We are always looking to deliver video content that’s fun interesting and topical.
But Transgender Zone unlike many sites is very focused on support (and television media) with those who visit us. We have been supporting people on TZone since 98. And have quietly helped a lot of people over that time. This was long before Facebook, The Gender Recognition Act or Twitter – even Youtube! Those were the years of Real Player, shoutboxes and CGI Bins, IRC Chats and forums.
We have been developing ever since.
We moved as thing changed, we changed and kept pace. In some cases ahead of the game. And that’s where we sit right now.
We deliver a better quality TV show than Google+ Hangouts, and that’s not bad!
Google+ Hangouts and Youtube diaries are nothing new these days. But creating your own television shows is something we can all actually control. And multicasting live, recording with video mixers and multi-cameras on-the-fly is pretty new. Very few have actually cracked this model of course. But some big networks have!
We tend to always be the ‘subject’ or the ‘flavour of the month’ of some other corporate body, usually your 15mins of fame on national television but then they are bored when your ‘currency’ is used up. Or you dance to the fiddle of your paymasters. Your employers (if you work in the media) see advantage in the transgender experience. But why should that be? There is always something ‘in it’ for them, and do they truly ‘care’ about you? And stories tend to focus on who they were rather than who they are. Every story out there in the press and media has to have a before picture or at least mention they used to be a man call Steve… Without that you are worthless! Anyone in the press and media who suggests different, just ask yourself if they never knew you were trans would they be interested?
The most famous transpeople who ever lived had 4 years at the top (a 7 year itch if you are lucky) and that’s it on average. The next big thing is always around the corner. But then what? If you own and produce your own content, or get behind the camera you may have longer! The exceptions tend to be MTF cross-dressers who maintain a mainly male persona, Grayson Perry and Eddie Izzard (I suspect not by choice but because they need to work! and ‘Male Privilege’ of course). But sadly MTF women tend to lose their currency fairly quickly as there is always someone prettier and smarter right behind you, and in some cases have had a total and utter turn around. Nadia Almada was the darling of the country in 2004 when she won Big Brother, in 2010 she left a special series for winners called ‘Ultimate Big Brother’ to Boos and tears, and to quote Krusty the Klown on the Simpsons when Bart’s “I didn’t do it Kid!” went south in a few weeks, “What happened?” “You are just finished Kid, that’s all!”
If you keep diaries, blog and vlog you can maintain a profile forever! As many of those who wash their hands of you are not necessarily your fans anyway – and they still might want more!
If you control and create your own media, you control and create your own media. The long established models of the BBC and ITV and so on, the big licenced TV channels are under threat, in the same way newspapers are under threat from bloggers and reviewers who prefer the opinion of a friend or someone they trust in a digital publication, to some guy on a national network who may have been given a ‘back-hander’ of cash to say how great something is.
Facebook latched on to that and now you will increasingly see ‘friend’s’ faces appear on ads saying, “hey your best friend likes this shampoo you know!” So you should buy it!
Bandwidth is getting cheaper and storage is getting cheaper, heck you get quite a bit free on Google docs.
So where is this all headed?
Well as time goes on, the usual paths to celebrity will change, please read my blog on Trans-currency at this point., the usual paths to consuming content will and are changing. The recent chromeCAST dongle is giving something away for next to nothing so people will bypass their usual consuming habits. What that means is today you can have a channel on YouTube that is actually a TV Channel! That people can access on their TVs with a remote control via an app on their smartphone. You appear in the listings next to BBC Iplayer. What about live TV? Well ironically most of the television you watch is not live, it is made over many months, edited, recorded, mixed and then scheduled. It is then broadcast by ‘playing it’ for you to watch. So what is the difference? Its only the money spent on it or the knowledge of those talking that’s of any value. And its better to play what you want rather than what they want isn’t it?
Actual Live TV? Well we do that on a Monday via Ustream, but there are many other services. It is also interactive! Via our chat room. You can ask a question live to the show. So many television shows these days have to have some social network component. ITV’s ‘This Morning’ has ‘The Hub’ with people on laptops flashing up twitter messages – all vetted and controlled of course! What are the chances your message will appear? Zero probably – or close to it! Are you therefore truly part of it? The fact they need to show a #hashtag at the beginning of the show demonstrates just how lost many of these programmes are becoming. They do not know if they are coming or going. They have one foot in the future and one in the past. Its a game that’s being lost!
Online media giants and the shape of things to come
Netflix, now has enough money to produce it’s own content and what content they have delivered! ‘Orange is the New Black‘ with transgender actress Laverne Cox – not bad for a starting point. The BBC and ITV and Channel 4 have not been able to do that since their inception. That speaks volumes at just how out-of-touch they really are! Channel 5 of course has Big Brother and that delivers every year! And they tend to listen to and act on our ideas.
A recent survey looked at how young people, those without the income to buy premium services, consume content – most use Youtube. This is where they listen to their music, this is where they upload their thoughts, this is where they share and pass around content that fills their day. This is where we should be.
