The world may not be ready for 3.0 yet

Published September 8, 2010

Last month, I blogged about a new show starting on Revision3 - Dan 3.0. It seemed like a great idea, Dan was already an established video blogger with a good fanbase, and he was intending to turn his life over to the viewers. You’d get to suggest and vote on things for Dan to do with his life - and the project was set to last a whole year.

It seems to have fizzled out already.

Dan has disappeared at the moment - it seems as though something has happened in his life that leaves him distant from the internet. He was gone for at least a week with no word, and then tweeted that he was okay but taking a step back to regroup. Without knowing what is going on in his life, it’s impossible to judge this course of action, but even before the disappearance, things weren’t exactly happy in the Dan 3.0 camp.

There were a couple of good videos in the first week. Dan attempted some of the tasks, and it was amusing, if not particularly groundbreaking. Then the technical frustrations crept in - that’s the video I particularly liked last time round. It was good for one video, not exactly compulsive viewing for an extended period of time.

The frequency of videos dropped as Dan appeared to get more busy, and then came planning week. Seemingly overwhelmed with the prospect of doing things for an entire year, Dan dreamt up the idea of planning week, in which he and the viewers wouldn’t worry about doing tasks but would look ahead and set some goals for the next three months or so. It ended up being a week’s worth of videos in which Dan talked about a couple of ideas, set up some forum posts, looked at a calendar, made a big effort to go outside, and of course, had breakfast. That is not to say Dan wasn’t his usual witty self, but that the planning idea fell a bit flat. This was acknowledged easily enough.

Dan went to visit his girlfriend, which was a bit cute, although it felt more self-indulgent than the task voters might have initially imagined, and then he disappeared. In searching for some signs of life amongst the forums, it’s clear that a few viewers are disappointed with the project, even if they still hold Dan himself in high regard. It doesn’t seem to be living up to expectations.

This is all summed up very nicely in a comment on the Dan 3.0 blog:

3 Weeks in.

15 Episodes.

What has happened?

Dan walked from his town to a neighboring town.

Dan complained for 14 videos about his lack of content and/or difficult schedule.


Now, I’m not surprised that it was harder than they thought. Video is one of the most difficult and time-consuming things you can do on the web. I have seen that first-hand. Mr C can easily spend many nocturnal hours on a one minute video, and that is without having to go out and about and capture the content in the way that a Dan 3.0 project requires.

The thing that surprises me more than anything is that Revision3 make shows. This is what they do. They’re trying to replace the TV in your life. They took on this project, they must have known what it takes to make video. They must have at least thought about testing out the upload process so that it wouldn’t take him all day to get a video posted. They must have contemplated the idea of hiring an editor before the series even began. They must have done a planning week before it started, surely?

I don’t think anyone is judging Dan on his disappearance, we’re mostly concerned that he is okay. If he gave up the project now, I wouldn’t think badly on him. I would, and do, think badly on Revision 3 for clearly not giving him the support required to make a show of this nature. It was destined to fail from the outset and the blame appears to rest entirely at their door.

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