I’m at TechCrunch50 and will be writing up my thoughts on presenting companies, as well as other companies that are here.
First on the list is Blah Girls, a start-up by celebrity Ashton Kutcher. As you’ve guessed from my post title, I was less than thrilled by the 8+ minute presentation. In fact, I was aghast at the opening video that had tongue-in-cheek racial references (“token black friend”) that was meant to be snarky but caused my jaw to drop. But I wanted to give Blah Girls the benefit of the doubt – after all, I might just be an uptight mom of tweens.
But it just got worse – the new service is basically traditional push celebrity Hollywood content, with content being updated 2-3 times a week. I did a double take — a WEEK?!? Are we in the same decade?
Billed as adding a layer of interactivity layered on top of content, Blah Girls also gives users the ability to comment on videos and stories, and get snarky remarks back (“fresh” responses are updated once a WEEK). And the comment responses are delivered by email. Yes, email. Last I checked, Blah Girl’s target of teenage girls don’t email much, unless it’s with adults. Pretty limited, and really, how many times will you come back to a site to get snarky responses ?
I would have expected Blah Girls to extend the franchise of the animated trio to the places where teenage girls hang out, namely MySpace/Facebook presences, Twitter accounts, etc. Right now, it feels like an old media play with some snarky videos. As someone tweeted, “It’s South Park on the Web.”
I was frankly surprised by the panel’s generally positive response to Blah Girls. But then again, I’m the parent of a young tween, and am concerned that she will be drawn by the animation, videos, and content – and frankly, it’s just inappropriate for her. So Blah Girls is going on the list of banned sites on our home computers. I’ll wait to see the final product and hope
that there will be better and greater true interactivity that understands and respects the real behavior of teenage girls.