The Problem with Youtube though is whilst young voices are important, they are like dandelion seeds blowing in the wind, occasionally someone gets lucky and goes viral, but it rarely happens twice! And this is where a new approach to monitisation has come in in the shape of networks. Successful YouTubers are now being snapped-up by digital networks who can give the creators of this popular content a very nice living – and fame of course. Unlike waiting for the BBC to ‘commission’ you to do something, you create what you want on your terms and you get paid more for doing so. And you own that content. Unlike if you are paid to appear in something. And then they never call again. Yet you continually see your face pop up for up to 10 years in repeats afterwards, possibly at a time you regret ever doing this as it now haunts you and you have no power to take it down. Our archives and monitoring can easily demonstrate this fact, and the many we have spoken to, who have deep regrets, as they are no longer ‘that person’. Of course impressionable transwomen in particular, in their teens and early 20s are cannon fodder for this.
The importance of being on YouTube goes without saying, its one of the biggest markets in the world, its the place to share and create content, and if you are good at it you can get rich, for just talking to your webcam!
‘Psy’ was a singer unknown outside of Korea, now the whole world knows who he is. And that is because of the power of YT. He would have never made it out in the way he has hoping for a BBC camera crew that may or may not happen past his studio and overhear him singing! And as for ‘Jenna Marbles’ – that’s just mind-boggling! You could be the next her! Who knows?
Doing it for ourselves and you can be part of that!
Transgender Zone and The Beaumont Society have very common aims.
I developed their website 15 years ago, and left the Beaumont Society on good terms in 2002 (with Honorary Lifetime Membership) to build up Transgender Zone. That’s been pretty popular and still is. But now we have come back together again. To develop our TV Show. And other ideas.
You may have happened upon it? It is early days, but because we do a show a week where we can address very topical issues, and in a fair and balanced way. As its not just one person, everyone has their say and can say what they want. We do not always agree.
We also have a lot of laughs and joke about, we also have covered deaths of friends to people who have been in Jail. To people who have created memorials, to laughing at pets behaving badly! To interviewing trans ‘celebrities’.
This is the loose cannon we enjoy firing, and anything can happen with this world we now exist in. We can do it or not do it, we can be serious or not serious, we do not have to even have an agenda some days and just freewheel and see what happens!
Imagine that on any TV show? It would be chaos. But 90s TV show entitled ‘The Word’ was chaotic and it was brilliant! So its only ‘ratings’ that changes the game. If you have a YouTube show and you get 100,000 subscribers you are probably as well known as any top celebrity on UK TV and as your audience are not passive consumers, they may well be international fans well… In other words they have chosen to follow you as opposed to you just being a noise in the corner of the room whilst they are vacuuming, it is likely you have more ‘power’ to recommend products, and advertise and so on. This is influence and networks know it!
THE BIG QUESTIONS
This week we tackled one of the BIG Questions! “How do I know I am trans? What does it fee like to be transsexual?!” This is a question that those who are not trans struggle to get their head around. “What does my child feel like?” “What does my husband feel like inside?”
We tried this week to answer that! Now this is something I have never seen done, ever(!), and I have 25 years of television archives! I have never seen it talked about in this way before! This is what I am getting at! It took us to deliver this.
We don’t have to worry about OFCOM – OF WHO?
You can watch that here.
Transgender Zone VLOG Episode #23 Oct 14th, 2013 – Am I transgender? How do I know if I am transgender?
When you watch this, look at the way it is edited live, the audio quality, the lighting, the credits, the intros the theme music and so on.
This is grass-roots support in the most modern of ways, from the comfort of your own home with a coffee and friends. People speak of ‘activism’ and being ‘an activist’. Its a sexy label for someone who often just poses for a lot of ‘selfies’. But doing things that require more than a finger-click, or turning up and smiling are more difficult, I have done the other, this by contrast takes a lot of time and it is relentless, not just speaking in a room once a month somewhere. This above took 6 hours solid on a Monday, then another 2 days to edit and watch it through again as it is quite long. Then another day of promotion. Then planning for the next one. That’s without doing all what we all normally do running everything. Reviewing, planning supporting and managing our mailbox which as you can imagine. Transgender Zone’s is heaving!
This is tangible, and you can see it before your eyes! There is no smoke-screen.
This is another reason why it is important, as if people ask you what you do and you say, “I am an informal support worker with transpeople,” and they say, “where,” you can say, “watch my channel, and all the people I help!” And they go look and say, “OK!”
These days people want more than hot air, they want proof and see results. They want to be part of the movement. And this stops views becoming polarised. Get your pals around and interview them with your webcam and drop me the link I would love to see you 🙂 And if you like to have a say join us on Mondays. You can be part of it!
You can take part in it click here to join us next time – it is as simple as that – no auditions! No sacred cows! No bull! Just real people talking about real issues.
Fame is fleeting, this is about helping people and enjoying yourself. Not attending events laid on by third parties for their benefit, benefit yourself for once.
Who am I?