Shel Israel, SAP, and the end of Global Neighborhoods TV (For now?)

Filed as Features on June 23, 2008 5:39 am

Back in April, I wrote about how Shel Israel was being outsmarted by NYC Videographer Loren Feldman:

First, when deciding to embark on something new – like launching a new video show on FastCompany perhaps – it’s critical that you understand the workflow and equipment that you’re going to be using. Watching Shel try to interview someone while operating his equipment – and then the entertainment involved in watching him use the boom shotgun mike as a handheld mike nearly caused me to spit up my morning coffee.

Shel’s videos weren’t entertaining – they were boring (and badly so) and his video work was sorely lacking. This led Loren Feldman of 1938media to launch a parody video show of Shel Israel using a puppet – and the story flows from there.

Yesterday, Shel announced that SAP was dropping its sponsorship of his Global Survey and that Global Neighborhoods TV was leaving Fast Company:

SAP has been a great sponsor. They have given me a free hand in selecting topics. They have encouraged me along the way. They have paid me to do what I would have probably done on my own anyway. But after one year, they have elected not to continue and I wish them well.

Effective July 1, the SAP Global Survey will become the Global Survey. I will continue. Hopefully a new entity will step up to sponsor this ongoing exploration. Meanwhile, I will continue to seek out new stories about how social media is changing just about everything. In fact, I will be expanding topics to also cover issues of Green and Corporate Social Responsibility. If you have either a story or an interest in sponsoring, please contact me.

When GNTV launched, I was not quite ready for prime time. If I was an actor, I would say I was prepared for a summer stock script reading. When the curtain went up, I found myself instead at center stage of an opening night on Broadway with some determined hecklers in the audience who managed for a while to distract me.

Most people seem to agree that I got better. After 14 episodes, I think GNTV has proved its value and professionals hungry for insights into how they can use social media in their businesses have found GNTV to have more than a little value.

A few weeks back, however, FastCompany granted my request to take back GNTV, to remove it from their site and to eventually relaunched it o a smaller scale on this site.

Shel claims that he’ll relaunch GNTV – but that he’ll need sponsorship to do so. Interesting – because I don’t see sponsorship being needed in order to do an online video show. ZeFrank did quite well on his own.

Hopefully this brings to an end the long drama of Shel Israel and the videoblog/show. But given one of Shel’s comments, I doubt we’ve seen the last of him in front of a camera:

I’m also available for freelance video and text journalistic projects. Recently, Scoble & I collaborated on an eBook called, “The Conversational Corporation” for Dow Jones. It was an assignment I loved and welcome similar assignments. Several organizations have recently contracted video personalities to do interviews for enterprise projects and I would be happy to be considered for them in the future.

Please… no. Shel, you’re a great writer, but the video thing is simply not for you. Stick to what is working…

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