Thank to its ubiquitous advertising spots on BoingBoingTV, I’ve discovered the IT Room. Clearly, I’m part of the target audience of this new take on tech support humor, ’cause I found the trailers and initial 4:22 minute webisode (embedded below) hilarious.
The IT Room has ambitions to be more than just a series of webisodes created by Motiv Studios, written by a group of writers in a snark-laden conference room. The producers want the audience of IT geeks (and perhaps a few end users) to submit their own IT horror stories, which they can then use to create further episodes.
Is it a way of dodging the ongoing writer’s strike? Perhaps. We’ve had some luck with getting users to submit their own IT bloopers in the past, though we haven’t assembled a crack comedy team to make them into video shorts quite yet. The monkey promises to give the best written IT horror story a Dell Latitude, so there’s some extra incentive in there, too. The site gathers submissions in a transparent and decidedly techie way — you contribute the story as a blog post, visible to all.
Cleverly, there’s a Digg button next to each post, a move that the rather more old media Wall Street Journal just made as well, leading to wide spread speculation that Murdoch might be interested in acquiring the social news site. (That move also allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed of all of the WSJ’s content on Digg– neat!)
The cynic in me notes that Motiv works on marketing programs for Dell, though this is obviously more than just extended commercials. There’s no Dude getting me a Dell (instead, he’s offering me a pint), happily, but until I see a battery meltdown or a frustrating tech support mobisode focused on relentlessly calm Indian associates offering scripted responses, I’ll be a tad suspicious…. even as I snarf my coffee a bit when I tune in.