There are those who don't understand what L5 is, and why we have done it the way we have. While most of the negitive response can be chalked up to people who just dislike things for fun...you know...Haters...some of it is just folks not understanding things.
A good example is on one of the many Sci-fi forums L5 has been mentioned on. One poster wrote a long post detailing many of the things they felt where "wrong" with L5. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, some of the items and information are just incorrect.
So....I am going to write an open letter here in my blog. I will not link to the forum post directly...if you want to find it do a little detective work.
The post reads as below...Original poster is in blue, my responses are in red text.
I'll watch it on YouTube too, and here's why: YouTube will be significant in the development of internet video as a business, and that interests me (probably more than this particular web series does). Bittorrent simply isn't significant because nobody is going to be investing significant money and promotion to develop that "business model."
I see that site is asking for donations, but what consumers really want is one place to go to get everything, not a bunch of sites all with their own shows. That's YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and I'm sure Facebook is getting into the act.
However this is going to happen in the future, it will happen at aggregator sites like that. Internet series need to think of aggragator sites like movie theaters - if anyone is going to see your show, you need to get distribution where the average person is looking for content. The trailer is up at YouTube, why not put the whole series there, since it's available free anyway?
Screensavers etc as incentives is the right idea, but they'd probably get more response if they built the incentives around a community - which means there has to be a community at the site. There's a comments field, but for a vital, attractive community, you'll need something with the complexity and scope of TrekBBS, at minimum. (And I think there's a lot more that TrekBBS can be doing, but that's another discussion.) Which of course really means that the aggregator sites should be offering better tools for building communities, not the lame comments sections that now exist.
People will pay for virtual goods that enhance their standing in a community. You see that at TrekBBS - customizable title, that sort of thing. But first, they need to have a community and then value it. The free content attracts the community, and then you build your business model around the community. Free content is all over the place on the internet, but good communities that people value are far rarer. That's your real business. The content is just what you use to build your business. Trying to compete with an easily available commodity (content) is very hard; competing with a scarcer commodity (good, rewarding community) is easier.
So maybe the solution is some kind of hybrid approach - have a presence on YouTube to attract attention (with the full series there, for free) and then use it to funnel people into a proprietary community which also starts out for free, and then you can ratchet up the microtransactions for community based goodies. And of course YouTube will share ad revenue if your show is popular enough there.
PS, okay I watched the preview and once again, I'm flabbergasted that the achilles heel of these online projects always seems to be the actors. Why isn't it easier for productions to get talented wannabee actors eager to jump into anything, just to have it on their demo reel? LA is full of out of work actors. Even if they're producing this show in Chicago, there must be a few theater actors or something around - or maybe they should consider moving to production to LA.
The voice over actor (and ship's computer?) just isn't any good. The other actors don't really "pop" - even in a short promo, there should be something there to grab the audience, but they're just flat. Envision the BSG cast, people like James Edward Olmos or even previous unknowns like Katee Sackhoff in those roles - I guarantee they would have popped better.
When people are used to getting even highly professional content for free (via piracy), how are you ever going to get them to pay for content that is a lot less attractive than what they're used to?