock box’ Vs. George W. Bush ‘compassionate conservatism’. Protestors occupied the baseball field across from the Field House–before there was anything to really protest about.

I was the guy in charge of WUTV– the campus television station and this was the biggest thing that ever happened to me. We had wall to wall coverage, analysis– and yes a SCANDAL! Ralph Nader wanted to get into those debates. Now I don’t know whether he should have been allowed to debate or not–some blame RALPH for deep sixing Gore. All I know is we had extra tickets, and we’re able to get people next to the field house to interview them as part of our extensive WUTV coverage (playing closed circuited only on campus–but maybe CNN was watching?).

The end of the story is, we got Ralph Nader tickets to get to his interview with WUTV and as soon as he showed up, he was prevented from coming on campus. I haven’t spoke publicly about this until now–our shenanigans were mostly overshadowed by the Governor of the State of Missouri dying in a plane crash earlier that morning.

What I can tell you is that Ralph Nader got us all the seat belt which is RATED on this new installment of RATED (and I think maybe he should have stopped there).