So here were are with Day 19, and boy has the project come a long way. To the handful of people helping so far, I want to give thanks. From those who download, to those who scavenge, to those who re-tweet: it wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Having said that, it seems that every day, with every new show, problems arise.
Allow me to show you just what I mean.
Let’s talk first about Web Drifter. In the beginning, there were four episodes of the series before it stagnated. Then, the episodes were wiped from the site completely. Just gone. Then two more episodes were produced: episodes 2 and 3. But wait, these episode numbers already existed didn’t they? Yep, Revision3 put up new episodes 2 and 3 as promotionals working off of “episode 1” which I guess was their way of saying there used to be more episodes. Do you follow? I sure as hell cannot. So, after some creative URL games, I managed to recover all the episodes they stripped from the site for whatever reason.
Now, what about Diggcetera. If you go to the site page, you might see that the first 14 episodes don’t have download links. On top of that, the streaming versions don’t work at all anymore. So what the hell do we do? Luckily, Moonlit had a bit of time to do some detective work and found a Youtube channel and Vimeo profile for what appears to be Diggcetera videos. From here, going by page name on Revsion3, we could relate that back to the episodes on Vimeo and get them all sorted. Now, here’s something interesting Moonlit discovered when trying to determine if the order of episodes was correct: If you look at the thumbnails, though they are correct for the episode they are numbered and labeled for the wrong ones. Someone labeled screenshots with incorrect episode name and number when making the pages, but not consistently. Why would anyone do that? An intern could work through most of these issues in a half an hour.
Let’s move forward to something “slightly” newer: The Digg Reel. When I downloaded this two years ago, all the episodes were up and linked, so downloading was pretty easy. However, now it appears episodes 155, 151, 149, 145, 141, 131, 113, 102, and 14 are gone from the site. As in, the pages have just vanished. I still have the episodes from back then locally, so I know the titles, and trying to retrieve the pages pulls up nothing. So what happened to the pages? Who removed them well after the series ended? Luckily, the episodes are still on their servers, so redownloading is a breeze. Something else bizarre with this show is that it had the first 28 episodes in hd720p30, but episodes 29-78 are only available in standard hd. It is as though they didn’t know how to work a new camera for a bit or something.
Bytejacker is an example of a show that was independent and later picked up by Revision3. Not only did Revision3 start the series at episode 1 from when they started carrying it, but they also create gaps in the numbering system. So now, archiving is seen as a bit of a nightmare. We’re at episode one from Revision3, but it’s further down the line when you look at the series as a whole. And the gaps don’t help in the slightest. These gaps spring up in several shows, and it’s often difficult to tell when the episodes existed and were removed, or if they never existed at all.
Let’s take a break from talking about Revision3 as a disorganized video storehouse, and start talking a bit about them as a company. That word “company” didn’t always feel as strong. if anyone remembers Revision3 from the beginning, they’ll remember thebroken, Systm, and all the other little shows by Kevin Rose and his friends. As G4 slowly killed off TechTV, this is where fans came to get new videos from their favorite personalities without needing an above-basic cable package.
At some point between 2006 and 2008, I noticed a shift in what I was watching. It didn’t feel like as much as a network by and for geeks, but a network by the advertisers for the consumers. I’m not saying that advertising is a bad thing. We all need to pay the bills, but at what cost is advertising okay? I watch a video from Revision3 now, and it feels like more of an advertisement with some show around it than the other way around. Revision3 relaunched with new shows in 2008, and tried going all out to make their mark. You could say they did for a bit but now it just feels tired. Shows come and go in months rather than years, the site is poorly maintained, and I can barely get through an episode anymore. Some of the more popular shows such as Systm have been shutdown. Shows like Tekzilla have been made to rival other shows (Hak5 in this case, which Revision3 later distributed. It is now a shell of itself).Other shows come and go before anyone realizes they’ve been there.
Don’t take my word for how the place is. Read Dave Randolph’s post (later removed from his site). Read David Calkin’s post. Read Wess Tobler’s post.
Read them all.
And now the company is being bought by Discovery. What does that mean?
Another chapter in Revision3 is starting, and I hope it doesn’t end up burning the first part of the book.